Movers and stayers

by John Quiggin on July 18, 2019

A lot of discussion of immigration is framed around the distinction between movers and stayers. Until recently, most of what I’ve seen has framed “stayers” as those who see their economic interests as being threatened by competition from immigrants. To protect themselves, they want to restrict immigration, even if the consequence is to restrict the opportunities for “movers” from their own country. The harm to these “movers-out” is just collateral damage

But lately I’ve been seeing a different account, in which it’s the departure of the movers-out that is causing problems by reducing the supply of workers to provide services to, and pay taxes to support, the stayers (particularly, the old). In economic terms, the obvious solution would be to replace the movers-out with movers-in, but they are of the wrong religion, skin colour and so on, and are therefore rejected. That exacerbates visible economic decline, particularly in terms of the level of economic activity, even when income per person holds up or is sustained by transfer payments. This in turn produces support for Trumpism and its variants.

This story comes up most clearly in relation to Eastern Europe (most notably Hungary) following accession to the EU, but I think it’s applicable to many rural areas in richer countries.

The feelings of the stayers in this story are understandable. They liked things better as they were, and resent changes. But they are hard to defend in moral terms, since keeping things as they were requires massively constraining the rights of others to work, marry and live in the way they wish to.

On this account, there’s also a lot of self-selection going on here. Staying, and demanding that others do so, is a conservative and authoritarian choice, so the stayers will tend to be those in a given population who fit this description. This comes back to the question of why rural voters support conservative parties, even when those parties serve the interests of the urban rich. I’ve seen (but can’t now find) a very old discussion of this point in relation to France, where it’s been relevant ever since 1789. In the US context, it’s being rediscovered right now.

{ 71 comments }

1

Ronan 07.18.19 at 11:56 pm

Have you read Ivan Krastev’s ‘After Europe’? He deals with this re Easern Europe:

“Curiously, demographic panic is one of the least discussed factors shaping eastern Europeans’ reaction toward refugees. But it is a critical one. Nations and states have an unfortunate habit of disappearing in the recent history of eastern and central Europe. In the last twenty-five years, around 10 percent of Bulgarians have left the country in order to live and work abroad. According to United Nations projections, Bulgaria’s population is expected to shrink by 27 percent by 2050. Alarm over “ethnic disappearance” can be discerned in many of the small nations of Eastern Europe. For them, the arrival of migrants signals their exit from history, and the popular argument that an aging Europe needs migrants only strengthens the growing sense of existential melancholy.

When you watch on television scenes of elderly locals protesting the settlement of refugees in their depopulated villages where not a single child has been born for decades, your heart breaks for both sides—the refugees, but also the old, lonely people who have seen their worlds melt away. Is there going to be anyone left to read Bulgarian poetry in one hundred years? In the politics of threatened majorities, a democratic imagination is a demographic one. The nation, not unlike God, is one of humanity’s shields against the idea of mortality. It is in the memory of our family and our nation that we hope to continue living after our death. The lonely individual is mortal in a different way than the person attached to a particular group.

It is thus not surprising that the demographic imagination shapes not only society’s hostilities to foreigners but also its negative reactions to social changes like gay marriage. Postcommunist societies, most of which are very secular as a rule, are quite tolerant when it comes to sexual life. But for many conservatives, gay marriages signify fewer kids and further demographic decline. For an eastern European nation haunted by low birth rates and migration, the endorsement of gay culture is like endorsing your own disappearance.”

2

John Quiggin 07.19.19 at 12:56 am

That’s exactly what I was trying to get at, said much better.

3

faustusnotes 07.19.19 at 3:05 am

John, don’t you think that it’s a bit late in the game to still be singing this song?:

This in turn produces support for Trumpism and its variants

It’s very clear that what’s happening now has absolutely nothing to do with economic anxiety. Any discussion of anti-immigration politics that starts with – or at any point incorporates – this idea is completely misguided. Opposition to immigration is based on pure racism, not on any economic response to the phenomena of movers and stayers.

4

nastywoman 07.19.19 at 7:38 am

”Opposition to immigration is based on pure racism, not on any economic response to the phenomena of movers and stayers”.

No it’s not – as it is – and always – was – obvious that economic anxiety ALSO creates racism. It is not the only ”creator” for sure but it is one of the major ones.

And so ”any discussion of anti-immigration politics that starts with – or at any point incorporates – this idea is NOT completely misguided”.

BUT I really would like to say that Von Clownstick’s last ”Send them Back – Show for sure was one of these pure (Racist) ”Fascistic Rallies” – only a true Fascist – or Racist can dream about.
But as Trump does all of THIS – in the manner of a typical ”Dirty Old American Dude – who never will get over the fact that nobody (nice) likes him” – it also might be a bit related to the subject of this article and what @1 wrote?

There are a lot of old – not only ”lonely and sad” – BUT also very mad – angry and very bitter people – who have seen ”their worlds melt away” –

Some with a growing sense of existential melancholy and questions like:
Is there going to be anyone left to read Bulgarian poetry in one hundred years?
AND others – like Von Clownstick – who actually might bemoaning – that he can’t kiss any woman anymore – he feels like dominating -(not ”kissing”)

5

MisterMr 07.19.19 at 8:20 am

In my opinion, this sort of reverses the logical order of things.
Cultures are to some degree always conservative as they are a set of values and ideas passed through generations, but on the other hand cultures also naturally continuously change.
In some conditions, some cultural boundaries will become salient, in other they will stay dormant.
If we look at migration, apparently everything migrants do is wrong: if they come, they steal jobs of locals of the destination country, if they go they break the economy of the departure country;if they find a job they steal jobs from locals, if they don’t they are a weight on the welfare state, if they are entrepreneurs they outcompete lo a ones.
These claims are mutually contradictory, yet people who are against migration use all these claims interchangeably.
This shows that the arguments are a form of motivated reasoning : people are against migrants in principle and just search for reasons to rationalize their pre existing preferences.
But these opinions are weaponised by political parties that use these fears to push some specific policies, and these policies magically are always the same: low taxes.
If we try to find a logical connection between low taxes and being anti migrants it is difficult, but in practice it comes from decades of low tax parties painting a picture where local, natural communities are opposed by somewhat artificial, parasitic governments (which is a good strategy if you want to argue against taxes in general) that always act for the good of some one else, who is not part of the local, victimized community.
In Italy for example there is a common idea that it is the EU that is forcing us to accept migrants.
So my opinion is this: we are still living through the dismantling of the new deal institutions, right wing populist parties are just a more advanced form of the old anti redistributive government parties, and they still play on this “people vs governments” narrative dichotomy, only at times the ideological bs becomes so strong that they are forced to go against the economic interests that generated them (see brexit).

6

nastywoman 07.19.19 at 10:02 am

@
‘This shows that the arguments are a form of motivated reasoning : people are against migrants in principle and just search for reasons to rationalize their pre existing preferences”.

Meaning – the world is full of people who yell: Get of my lawn?
-(or: ”Send her back”) – how true and Von Clownstick proved that you can get a lot of Fans with such yelling – it is probably the utmost ”existential crisis” all of US -(who don’t yell such… stuff) are currently facing?

And as we have found out – that the only way to stop the yelling – is by keeping ”the people” very busy with a lot of satisfying jobs – and Countries and Societies can do that – especially the rich ones – and then – what we for example witnessed in Stuttgart -(a city ”awarded for excellence in integration”) – there are ALL these really admirable efforts for ”immigrants” – to get them satisfying jobs -too –
and to ”integrate” them in the utmost possible way – even if that part of ”the deal” sometimes anyhow doesn’t work and often is much more difficult than just getting jobs.

But Hey! – there are these Dudes from Somalia – living in a very conservative Remstal and they work at ”Daimler” – and not one of their neighbours yells anymore:
Get of my Lawn-
or
”Send them back”.

7

hix 07.19.19 at 2:06 pm

That sounds like everybody short of xenophobes and other people on the extreme end of the psychological spectrum would be running out fo the door.
Id rather expect that the vast majority would strongly prefer to stay and who leaves, or stays away for the long term is based on lots of randomness as well as specific push/pull factors (e.g close family connections abroad, particular supply/demand for ones education home and abroad…)

8

passer-by 07.19.19 at 3:00 pm

There is one thing you miss – very often, in Eastern Europe and other regions that have experienced extreme levels of out-migration, the movers are the stayers’ children, whose departure may have been less than enthusiastic, and has left a lot of bitter families. Neither the stayers nor those movers are very happy that the children have to leave small-town Hungary in order to work as rural labourers, construction workers, nurses and home aids in England or Germany. The stayers resent it that their kids have no future at home, and the moving kids are often not that happy about it either.

The stayers resent the urban educated elite that celebrates the freedom of movement, among others, because they see it as having forced their own children to leave. They resent the whole system of mobility. They do not see it as freedom of movement, they see it as forced mobilities that they have to submit to, in all directions.
Racism then compounds it thousandfold, but it’s not the starting point.

9

Dipper 07.19.19 at 3:49 pm

“In economic terms, the obvious solution would be to replace the movers-out with movers-in, but they are of the wrong religion, skin colour and so on, and are therefore rejected. “

The experience of the UK is not this. There are, roughly speaking, three of us in this relationship. There is a ‘ruling class’, which, roughly speaking, is around 15/20% of the population, there is ‘immigrants’, which are again somewhere in the region of 15% and then there’s ‘the rest’ which is somewhere in the region of 65-70%. What we have been experiencing is a coalition between the ruling class and political representatives of the immigrant section to bash ‘the rest’. Pretty much most cultural life in the UK comes from representatives of those two groups, so that, for instance, actors from the 65% are so scarce that we know them individually. There are lots of statistics comparing immigrant groups against the ‘white’ population, as if there is such a thing, but only occasionally is there a breakdown of outcomes within the ‘white population’. Those analysis always show that poor white working class boys are doing worse than any other section of society. Needless to say there is nothing being done about this other than to blame ‘cultural factors’ and walk away.

Furthermore, the economic arguments in favour of mass immigration show a marked resemblance to the arguments used by Nick Leeson prior to the collapse of Barings Bank. Leeson said two things: I’m very profitable, and I need more cash. Only one of those statements had a basis in truth. Similarly, proponents of mass immigration say it is very profitable, and we don’t have enough money to spend on public services. After the collapse, everyone asked the obvious question, which is why did anyone in Barings think that someone of average ability had uniquely managed to make large profits from what was in every other bank a plain vanilla low margin business? Similarly, at some point people will ask why on earth the UK thought that employing millions of immigrants to do manual tasks was the route to prosperity. If employing old African men to stand in hospital car parks and tell people there are no spaces (actual example from my local hospital) is the route to a leading first-world economy, how come there isn’t a bidding war to import old African men? Why is it just us? Why is it a surprise that the UK, having built its economic future on employing millions of migrants on low-pay, is now experiencing an acute housing shortage for low-paid workers?

The analysis of immigration as a process of three players – rulers, indigenous ruled, and immigrants, seems to give a lot more realistic explanations than the two player natives vs immigrants explanation.

10

Cian 07.19.19 at 7:51 pm

If employing old African men to stand in hospital car parks and tell people there are no spaces (actual example from my local hospital)

Dipper have you ever considered the possibility that you’re just really racist?

11

Cian 07.19.19 at 7:56 pm

It’s very clear that what’s happening now has absolutely nothing to do with economic anxiety.

‘Very clear’ meaning that I Faustusnotes don’t want to consider this possibility. ‘Very Clear’ does not require any evidence.

Any discussion of anti-immigration politics that starts with – or at any point incorporates – this idea is completely misguided.

Because I Faustusnotes don’t want to consider this possibility.

Opposition to immigration is based on pure racism, not on any economic response to the phenomena of movers and stayers.

Because anything else would upset my carefully constructed world view…

12

Cian 07.19.19 at 8:01 pm

John – I think the reason for (white) rural voters supporting Republicans probably has more to do with the fact that Republicans at least make some effort to speak their language, and share some cultural touch stones (religion, hunting, ‘tradition’). Democratic politicians come from a class that I think (based upon my interactions with them) despise rural areas. And generally people won’t vote for people who despise them.

The other thing in the South is that white Democrats tend to be city types (lawyers mostly), whereas Republicans are at least recognizably ‘local’.

The other factor is that poor rural whites often don’t vote for anyone.

13

John Quiggin 07.19.19 at 8:05 pm

Dipper, as a descendant of migrants from Britain (via the US in some cases), and living in a country where more than a million people were born in the UK, I wonder how you feel about emigration from the UK. It doesn’t seem to enter the account you give. In particular, from this side of the planet, the restrictions imposed on migration from the former Empire to the UK look pretty hypocritical.

Passer-by, my parents were born in the country, and their move to the city (with their parents, during the Great Depression) was driven by economic necessity. Lots of my extended family have made this shift in the current generation. So, I get the point you are making. But there’s a problem with the causality you imply – the economic situation for young people (in declining country areas, and in Eastern Europe) would have been just as bad, or worse, if the option of moving weren’t available. So, blaming mobility seems to get things the wrong way around.

14

Anonymous2 07.19.19 at 8:10 pm

‘Why is it just us?’

Official statistics show no significant difference in the proportion of foreign-born residents in the UK when compared with other Northern European or Western European countries.

15

John Quiggin 07.19.19 at 8:48 pm

“And generally people won’t vote for people who despise them.”

There’s something to this. But, in my experience, urban liberals are much more respectful (or less disrespectful) of rural conservatives than vice versa. Similarly for nonbelievers and religious voters, more educated and less educated etc. Have you ever seen a Republican or Fox commentator worry about the need to “reach out” to urban liberals or inner city blacks? I don’t have an answer to this problem.

@14 For comparison, 28 per cent of Australians were born overseas, and nearly half had at least one overseas born parent. That doesn’t stop us treating refugees horribly, though. Again, I don’t have an answer.

16

Dipper 07.19.19 at 10:26 pm

@ Can “Dipper have you ever considered the possibility that you’re just really racist?”

Oh here you go again. Your comment on a previous thread trying to show Boris Johnson is racist took comments that were clearly satirical out of context in an effort to make a point was similarly off target. Anyone commenting on immigration clearly has to check their position, but you show no such restraint. Your consistent policy of wild attacks on commentors you disagree with and not engaging with the issue is a clear example of why the left are losing all over.

17

Cranky Observer 07.19.19 at 10:28 pm

= = = John – I think the reason for (white) rural voters supporting Republicans probably has more to do with the fact that Republicans at least make some effort to speak their language, and share some cultural touch stones (religion, hunting, ‘tradition’). Democratic politicians come from a class that I think (based upon my interactions with them) despise rural areas. And generally people won’t vote for people who despise them. -= = =

Absolutely. Look at the 2004 US Presidential election for example: the Democratic candidate George W. Bush had an very priviliged childhood split between the elite & wealthy suburbs of the City of Houston and the ultra-elite and wealthy zones of Connecticut and vacationland Maine, had his path greased to a fun Texas National Guard slot flying fighter jets within the continental US during the Vietnam War, and kept a phony “ranch” prop where he “road wire” and “chopped brush” whenever he wasn’t at the White House. Whereas the Republican candidate John Kerry enlisted in the US Navy after college, volunteered for close quarters combat during the Vietnam war rather than the DC desk job the son of a Navy lawyer and State Dept diplomat might have taken. Kerry – unlike the Democrat Bush – was a lifelong outdoorsman, hunter and a private pilot [1]. Nothing but contempt for the working man in the Democrats’ nomination I tell you.

I’d also recommend the young Ezra Klein’s interview with Tom Vilsack, a very conservative rural Democrat, for a depiction of how the despising works:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/03/vilsack_i_took_it_as_a_slam_on.html

[1] In the US private pilots and light airplane owners run 95% Republican (or Libertarian, but I repeat myself)

18

mary s 07.19.19 at 10:33 pm

Cian, if you are saying that Republicans are trafficking in white identity politics, then sure, I can agree that they make “at least some effort to speak their language.” I don’t really know what you mean when you say that Democratic politicians “come from a class that despises rural areas” — are just referring to “city folk”? I do know that my rural relatives who have “remained” have never and will probably never vote for a Democrat, and I don’t think their rationale has anything to do with feeling despised.

19

passer-by 07.19.19 at 10:43 pm

@John: there are two problems with your perspective.
First, the migration as economic opportunity narrative is deeply ingrained in the imagination of the urban middle-class, especially American, because it is part of our family’s upward trajectories. It ignores the fact that not everyone who moves wanted to follow that trajectory – just as British or Russian peasants haven’t joined the industrial economy willingly, so would a lot of people be willing and ready to sacrifice their apparent economic self-interest for a chance to stay put. It also ignores the fact that many immigrants are not upwardly mobile. In Eastern Europe, as in other historical emigration regions, everyone know many more of the “aunt who just disappeared” or “cousin who came back broke and a drunk” than “rich uncle in America” stories. And people do, deeply, know that.

Anyway, I was just making two very small points. First, re: voting against your economic self-interest. I think that in many other contexts, people would have no trouble accepting that people may loathe economic “progress” that comes at the cost of destroying the non-monetary networks of solidarity that they rely on. Migrants cannot easily replace the children who left, because the elderly, or the young parents etc., don’t have the kind of very rich and advanced social state that would allow them to monetarily compensate all the unpaid labour that used to be provided within the family.
Second, the “stayers” and the “movers” are not as distinct as you would think. A lot of experts tend to severely underestimate the costs of mobility, but to many, maybe most, people, mobility is a necessity they deeply resent. A lot of people outside of the urban middle-class feel that the EU has forced their children to leave, and then seems to force others to come there, just as unwillingly for all those concerned. They want to stop the whole merry-go-round. And yes, they are willing to punish their own urban middle-class by closing their own borders. They resent that middle-class not only for enforcing the mobility, but for celebrating it, instead of decrying a necessary evil.

I am not defending them. I am also a product of successful migrations, over several generations, and I am deeply ashamed at the EU’s immigration non-policy.
But analyzing the consequences of migration in purely economic terms is just wrong, or literally “weltfremd”, as the Germans say so well. And I just cannot figure out why that is the one topic where social scientists wholly accept this purely economic narrative, which they routinely reject otherwise.

20

Dipper 07.19.19 at 10:50 pm

@ John Quiggin “… I wonder how you feel about emigration from the UK.”. Well, I don’t feel that it should be UK government policy that if you aren’t happy here you should leave. A government should be ambitious for its people and try and do the best for them. ” the restrictions imposed on migration from the former Empire to the UK look pretty hypocritical.” Seriously? Given the enormous number of people in countries that used to be in the Empire it simply isn’t practical for them all to move to the UK. As I said, the notion that simply importing millions of people to do manual tasks will pay for itself is looking to be an experiment that is failing. I cannot being to describe the bitterness locally at the massive population growth in the area and the turmoil and destruction to the quality of life it is introducing because the local infrastructure cannot cope and there is no money to build new infrastructure. And all for what?

21

J-D 07.19.19 at 11:41 pm

Dipper

The analysis of immigration as a process of three players – rulers, indigenous ruled, and immigrants, seems to give a lot more realistic explanations than the two player natives vs immigrants explanation.

I have no idea whether your explanations are more realistic or less realistic because I have no idea what your explanations are. I do not understand why, if you have explanations, you have not disclosed them. You have framed some interesting questions, but you have not answered them. For example:

If employing old African men to stand in hospital car parks and tell people there are no spaces (actual example from my local hospital) is the route to a leading first-world economy, how come there isn’t a bidding war to import old African men?

If my local hospital was employing people to stand in their carparks and tell people there are no spaces, I would think it was odd. If I had a strong desire to know why they were doing this, I would probably ask the hospital. (Has it occurred to you to try doing that?) I know that I would not want to ask the hospital why the people they are employing for that function are old African men, because my curiosity on that specific detail would be insufficient to pursue it, but somebody who wanted to know specifically why the people employed are old African men could also ask the hospital that–you could do that if you really wanted to know the answer.

So the question ‘Why is Dipper’s local hospital employing people to stand in the carpark telling people there are no space?’ is an interesting one. But you have offered no answer to it. To me, the question ‘Why are those people old African men?’ is of less interest, although still of some interest, and I can see how it might interest some people more than it does me: but you have offered no answer to that question either.

So you’re telling us that you have an analytical framework that provides better answers to questions, but you’re not showing us those answers. Show, don’t tell! There are good reasons why authors are given that advice.

22

J-D 07.19.19 at 11:58 pm

This comes back to the question of why rural voters support conservative parties, even when those parties serve the interests of the urban rich.

The amount of people’s incomes, and of their assets, affects their political attitudes and their voting behaviour: but the source of their incomes, and of their assets, has a stronger effect. In rural areas, both the fraction of professionals and the fraction of tradespeople who are employees is lower than in urban areas, and the fraction who operate their own businesses (solo or in partnerships) is higher. Of course the voting behaviour of professionals and the voting behaviour of tradespeople is not identical, but within both groups, and generally across all occupational categories, there is also a difference in voting behaviour between people who operate their own businesses (solo or in partnerships) and people who are employed by enterprises owned by others. Independently of the size of income, people whose incomes derive from ownership interests vote more conservatively than people whose incomes derives from an employee’s wage or salary. This is probably not the whole of the explanation for why rural areas vote more conservatively than urban ones, but it is almost certainly a large part of it. Conservative parties, almost by definition, favour the interests of owners and bosses as a category. The effect is to benefit rich owners more than poor owners, but the behaviour of poor owners in supporting conservative parties is nevertheless not simply irrational, and in rural areas there are usually more owners (although often poorer ones) than there are in urban areas. If you focus too much on just the levels of people’s incomes (or assets), you miss this.

23

Alan White 07.20.19 at 4:18 am

When I came to my county in Wisconsin–famous at once for being the site of the farm girl in The Prince and Me and the murders of Making one–Manitowoc–in 1981, there were almost no factory-scale farms in it. Now there are almost no small farms at all. To model rural America in terms of thinking of the small farm is rapidly being replaced–and in my county now is predominately replaced–by corporate farming. It’s still true that the small farmers that remain are wildly Trumpsters (as of course are the factory farmers, for obvious reasons). Which is begging for an answer why.

I offer a simple answer: AM radio. It’s completely dominated by right-wing talk shows, and still is a central venue for information for many people who are still marginally on the grid. In my city–which used to be in the 80s a Democratic haven–it has been completely overtaken by Republicans, especially the over-40s, who vote in droves–and one can hear it by dialing up the local AM station call-ins, or any AM station talk-show from Milwaukee (even though Charlie Sykes was a late-coming No-Trumpster after abandoning his AM format). We all focus on the dreadful Fox network and the like, but believe me, good old-fashioned AM radio had as much to do with electing Agent Orange as anything else in delivering what rural vote still counts.

24

Kai Arzheimer 07.20.19 at 9:24 am

Very succinctly put. I think this also applies at lower geographical levels, i.e. the UKIP/Brexit voting seaside towns of England or the rural parts of eastern Germany where at least some of the left behind have actually stayed behind

25

Dipper 07.20.19 at 10:08 am

@ J-D “I have no idea whether your explanations are more realistic or less realistic because I have no idea what your explanations are.”

This is getting ridiculous. Is this your out-of-office auto-reply? Is it my job to describe in detail what should be pretty obvious to an intelligent person? Or should I just take refuge in the well known saying that “it is easy to wake a sleeping man, but impossible to wake a man pretending to be asleep”?

Just ask yourself why the modern radical left has such a love-affair with militant Islam? Why do they hold a candle for the Iranian regime?

26

Dipper 07.20.19 at 10:20 am

“in which it’s the departure of the movers-out that is causing problems by reducing the supply of workers to provide services to, and pay taxes to support, the stayers”

Its a problem in the EU with medical staff moving from Balkan countries to the richer North and West.

I don’t see that any country can reasonably stop its people emigrating; rather the onus is on the importing country to have a look at itself. I particularly don’t see how the argument in the UK that we need to import workers from SE Asia to work in Old People’s homes really holds water. It is really just a way of shielding wealthier members of society from the true cost of their lifestyles. Who looks after old people in SE Asian countries? Why do we believe this imbalance to be acceptable? And why have we constructed a society that is not capable of running itself without a continual supply of people from poorer regions?

Also, the EU is creating a billiard-table economy. There is no resistance to movement, so if there is any tilt on the table all the balls end up in one corner. (Do I have to explain how this relates to employment and migration J-D?) The EU also has the added complication of the split of responsibilities between the EU institutions and national governments, in that the EU institutions just dump all the costs of their policies on national governments.

27

J-D 07.20.19 at 11:37 am

Dipper

Is this your out-of-office auto-reply?

No; I’m pretty sure that in my whole life I had never previously written or spoken that sentence.

Is it my job to describe in detail what should be pretty obvious to an intelligent person?

No, but then we both know that it’s not your job to comment here at all. I don’t know what make you think your job comes into it.

Whenever I tell you that I don’t understand your point, your options include the following:
(a) expand on your explanation in the hope that it will assist me to understand;
(b) make no response whatever;
(c) bitch and moan and whine and complain and carry on at length about how monstrously put-upon you are by my outrageous behaviour and how my responses to your comments are cruelly and shamelessly ruining your life.

(There are plenty of other options, too.)

How you choose to spend your time is, of course, up to you; and, by the same token, how I choose to spend my time is up to me.

Or should I just take refuge in the well known saying that “it is easy to wake a sleeping man, but impossible to wake a man pretending to be asleep”?

When I tell you that in my whole previous life I have never encountered this saying, no matter how well-known you have found it to be, I wonder whether you will conclude that I must be telling you a deliberate untruth, because no other explanation is possible. Mind you, if quoting it makes you feel better (I can’t imagine why it would, but stranger things have sometimes turned out to be true), then jolly good luck to you and I wish you well.

Just ask yourself why the modern radical left has such a love-affair with militant Islam?

All right, I will.

I: Why does the modern radical left have such a love affair with militant Islam?
Myself: I don’t know. I didn’t even know that the modern radical left has a love affair with militant Islam. Are you sure that it does?
I: No, now that you come to mention it, I’m not sure that’s true. I just got it from Dipper. Huh, maybe Dipper’s got that wrong. I’d ask ‘un about it, but ‘a gets terribly upset when I ask ‘un questions.
Myself: Why is that?
I: Honestly, I can’t tell. I’d ask Dipper about that, maybe, except …
Myself: … I know, ‘a gets terribly upset when you ask ‘un questions.

28

Hidari 07.20.19 at 1:37 pm

‘Just ask yourself why the modern radical left has such a love-affair with militant Islam? Why do they hold a candle for the Iranian regime?’

Oooh please Sir! Ask me Sir! I know this one Sir! Ask me! (yessss!!!)

Is the answer because both of these assertions are completely made up bullshit and totally and completely and obviously false Sir? Is that it?

Aw thanks Sir! Of course I’ll meet you in your office after school and give you your special back rub. Thanks Sir!

29

ph 07.20.19 at 1:46 pm

Hi John, as others have noted, you’ve addressed an important and complex topic. On the topic of information deficits and fake news, the current RCP most-read articles all address variations of this theme. The most interesting of these is a well-researched piece on the NYT bestseller list, which we discover from the NYT’s earlier legal defense of manipulating evidence is actually defended as “an opinion piece” rather than a factual report of who’s buying which books. The finger on the scales leads NYT readers to believe that books by conservative reporters are “takes” rather than solid reporting, and not as widely-read as books which have in fact been purchased by a lower number of readers. The recent case of a top 44 advisor having her book on the best-seller list despite selling very few books is another case in point.

There are very few easy answers and the most “reliable” sources have biases and agendas which need to be scrutinized carefully. The notion that “our side” tells the truth, whilst other “lies” is one of the most dangerous pieces of fiction we can imbibe. That’s even more important when trying to understand complex issues such as immigration trends. Painting those we disagree with as “fools” and “knaves” is worse than a waste of time. The current president and Brexit need never have happened. The declines in real income and the wage depression caused by unfettered immigration, legal and otherwise, are have long been a matter of record.

There are no easy solutions to any of the related problems short of imposing the sort of rigorous laws employed by fascist dictatorships such as Canada and Australia. The only refugees Canada is interested in are precisely those who meet the sorts of criteria set out by the current occupant of the oval office. Not liking that fact changes nothing.

30

Scott P. 07.20.19 at 2:34 pm

I cannot being to describe the bitterness locally at the massive population growth in the area and the turmoil and destruction to the quality of life it is introducing because the local infrastructure cannot cope and there is no money to build new infrastructure. And all for what?

I am not even sure what this means. There is certainly more wealth in the UK now than when the current infrastructure was built in the 1970s or the 1930s or the 1880s. Just build some damn schools and roads.

31

Another Nick 07.20.19 at 4:16 pm

Dipper: “Also, the EU is creating a billiard-table economy. There is no resistance to movement, so if there is any tilt on the table all the balls end up in one corner.”

Since its EU immigration rate has always been close to double that of the UK, can we assume you’re referring to Germany?

Seriously though, what percentage of EU migrants ended up in the UK in 2017? And since things might have changed a bit post-referendum, what percentage of EU migrants ended up in the UK in 2015?

Was it “all the balls”? Or, more accurately speaking was it about 15% of the balls?

32

Jim Harrison 07.20.19 at 4:59 pm

One of the injuries the coasts have done the middle in the U.S. is to lure so many young people away. From the point of view of the stayers, the leavers aren’t simply motivated by economic considerations, but by the city lights. An old story—how you gunna keep ’em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?—but more salient than ever. The kids are resented for their disloyalty, the famous coastal elites for seducing them. This is a particularly acute issue for evangelical Christians, whose churches have a lot of empty pews these days. The leavers are often literally apostates. (Of course it doesn’t help that when the prodigal son returns for a visit, he’s driving an SUV and supplies the fatted calf.)

33

Orange Watch 07.20.19 at 7:33 pm

Dipper@25:

Just ask yourself why the modern radical left has such a love-affair with militant Islam? Why do they hold a candle for the Iranian regime?

Now who’s setting an auto-reply? Beyond the obvious “they don’t”, there are a number of equally popular (and equally dubious) explanations for these two claims, some of which are mutually contradictory. If you’re going to make vague but contentious claims like this, you need to have the moral courage to actually state your position so it can be evaluated on its merits and faults rather than winking and waggling your eyebrows. Insinuation is often an act of cowardice, and in this case I’d stipulate it’s moral cowardice.

34

Cranky Observer 07.20.19 at 8:54 pm

= = = One of the injuries the coasts have done the middle in the U.S. is to lure so many young people away. From the point of view of the stayers, the leavers aren’t simply motivated by economic considerations, but by the city lights. An old story—how you gunna keep ’em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?—but more salient than ever. The kids are resented for their disloyalty, the famous coastal elites for seducing them. This is a particularly acute issue for evangelical Christians, = = =

The United States, as my late mother-in-law used to point out, went from majority rural to majority urban in 1895 [1]. She and her brother both left the farm for college, moved to the city afterword ~1950, and never looked back; their father worked the land until he was 84 then sold it to one of the few people under 40 in the county. The story you are telling has been a staple of the square states and downstate areas since 1860, and it should no more govern Citizens’ or the nation’s decisions now than it did then.

[1] between the 1890 and 1900 Censuses, so 1895 for shorthand

35

Dipper 07.20.19 at 9:58 pm

@ various. eg @Another Nick, Scott P

The EU has various projections of population growth, which vary between +10 million and +15 million between now and mid-late century, largely due to future and previous immigration. This is equivalent to a country somewhere between Sweden and the Netherlands in size. It needs to be built, and quite a lot of it is projected to be built round where I live and it is making living here very difficult. Short journeys take forever. So I’m grateful for all those telling me that this isn’t happening, but the local reality as well as the stats says different.

re the left and radical Islam, clearly again people haven’t been watching. @ Orange Watch “Beyond the obvious “they don’t” I gave the link- – Corbyn has taken the money from Iran and continues to argue the Iranian case. Labour loves those muslims votes and will say anything to get them. Moderate muslim voices get very little air time or support.

36

Hidari 07.20.19 at 11:22 pm

@35

‘I gave the link’: it’s a dead link, at least at my end.

It’s also a flagrant and blatant lie. If you are honestly and genuinely claiming that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, has personally taken money in recent years (or even recent decades) from the Teheran regime, may I suggest you bring this scoop to the attention of the British Press, who will doubtless make much hay with it.

If you have any evidence, of any sort whatsoever, for this claim, that is, which you don’t.

A phrase like ‘Labour loves those muslims notes’ (note the lower case for Muslim) is bordering on racism incidentally (imagine I wrote ‘The Tories love those jew votes’).

37

Orange Watch 07.20.19 at 11:25 pm

Dipper@35:

Your link@25 was broken, so you’ve still given no evidence for your dubious claim. And while you came closer to stating your position, you’ve given no explanation why “pandering to Muslims for votes” would in fact consist of “pandering to radical theocrats whose social and political aims are at odds with the radical left’s social and political aims”, nor how the radical left manages to pander by supporting positions that are antithetic to militant Islam – to the degree that as broad and diverse a range of movements as “militant Islam” can be said to have a cohesive agenda, it’s not particularly compatible with the radical left nor even the not-so-radical left à la Corbyn’s Labour.

38

J-D 07.21.19 at 12:05 am

Dipper

… I gave the link …

Broken.

39

Orange Watch 07.21.19 at 1:39 am

Hidari@36:
A phrase like ‘Labour loves those muslims notes’ (note the lower case for Muslim) is bordering on racism incidentally (imagine I wrote ‘The Tories love those jew votes’).

I’m not sure I’d say “bordering on” in this case, as it seems like Dipper is suggesting that cozying up to Tehran is proof that Labour (and the “radical left” in general) is pandering to militant Muslims in the UK (and elsewhere).

For Dipper’s benefit, I’ll add that in the context of modern UK demographics that sounds about as plausible as a historical hypothetical of Oliver Cromwell cozying up to the Vatican to pander to his supporters. Hopefully, this parallel is sufficiently Anglicized for Dipper to understand exactly how wrongheaded and utterly ignorant what they appear to be insinuating is.

40

faustusnotes 07.21.19 at 4:00 am

Dipper’s comment at 9 shows just how messed up, confused and/or deliberately deceptive the anti-immigration/Brexit crowd are. Consider this:

proponents of mass immigration say it is very profitable, and we don’t have enough money to spend on public services.

In the context of British politics this is such a disturbing lie it’s hard to know where to start. The campaign against the Blair/Brown government by Cameron was clearly focused on two stand out messages: that the Blair govt had spent way too much money, and was way too pro-immigration. Cameron’s alternative was: we don’t have any money (austerity) so we have to stop all immigration (the zero-net migration target and the hostile environment). This is a matter of clear public record, and yet somehow Dipper has spun it so that Cameron was pro-immigration and Blair/Brown didn’t spend money. How did you get to this political fantasy, Dipper? Of course you have to believe this, because the alternative to your politics – spending more money on public services, taxing the rich and building a society that works for everyone – is against your basic principles.

Also have you stopped to ask that “African” man if he is actually from Africa, or did you just assume? He might be British, you know.

Cian, which part of “Send her back” would you say is due to economic anxiety? How about the idea that AOC is not “from” America? Is that due to economic anxiety? Are the concentration camps a natural upwelling of economic anxiety? What does Trump and his army of illiterate thugs have to do before you finally accept that they are not interested in economic issues?

Or, let’s look at the history of “economic anxiety” through popular culture in the anglosphere. “Farm on the Freeway” (Jethro Tull, 1987); Slainte Mhath (Marillion, 1987); Telegraph Road (Dire Straits, 1982); everything by Bon Jovi in the 1980s and 1990s; pretty much all of Pulp’s work in the 2000s; and not really anything in the 2010s. America and Britain were talking about economic anxiety and the loss of “real work” much more in the 1980s and 1990s than they are now; and yet back then they voted for working class and left wing parties, and fought against racist ideas. If this issue has been around for the past 40 years why is it only now that it is being misdirected into racism? And why is the racism so blatant now compared to then?

The answer coming from the Putin-fluffing left is that this is all a new issue, and the left is distracting itself from this new problem by worrying about bathrooms and identity politics. The reality is that the decline of industry has been a 40 year long story that the right have ignored while they have been waging a campaign to build a racist fascist state, and their patient work is bearing fruit now. But like Hidari on a previous thread, you’re going to wait until they actually throw you in a concentration camp before you recognize that none of this was ever about “economic anxiety”. Perhaps you’ll wake up and smell the coffee when some lunatic kills Ilhan Omar, but I doubt even then that the Putin-fluffing left will figure out what’s happening. If after this week’s activities you still can’t see what’s happening, I don’t know if you ever will.

41

Hidari 07.21.19 at 7:33 am

‘But like Hidari on a previous thread, you’re going to wait until they actually throw you in a concentration camp’

roflmao

42

nastywoman 07.21.19 at 12:01 pm

– and about@41

‘But like Hidari on a previous thread, you’re going to wait until they actually throw you in a concentration camp’

Nobody ever will in America be thrown into ”a concentration camp” be-cause in ”concentration camps” were so many millions ”gassed” and ”killed” that nobody ever will be thrown into ”a concentration camp” – which doesn’t mean that my blood is boiling exactly the same way boiling as AOC’s when she report’s about about the conditions on the US border.

Which means that I also – (like Faust) like to say:

”Perhaps you’ll wake up and smell the coffee when some lunatic kills Ilhan Omar”
BUT at the same time… somehow… I understand Cian’s points about ”economic anxiety”?

Ohh – I’m so confused?

-(or perhaps too often – have talked to people from the US Rust Belt or the beautiful British Countryside?)

– or even worst I love – absolutely love – British Carpenters?

so many workers from US Rust Belt… I also understand Cians points about

43

steven t johnson 07.21.19 at 1:43 pm

The role of widespread corruption producing local leaders from what passes for the elite, or local agents from wealthy institutions and people seems to me to be overlooked. In other countries, political scientists like to talk about elites playing bosses over their people in political machines, as in the term caciquismo. But the phenomenon of the big fish in the little pond calling the shots isn’t necessarily (in my opinion,) solely an attribute of the barbarously brown people. Are the people of North Carolina truly so committed to a benighted conservatism, or is it Art Pope counting for more?

A second aspect is the role of religion, which no matter what anyone says is not in practice separable from nation, ethnicity, race, sex and gender. Religion is not just about magic medicine and superstition, but about bigotry. And religion is strongly supported as a matter of policy by the state, which at most tries to seem denominationally neutral when dealing with the larger churches. Clergymen, like farm owners, are businessmen, and they think like businessmen.

44

tlwest 07.21.19 at 3:28 pm

But, in my experience, urban liberals are much more respectful (or less disrespectful) of rural conservatives than vice versa. Similarly for nonbelievers and religious voters, more educated and less educated etc.

As I dyed-in-the-Canadian-red urban liberal, I find that hard to imagine, simply because I’m not certain it’s possible to get less respectful. It was bad when the liberal agenda was pretty much predominated no matter who won here, but now liberalism is actually under threat? Yikes!

Of course, given our bubbles, I don’t have much exposure to the rural conservative rank-and-file, but my impression is that the urban liberal leadership is more respectful of rural conservatives than their rank-and-file, and the conservative leadership is less respectful to urban liberals than their rank-and-file.

Of course, this might be because I’m solidly part of the latte-sipping downtown urban elite in a large urban liberal bastion.

45

Dipper 07.21.19 at 8:00 pm

@ faustusnotes “In the context of British politics this is such a disturbing lie it’s hard to know where to start. “

Well, we could start with the facts. in 2017, the UK Tax to GDP ratio (according to the OECD) was the highest it has been since 2000. And is, I believe the highest it has been since the days of Harold Wilson. If that number was at an all time low, then you and the Left would be correct in saying that pressure on public services was due to government cuts, but it isn’t. The current government is now collecting a higher ratio of national GDP in taxes than Blair/Brown ever did, hence I think it is reasonable to conclude that the current economic model of high-immigration for manual and low paid work is not working as it isn’t generating sufficient wealth to pay for public services at a level we both would wish.

“Also have you stopped to ask that “African” man if he is actually from Africa” He had a strong West African accent. And obviously I didn’t ask him. But the point remains – most staff in petrol stations are Eastern or Southern European, same for many shelf-stackers, car washers. I simply don’t see how importing people to do tasks that could be automated or done by local people is going to make this country better off, and as the stats in para 1 show, it isn’t. But perhaps you know better Faustusnotes in which case a Nobel Prize for Economics is yours for the taking.

@ Orange watch, Hidari, J-D

“Broken” – was google not working for you guys? maybe this link will work, or this, or this.

46

Orange Watch 07.22.19 at 12:46 am

Dipper@45:

You’re still strenuously avoiding being unambiguous, so I want to make sure I’ve understood you correctly. Just to be 100% clear on this – your argument is that “the Left” writ large panders to militant Islam, and you’re presenting assertions that Corbyn and Labour are too willing to work with and/or not sufficiently critical of the Islamic Republic of Iran as proof that they’re pandering to UK Muslims for votes?

47

Orange Watch 07.22.19 at 12:50 am

tlwest@44:

Of course, given our bubbles, I don’t have much exposure to the rural conservative rank-and-file, but my impression is that the urban liberal leadership is more respectful of rural conservatives than their rank-and-file, and the conservative leadership is less respectful to urban liberals than their rank-and-file.

As a pinko living in a rural conservative area (but who’s lived in latte-sipping urban environments) this sounds like an accurate assessment.

48

faustusnotes 07.22.19 at 2:53 am

Dipper, are you trying to tell me that austerity didn’t happen? That the Cameron government didn’t cut government spending on core services such as the NHS, police, councils and education? Is your argument really that the Cameron government was pro-immigration and provided lots of money for infrastructure?

What you said at comment 9 and have reiterated here is completely wrong, nonsense. In 2010 the Tories campaigned on the story that the Blair/Brown government spent too much money and were too pro-immigration. They promised to spend less money and get the deficit down (through austerity) and to reduce net migration to zero. But you seem to think that the Blair government was pro-immigration and anti-spending, while the Cameron govt has been spending big and pro-immigration. This is the obvious implication of the “facts” you have laid out. Do you want to try and explain how you think Blair was pro-immigration and anti-spending?

49

Dipper 07.22.19 at 6:14 am

@ faustusnotes the facts speak for themselves. The UK government had an austerity program in that it committed to slashing the deficit so reduced public spending as the current level of spending could not be sustained through taxation alone. Blair was anti-immigration in that he said opening up FOM to Eastern Europe would only bring a few tens of thousands. The argument that the UK needed millions of workers from Eastern Europe was only made after the fact.

50

Dipper 07.22.19 at 6:55 am

@ Orange Watch “your argument is that “the Left” writ large panders to militant Islam”. Not necessarily ‘writ large’ but significant sections of it clearly do. It is a big subject beyond the scope of the OP, but worth watching the response to the efforts of women Labour MPs representing working class constituencies such as Sarah Champion (and here)

51

Hidari 07.22.19 at 9:11 am

@46

‘Just to be 100% clear on this – your argument is that “the Left” writ large panders to militant Islam, and you’re presenting assertions that Corbyn and Labour are too willing to work with and/or not sufficiently critical of the Islamic Republic of Iran as proof that they’re pandering to UK Muslims for votes?’

No his argument is that Corbyn received money from the Iranian ‘propaganda channel’ Press TV and that therefore he is on the payroll of The International Muslim Conspiracy (information Dipper presumably gained from poring over The Protocols of the Elders of Islam) and that therefore Corbyn (and therefore, presumably all Labour supporters) are, implicitly or explicitly, shills for this International Muslim Conspiracy, which controls the liberal media (hence their hushing up all those stories that only the Sunday Times was brave enough to print about brown Muslim men raping our white children).

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you would find it difficult to fit a Rizla paper between Dipper’s views and Breivik’s.

There’s been a lot of screaming about fascism in the media recently, and, given this description of Dipper’s opinions (and one must assume that Boris ‘picanninies’ Johnson’s own political views are more or less congruent with Dipper’s) it’s worthwhile discussing whose views are closer to fascism: those of the Corbynites, or those of the radical ethno-nationalist Right, as evinced by the leaders of the two major parties of the extreme right wing in the world today, the American Republicans and the British Conservative Party.

52

faustusnotes 07.22.19 at 9:24 am

Dipper! Have we finally got you to admit that the problem is not the number of migrants, but the cutting of funding for basic health, police and education services that is the problem? Do we finally see you admitting after two years of griping that the infrastructure problems you complain about are entirely the fault of the Cameron government’s austerity – even though that government claimed to want to reduce migration to zero? Are you finally admitting that it’s not the immigration numbers, but the government spending, that is the real problem!?

53

J-D 07.22.19 at 11:59 am

Dipper

maybe this link will work, or this, or this.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-iran-protests-why-overlook-human-rights-issues-regime-press-tv-a8138696.html

In 2014, not long before becoming the most unlikely Labour leader in history, Jeremy Corbyn spoke at an event at London Islamic centre to mark the twenty fifth anniversary of the Iranian Revolution.

At this event, he praised Iran’s, “Tolerance and acceptance of other faiths, traditions and ethnic groupings in Iran.”

There is more than one possible explanation of why Jeremy Corbyn would say something like this.

One possibility is that he is disposed to say nice things about the Iranian regime because he is receiving money from them: it might be an implicit quid pro quo (or–who knows?–even an explicit one).

Another possibility is that he has been misled by being only partially informed. He might be aware of evidence that the Iranian regime has officially declared policies supporting recognition and promotion of the distinctive identity of minority groups, that minority groups are better accepted and integrated in Iran than the same and similar minority groups in other countries (including Iran’s neighbours), and that the condition of minority groups in Iran under the present regime is better than their condition under the previous regime; at the same time, he might have failed to familiarise himself (as he should have done before making such a speech) with the evidence that the official policies of acceptance are not fully lived up to in practice, that the burden of difficult conditions experienced generally across Iran falls more heavily on minority groups, and that some minority groups in particular are among the most heavily disadvantaged people in Iran and/or explicit targets of official discrimination and persecution.

There may be other possibilities.

What I can’t figure is any way that any explanation of Jeremy Corbyn’s (indefensible) conduct in this case helps to provide a more illuminating analysis of immigration in the UK.

54

Dipper 07.22.19 at 12:38 pm

@ Hidari

May I recommend a long lie down. To repeat, Boris Johnson’s comments about ‘picanninies’ were in an article satirising attitudes of Blair and the then establishment. If we don’t take context into account, then you yourself have just referred to Africans as ‘picnninies’ – you racist! “you would find it difficult to fit a Rizla paper between Dipper’s views and Breivik’s” Bullshit. I haven’t said anything like what he said. I haven’t argued in favour of white supremacy or any such nonsense. “radical ethno-nationalist Right … the leaders … the extreme right wing … the British Conservative Party” Boris Johnson has many supporters from many backgrounds, including black and Asian MPs. This criticism is just laughable. It is hopeless. It simply doesn’t intersect with any observable reality.

@ faustusnotes “Have we finally got you to admit that the problem is not the number of migrants, but the cutting of funding for basic health, police and education services that is the problem?” No. We can argue whether the government should have run a bigger deficit, whether it was possible or desirable, but if mass immigration is economically beneficial for the UK, then we shouldn’t be here, where to meet demand we either raise tax beyond the current forty-year historic high or run a bigger government deficit which is a risky proposition in our current situation.

55

Orange Watch 07.22.19 at 3:41 pm

Dipper@50:

I can only assume you neglected to address most of my post so you can retreat to your bailey when I attack your motte, but… fine. One more time: presenting “Corbyn sucks up/gives a pass to Iran” as evidence that Labour is courting militant Islamists in the UK is structurally parallel to a claim that e.g. Teresa May and the Tories have been trying to get DUP constituents to defect to the Tory party by sucking up to the Vatican. How credible would you find that claim on its face?

I have to say, though, going for “the Left isn’t sympathetic to feminist critiques of Islam” less than a week after pretending that the veil debate in France does not include such critiques on the left and is a clean conservative-vs-progressive fight shows a tedious lack of consistency, and looks an awful lot like the sadly-not-uncommon conservative habit of supporting feminist discourse only when they’re a useful rhetorical cudgel and at best ignoring their existence the rest of the time. Although I suppose in that case, you may have just been holding out on a subject based on shoddy superficial third-hand understanding instead, though the same principle of only caring to know enough to bludgeon your opponents would still apply.

Hidari@51:

You’re probably right, and I’m probably putting too much thought into this.

56

arcseconds 07.23.19 at 1:42 am

I mused on this kind of point on a dreary Sunday afternoon once upon a time, and it does seem like a pretty big problem.

What I was thinking about was not so much international migration but urbanization and migration from e.g. red states to blue states, and it struck me that there is surely very probably a feedback loop involving both social liberalism and… let’s say ‘ambition’, but I mean that quite widely, it could include wanting a high-paying career but also wanting a career in the arts or even just better access to symphony orchestras and independent cinema.

If you’re in a conservative area and you’re gay then there’s a clear incentive to move somewhere where you’re accepted. But as a result your home area has one less reason to alter its homophobic attitude: one less potential advocate, one less local to evoke any sympathy. If you’re interested in the arts then obviously moving to somewhere with more of an arts scene is in your interests, but then your home area has one less person demanding or producing any art. If you’re a budding entrepreneur then perhaps you want to be in Silicon Valley or some other IT boom town, but then your home area has one less person keen on setting up an innovative business.

Migrants may address the economic problem, but doesn’t that depend on the existence of even less desirable places for people to emigrate from? (Is there a classical proof that all places have a comparative advantage for desirability to live that I’m not aware of?) What happens to those countries when their motivated young people tend to leave? Are we assuming they have high birth rates, or something…

57

reason 07.23.19 at 7:26 am

“This comes back to the question of why rural voters support conservative parties, even when those parties serve the interests of the urban rich. “

There is another seeming paradox in the same direction that is occupying my mind at the moment. Support for the Green Party is much stronger in cities (particularly university cities) than in rural areas. Cities are also more environmentally efficient than rural areas. But the biggest and easiest gains in the fight against global warming can be made through changes in rural land use. And people who actually live in the environment (and are dependent on it) should care more about it, shouldn’t they? How can this divide be crossed? And isn’t this a paradox.

58

reason 07.23.19 at 8:20 am

arcseconds @56
I also worry in more general about self-selection. Of course we see it accelerated in the internet, but yes in meat space it is happening too and it is pernicious. Class consciousness is a horrible thing (something I really personally detest) but impermeable class barriers had the advantage of keeping people together, so that even poor areas had their best and brightest. I worry that that may not be so anymore. It is one more reason I think redistribution is not only desirable, it may even be necessary if a liberal society is to survive. We should worry about and try to avoid that places get “left behind”. I think unaffordable housing is perhaps even a symptom of this geographic social Darwinism. We need not just that there are good places to live, but that there are lots of good places to live.

59

Dipper 07.23.19 at 10:04 am

@ Orange Watch, Hidari

“You’re probably right, and I’m probably putting too much thought into this.”

Yes, because when people don’t agree with your world view, that’s probably because they are unspeakably evil. Life’s a lot simpler when its dressed up like that isn’t it? No need to ask yourself hard questions, just bask in the warm glow of self-satisfaction that you are always right and everyone else is evil and wrong.

60

Dave Heasman 07.23.19 at 11:18 am

Just a quickie but I’m surprised noone’s gone for this from “nastywoman”.

“Nobody ever will in America be thrown into ”a concentration camp” be-cause in ”concentration camps” were so many millions ”gassed” and ”killed””

No. In concentration camps, from 1899 onwards, people were concentrated.
The concentrators didn’t much care whether the concentrated died or not, but the millions were killed in exterminaton camps. Concentration camps are not uncommon, they had them in former Yugoslavia not so long ago and maybe they have them in the US now. Extermination camps not so much. So far.

61

faustusnotes 07.24.19 at 1:29 am

Dipper, you really don’t seem to understand the way the UK government has spent money over the past 20 years. Before you carp on about immigrants taking up resources, you might want to make an effort to understand how those resources have been funded, by whom, and why. You could start by trying to understand “austerity” and maybe also going back to whatever statements you were making on blogs in 2009 about how the Blair government was spending too much money. Once you’ve got that story straight, you can begin to ask yourself why it is you thought that immigrants were the problem when the government was spending too much money on infrastructure, and why they’re still the problem when it’s spending too little. Maybe then you’ll start to wonder what exactly your “economic anxiety” is really all about.

62

Dipper 07.24.19 at 6:31 am

@ faustusnotes why it is you thought that immigrants were the problem” for the umpteenth time it is not immigrants that are the problem it is government attitudes to immigration as an economic tool that is the problem. And as I’ve said, if large-scale immigration is a way of generating wealth then how come we have under-funded public services when we are running a record high tax take? And my ‘economic anxiety’ is, as I’ve repeatedly said, that according to EU figures we need to build a nation somewhere between Sweden and The Netherlands in size in a generation and the initial attempts to do that round my location are causing chaos and disruption, all for no observable benefit.

63

J-D 07.24.19 at 8:42 am

Dipper

And as I’ve said, if large-scale immigration is a way of generating wealth then how come we have under-funded public services when we are running a record high tax take?

‘How come public services are under-funded when the tax take is at a record high?’ is a very good question. ‘Because of the level of immigration’ is very unlikely to be the answer. ‘Because we’re wasting a lot of government spending on activities which are of no service to the public’ is an answer with a higher degree of likelihood. ‘Actually, the tax take is not at a record high’ and ‘Public services are not actually under-funded’ are others.

64

Hidari 07.24.19 at 9:06 am

@59
I don’t think ‘everyone else’ is wrong. I think you are wrong, and will continue to think this until some evidence is provided that you are right (about anything).

I will also continue to believe that you believe in racist conspiracy theories for as long as you continue to turn up on CT comments threads enunciating racist conspiracy theories.

I am an empiricist.

65

Orange Watch 07.24.19 at 3:35 pm

Dipper@59:

You just proved my point. Instead of making the least effort to defend your prior insinuation (never claimed, just insinuated!) that Labour is pandering to the UK’s Sunni-majority Muslim population by coddling a Shi’ite theocracy (there, I spelled it out, you can now retreat to your bailey), you played victim and acted as though we had not been observing that you’d been arguing in bad faith, but rather declaring you irredeemably evil. You certainly didn’t deign to actually engage with the substance of my comment. Again.

66

Dipper 07.24.19 at 6:16 pm

@ Hidari “I am an empiricist.” so Mr Empiricist, how is your ‘Johnson is a racist’ position holding up now Sajid Javed and Priti Patel have two of the top positions in the UK cabinet?

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Stephen 07.24.19 at 6:48 pm

J-D @63: of your answers to Dipper’s very good question of ‘How come [UK] public services are under-funded when the tax take is at a record high?’, one is ‘Actually, the tax take is not at a record high’. Depends what you mean by record high: if Dipper’s comments are accurate, the tax take is as high as or higher than it has been for a very long time. Is he wrong? Are you comparing today with rather serious past emergencies like Big Mistake II?

‘Public services are not actually under-funded’ is quite possible, but if you accept that you have to reject the cry for higher funding of those services.

‘Because we’re wasting a lot of government spending on activities which are of no service to the public’ is also quite possible, but if you accept that you should support the drastic cutting of such services. Your candidates?

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Collin Street 07.25.19 at 12:21 am

Dipper: the thing about being wrong is that internally the experience is exactly the same as being correct. Either way, you follow your understanding of the evidence you have according to how you think the universe works: a distorted mirror shows the same distortions each time and can’t be used to check itself.

Unless you can trust others who tell you you’re being wrong you’ll literally never know, go through life making a fool of yourself in ignorance.

But I’m pretty damned sure I’ve told you this before. And it’s not like it’s a difficult point to understand, so why is it that you still act with such supreme confidence?

That empty feeling gnawing inside you? that’s hunger, hunger for correctness. You can’t feed it by denying it.

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Faustusnotes 07.25.19 at 12:46 am

Wow dipper you’re revealing a very shallow understanding of the economic underpinnings of your argument. Have you heard of counter factual?what would tax revenue be without migrants? And are you aware that spending and tax revenue aren’t intrinsically linked? You chose to vote for a government that refuses to spend money on social housing, social care or welfare, and as a result conditions in the uk are deteriorating. That would happen regardless of the migrant population. If you’re so concerned about public spending why did you vote for the party that promised to slash it?

Also consider some overseas examples. The migration the uk is experiencing is tiny compared to the migration that Tokyo experienced in the 1970s. Even now Tokyo- a city of 37 million – sees about 75,000 new residents a year and this is tiny compared to its growth 20 years ago. Yet social services here function fine. Why? Or consider any city on the Chinese eastern seaboard, experiencing population growth of millions. Changsha I think doubled in population in 10 years. What is the difference between the experience of these cities and your paltry population growth in the uk? Why can’t you handle a couple of hundred thousand migrants while a Chinese or Japanese city can handle millions? Because you can’t and won’t plan or spend on public goods, and you blame migrants instead of your own social policies.

Stopping migration won’t fix that problem. Who are you going to blame then?

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engels 07.25.19 at 12:39 pm

Had to double check I hadn’t been redirected to crookeddipper.org. Keep
it up lads, if you could just get a bit more angry and contemptuous I’m sure you’ll convince him!

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Dipper 07.25.19 at 7:10 pm

@ Collin Street “Unless you can trust others who tell you you’re being wrong you’ll literally never know, go through life making a fool of yourself in ignorance.”

You’re wrong. And you’re wrong.

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