77 5 mins 14 yrs

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.

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77 thoughts on “Balancing the costs and benefits of mass immigration

  1. ‘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.’

    You have no proof of that, since the republic has no stats like the one linked by the professor. Until you have proof all you have is your own point of view, which could be biased? 😉

    For example you admit as much here:

    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.’

    You link Robert Putnam who wrote a book and give a quote, but forgot to mention this:

    ‘Though some scholars questioned how well its findings applied outside the US’

    Your link is also two years old.

    ‘it remains difficult to have an informed discussion about mass immigration to this country.’

    I agree with you, we do need a debate about immigration to this country but lets keep it honest. Taking studies from one country and applying them wholesale to another for which they weren’t designed is plain wrong. Especially if your data could be out of date

  2. Cait: You have no proof of that, since the republic has no stats like the one linked by the professor. Until you have proof all you have is your own point of view, which could be biased?

    That’s why I used the word ‘suspect’.

    Cait: Taking studies from one country and applying them wholesale to another for which they weren’t designed is plain wrong.

    I think the similarities between the economic effects of mass immigration in the UK, the USA, and France indicate that such research can, indeed, be used to inform discussions on mass immigration to other countries. I would also think that the "laws" of economics apply to Ireland as they do in other countries.

  3. Hibernia Girl,

    Don’t expect me to be on your side. I believe that an individual may go wherever s/he pleases.

    Was it not St Augustine who said "The world is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only a page."

  4. Dawkins: I believe that an individual may go wherever s/he pleases.

    They may, indeed — as long as the people who are already in whatever place that s/he roams to allow them to. 😉

  5. >>"…in the presence of diversity, we hunker down. We act like turtles.<<

    Well, some of you do, but some of you are turtles anyway.

    >>"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."<<

    LOL. I’d say if I were in a totally non-diverse community in 2008 I would very much distrust everybody.

  6. Hibernia Girl,

    As long as there’s room and amenities for both communities I don’t see a problem.

  7. ‘I think’

    HG we’re all entitled to our opinion, but you have no empirical proof, yet you link people who are giving empirical proof for studies for their country. You simply cannot take a study done for Britain about the fiscal impact of immigration, and another for the U.S. for diversity and apply them wholesale to the republic of Ireland. It is simply wrong, and misleading to do so.

    Laws are not given static facts, even economic laws, and they vary from place to place. What you have done is to create an argument that reflects your own views and tried to dress it up with empirical data. That is simply wrong.

  8. HG,

    Your objection seems to apply equally to any increase in population of any kind, unless it is the rapid expansion you object to. If the Irish headcount had gone up by 200,000 (or whatever) via childbirth alone rather than immigration would you be having the same conniption fits you have here w.r.t the economics? I doubt it.

    After all whether 100k workers arrive from Poland today, or they arrive from 100k rolls in the hay 18 years ago, the effect on GDP/capita is surely similar and it is not obvious that it is detrimental. Similarly it is not obvious that if 100k irish people were abducted by space aliens tomorrow the net effect would be a benefit to the economy.

  9. Good point, Frank. Except of course the 100K Poles, being on average more of a working age, healthier and more eager to earn than the average citizen aged 0 to 100, make overall a greater pro capita contribution to GDP.

  10. According to the professor in HG’s link,

    ‘The economic costs and benefits of immigration are not evenly or uniformly distributed.’

    You see, even within the UK the economics is different. There is no point in saying that the fiscal impact of immigration in Belfast is the same as in South East England, where most immigrants settle. If the fiscal impact is not uniform within the UK how dishonest is it to take a study designed for the UK and apply it uniformly to the ROI and by opinion in the post to the rest of Europe.

    It is simply wrong.

  11. HG

    Dawkins: I believe that an individual may go wherever s/he pleases.

    Hibernia Girl They may, indeed — as long as the people who are already in whatever place that s/he roams to allow them to. 😉

    We do. Most Irish people are completely relaxed about immigration. That’s why people like you have to keep calling for a debate. What are you proposing to debate? That we should send the Poles home? You would be laughed of the stage.

  12. Henry, there is a debate going on nationally within the UK and Europe where the pros and cons of immigration are backed up by studies which support one side or the other. It is my opinion that within the UK the immigration issue is a mess, simply because they do not know the actual numbers and the labour government have handled things very badly. BUT that is the UK where studies make the debate much more than mere opinion.

    The republic simply is not there yet as regards studying immigration and its impact fiscally or socially on the population. Until that happens no one can say for sure what the situation is, but one cannot take studies from other countries and apply them and make it look like their argument is backed up by empirical data.

  13. Cait: You simply cannot take a study done for Britain about the fiscal impact of immigration, and another for the U.S. for diversity and apply them wholesale to the republic of Ireland.

    I haven’t done that. What I have done is to call for a similar study(ies) to be done in the RoI.

    From my post: "The Rep of Ireland needs to calculate both the financial input and the costs of mass immigration to this country."

  14. Frank O’Dwyer: Your objection seems to apply equally to any increase in population of any kind, unless it is the rapid expansion you object to. If the Irish headcount had gone up by 200,000 (or whatever) via childbirth alone rather than immigration would you be having the same conniption fits you have here w.r.t the economics? I doubt it.

    You are absolutely right — no I wouldn’t have had a problem with an increased ethnic-Irish population (although at some point one would need to get concerned by an ever-increasing population — like the Chinese).

    What I am concerned about is mass immigration and it’s effects on Irish (and British and European and American) society. The pro-immigrationists (is that a word?) constantly tell us that mass immigration benefits everyone economically. That has now been shown to not be the case in the UK, in France and the US. We need to find out what the balance of benefits and costs is in Ireland as well.

    Also, I am concerned about the effects of multi-culturalism in Irish (and Western) society. History and modern sociological research (see Putnam) shows us that mixing together diverse groups within territories only leads to mistrust and discord. Bad societal planning as far as I can see.

  15. Henry94: What are you proposing to debate?

    I am proposing to debate whether or not mass immigration to Ireland is good for Ireland or not.

    Most people who a pro-mass immigration are either people from the affluent classes who benefit directly by being able to hire inexpensive maids and au pairs as well as get cheap labour for their businesses, or are people who have swallowed the "multi-culturalism-is-good-for-you" meme without having been presented all of the facts and data. I (in my own small way) am trying to address that data imbalance.

  16. Cait: The republic simply is not there yet as regards studying immigration and its impact fiscally or socially on the population. Until that happens no one can say for sure what the situation is….

    No, we cannot. However, surely — given the fact that mass immigration has proven to be a disaster in the UK, France, the US, etc. — it would be prudent for us to put a halt on mass-immigration to Ireland now at least for the meantime and take the time to assess what exactly is happening in Ireland.

    We have the examples of other nations that are farther down the mass-immigration route from which to learn. I think we should use that opportunity.

  17. HG

    The mass-immigration has already happened. With the slower growth of the next few years it is unlikely we will see such numbers again.

    You are hardly advocating forced repatriation so what is it exactly you would propose in this debate of yours?

    (By the way I fell for, and stole, your joke this morning. Nice one)

  18. ‘given the fact that mass immigration has proven to be a disaster in the UK, France, the US, etc’

    You see HG, this is the thing. These other countries have empirical data to compare and contrast. We have today controversy within the UK over the govts new changes to the point/tier system which they introduced back in feb. link

    That fine and dandy they can do that, because an eight month study was done to maul the governments argument on the tier system.

    Theres nothing in the republic to do that with. No one can say for sure if immigration is costing more for the republic, or if it breaks even, or if it benefits in any way. Either fiscally or socially.

    The only area I know of, and I bow to the superior knowledge of those who are here from the republic, is where the republic was saying that Islam is the fastest growing religion after catholicism in the ROI.

    I’m not sure if that was a survey they did themselves or if it was part of a church survey conducted which the radio stated yesterday that the Vatican has now confirmed that Islam has now over taken catholicism on a global scale to be the biggest religion. Of course if all demoninations of christianity are added together christianity still wins numerically, but the arguments are based on a study.

    I hear you re immigration. But until studies are conducted within the parameters of the republic there is no solid footing for these arguments.

    There are two consequences from that. One is allegations of racism,and the other is as Henry points out,

    ‘You would be laughed of the stage.’

    In order to avoid that you need a solid argument, and at the minute you have none.

  19. Henry94: The mass-immigration has already happened. With the slower growth of the next few years it is unlikely we will see such numbers again.

    Mass-immigration to the EU is continuing unchecked. The EU has plans for (at least) 20M more immigrants to Europe over the next 20 years. Given the record of the predictions on numbers of immigrants offered by our politicians in the past (example), I don’t believe for one minute that that number will actually be limited to 20M.

    Henry94: You are hardly advocating forced repatriation so what is it exactly you would propose in this debate of yours?

    I am only proposing that we, as a nation, bother to investigate what is actually happening in our country due to immigration. That is all.

    My personal opinion is that I think that mass immigration to this country should be stopped immediately — at the very least until we do research the effects of immigration in this country. Also, I would not be at all opposed to voluntary, paid repatriation for immigrants who are already here.

    Henry94: (By the way I fell for, and stole, your joke this morning. Nice one)

    😉

  20. Cait: No one can say for sure if immigration is costing more for the republic, or if it breaks even, or if it benefits in any way. Either fiscally or socially.

    Exactly. So why should we continue with unchecked mass immigration to this country if none of us knows the economic or social effects one way or the other? Why should you or I or any of us believe the standard line that immigration and multiculturalism are good for us? There’s no evidence to show that.

    Cait: There are two consequences from that. One is allegations of racism,and the other is as Henry points out,

    ‘You would be laughed of the stage.’

    Well, what the name-calling and laughing at me (or my points) tells me is that the pro-mass immigration people simply have no facts or data to support their opinion. If they had, there’d be no need for the name-calling or the ridicule. They’d simply pull out the reports to show how beneficial mass immigration is.

    I look forward to the day when a pro-immigration person does offer up some data. To date, that has not happened.

  21. HG, You cannot say,

    ‘I look forward to the day when a pro-immigration person does offer up some data. To date, that has not happened.’

    Because you cannot offer the same in return. Theres no point in demanding something from your opponent in a debate that you cannot offer yourself. It’s folly.

    ‘So why should we continue with unchecked mass immigration to this country if none of us knows the economic or social effects one way or the other?’

    Because not only is there no evidence south of the border for the lack of data socially and fiscally, there is also the lack of data as regards attitudes of people toward immigration.

    For example lets says you are Irelands answer to Mark Steyn, in that you are a demographics expert. You can say without reservation and based on your expert knowledge and reputation that there are demographic changes in Ireland taking place and that they are bad for Ireland as a nation.

    But what if there are studies which say contrary to you, that attitudes in Ireland are pro immigration, that people are happy with the changes and wish them to continue??

    Even the experts can be hit with data, never mind a humble blogger;-)

    You see this is a problem. If the govt of the day say immigration is good then its up to others to come up with the data to the contrary, as I said before, as the Lords have done in Britain.

    But Ireland is suffering from a lack of data. Changes apparent to the naked eye can be recorded and add to the debate because it forms attitudes, but without the studies to point to, all that is left is contrary public opinion. And in this vacuum, the government is free to do as it chooses, since it will always have its supporters.

  22. Cait: Theres no point in demanding something from your opponent in a debate that you cannot offer yourself.

    I only demand data from the pro-immigrationists because they tend to say immigration is good for us. If so, prove it.

    If they’d just say, "I’m for mass immigration to this country because I happen to think the idea is a nice one and find it emotionally appealing and haven’t based my opinion on rational thought," I’d let it go. But, they don’t do that. They (the pro-immigration people and most of our politicians) claim that it’s good for us, despite the fact that there’s no evidence that suggests that in this country — and in just about every other country nowadays the evidence suggests the opposite.

    Cait: But what if there are studies which say contrary to you, that attitudes in Ireland are pro immigration, that people are happy with the changes and wish them to continue??

    I’ve said many times on my blog that if — after a full and fully informed discussion on mass immigration in this country — a strong majority of ethnic Irish people were to vote to continue mass immigration to the country, I would be content.

    Cait: If the govt of the day say immigration is good then its up to others to come up with the data to the contrary….

    No. It’s also up to the government of the day to support their stance with facts, as well. To date they have not done so.

  23. ‘I only demand data from the pro-immigrationists because they tend to say immigration is good for us. If so, prove it.’

    Prove the contrary. Look what you say here:

    ‘They’d simply pull out the reports to show how beneficial mass immigration is.’

    Do you have any reports – (other than those designed for other countries and NOT the Irish republic) that you can pull out. Any thing based on any study, Proof?

    ‘I’ve said many times on my blog that if — after a full and fully informed discussion on mass immigration in this country — a strong majority of ethnic Irish people were to vote to continue mass immigration to the country, I would be content.’

    But this isn’t about you, this is about a whole nation, where is the proof of any demand for debate. Plus a debate must be honest, linking these other studies to the republic, and using their findings to assume things is not honest. It creates an un-even playing field, where you have the upper hand. You cannot rig this.

    ‘No. It’s also up to the government of the day to support their stance with facts,’

    Since when?

    Look I hear you, my own son has joined the white flight out of ‘Britain, his wife is from over there, and I would love to see a debate….but debate without facts is only contrary opinion.

  24. HG,

    "You are absolutely right — no I wouldn’t have had a problem with an increased ethnic-Irish population (although at some point one would need to get concerned by an ever-increasing population — like the Chinese)."

    Well in that case economics seems to be a red herring. What is it that really worries you about immigration?

  25. Frank O’Dwyer: Well in that case economics seems to be a red herring.

    I’m not the one that brought up economics. The pro-immigration folks and our politicians are the ones that keep telling us that mass immigration is good for us economically (and in other ways). Now we see from a couple of reports from the UK (as well as France and previously in the US) that this is not the case — at least for the UK, France and the US. I’m saying we ought to take a closer look at immigration in the RoI — is it really the economic plus that all the pro-immigration folks keep taking about?

    Frank O’Dwyer: What is it that really worries you about immigration?

    What worries me the most about mass immigration of non-Europeans to Europe is that Western Civilisation will be changed, perhaps beyond recognition — which is a shame since Western Civ has given humanity a lot of fantastic things — and I happen to prefer Western Civ to all others.

    What worries me about mass immigration to Ireland is that we are giving away our resources (or, at least, the resources that are in our possession) to non-Irish people and, thereby, making the future more difficult for our descendants — i.e. our descendants will have to compete with unrelated peoples for the resources of this island.

  26. Cait: Prove the contrary.

    I’m working on it (see my blog). That doesn’t let the gov/pro-immigration people off the hook from proving their point, though.

    How did those who support mass immigration come to the conclusion that it is an economic boom — and that multi-culturalism offers so many benefits? Where did these ideas come from? Why don’t the supporters of such ideas ever say what they based their ideas on? Are they based on facts? Data? History? Gut feeling? What?

    Cait: But this isn’t about you, this is about a whole nation, where is the proof of any demand for debate.

    Well, it is in part about me since I am an Irish citizen. I believe, therefore, that I have a right then to call for a debate. I am not alone in calling for a debate either — Kevin Myers @ The Independent has repeatedly called for a debate as have the ICP folks, PC SCZ on YouTube, other bloggers and members of discussion forums like Politics.ie.

    Cait: Plus a debate must be honest, linking these other studies to the republic, and using their findings to assume things is not honest. It creates an un-even playing field, where you have the upper hand. You cannot rig this.

    I am not trying to rig anything. I didn’t say that the reports from Britain or France reflected what is happening in Ireland. I just pointed out that mass immigration is not working in other nations and I called for similar studies to be done in Ireland. You have misunderstood what I said or are trying to misrepresent what I said.

    Cait: ‘No. It’s also up to the government of the day to support their stance with facts,’

    Since when?

    Since always (in a democracy).

  27. ‘Cait: ‘No. It’s also up to the government of the day to support their stance with facts,’

    Since when?

    Since always (in a democracy).’

    Is that a joke? Do you understand what a democracy is? Haven’t you ever heard majority rule, or the tyranny of the majority?

    Look HG, no misrepresentation. The fact is you rely far to heavily on the experience of other countries and assume that is what will happen in the republic, and have no facts, studies or data – yet you want the opposition to provide you with just that.

    ‘I’ve been arguing for a while now that we need to balance the costs and benefits here in the Republic, too. ‘

    Why? Because you looked at the studies done by the British or other Europeans and are using it in order to fuel your demand for a debate on immigration in the republic, because in your mind what is happening in other places is being replicated down below. But you have NO proof that is the case, only your own belief.

    Your ‘assumption’ may very well be right. Who knows? I even agree with you, but unfortunately that is not enough.

    Do you see what I’m saying. You see the debate going on around you and are stamping your foot and want it in Ireland, even though up until now you can provide NO proof that there is a underlying demand with in ‘the majority’ for it.

  28. HG look at NI. We too can see huge changes in immigration, all you have to do is look around you. Today I pointed out the rise in birth rates etc. We even had a minister in the executive say the changes brought about under the equality legislation to help catholics after 30 years of conflict were benefiting Polish people, instead of the people the legislation was intended for. The ‘wrong sort of catholics’ benefiting.

    We too have very little by way of stats, but a lot of these things are being addressed here now. For example on more 4 news tonight they commissioned Queens universy to do studies on both communities and how they’ve faired ten years on from the GFA.

    You see we are NOT the same type of society as you have in the republic. We are totally different, we are different to Scotland, or France and the US.

    It’s folly to take studies from these other places and assume their findings apply to NI. The same applies if you take studies from other countries and assume their findings will apply in the republic.

    But it’s beginning to be looked at. For example the birth rates. Now we can say, well the same rise in births to foreign born mothers that is happening in the rest of the UK is also happening here. Compare and contrast. Thats how it works. From these studies like the rise in births people predict shortages in services, on schools etc. Then you can challenge government on it, and enter debate with a little more than a contrary opinion.

    I’m sorry you think I am misrepresenting you, I’m a little hurt you’d think that, because I’m not. If you can’t see what I’m saying I’m sorry about that too, because I genuinely cannot make it any clearer.

  29. HG,

    " Now we see from a couple of reports from the UK (as well as France and previously in the US) that this is not the case — at least for the UK, France and the US."

    I have not looked at these studies however the UK report – at least the op-ed about it that you linked – doesn’t lend support to the idea that immigration is damaging economically either. At first sight that is a problem for your contention that immigration means crime, because crime costs. Notice also that he concludes that it is clearly good for the immigrants…

    "What worries me about mass immigration to Ireland is that we are giving away our resources (or, at least, the resources that are in our possession) to non-Irish people and, thereby, making the future more difficult for our descendants — i.e. our descendants will have to compete with unrelated peoples for the resources of this island."

    …and in return Irish people get access to the resources of Europe, and benefit when they are the immigrants. So the real question is does free movement of workers in the EU make the EU richer. I can’t see how it would not. If not then wouldn’t it be a good idea to build borders around every province, county, city, town…?

    "What worries me the most about mass immigration of non-Europeans to Europe is that Western Civilisation will be changed, perhaps beyond recognition"

    Is western civilisation really so fragile that it cannot compete against other ideas?

    I’m no economist but I think it is fairly well acknowledged among those who are that protectionism only serves to make people poorer, because it is imports that make people richer. When you put obstacles on imports you just make everything people want cost more. I don’t see why a similar argument wouldn’t apply to import of services and workers. Do you really want some kind of central planning of how many hairdressers etc we need to import?

  30. Cait: Look HG, no misrepresentation. The fact is you rely far to heavily on the experience of other countries and assume that is what will happen in the republic, and have no facts, studies or data – yet you want the opposition to provide you with just that.

    Well, I don’t know what more to say to you, Cait. I never said that what is happening in other countries will definitely happen here. I simply pointed out that mass immigration has not worked in any other country and that I think we ought to stop and take a look at what we’re doing in this country — just to be on the safe side, you know? Somehow you’re still not understanding this, but I don’t know how else to re-re-explain what I’ve said.

    Cait: Do you see what I’m saying. You see the debate going on around you and are stamping your foot and want it in Ireland, even though up until now you can provide NO proof that there is a underlying demand with in ‘the majority’ for it.

    I’ve written a whole post dedicated to the question!:

    Do the Irish want a debate on immigration?

    🙂

  31. Cait: You see we are NOT the same type of society as you have in the republic. We are totally different, we are different to Scotland, or France and the US.

    It’s folly to take studies from these other places and assume their findings apply to NI. The same applies if you take studies from other countries and assume their findings will apply in the republic.

    I don’t think it’s completely irrelevant to look at studies done in other places and learn from them — if that were the case, there’d be NO scientific studies done anywhere on any topic. At the very least, studies from elsewhere ought to generate a discussion — which is all I am calling for.

  32. Frank O’Dwyer: I have not looked at these studies however the UK report – at least the op-ed about it that you linked – doesn’t lend support to the idea that immigration is damaging economically either.

    Yes, but economics is not the only question. There are also the social effects to take into consideration. And, if there are really no economic benefits — but only added social problems (see Putnam, for example) — why continue with all this mass immigration? (Also, of course, why do our politicians continue to say there are economic benefits when there are not? They need to stop saying so.)

    Frank O’Dwyer: Is western civilisation really so fragile that it cannot compete against other ideas?

    Ah, but we’re talking about the importation of people and not the importation of ideas. And, groups of people differ from one another (see my ongoing series "different human populations differ from one another genetically in ways that affect behaviour and intelligence").

    Frank O’Dwyer: . When you put obstacles on imports you just make everything people want cost more. I don’t see why a similar argument wouldn’t apply to import of services and workers.

    Because how it works in today’s job market is that they are importing workers from elsewhere that are cheaper. So, native workers either wind up being out of a job or have to work for less. The effect is to redistribute income from native workers to employers.

  33. HG

    I’m only sort of randomly picking at debates these days as opposed to really joining in (apart from maybe one recently!) so excuse me for butting in here:

    "they are importing workers from elsewhere that are cheaper. So, native workers either wind up being out of a job or have to work for less"

    But as someone who knows a lot of immigrants living and working here i’d be interested to hear which areas you feel they are affecting. eg specific examples of this often used claim regards home grown workers losing out.

    thanks

  34. Alison: …i’d be interested to hear which areas you feel they are affecting. eg specific examples of this often used claim regards home grown workers losing out.

    The hospitality industry is one of the main areas being negatively affected by imported labour as far as I can see. Between a third and half of hotel workers in Ireland are now foreign workers (one in three tourism workers is foreign) — and just at the beginning of this year, a proposal for a (new?) minimum wage for hotel workers was rejected.

    Nursing is another sector adversely affected by immigration. 57 per cent of new nurses in Ireland in 2006 were foreigners — and there was no pay rise for nurses in Ireland last year.

    Domestic workers in wealthy households are now mostly foreign as well.

    Polish workers in the building industry have been found to be working below minimum wage. I don’t have any evidence that that practice actually drove down native workers’ wages, but it certainly has the potential to do so.

    Agency workers are a big problem — they are definitely driving down wages for all and SIPTU and SF are concerned as well.

    Labour is also worried about wages being driven down.

    Good question! Thanks for asking it.

  35. Irish people won’t work as domestic workers, in the tourist industry or the building industry for the wages of old due to the improved economy. The immigrants fill the void left by the native born who decline to take those jobs (As an Irish Employer will tell you).

  36. Mahons I don’t think that is the case. I had to get a taxi today and the driver told me he was unable to get work at all the new building works which are going on here because the employers are sending buses over to Poland via agency workers and actually importing workers from there. He said they were under cutting locals. Apparently he’s a trained plaster but said he was looking for anything.

  37. HG, I left a post on your blog re where I see how your view and mine on this issue differ. I’m in agreement up to a point, but I fear the rise of ethno-nationalism. As mahons above has said, many different groups in the US live cheek by jowl.

    If it is successful in the US up to a point, and this ethno nationalism that you like isn’t being called for it ought to be like that in Europe too.

    I would be very fearful of the extreme right organising in Ireland, or the situation get so bad that people feel the need to protect their own as you would like. I’m not totally comfortable with that, and thats why I fear that using studies from other countries may cause alarm or fear which would produce knee jerk reactions to this.

    Ijust think one needs to tread carefully when using studies designed for different countries perhaps for even entirely different reasons that they were intended for in the debate on Ireland and immigration.

  38. ps I heard on the radio today that there are 120 different nationalities living in NI today. Thats some change, considering at the time of the GFA we were finding it hard to even get a tourist!

    I think the change of pace has been too rapid for the ordinary Irish person, and thats another reason I would be fearful of causing alarm.

  39. Hi HB

    A lengthy but considered response for you – relates to GB though. Sorry, I don’t know where you are from.

    Most of the immigrants I know work in the catering industry.

    This industry is not new to immigrant workforces. We tend to look down our noses at waitering and bar work or assume it student work, whereas elsewhere in Europe and LatAm it is seen as a good professionally skilled job. It mostly is student work for natives as it’s seasonal.

    The industry has always struggled to recruit from home grown resources.

    The people being affected by more immigrant influxes are immigrants themselves. For example South Americans are competing with Eastern Europeans. So this has little bearing on natives.

    Furthermore it is skill based. Ten years ago very few students were interested in training as silver service staff – gap years and the ability to do bar work in Australia and travel had become very fashionable. Higher up the chain of command the bulk of leadership jobs continue to go to native graduates and European graduates. The latter because they are multi-lingual.

    So I always think it’s a total smoke screen to cite this industry as one where immigrants push out natives. If natives want the jobs then learn languages and do a degree to compete. Lower down the chain as I said it is other immigrants who miss out to new immigrants, not natives who traditionally student based, find work abroad more glamourous.

    Re the construction industry. An industry full of cowboys, cheats and botchers and still lacking in skilled workers. People want skilled workers who will do a good job – they tender contracts and the best one wins. If our own lot cannot compete I am not going to lose any sleep over it. They are notorious rip off merchants. And elsewhere if the construction industry as a whole employs cheap labour on large scale build programmes then it is it, not the skilled immigration levels, which are to blame.

    Corporations cut corners on cleaning contracts also. If you work in a multi you will know that all your cleaning staff are virtually cash in hand, willing to work all hours, underpaid South Americans. But again –is cleaning work something your average native would actually want to do? Same on domestic work and nannying.

    Nursing is one area where I agree with you but again, I’m not impressed with the standard of service from the native nursing staff ive had to meet over the years. They lean on the overhyped attitude people drag out about the NHS as an excuse, passing the buck. The whole environment needs a massive shake up and is still an area where native people are leaving not joining because wiping up someones crap is not a job they generally feel they are willing to take any pride in.

    WE need a flexible immigration set up. The focus should not be on caps and quotas to make people feel better about numbers. It should be on skills bases here with natives and that includes attitudes to lower paid work areas.

    Recruiters across the country face a major issue in recruiting LOCAL, smiling, happy, willing and skilled native workers in construction and engineering and medical and social work professions. For one because of welfare but also because our own expectations have changed rapidly over the decades. We expect better jobs.

    I wouldn’t worry anyway – when the economy starts to flag they will all leave and go elsewhere in droves.

    If I’m honest (which I will be) I would happily see quotas on asylum.

    Asylum is one area where we seem to get wrong. Asylum should be offered to someone in the FIRST country they arrive in or escape to, not the 3rd or fourth invariably Britain – where we are bound by international treaties to look after them – wind up giving them benefits and watch as they bring their third world, twisted, bakckward, mysoginist and overly religious BS to our country. They never want to fit in and get on so they can sod off.

    I also think it is time to draw a line under Commonwealth duties vis a vis Pakistan etc. Screw them. I couldn’t give a monkeys arse what happened 200 years ago. 50 or so people paid with their lives a few years back after years and years of groveling, welfare, housing and opportunities to benefit were offered out and taken. If they still cannot get their own countries into any semblance of a civilized state I don’t really care.

    We should switch to offering them opportunities here on skills based assessment only and stop all marriage visas.

    I’m only interested in people coming here who welcome the chances they get here in this wonderful Nation of ours, who want to fit in, make the most of it, work hard, play by OUR rules and OUR cultural norms and generally just get on.

  40. Speaking of rip offs…..

    Of course the Poles then come along and fraudlently claim child benefit for children in Poland, which is also emptying our coffers.

  41. Cait – I am sure there are stories of those who may be left out of the Celtic Tiger, or who have returned home to a different Ireland. And there are surely Irish employers who would target low wage employees of any nation. But I think what has happened is the flush times allowed Irish workers to move up, immigrants moved in, and now that things are starting to settle a little more, the Irish workers may find that the old types of jobs are now no longer there for the picking.

  42. Cait: …or the situation get so bad that people feel the need to protect their own as you would like.

    Everybody feels the need to "protect their own" or favour those closest to them. If you have kids, you know that you favour your own kids over your nieces and nephews and all of them over your neighbour’s kids. This is just basic human nature (basic biology, really).

    The circles of relatedness and favouritism radiate outwards from yourself — you’ll favour your immediate family the most, then your extended family, then your distant family, then the people of your hometown (if you and they are natives) because they’ll also be distantly related to you, then the people of your county, your country, the continent on which you live, etc.

    Please don’t confuse what I say in my posts with what I might like. Of course I’d much prefer it if everyone in this world would just get along with no strife whatsoever. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works because that’s not what human nature is like.

    I’m just tellin’ it like it is — not how I’d like it to be.

  43. And the Poles who are claiming fraudulent child benefits -aren’t they merely replacing those Irish who used to fraudulently claim them (how many folks on the dole could work or did back in the day?). however, I don’t disagree with you that it is wrong, and Ireland certainly needs immigration reform.

  44. mahons, the ‘dole’ issue is different to the ‘child benefit’ issue in my book, since at least the fraudsters are IN the country 😉 and are therefore accountable to the laws of the land – I’m not sure about the Poles tho? The children are in Poland that the money is being claimed for. Thus how can the powers that be even check if it is true?

    Both are wrong, but at least the former can be checked up on, and brought to court. Not sure about the latter.

  45. Cait – I was only pointing out with a bit of a wink that may not have come across is that in certain professions (waitress, belhop, bebefits fraud) the native population has been replaced. As for prosecution, you may be right.

  46. Alison: So I always think it’s a total smoke screen to cite this industry [hospitality] as one where immigrants push out natives. If natives want the jobs then learn languages and do a degree to compete.

    The problem is, native workers will also have to work for less than before — less than before cheap labour was imported en masse to this country (RoI). Many business owners are lining their own pockets at the expense of the local workforce, that’s all.

    It’s a simply question of supply and demand — supply and demand of inexpensive labour — and this could happen (and has happened in many places) without the presence of immigrants. All you need is to have, say, some workers that are unionised and demand a certain wage and then have other workers who are not unionised who are happy to work for a lower wage. Which group will the employers prefer to hire?

    You need to have laws which protect workers from such undercutting (if you want as many citizens as possible to have a good standard of living, that is) — in the case of modern Ireland (RoI), we need to regulate mass immigration (i.e. the mass importation of cheap labour).

    Have a look at the House of Lords committee report — they talk about the undercutting of workers’ wages as well.

    (P.S. I write mostly about the RoI, although in this post I did mention the report from the UK.)

  47. ‘I’m just tellin’ it like it is’

    Thats debateable HG. You tell it like it is in other places and assume the results apply in RoI. I’m still not wholly in favour of that.

  48. HB

    "The problem is, native workers will also have to work for less than before"

    My overall point about that industry is that it is NOT forcing out natives at all. It is immigrants themselves who are most directly affected by cheaper immigrants being taken up by the corporations who employ them.

    Regards other indsutries cited as most directly affected, again, i think skilled workers are needed and that managed competition in employment is actually very healthy.

    Re the rip off merchant Poles, maybe someone can give us an exact figure on the number who do rip us off – rather than the headline news the tabloids proffer. I’m much more worried about the money we legitimately channel into asylum benefits.

  49. "Irish people won’t work as domestic workers, in the tourist industry or the building industry for the wages of old due to the improved economy."

    Surely if the economy were improved, then wages in those sectors would have improved too? And "wages of old": how old? 3 years?

    All this nonsense I read of "nobody from UK/RoI/NI would touch ‘JOB TITLE’ because of…" Who did those jobs until 3 years ago?

    The main point is that only certain employers are benefiting from reducing wages. I even read of union leaders supporting mass immigration which is absolute madness given that their members will suffer either loss of job or reduced pay, unless same union wishes to replace its memebership and people with others from outside.

  50. Allan: Thank you for demonstrating that your grasp of the Irish economy is as poor as your grasp on other topics. If you think the Irish economy boom began three years ago then Aberdeen is even further behind in receiving news reports than I would have imagined.

    In Ireland, the Celtic Tiger permitted a generation to actually remain home, and to seek career opportunities their parents (even their older siblings) had never dreamed of. They didn’t have to accept the few jobs that had previously been available to them. This created an opportunity for others to come in.

  51. Errr no, Mahons. I was intending that my comment relate to the advent of mass immigration from eastern Europe, especially Poland, and that had been the focus of preceding comments. (When did the Poles arrive en masse?)
    Sorry that I didn’t make it clearer. I had assumed that it was obvious, but alas…..

  52. mahons now that the celtic tiger is on the wane now I don’t think these ‘new’ irish will go away as has been suggested elsewhere in this thread.

    HG – I fail to see how ‘ethno-nationalism’ can be favoured by you? Poor Mahons would have to return from NY to where his roots are if the world was ordered as you’d like it?

    The ethno nationalism, you embrace brings intolerance in its wake as history has shown us. Nation states today in the west try to be meritocracies and diverse – to order things as you’d like them is very scary indeed.

  53. Allan: Your views on immigrants are obvious, your comments are not.

    Cait: Tell Hibernia girl to get off our farm. We are coming home.

  54. mahons look what you yanks are doing, stealing our culture!

    Drowning their shamrock at Shannon Airport inspired a company of American soldiers to set up a hurling team, writes Margaret Canning

    A GROUP of US soliders celebrated their safe return to civvy street in an unusual way – by setting up a hurling team.

    Now, after two years of training, the Barley House Wolves of Concord, New Hampshire, are about to play their first season.

    The inception of the team harks back to the soldiers’ nerve-wracking first journey to Iraq in 2004.

    About 100 members of C Company 3-172nd Infantry (Mountain) of the New Hampshire National Guard were at a loose end in Shannon Airport, Co Limerick, where they had stopped for refuelling of the plane.

    It happened to be St Patrick’s Day and the soldiers dutifully trooped into Joe Sheridan’s Bar at 2am to drown their shamrock – and perhaps their nerves.

    Joe Sheridan’s Bar is now closed for refurbishment but as team member Major Ray Valas told the New Hampshire Union Leader, the influence of events at the bar continue link

    HG will throw them out!;-)

  55. Allan: Your views on immigrants are obvious, your comments are not.

    Yes Mahons, because I choose to make obvious my views of unfettered PC-driven immigration.

    Mahons, given that loss of work and reduction of wages is a direct effect for the indigenous workers of open-doors immigration, please explain to me why you favour such a policy.

  56. HG,

    "Everybody feels the need to "protect their own" or favour those closest to them. If you have kids, you know that you favour your own kids over your nieces and nephews and all of them over your neighbour’s kids. This is just basic human nature (basic biology, really)."

    So is symbiosis. The fact that people help people they are closely related to most doesn’t mean they can’t get along with people they are only distantly related to. Indeed I hope you are sitting down because inside your digestive system there are individuals which are not only of a different ‘race’, but in fact of a different species, and from a different kingdom. You share resources with them all the time instead of your descendants. And you think a couple of hundred thousand poles living on the same island is bad.

    If your theory was taken seriously and if the reach of genetic relatedness miraculously went as far as modern day borders and no further (which is already clearly false), then it wouldn’t just mean an end to immigration but also to emigration and tourism. What you are proposing would result in a form of global apartheid.

    Indeed there is no reason to stop at the nation border since you are likely about as unrelated to your nearest neighbors as you are to the average pole. So you should be almost as unwilling to share resources with them as with the poles.

    Another devastating fact for your theory is anybody who keeps a cat or a dog is more related to a polish immigrant than they are to their pets. We manage to share the ‘resources’ with them, so clearly it’s not as simple as you make out.

  57. Cait: Thats debateable HG. You tell it like it is in other places and assume the results apply in RoI. I’m still not wholly in favour of that.

    I meant that I’m tellin’ what human nature is like — not how mass immigration is specifically playing out in each different country.

  58. Alison: Re the rip off merchant Poles, maybe someone can give us an exact figure on the number who do rip us off – rather than the headline news the tabloids proffer.

    Regarding the "rip off Poles" here in the RoI — Cait mentioned the child benefits claims that Polish immigrants made — the figure on that is out of €90 million that went to children in other countries, 80 per cent of that went to Poland.

    Mind you, I don’t think any of them were committing fraud of any sort here. Apparently, they were perfectly in the right to apply for these benefits even though their children are not actually in Ireland — FG is calling for changes to the laws so that child benefits can only be received for children actually living here.

  59. Cait: HG – I fail to see how ‘ethno-nationalism’ can be favoured by you?

    The ethno nationalism, you embrace brings intolerance in its wake as history has shown us. Nation states today in the west try to be meritocracies and diverse – to order things as you’d like them is very scary indeed.

    I favour ethno-nationalism (with a small amount of immigration) because that system is, in fact, the most stable political system. Democracy and fair societies have arisen and thrived in societies that are homegeneous — not diverse (think Sweden, Norway, Britain, the US pre-1960s vs. Kenya, Pakistan, or any of the Balkan nations). It is precisely the diverse, multi-culti sort of societies that you are describing that history has shown do not work.

    It’s unfortunate but true, I’m afraid. I don’t like it any more than you do. I wish different peoples would just get along together — but they most decidedly do not.

    The fact that our politicians actively promote mass immigration is one of the most irresponsible set of actions of our day. The strife and discord and hatred that we are seeing across Europe today is entirely their fault.

  60. Frank O’Dwyer: If your theory was taken seriously and if the reach of genetic relatedness miraculously went as far as modern day borders and no further (which is already clearly false)….

    I never said that. Please go back read my comment again — more carefully this time.

    Frank O’Dwyer: Indeed there is no reason to stop at the nation border since you are likely about as unrelated to your nearest neighbors as you are to the average pole. So you should be almost as unwilling to share resources with them as with the poles.

    That is completely false. An ethnically Irish person is clearly more related to another ethnically Irish person than they are to a Polish person. You are, I suppose, referring to Richard Lewontin’s comments on relatedness from the 1970s. His notions on relatedness have been shown to be false (Lewontin’s Fallacy).

    Frank O’Dwyer: Another devastating fact for your theory is anybody who keeps a cat or a dog is more related to a polish immigrant than they are to their pets. We manage to share the ‘resources’ with them, so clearly it’s not as simple as you make out.

    No, of course it’s not as simple as I stated it earlier. One could spend a lifetime researching and writing about the topic (as is being done — see some of the links in the Basic Biology and Important Publications sections on my blog) — I was simply attempting to sum up the idea of genetic relatedness and altruism (and the inverse of altruism, conflict) in a brief comment.

    Of course we can and do form alliances with people, animals, bacteria with whom we are not that closely related. The crucial point is, though, when push comes to shove — when resources become limited — people typically favour those most closely related to themselves rather than strangers. In a famine situation, the family pet will more likely become dinner than one’s child. 😉 Even on a daily basis, we favour our families more than our neighbours. That’s just human nature — that’s just how it is.

  61. HG you and I are going to have to differ. Firstly you embrace ethno-nationalism, which does not go hand in hand with immigration naturally. Even limited integration.

    Then you look at groups and their cultural norms and IQ. So the Nigerians have an IQ of 69 according to your site – therefore Ireland has taken in too many Nigerians – therefore it’s wrong. Anything within those stats to say perhaps they were the least educated and that alone could skew the results of any study? They’re clever enough to think up scams and sham marriages and have students here doing degrees – so why are you pointing out their low IQ as a race?Because it fits your theory.

    You have amalgamated an awful lot of information, together with studies going on in societies much more badly affected than the republic and then summed it all up and presented it as a case against immigration.

    What you have subsequently come up with is unfair, unbalanced, skewed and pretty ugly. As I said before, I don’t see a demand within the republic’s people for a change in things, ( I suppose it will take an intolerable situation for that) – but what you are doing is not only alarmist, but racist (in the purest sense of the word of course, as if that makes a difference to most) and not a world order I see too many argue for – thankfully!

    In my view it’s too extreme and takes over where the Nazis’ left off.

  62. HG,

    Frank O’Dwyer: Indeed there is no reason to stop at the nation border since you are likely about as unrelated to your nearest neighbors as you are to the average pole. So you should be almost as unwilling to share resources with them as with the poles.

    That is completely false.

    No it isn’t. I said ‘about as unrelated’ – in other words the difference between your neighbor and some random Pole is about the same as that between you and your neighbor, and much less than the similarity between you and your children. I was referring specifically to this kind of argument from you:

    The circles of relatedness and favouritism radiate outwards from yourself — you’ll favour your immediate family the most, then your extended family, then your distant family, then the people of your hometown (if you and they are natives) because they’ll also be distantly related to you, then the people of your county, your country, the continent on which you live, etc.

    This kind of ‘kin relatedness’ attenuates rapidly the further you get from your extended family and does not follow geography in the simple manner you suggest. If it did, there would be a better argument for banning ‘immigration’ from Cork to Dublin, than from Poland to Ireland.

    We also know that genes are not even close to being the whole story. For example one major difference between you and a Polish person is likely to be your first language. That is not genetic. Another is your religion and politics, which may be partly genetic but obviously has a large cultural component also.

    Think about it. Why are employers sending out buses to pick up Poles instead of buses to pick up their own cousins 50 times removed. Are they denying the interests of their children?

    "Of course we can and do form alliances with people, animals, bacteria with whom we are not that closely related."

    And the flip side of it is always rivalry and competition. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Two people haggling in a market are less related to each other than their children, and they are even competing, but they are still engaged in a mutually beneficial trade.

    "The crucial point is, though, when push comes to shove — when resources become limited — people typically favour those most closely related to themselves rather than strangers."

    Yes. However in that case it is far from obvious why we should adopt a protectionist model that serves to (a) reduce our own wealth (b) increase differences in wealth between groups that according to your argument should be disposed to fight each other – war – over resources (c) preserve group distinctions that debatably benefit us as groups and certainly hurt us as individuals.

    I also think you are disingenous when you say that you wish it were otherwise. You’re not saying ‘hey, my genes made me do it’. You clearly believe that this should somehow inform public policy and that you intellectually desire an outcome that is on average better for your ‘relatives’, broadly defined to encompass race. That’s not just a statement of how it is but also of how you think it should be. Plus, that whole argument mistakes what is in (some) gene’s interests with what is in your interests, anyway. Follow your line of argument hard enough and you could justify rape.

  63. Yeah I’m inclined to agree with you Frank, it takes Ireland for the Irish to a whole new level 😉

  64. Cait: So the Nigerians have an IQ of 69 according to your site – therefore Ireland has taken in too many Nigerians – therefore it’s wrong.

    I have never said this and I don’t think it. You are the one drawing these conclusions and then trying to push them off on me. Please, stop erroneously presenting my opinions or what I have said. Thanks.

    I did point out the average IQs of Nigerians and other immigrants to Ireland in a post where I talked about the average IQs of the Irish — which is not one of the highest in Europe as I explained. I mentioned all of these average IQs because I think it’s important to face the realities of this life in order that we may better understand how the world works and the relationships between different groups of people. I believe that only by knowing the facts can we truly work on a solution to getting along better.

    I never said that because the average IQ of Nigerians is what it is that therefore I believe Ireland has taken in too many Nigerians. That is something you read into my post. Please, read it again carefully. In fact, I clearly pointed out that just because the average IQ of Nigerians is what it is, doesn’t mean that Nigerians in Ireland will have that average IQ. In fact, I would bet that the average IQ of Nigerians in Ireland is higher than that of Nigerians back in Nigeria — these are people who have been intelligent and capable enough to immigrate, after all.

    The primary reason I think mass immigration is a very bad idea — as I have said over and over again — is that history and current events shows us that the mixing of different groups of peoples together in the same territory causes problems. Some immigration can work because some small amounts of immigrants can be absorbed by a host country — large amounts of immigrants cannot be absorbed.

    Cait: Anything within those stats to say perhaps they were the least educated and that alone could skew the results of any study?

    I don’t actually know the details of the Nigerian IQ studies. I will look them up later for you. In any case, the fact that other West African (and African) average IQs are also quite low — and the fact that African-American average IQs are somewhat low — indicates that the Nigerian IQ data is likely to be more or less (give or take a handful of points here and there) correct. The scamming Nigerians that we see are most likely people with higher IQs. Not everyone in a population will have the average IQ of that population.

    Cait: What you have subsequently come up with is unfair, unbalanced, skewed and pretty ugly.

    I’m not at all trying to be unfair and unbalanced. I don’t think I have been on my blog. If you or anyone would like to present evidence that contradicts the evidence I am presenting, I am very willing to open my blog up to guest posters. (Posts would have to be data driven, though — links and such to research, etc.)

    I’m sorry you feel that what I have to say is ‘pretty ugly’. I know a lot of people feel that way because the truth can be hard to handle. The truth of the matter is, though, that different populations of humans differ in many ways including in behaviour and intelligence — aspects of human nature that are, in part, genetically determined. Such differences occur all throughout the animal and plant kingdoms — it’s really just basic biology and nothing to be frightened of.

    The main thing to remember is that just because we all do differ from one another, that doesn’t mean we have to treat anybody in ways that we wouldn’t like to be treated ourselves. We are (obviously) all part of the human race.

    Following the Golden Rule, though, doesn’t mean that we are somehow obliged to open up our borders to everyone on the planet. We can treat other peoples fairly and humanely and with all the dignity and respect that we should while they live in their own countries.

    Cait: I don’t see a demand within the republic’s people for a change in things….

    I think that a majority of people in the RoI are still most likely strongly opposed to mass immigration as they were a year-and-a-half ago and that too many people are afraid to speak up because they are being told over and over again by our politicians and the MSM that mass immigration and multiculturalism are good for us despite all sorts of evidence that they are not.

  65. HG

    The crucial point is, though, when push comes to shove — when resources become limited — people typically favour those most closely related to themselves rather than strangers.

    Push is far more likely to come to shove if we shut out the outside world like we did in the 30’s 40’s and 50’s. And again in the high tax 80’s.

    That’s why we have more songs about emigration than almost any other subject.

    Last night I held my darling in my arms
    Farewell, my love, it breaks my heart to see you cry
    Farewell my love for maybe I will die
    Many young men of twenty said goodbye

    How did it benefit our kith and kin to see them take the boat, to never come back because there was nothing here for them.

    My sister in in America from those days. Her husband is from The Philippines. They are part of the wonderful world brought into existence by the smashing of outdated ideas of race.

    I have to ask myself what policies are more likely to keep my sons in Ireland. Outward looking or inward looking?

  66. As I said we’re going to have to differ. I don’t see why ‘A blog devoted to free speech, Western Civilization, and an honest & open debate on immigration issues’ needs to flag up the IQ’s of different groups on this island. To flag them up about Nigerians in Nigeria is nothing to do with western civilisation, and to flag Nigerian IQ up about Nigerians in Ireland in a debate about immigration only leads to the conclusions I draw. Which are that you are using them in the debate about immigration before you even know the details of the studies?

    That position is at odds with it’s self. Anyhow, we’ve devoted enough time to this, so perhaps time to move on. As I say, I hear you on immigration and agree up to a point – then we seperate, not about immigration but about how to present the debate and move it forward.

    There are lots of different ways to go, I guess it’s each to their own HG.

  67. Frank O’Dwyer: No it isn’t. I said ‘about as unrelated’ – in other words the difference between your neighbor and some random Pole is about the same as that between you and your neighbor, and much less than the similarity between you and your children.

    Only if you look at single, random traits. If you look at a number of traits, then you get this (see also here).

    Frank O’Dwyer: This kind of ‘kin relatedness’ attenuates rapidly the further you get from your extended family and does not follow geography in the simple manner you suggest. If it did, there would be a better argument for banning ‘immigration’ from Cork to Dublin, than from Poland to Ireland.

    No, because ethnically (genetically) Irish people are more closely related to one another than to ethnically (genetically) Polish people. See, again, here. See also here for another interesting example.

    Frank O’Dwyler: Think about it. Why are employers sending out buses to pick up Poles instead of buses to pick up their own cousins 50 times removed. Are they denying the interests of their children?

    Exactly my point. They are acting in their own interests and their own children over that of their more distant relatives. They’re not importing Polish workers to help the Polish workers. They’re importing workers to make more money for themselves and their closest relatives (their children and perhaps other close family) at the expense of those less related to them.

    Again, as I said, if push ever comes to shove though, who will these same people help out first? Who might they deport or (heaven forbid) attack first? It will most likely be their closest relatives they will help out first rather than those much less related to them.

    For a recent example of how these relationships work, see the post-election events in Kenya. Suddenly, when push came to shove, everyone broke down along tribal — i.e. kinship — lines.

    Frank O’Dwyer: However in that case it is far from obvious why we should adopt a protectionist model that serves to (a) reduce our own wealth (b) increase differences in wealth between groups that according to your argument should be disposed to fight each other – war – over resources (c) preserve group distinctions that debatably benefit us as groups and certainly hurt us as individuals.

    How does a protectionist model reduce our own wealth? Show me the data. The recent data from the UK shows otherwise (see the House of Lords committee report I linked to above).

    Why should a protectionist model necessarily increase differences in wealth between populations? Why can we not send developmental aid to those countries that need it and trade with other peoples in their own countries? Are we not, in many cases, draining the ‘human capital’ resources of other countries by importing their labour?

    How does preserving group differences hurt us as individuals? I don’t see that at all. I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you for some evidence of that as well.

    Frank O’Dwyer: I also think you are disingenous when you say that you wish it were otherwise. You’re not saying ‘hey, my genes made me do it’. You clearly believe that this should somehow inform public policy and that you intellectually desire an outcome that is on average better for your ‘relatives’, broadly defined to encompass race.

    Please, don’t tell me what I think or feel and what I do not. It’s rude and presumptuous. I truly do wish human nature were different and we could all just get along, but it’s not.

    Of course I desire a good outcome for my descendants over that of others — everyone does. I just happen to admit it. I don’t, however, desire their good outcome to be at the expense of others of whatever group or race. I think there are enough resources in this world to go around — at least I hope there is — and I think we should all be able prosper.

    Frank O’Dwyer: Follow your line of argument hard enough and you could justify rape.

    I’m afraid you’ll have to follow that line of argument for me ’cause I just don’t see it. Feel free to explain.

  68. Cait: To flag them up about Nigerians in Nigeria is nothing to do with western civilisation….

    Sure it does.

    Western Civilisation arose in Europe (although arguably not so much in Ireland) and not in West Africa. Why? One of the undoubtedly many reasons might (notice I say might) have to do with the average IQs on the two different continents.

    I happen to be quite fond of Western Civilisation and would like to see it hang around for as long as possible. In order to do so, we need to understand why Western Civilisation developed in Europe and not in other parts of the world. For that we’ll need to take a look at human biodiversity including whatever contributes to the differences in average IQ around the world.

  69. HG there was a time when it was said the Irish resembled monkeys and had lower IQ’s than the English. As I said before,as you point out here

    (notice I say might)

    You’re not on solid ground with a lot of this stuff.

  70. Here is the data on the Nigerian average IQ scores as promised. As in the case of Ireland (as in just about every other country), more research is clearly required. (There might be other data out there on Nigerian IQ beyond just this.)

    The 69 score is from ‘IQ and Global Inequality’ [link]. I don’t have a copy of that book so I don’t know why the authors give a score of 69 for Nigeria.

    In their previous book, ‘IQ and the Wealth of Nations’, they quote an average IQ score of 67 for Nigeria. Here is the explanation of the data from the appendix:

    "Nigeria

    "In 1965, norms for the Standard Progressive Matrices were collected by Wober (1969) for a sample of 86 adult men. Their mean score was 15.9. This score is well below the bottom of the norm table for British 15-year-olds in the 1979 standardization and for adults in the detailed American norms. In terms of the British 1979 standardization, the score of the Nigerian sample is at the level of the average British 6.5-year-old. This sample is assigned in IQ of 64.

    "Around 1973, data for the Coloured Progressive Matrices for a sample of 375 6- to 13-year-olds were collected by Fahrmeier (1975). In relation to the 1979 British standardization of the Standard Progressive Matrices, the mean IQ is 70. Because of the 6-year interval between the two data collections, this needs to be reduced to 69.

    "The average of the two results gives an IQ of 67 for Nigeria."

    Wober, M. 1969. The meaning and stability of Raven’s matrices test among Africans. International Journal of Psychology, 4: 229-235.

    Fahrmeier, E.D. 1975. The effect of school attendance on intellectural development in Norther Nigeria. Child Development, 46: 281-285.

  71. Cait: HG there was a time when it was said the Irish resembled monkeys and had lower IQ’s than the English.

    Well, resembling monkeys is clearly just meant to be an insult. But, as I said in my post in Irish IQ, research suggests that the average IQ of the Irish is lower than that of the English — by somewhere between 2 and 8 points.

    Frankly, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. You just have to look around you to see that there are historical and present day differences between England and Ireland that are related to intelligence. Was there ever an Irish Empire? No. Have we ever produced a Newton or a Darwin? No. Have we even ever produced a John Locke or Francis Bacon. No.

    That doesn’t mean we should look down on ourselves — or be looked down upon. It just means we’re different than the English (and the Nigerians and the Peruvians and the Japanese and the Ashkenazi Jews) in one aspect of our nature. Similarly, we oughtn’t to look down on other peoples because they are different from us.

  72. HG,

    "Frank O’Dwyer: No it isn’t. I said ‘about as unrelated’ – in other words the difference between your neighbor and some random Pole is about the same as that between you and your neighbor, and much less than the similarity between you and your children.

    Only if you look at single, random traits."

    No the difference is going to be much less than the similarity between you and your children no matter what you look at. I keep saying ‘about as unrelated’ and you keep missing the word ‘about’. Similarly, if you stand on a chair you are about as close to the sun as if you don’t.

    "Of course I desire a good outcome for my descendants over that of others — everyone does."

    Your neighbors aren’t your descendants, so what point are you trying to make with the gene stuff? That there is such a thing as racial tension? If so we already know that, and adding ‘because of genetic frequency distributions’ doesn’t add anything, may not even be true, and probably has little bearing on immigration from Poland. Is that you may have a nearer common ancestor with the ‘natives’ than the ‘strangers’? Same point as the previous, and who cares anyway. Or is your point that we should help our neighbors above strangers because our genes want us to? If so then that is the naturalistic fallacy. If something else, then what?

  73. HG,

    "How does a protectionist model reduce our own wealth?"

    Imports are what make us wealthy. Protectionism makes the things we want to import cost more.

    "Why should a protectionist model necessarily increase differences in wealth between populations?"

    Clearly the immigrants benefit from coming here as they could fly back where they came from for the cost of about a days minimum wage. If the immigrants alone benefit economically then that in itself equalises the wealth between the groups compared to the alternative.

    "How does preserving group differences hurt us as individuals? "

    I said distinctions not differences. The idea of keeping genetic groups ‘in their own countries’ – as if that were possible, and there were any such thing – not only fuels racist attitudes but it means we can’t go anywhere else ourselves.

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