Wednesday, October 17, 2007

immigration and free trade

Here's a fun thought that came up in my econ class tonight:

In many cases, people come to Canada for a better life - higher wages & benefits, better living conditions, etc., and, unfortunately, welfare benefits.

Foreign direct investment and foreign imports allow for people to produce things at home, earning better wages and benefits in developing countries, in some cases making it unnecessary for people to migrate. Everyone wins because companies can provide their workers with much higher living conditions in their country than they otherwise have at a lower cost than providing the average living conditions in Canada.

So if you're opposed to immigration, but have peoples' best interests at heart, (as everyone claims to) shouldn't you be in favour of freer trade as the alternative? Shouldn't you be buying everything you can that's produced in developing nations to help those nations develop faster and reduce the incentives to come here? It's certainly cheaper than paying welfare state benefits to immigrants.

Obviously this doesn't solve problems of tyrannical governments, but it's definitely an interesting thought.

cross-posted to The Natural Society

3 comments:

Lisa said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?inarticleid=488005

Data from England indicates that open immigration actually harms the country and the standard of life of its (non-recent immigrant) inhabitants.

Lisa said...

Sorry, link was missing a bit
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=488005&in_page_id=1770

NB taxpayer said...

Obviously this doesn't solve problems of tyrannical governments, but it's definitely an interesting thought.

The above is the only weakness to your arguement. It probably also explains why the US forces decided to invade Iraq and not Alberta, both of which are rich in oil supplies.

Not that they are there solely for the oil, but more for the dictator who was becoming more of a despot off of the oil revenue so to speak.