9 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. There seems to be a new wave of economic thought gaining pace in Europe. After Thomas Piketty summed up economic development in Europe up to 2010, the neg age economists seemed to have hi jacketed the economic debate. This now seems to be affecting even clear thinkers like Angela Merkle. I am still confused about what these so called Millenials are suggesting. Has anyone got a handle on this? Would appreciate any insights.

  2. Can someone explain to me why we have immigration at all?

    Or, perhaps less provocatively, what philosophy it is that should determine Australian immigration policy?

    These questions are prompted by a speech by Labor’s Tony Burke, excerpted on SBS News last night, in which he described the new citizenship legislation as the biggest attack on “multicultural Australia” since the White Australia policy.

    I believe I understand, more or less, what the White Australia philosophy was: keep whites, Europeans, in the majority. But I do not, at all, understand what philosophy replaced it.

    Multiculturalism was born in Canada, because they already had English- and French-speaking populations in the same country. So that makes sense. We could have had an Australian multiculturalism based on the coexistence of white and indigenous Australians.

    But instead we have a multiculturalism which apparently considers it a virtue to bring in people from as many different origins as possible, and which looks with suspicion on assimilation.

    A cynical interpretation might be, that this is about jobs and votes for the people who administer and look after multicultural Australia in various ways – translators, social workers, public servants and so on.

    Or that it caters to various commercial and financial interests whose growth model depends on ever-increasing population.

    Maybe it’s also fostered by a type of one-world open-borders idealism.

    And of course, once a new immigrant nationality becomes part of Australia, many members of that community will be interested in being joined by more of their co-ethnics or co-religionists or co-nationals.

    I am definitely among those who has become alarmed about the potential consequences of contemporary immigration policies. But in a way I am even more alarmed about the superficiality and sentimentalism of the public discussion.

    Conservatives, or at least old-style conservatives, can have a coherent immigration policy, because they are about preserving things as they are. But what exactly is the aim, or even the guiding principle, of a Multicultural Australia immigration policy? It only seems to be defined negatively: don’t talk about restricting immigration on the basis of culture, race, nationality, religion…

    But then what? I am sure there’s in excess of 100 million people in the world who would gladly move to Australia given the opportunity, but I doubt we will find many people explicitly advocating that. So on what basis should we select? On what basis do we select right now?

    Is there a hidden unifying principle that already governs today’s immigration policy, or is what we have just the emergent, unplanned result of the various pro-immigration forces that I already mentioned?

  3. Ernestine as far as I can work it out a neg age economist is the Millenials version of a monetarist. Just like Irving Fisher, and his disciples back in the 1930s, concentrated on deflation; these neg agers seem to endorse the use of negative interest rates to stimulate stagnant consumption spending. I may be reading is wrongly though, my French and German is a bit rusty. The European Central Bank has used negative interest rates for bond issues. As has the Bank of Tokyo! Perhaps some European monetarist have come up with another vampire economic theory to justify such an absurd reaction to chronic hoarding. I will have to wait for the translated versions of these justifications to be sure. Sorry that I could not explain it any more clearly.

  4. Mitchell I strongly suspect that the LNP’s immigration policies are all about keeping wage growth depressed. Their reading tests for new arrivals does smack of a vevised White Australia Policy. Unfortunately for Dutton, English is now the dominant language in the world. About 150 countries actively teach English as a foreign language subject in their schools. So I think the government, or just Dutton, are happy for the media to be distracted by this blast from the past. The hidden agenda for the LNP conservatives is, as always, more money for business and less for workers. The labour share of the “national cake” is diminishing. The share going to specifically profits and business revenue in general, is expanding. More immigrants of working age means a higher labour supply. And the conservatives think that only the supply side matters.

  5. Get away from the cultural cringe of the White australia Policy. We had significant migration of Chinese in the 1860s. The restrictions on immigration between the wars was common to all high immigration destination countries. The Asian countries themselves did not have a discriminatory policy at all since they admitted no immigrants at all. Its a beat up.

  6. @Greg McKenzie

    Thank you for the reply.

    To the best of my knowledge, the negative interest rate is the outcome of the ECB having bought up junk bonds after the GFC to assist in particular those EURO member countries who were badly burned due to the behaviour of their banks. (In the case of Greece their equivalent of the RBA had similar behavioural problems.)

    I am not aware of a (Zombie type) revival of monetarism among young Europeans.

  7. Roberts is making an absolute goose of himself over the high court case.

    He was a last-minute candidate who never thought he would get elected so we did not bother with the proper paperwork. Since then, he is unable to face up to the fact that house careless those choices were.

    I am surprised by the submissions of the Greens. They are surprisingly relaxed about a former colonial master legislating for the children of those who fled their rule.

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