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The Forum > Article Comments > Immigration is the elephant in the election room > Comments

Immigration is the elephant in the election room : Comments

By Peter Wilkinson, published 22/6/2016

And it is a very big elephant; the bipartisan target is over 200,000 for 2015/16, about the population of Hobart.

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It beggars belief that with nearly a million unemployed and young people unable to buy homes in the big cities we want to cram more people in. My guess is that per capita GDP is in long term decline so we've overshot the optimum population. We are forced to make the choice between crowded small block or apartment living or ridiculously long commutes. The PM says we should live in 30 minute cities the same time as making the problem harder.

As for refugees I think spending the same money closer to the source of the problem would be more effective. Notice that the troubles seem to be in countries with high population. For some reason we don't get refugees from Switzerland. Maybe we should follow their population policy.
Posted by Taswegian, Wednesday, 22 June 2016 10:28:14 AM
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Conventional economic wisdom Peter, tells us this is exactly what you do to tackle the destiny of demography. And prop up a housing market looking to achieve over capacity for the first time in decades!?

Even so there are other unconventional solutions that solve the economic conundrum without loading the future with millions of idle hands!

This would be a much larger resettlement of older self funded retirees than that was so successfully implemented by cunning as a fox Joh Bjelke Petersen!

Who could come from Europe where the VAT is at times more than double what they'd pay here and they'd escape the proposed wealth tax and Eastern European winters.

As self funded retirees, opt for private health care!

As seniors they'd have all their child raising days behind them, so put no additional strain of our limited education budget.

We'd need to be much more pragmatic in some of our forward planning if we would implement the proposal.

We'd need long overdue real tax reform that simply deals the costly and entirely unproductive parasites out of our tax collecting compact. And achieved if the only tax collected was an unavoidable stand alone expenditure tax? Which could be cheaper than many European VAT's and still collect more than enough revenue!?

We'd also need to convert our transport options to local cleaner cheaper copious gas!

We also need to roll out cheaper than coal carbon free local energy options, which would halve the cost of industrial energy and have the high tech energy dependant industries of the world queuing to join the manufacturing ranks.

Even more so if they can get their production to market with rapid rail and very fast ferries. All very doable with the right mindset at the helm!

We need to end age discrimination that prevents retraining that equips older, wiser Australians with new and necessary skills?

It's simply not true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks! But in the case of the older dog, it just takes longer; and requires more repetition and patience!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 22 June 2016 10:38:34 AM
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The problem is that immigration is an easy scapegoat for governments' failure to provide infrastructure and services.

Australia doesn't actually NEED more people, but it would be BETTER OFF WITH more people unless the government neglects nation building.
Posted by Aidan, Wednesday, 22 June 2016 11:08:26 AM
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Sustainable Australia has ignored SA, WA, NT, and TAS, so there is nothing we non-eastern staters can do about the ridiculous immigrant numbers but write 'Stop Mass Immigration' on our ballot papers. I suppose their apprarent lack of interest in us is due to fact that most immigrants head for the eastern states, and the cost of campaigning is high. However, votes are votes;Sustainable Australia should look for them everywhere. We don't want people overflowing to us when there is no more room East of the Blue Mountains. All immigrants lower our standard of living and threaten our way of life.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 22 June 2016 11:48:09 AM
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The author assumes a problem due to his particular system of values.

Cui Bono (Who profits)? Answer: Australia.

Immigration boosts economic growth

- this is good for Australia's economy

- inturn this is good for Australians overall.
Posted by plantagenet, Wednesday, 22 June 2016 1:22:21 PM
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Plantagenet,

No one questions that mass migration adds to aggregate GDP, but why should you care if the pie is getting bigger, if your slice hasn't grown, may even have shrunk, and no longer has a cherry on top? The Productivity Commission in its 2006 report on immigration (p. 154):

"Most of the economic benefits associated with an increase in skilled migration accrues to the immigrants themselves. For existing residents, capital owners receive additional income, with owners of capital in those sectors experiencing the largest output gains enjoying the largest gains in capital income. On the other hand, the real average annual incomes of existing resident workers grows more slowly than in the base-case, as additional immigrants place downward pressure on real wages.

"The economic impact of skilled migration is small when compared with other drivers of productivity and income per capita."

Real GDP per capita has been fairly stagnant since about 2006, and real net disposable income per capita has been falling since 2011. At the same time we have had very high immigration for more than a decade.

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2015/12/why-you-should-ignore-todays-gdp-print-2/

The real winners are the folk at the top. They get bigger domestic markets, inflated profits from essential resources such as residential land, and a cheap, compliant work force. Furthermore, they can socialise the infrastructure and other costs and use their wealth to cocoon themselves from most of the problems that they are causing for others.
Posted by Divergence, Wednesday, 22 June 2016 6:15:53 PM
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