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Balancing the costs and benefits of mass immigration

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Migration may increase the size of the national cake, but it also increases the number of people who are entitled to a slice of this cake. — Bob Rowthorn, professor of economics at Cambridge University

Back in October of last year, Professor Rowthorn pointed out that mass migration has actually lowered per capita GDP – or output per individual worker — in the UK since 1998.

Now a House of Lords committee is coming to the same conclusion. From Saturday’s Telegraph (cheers, Darren!):

"Our overall conclusion is that the economic benefits of net immigration to the resident population are small and close to zero in the long run," the report will say….

The inquiry by the committee, which includes two former chancellors and several former Cabinet ministers, is the first to try to balance the costs and benefits of large-scale immigration….

I’ve been arguing for a while now that we need to balance the costs and benefits here in the Republic, too. In any discussion on immigration to this country, immigration advocates point to the economy and claim that we wouldn’t have had such a booming economy without them (although it’s probably more likely that our monetary policy — i.e. floating the Irish currency between 1993 and 2001 — created the Celtic Tiger).

Alternatively, many argue that the taxes that (legal) immigrants pay must put the RoI in the black as far as immigration goes since many of the immigrants from Eastern Europe (especially Poland) have not brought families with them and so they are not so much of an expense on the national budget. Perhaps not — but we do not know for sure since no one (as far as I know) has done a financial reckoning such as the UK studies described above.

The 2006 Irish Census tells us that roughly one-third of Polish people in the country are, in fact, married — and that 7.5 per cent of Polish people in the country are between the ages of 0-14. (Keep in mind that the census wildly underestimates the number of Polish immigrants in this country — the government believes there are at least ca. three times as many as the census figures.) So, the Polish community is consuming the national cake as well as contributing to it.

Furthermore, €90 million in child benefits have gone to the children of immigrants back in their home countries — 80 per cent of these claims were made by Polish immigrants. So, while the families of many immigrants may not be here in body, many are virtually here and need to be factored in when calculating the costs of mass immigration to the Rep of Ireland.

In addition to the economic costs, we should not forget the social costs to both the RoI and the UK (and every other country that is currently experiencing mass immigration). From Harvard political scientist, Robert Putnam:

…in the presence of diversity, we hunker down. We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.

The Rep of Ireland needs to calculate both the financial input and the costs of mass immigration to this country. That includes expenses such as crime, health costs, reduction in wages, etc.

I suspect that the situation here is not all that unlike the UK or France where mass immigration has not proven to be an economic plus. In the absence of a "balance sheet" on immigration, however, it remains difficult to have an informed discussion about mass immigration to this country.

“THE BILL OF RIGHTS” – PRETENTIOUS, MOI?

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 1:36 pm

The LAST THING Northern Ireland needs is a " Bill of Rights" dreamed up by an army of professional left-wing ideologue and gormless politicians. So, that’s what we may be going to get!  

The "Bill of Rights Forum" (A charmingly unrepresentative quango!) will present recommendations on the contents of a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights to the Human Rights Commission this afternoon which could potentially see controversial changes to rights in Northern Ireland on issues such as: Rraising the age of criminal responsibility to 18; Parades; the Irish language; abortion; homosexuality; victims of terrorism; the Disappeared victims of the IRA.

There’s been a vociferous lobby from all the usual suspects for this over a number of years. If you live in Northern Ireland you may have seen their ludicrous posters trying to stir up public interest. However the public SHOULD be interested in what this quango is aiming to do for IF it is successful in its aim – the introduction of even more and superfluous RIGHTS-orientated  tripe – then liberties will be restricted. That’s why the Bill of Rights needS to be completely dismissed.

THE NEW PURITANS ATTACK AGAIN…

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 12:17 pm

harmanPA310506_228x284.jpgWonder what you make of the news that bar managers and store owners face large-scale compensation claims if their customers "ogle" their barmaids, waitresses or check-out staff? (Does this apply if women "ogle" barmen, waiters and male check out staff and what is the precise definition of "ogle" and who says so?) New sex discrimination laws also mean that landlords who allow loud "sexist" jokes or "banter" among drinkers could be taken before a tribunal. The regulations say that bosses are responsible for protecting their staff from sexual harassment by customers – and that those who fail to do so can face unlimited compensation claims. The regulations were pushed through by Women and Equalities Minister Harriet Harman, who has powers under European legislation to amend discrimination law. Miss Harman has used a statutory instrument that does not require a division or debate in Parliament.

The Labour government has many shrews within it, but Harman – or should that be Har-person? – is one the worst. This sort of draconian legislation is just ridiculous. It seeks to imply it is righting a wrong but in fact all it is doing is setting up the possibilities for unlimited legal cases being taken against employers which may well lead to them having to shut up shut just because someone says "Hello love" to the barmaid. The advance of this po-faced neo-puritanism is a menace to our society, it’s like a cancer that spreads by these self-righteous hypocrites like Harman.

So anyway, a man walks into a bar…..

EARTH DAY VS EDISON DAY

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 10:15 am

Just to say that I will be on the BBC Ulster “Talkback” show around 12.45pm discussing “Earth Day”, the empty stunt that the environmentalists pulled the other day, egged on by google and a few others. I take the line that those who used the occasion to celebrate “Edison Day” – the wonderful invention of the lightbulb, by Thomas Edison, got it right! The apostles for global warming love their stunts of course, remember the useless Live Earth concerts from last year? The idea that switching off lights achieves anything but publicity is facile. Publicity is what this is all about. But to be honest, if some want to live without electricity, fine. Their call. But please stop harassing the rest of us who choose to live in the light.

WORLD’S ODDEST INVENTIONS…

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 8:55 am

This is NOT a pre-April Fool’s Day spoof story but it did strike me as one of those inventions that is really odd! I’m talking about Twodaloo. This is the supertoilet that saves rocky marriages and the planet! Now I hope you may forgive the indelicacy of this topic first thing on a Monday but…

"The TwoDaLoo is billed as the world’s first toilet two people can use … at the exact same time. It brings couples closer together and conserves our water supply all with one flush. The TwoDaLoo features two side-by-side toilet seats with a modest privacy wall in between. An upgraded version includes a seven inch LCD television and iPod docking station. "

And it’s ONLY a mere $1400! Cheap at half the price! What is hilarious is the "research" that the manufacturer has undertaken which alleges that 36% of the population already use the loo in front of their partners and which then goes on to claim that it is when you are using the toilet you are at your most communicative and relaxed.

You gotta be joking. The TwodaLoo is a busted flush folks – it’ll never catch on.

 

ON THE BEAT…?

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 8:41 am

Having spent most of Saturday wandering around central London, one thing that struck me was the almost total absence of Police Officers on the beat. I walked many busy streets and not a Bobby was to be found. When I compare this to New York, for example, the difference is great. I don’t know about you but I suggest many members of the law-abiding general public are very pleased to see police on the beat. It inspires a certain confidence and sends a message to any criminals that there IS a presence for the force of law and order. And yet – on a bustling Saturday afternoon, I did not see one – and I walked along Oxford Street, Regent St, Carnaby Steet, Saville Row, and too many other streets to tell you. (My aching feet know each one intimately, however) I think that the Metropolitan Police, like so many other police forces, have retreated OFF the streets, into their cars, and it looks a lot like deserting the field of play. It IS re-assuring to know that our streets are policed and there in no better sign of this than friendly but no-nonsense police officers on the beat.

P.S When I got to Wembley, I saw loads of Police Officers. The thing is that they were mostly an unimposing bunch, many of them well under 6 feet and puny looking. There were a few drunken incidents in the ground and the Police left it to the local ground security to deal with things, merely looking on. None of this impressed me. There were also mounted police along Wembley Way – they looked a bit more like it, great control over the animals and MK Dons fans!

A DEFLATED HADDOCK

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 7:59 am

795151-1455515-thumbnail.jpgWell, the symbolism was there right from the start.


An ominous black crate into which all inflated “Harry the Haddocks” had to be deposited. They constituted a “security risk” apparently. However they could be re-inflated if you let them down and then had the energy to blow them up again once inside the stadium. Talk about petty officialdom!!


I refer to my visit yesterday to the “New Wembley” to watch the football team I support, Grimsby Town, play MK Dons, in the final of the prestigious..ahem..Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final.


A four foot long inflatable fish – Harry the Haddock – is the mascot of Grimsby Town, and just over 25,000 fans arrived at Wembley, many carrying their fish! It was quite a sight in central London to see this rare fishy sight. In fact even though we floundered on the pitch, and were put in our plaice by the opposition, our soles were lifted up by the experience, and I am not codding you. It was my first visit to this stadium and I have to say I was very impressed. The facilities are really good, and the atmosphere in the ground was also excellent. Prices were extravagantly high but most major sporting arenas are like that these days.


We were located right behind the goals, so had a great view. With the sun shining, it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. But dark clouds started to gather as Grimsby were awarded a penalty – and promptly missed. Then after constant pressure from MK Dons, we conceded a penalty. They didn’t miss! The sense of deflation was immense and another goal was shortly conceded – final score 2-0Oh well – there’ll be another chance another time and my congratulations to MK Dons – the deserved winners!

Our Friend, Skye, Was Physically Assaulted

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 5:25 am

By a peace protester. I told you those peace protesters were violent. That this happens at all is a disgrace – that it happened to Skye, who is always pleasant and reasonable, is a double disgrace. That it was a male striking a female is just even worse. We’re behind you Skye – and so angry that this happened. We know that you have the support and strength of those who stand with you weekly in West Chester. We want you to know that you have our support as well. The perpetrator is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, as he committed this assault while obviously being filmed. I know that is small comfort to our Skye, who had to experience the abuse – recorded or not.

Troll and I have witnessed the nastiness and violence of the peace protesters. We have also heard some horror stories. Nothing has ever happened to us personally. Violent peace protesters are an interesting, if sometimes dangerous, breed. The irony of their actions is not apparent to them. This is what we face. Stupid-asses who can oftentimes be violent while screaming how they are for peace. Stupid-asses who will rip your sign to shreds while screaming how they are for freedom of speech.

Well – it is a free country and they can scream all they want. We do live in the United States of America, afterall. Our right to offend is still recognized (thank goodness), but we certainly have no right to physically assault another for no good reason. Thank goodness for that, too.

Thank you Skye – and thanks to all of you brave souls standing together in West Chester. Thank you for showing up every week to let the world know that many of us support and love our troops.

Grizzly Mama

Calling a Spade a Spade

By ATWadmin On March 31st, 2008 at 2:36 am

I don’t as a rule post Articles. I know it pisses some people off, and I usually do a good enough job of that on my own. This article I felt was worth doing just that, because it puts two issues in the proper perspective. It is long but I don’t know how to do the continue reading thing.

Why Do Palestinians Get Much More Attention than Tibetans?
By Dennis Prager
The long-suffering Tibetans have been in the news. This happens perhaps once or twice a decade. In a more moral world, however, public opinion would be far more preoccupied with Tibetans than with Palestinians, would be as harsh on China as it is on Israel, and would be as fawning on Israel as it now is on China.

But, alas, the world is, as it has always been, a largely mean-spirited and morally insensitive place, where might is far more highly regarded than right.

Consider the facts: Tibet, at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world’s oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own ethnicity. Over 1 million of its people have been killed by the Chinese, its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6,000 of its 6,200 monasteries have been looted and destroyed, and most of its monks have been tortured, murdered or exiled.

Palestinians have none of these characteristics. There has never been a Palestinian country, never been a Palestinian language, never been a Palestinian ethnicity, never been a Palestinian religion in any way distinct from Islam elsewhere. Indeed, "Palestinian" had always meant any individual living in the geographic area called Palestine. For most of the first half of the 20th century, "Palestinian" and "Palestine" almost always referred to the Jews of Palestine. The United Jewish Appeal, the worldwide Jewish charity that provided the nascent Jewish state with much of its money, was actually known as the United Palestine Appeal. Compared to Tibetans, few Palestinians have been killed, its culture has not been destroyed nor its mosques looted or plundered, and Palestinians have received billions of dollars from the international community. Unlike the dying Tibetan nation, there are far more Palestinians today than when Israel was created.

None of this means that a distinct Palestinian national identity does not now exist. Since Israel’s creation such an identity has arisen and does indeed exist. Nor does any of this deny that many Palestinians suffered as a result of the creation of the third Jewish state in the area, known — since the Romans renamed Judea — as "Palestine."

But it does mean that of all the causes the world could have adopted, the Palestinians’ deserved to be near the bottom and the Tibetans’ near the top. This is especially so since the Palestinians could have had a state of their own from 1947 on, and they have caused great suffering in the world, while the far more persecuted Tibetans have been characterized by a morally rigorous doctrine of nonviolence.

So, the question is, why? Why have the Palestinians received such undeserved attention and support, and the far more aggrieved and persecuted and moral Tibetans given virtually no support or attention?

The first reason is terror. Some time ago, the Palestinian leadership decided, with the overwhelming support of the Palestinian people, that murdering as many innocent people — first Jews, and then anyone else — was the fastest way to garner world attention. They were right. On the other hand, as The Economist notes in its March 28, 2008 issue, "Tibetan nationalists have hardly ever resorted to terrorist tactics…" It is interesting to speculate how the world would have reacted had Tibetans hijacked international flights, slaughtered Chinese citizens in Chinese restaurants and temples, on Chinese buses and trains, and massacred Chinese schoolchildren.

The second reason is oil and support from powerful fellow Arabs. The Palestinians have rich friends who control the world’s most needed commodity, oil. The Palestinians have the unqualified support of all Middle Eastern oil-producing nations and the support of the Muslim world beyond the Middle East. The Tibetans are poor and have the support of no nations, let alone oil-producing ones.

The third reason is Israel. To deny that pro-Palestinian activism in the world is sometimes related to hostility toward Jews is to deny the obvious. It is not possible that the unearned preoccupation with the Palestinians is unrelated to the fact that their enemy is the one Jewish state in the world. Israel’s Jewishness is a major part of the Muslim world’s hatred of Israel. It is also part of Europe’s hostility toward Israel: Portraying Israel as oppressors assuages some of Europe’s guilt about the Holocaust — "see, the Jews act no better than we did." Hence the ubiquitous comparisons of Israel to Nazis.

A fourth reason is China. If Tibet had been crushed by a white European nation, the Tibetans would have elicited far more sympathy. But, alas, their near-genocidal oppressor is not white. And the world does not take mass murder committed by non-whites nearly as seriously as it takes anything done by Westerners against non-Westerners. Furthermore, China is far more powerful and frightening than Israel. Israel has a great army and nuclear weapons, but it is pro-West, it is a free and democratic society, and it has seven million people in a piece of land as small as Belize. China has nuclear weapons, has a trillion U.S. dollars, an increasingly mighty army and navy, is neither free nor democratic, is anti-Western, and has 1.2 billion people in a country that dominates the Asian continent.

A fifth reason is the world’s Left. As a general rule, the Left demonizes Israel and has loved China since it became Communist in 1948. And given the power of the Left in the world’s media, in the political life of so many nations, and in the universities and the arts, it is no wonder vicious China has been idolized and humane Israel demonized.

The sixth reason is the United Nations, where Israel has been condemned in more General Assembly and Security Council resolutions than any other country in the world. At the same time, the UN has voted China onto its Security Council and has never condemned it. China’s sponsoring of Sudan and its genocidal acts against its non-Arab black population, as in Darfur, goes largely unremarked on at the UN, let alone condemned, just as is the case with its cultural genocide, ethnic cleansing and military occupation of Tibet.

The seventh reason is television news, the primary source of news for much of mankind. Aside from its leftist tilt, television news reports only what it can video. And almost no country is televised as much as Israel, while video reports in Tibet are forbidden, as they are almost anywhere in China except where strictly monitored by the Chinese authorities. No video, no TV news. And no TV, no concern. So while grieving Palestinians and the accidental killings of Palestinians during morally necessary Israeli retaliations against terrorists are routinely televised, the slaughter of over a million Tibetans and the extinguishing of Tibetan Buddhism and culture are non-events as far as television news is concerned.

The world is unfair, unjust and morally twisted. And rarely more so than in its support for the Palestinians — no matter how many innocents they target for murder and no matter how much Nazi-like anti-Semitism permeates their media — and its neglect of the cruelly treated, humane Tibetans.

 

Dennis Prager is a radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com

Freedom Isn’t Free

By ATWadmin On March 30th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."

–Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. President

I’ll be honest.  I started my jury service with a very bad attitude. Randomly selected, I was instructed to be physically present in the jury room at one of LA’s least attractive courthouses by 8 o’clock on Monday morning.

Plucked from my daily routine, I fought morning “rush hour” traffic on 2 different freeways on that first day, and then was forced to find street parking due to woefully inadequate courthouse parking.  With only minutes to spare, I found a parking spot on a side street under a freeway pass, and I risked life and limb to cross in front of the busy on-ramp traffic.  After hurrying into the square, graceless building, I found myself standing in a long line for a weapons search.

Jury duty.  What had I done to deserve this? I wasn’t the one that had made the “bad choice,” landing in need of a lawyer and a trial. I didn’t make my living as a lawyer, nor did I glean any prestige acting as a judge. But here I was, an ordinary citizen, chosen at random, sacrificing time and money, surrounded by strangers, waiting for the wheels of justice to turn.

It did get easier. After the first day I no longer lost my way to the courthouse, helplessly gazing at 4 lanes of traffic and the bright glare of the sun on the concrete. Wearing my jury badge, I became friendly with the policemen performing the weapons search at the front of the building. And, as I sat in the grey purgatory of the jury holding room – a room animated only by the low drone of competing morning TV talk shows, simultaneously broadcast from 4 different TV monitors – I reached into my memory and took a mental step back into history.

Trial by jury came to America from England. Designed to protect citizens from the abuse and power of government, the principle of a Common Law Jury or Jury of your Peers was first established on June 15, 1215 at Runnymede, England when King John signed the Magna Carta.

America’s founders wisely took the best of King George’s England, threw out the worst, and adapted to a new land. “Trial by jury” is discussed in all three of America’s founding documents:  The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights.  In our system of checks and balances, the jury is our final check, and the people’s last safeguard against unjust law and tyranny.

By the end of my jury duty, my attitude had completely changed.  As we say in LA, “it’s not always ALL about me,” and performing jury duty is a very small price to pay for living in America. I deeply value my right to a “trial by jury” were I to ever need one.  It’s not a perfect system, but it is the best one yet invented.