The case against immigration

Foreigners out, eh? No, as a matter of fact the proportion of Irish people in Ireland is too high for my liking. Around 50 per cent would do fine.

But that’s beside the point. What I am concerned with is the expansion of the Irish population and the Irish economy.

The point is…what’s the point?

Ireland has generated full employment. The economy is at full kilter. The only way for the economy to expand is to import more people to fill the labour shortage.

Economists think this great. They think that if our economy expands by 6 per cent we are 6 per cent better off. This is demonstrable nonsense.

What happens is that we have to spend more money on roads. To cover more land with houses. To build more hospitals. To sit in longer traffic jams.

Just last week a report was released say that we will have to spend over two billion euro to prepare Dublin’s drains for expansion. Think of that? Think of the hassle involved. Think of the environmental risks involved. All the roads that will have to be dug up. All the money it will cost.

And this will all go down on the national balance sheet as a gain because more money is being spent in the economy. We’ll spend the next twenty years chasing our tails.

What’s the point?

Furthermore, there is the effect that all this migration is having on the countries from where the migrants originate.

Many of the poorest countries in the world are having their professionals robbed from them in order to run the health services in the West. Ireland is no exception. How many of the new nursing and medical staff entering our health service are Irish?

You could argue that it’s good for the migrants. You could. But most migrants would prefer to stay in their own countries if the opportunities were available there.

I spoke with a Filipino staff nurse down in Temple Street hospital recently. She travels home four times a year to see her family. She sends home her money. She works every hour she can. She would just rather be at home.

What’s the point?

Would it not make more sense for everybody if some of the hectic investment in Ireland was transferred to the third world? Ireland is operating like an economic black hole at present. The amount of foreign direct investment we get is truly phenomenal.

But do we need much more of it.? When is enough, enough? Now that I can afford two dinners, should I eat two dinners?

What’s the point?

It would make more sense if Irish people and the State invested in third world economies where growth rates and returns are likely to be greater. Instead of migrants coming here, the capital would go there. Increased investment in the third world can help ease the poverty, the underdevelopment, the chronic environmental damage and the wars.

The migrants who come here and work their socks off could stay at home and help to transform their own economies. Then everybody would be better off.

That’s the point.