Thursday, 29 September 2011

Aaronovitch seeks to dispel the Little Englander Myths

The opinion piece that is getting much of this morning's reaction is David Aaronovitch's in the Times.

It's behind the paywall but if you get a chance it is an interesting read.

In it,Aaronovitch argues that he defeats the myth that foriegners drive down wages and take British jobs,something that even Lord Glasman was alluding to at the Labour conference.

The central contadiction that lies behind the Little Englander stance which he outlines here

there is a finite number of jobs in the national economy and, if migrants get them, then locals don’t. Linked to this is the idea that migrants, being prepared to work for less, drive down the wages of indigenous workers. Those who benefit are the profiteers and the well-off, and those who suffer are ordinary, decent, hard-working (delete as appropriate) Britons

Is this:

There is no “lump of labour”, but rather a dynamic consisting of millions of choices being made in a changing and international economy.

His hypopthesis comes from Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research whose study suggests that migrants haven’t taken the jobs, and they haven’t depressed wages. That’s because, if people with their skills and mobility had not been available to employers, then it’s quite possible the jobs wouldn’t have existed at all

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