Saturday, 2 April 2016
Daft letter from fifteen economists in the Financial Times.
The letter claims among other things that had the UK’s proposed restrictions on immigration been in force when those economists chose some time ago to migrate to the UK, then the effect would have been “deeply damaging to the competitiveness of the UK science and research sectors and to the wider economy.”
So economists make a big contribution to a country’s “research sectors and to the wider economy” do they? Given that so called “professional” economists are currently having difficulty working out how to raise inflation (something that Robert Mugabe knows how to do without even trying) it’s a wonder so called “professional” economists manage to tie their own shoe laces.
While I have personally been inspired by some economists (as many of them amateurs as professional) I don’t remember having read anything remotely interesting by the above fifteen, with the exception perhaps of William Buiter. Had they never entered the UK, the UK would have lost nothing, far as I can see.
Moreover (and this may be news to the above fifteen individuals), culture is very much international and has been for a long time. That is, new ideas thought up in say Argentina are round the World in a flash thanks to the internet. (Perhaps the above fifteen aren’t connected to the internet).
Thus it doesn’t make a big difference exactly WHERE in the world talented researchers are located. I personally communicate every single day with people in the US, Canada, Australia, mainland Europe etc while being based in Britain.
And to add insult to injury, culture has traveled around the world in a flash for a very long time: Bach and Mozart’s music traveled round the world on some amazing stuff called “paper” soon after being composed. Perhaps the above fifteen don’t know what paper is.
And the final nonsensical element in the above letter is it’s opening sentence which reads, “The UK Home Office is in the final stages of a radical policy shift, aimed at reducing dramatically the number of non-European Union economic migrants who have the opportunity to settle in the UK.”
Well the problem there is that half the signatories of that letter are not “non-Europeans”: e.g. William Buiter hails from Holland.