Friday, 25 May 2018

The Dislocations of the EU on Britain's Labour Market

Another Brexit Bonus?

Unrestricted migration has caused huge strains in UK society.  It has been one of the major failures of EU ideology.

We live in a time when people are mobile.  Labour was once seen as fixed--in location, or nation.  Capital, on the other hand, was mobile.  If labour were too expensive or in short supply, a business could move its capital offshore to jurisdictions where labour was more plentiful and less expensive.  It could set up its business in another country relatively easily.  But moving the entire work force to another country was almost impossible.

But now things have changed somewhat.  Labour (at least for the moment) is far more mobile than it used to be.  What this has meant is that migrants (often operating off a very low cost base) have been able to enter Britain and take jobs which otherwise British people would have taken.  The end result has been under-utilization of British labour, and an over-utilization of (cheaper, more mobile) migrant labour.  In this sense, business has never had it so good.  It has not had to move its plant and capital offshore (thereby saving costs); it could stay exactly where it was, and employ cheap migrant labour.  Consequently it is reaping the benefits of moving to an offshore, lower-cost labour market, without actually moving an inch.
As many of four million Brits cannot get a job or the work they would like because they are forced to compete with a “virtually unlimited pool” of migrant workers from the European Union (EU), a report has said.
  The authors found that there are one and a half million people out of work and a further million stuck in part-time jobs who could do more hours or full-time hours but cannot find them.  “The large inflow of migrant labour… may have contributed to continuing high levels of underemployment which could be around four million people,” they write.  [Breitbart London]
The statistics in the UK show record numbers of people working and record rates of employment.  But beneath the data another story is said to emerge.  It's yet another case of  "Lies,damned lies, and statistics":
The report, by Migration Watch, claims that official figures boasting of high employment do not take account of people involuntarily stuck in part-time work. Around a fifth of part-time male workers and a quarter of part-time female workers said they wanted to work more work, the study found.  They explain that “record numbers of people working and record rates of employment, which now appear in UK labour market statistics, do not give a full picture as to whether people are able to get work or, if they wish, get more work”.
Brexit, if it actually comes to pass, ought to stop the free flow of economic migrants to the United Kingdom from Europe.  It ought to allow more controls on economic migrants coming in to the UK.  This, in turn, should result in an employment boom in the regions outside of London.
Mass migration suppresses wages, which benefits bosses but hits British workers, it is argued.  “Employers often claim that they cannot find UK-born workers, but there are certainly cases where changes to working times and methods could expand the pool of local workers available to them,” authors write.  Adding: “Evidence suggests that during the downturn employers continued to increase their use of migrant labour while a considerable number of those in the UK-born population lost their jobs and were unable to find new work.”

Chairman of the think-tank, Lord Green of Deddington, added: “For far too long employers have got away with claiming that they cannot find British workers.  “The truth is that they are simply not adjusting their working practices to meet the genuine needs of British workers because they have an unlimited number of EU workers on tap. Tackling this issue could well be another Brexit bonus.”
The bottom line is that any nation which cedes control of its borders ceases to be a nation; sovereignty is lost.  But there is never a vacuum, for after all Nature abhors vacuums. Some "power" inevitably takes control.   It may be the faceless bureaucrats in Brussels, with "no soul to damn and no butt to kick".  It may be the anonymous, uncontrolled flood of immigrants seeking work.  It may take the form of mass theft of intellectual property into nations and businesses overseas. 

Maintaining sovereignty over borders is essential if nationhood is to have any significance or meaning.  The costs of ceding sovereignty are enormous.  In the end, it represents a betrayal of citizens.

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