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To Brexit

#241 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-July-22, 15:07

View PostStevenG, on 2021-July-22, 05:25, said:

Why should we care about the hospitality industry? It is an industry that does not create any wealth, merely economic activity. Why is it struggling? Because it relies heavily on foreign labour. Why does it rely on foreign labour? Because the pay and the working conditions are atrocious - so atrocious that even those British people who need bottom-end jobs can usually find better elsewhere.
So it seems to me that the country as a whole is better off. We have fewer people that need feeding, housing, etc., but we are not losing the fundamental economic value of a pure service industry, which is to distribute wealth around the people of the country.
Of course, if the industry were to adjust with better wages and more civilised working conditions, it would be able to compete with other service industries. But for me, if people are going to work in non-wealth creating jobs, I'd rather they worked in something useful and necessary - care or the NHS for example.
I've said before that I wanted to escape "freedom of movement", that I wanted this country to have the ability to control immigration. The visible effects on the hospitality industry are exactly what I wanted to see, but I want to see it over the entire economy. I want to see higher wages at the bottom end. I want to see better working conditions. I want to see better training, so that our young people acquire proper skills, rather than employers just poaching trained people from abroad. The amount of skills this country has lost over the last few decades is frightening. Free movement has damaged the way the labour market works to the detriment of ordinary people in this country, but to the benefit of the better off who get nice cheap labour (and a nice, warm fuzzy feeling about how liberal they are). If that's coming to an end, I'm all for it.
However, these aren't normal times. We don't know how much of this is side-effects of Covid. maybe things will return to something like the old normal in the long run. I hope not.


Being American, I am not nearly so close to this situation. That said, it is entirely normal for an influx (an excess) of workers to lower pressure on wages. And I'm unclear on what you mean when you say a wealth-creating industry or job. What does that mean to you?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#242 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2021-July-22, 15:37

So if I ask "name a benefit of Brexit other than making it harder for immigrants to move to the UK" and someone replies "the benefit is making it harder for immigrants to move to the UK" then I do take the liberty not to consider this an answer to my question.

Second, if someone writes "I hope we will have fewer immigrants because [incomprehensible and silly economic argument]" then yes I do take the liberty to shorten that to "I hope we will have fewer immigrants". Wanting to have fewer immigrants because of a silly economic argument doesn't make you a better person than someone who doesn't like fewer immigrants per se - it just makes you someone who tries to rationalise their xenophobia with made up and silly economic arguments.

Third, "I am fine with you as an immigrant, just not with those others" doesn't work for me, sorry. I share a lot of experiences with a Romanian cleaning lady or a Spanish nursery teacher or a Polish tradesman in how we experience the UK, and I don't feel appreciated because you don't like them but are fine with me.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#243 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-July-22, 19:04

View PostStevenG, on 2021-July-22, 09:31, said:

Why do you not actually read what I said and think about the economic argument? You just seem to filter anything you instictively disagree with through your own lens. (You never used to be like this; I always thought you one of the more sensible commentators here.)
I do not have any desire to get rid of you from the UK. There is no problem with itinerant mathematicians. I am horrified by the way this appalling government treats people who have built a life here, whether that's Windrush or EU citizens or anyone else in a similar position. I do not wish to expel anybody, merely move to a system that creates a better life for people who are already here.
I would have no problem of freedom of movement at all if it did not result in a significant inflow. What I do object to, as I said in my previous post, is the distortion it creates in the labour market. I have watched this country get poorer over my entire adult life, and I believe that inefficiencies in the labour market are a significant cause. (I worked this out about 30 years ago, and nothing I've seen since has changed my mind.)
Since you are a better mathematician than I am, could you please explain how importing people to do non-essential jobs that do not create any wealth can do other than reduce resources for people for are already here. And can you explain how a system that seems to always create a need for more labour than is available is sustainable in the long term.

In what world does the hospitality industry not create wealth?????

Take a look at the very rich people who own hotel chains

Take a look at the owners of successful restaurants

Take a look at the homes built for and purchased or rented by hospitality workers

Take a look at the food and beverage industries, much of which is devoted to selling, at a profit, to the hospitality industry

Take a look at literally everyone who earns income directly or indirectly from the hospitality industry. What do you think they’re doing with their money! Stuffing it under a mattress or spending/investing it (spending if they are low income, spending and investing otherwise)

What about the taxes the industry and its employees, owners, suppliers etc pay

Btw, what do you do?

I was a lawyer for 40+ years. A lot of my clients got a lot of money from my services. A lot of my clients had to pay out a lot of money (I did a lot of work for insurance companies). But all I was doing was facilitating the transfer of money, with a little of it coming my way. So do lawyers create wealth?

Anyone who participates in an economic activity, in respect of which they employ people, and/or pay suppliers, etc is creating wealth.

So we are not mining ore or growing crops. But I buy things directly or, more commonly, indirectly from those who do. Without money from my activities I couldn’t buy anything, so my activities lead to opportunity for those who, in your bizarre worldview are creating wealth. Am I not then also creating wealth

And my point is that the hospitality industry is a significant wealth creator.

As for low paying jobs, a free market allows ‘foreigners’ (aka human beings) to make more money in the UK than they could back home. By sending some of that money back home, they are increasing, albeit slowly and in tiny ways, the economic well-being of their home country. That in turn will, over time, open up more opportunities there, and diminish the attraction of being a ‘foreign’ worker.

Meanwhile, your own argument makes zero sense. If the labour market was being flooded by immigrants, to the point that native-born workers refuse to work at those jobs, where are they working! Because the UK doesn’t seem to me, historically, to have suffered from unusually high levels of unemployment. So they’ve mostly found jobs.


Of course, you have pretty much given away the real point. Xenophobia


Btw, while I’m Canadian, I as born and raised in England so I’m not a stranger to English culture. I went to a ‘public school’ and was a member of the middle class, with all of the prejudices that went, back then, with that status.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#244 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2021-July-23, 02:56

It's a very reasonable position to believe that people who are willing to work full-time ought to earn high enough wages to pay their rent, feed their children, and overall live a moderately comfortable lifestyle. I also don't think it's unreasonable to care more about this being true in one's own country than in some far off place across the world. There has definitely been a trend (across many developed countries) where positions requiring fewer skills and/or qualifications are not providing sufficient income, whereas overall GDP growth is driven mostly by gains at the top of the income ladder. It's also logical to note that paying higher wages will lead to increased costs for many goods and services, but that this may be a worthwhile price to ensure that everyone (well, maybe every citizen willing to work) has a comfortable life.

Where I disagree with StevenG's post, is that I'm not convinced immigration or free movement of people are major drivers of this phenomenon. Certainly the problem exists across many non-EU countries! At the same time, Switzerland has basically solved this issue and while not an EU member, we are part of the Schengen agreement and subject to free movement of people throughout Europe. Comparing London to Zurich for example, we see that London prices are about 20% lower than in Zurich (33% lower if we exclude rent, which is slightly higher in London)... but London salaries are more than 40% lower. If we dig deeper, we see that people working relatively "low skill" jobs often make quite a bit more; for example:

Waiter ~$44k in Zurich vs ~$19k in London
Receptionist ~$53k in Zurich vs ~$23k in London
Cashier ~$35k in Zurich vs. ~$20k in London

Reducing immigration will (slightly) reduce the supply of workers which might (slightly) reduce local unemployment rate, but we have not (in recent years) seen big changes in wages from low unemployment. What works in Switzerland is very strong organised labor which has lobbied the government to enforce strict licensing requirements (you basically need to have served an "apprenticeship" in many of these jobs in order to be qualified for full-time employment). This has some nice side effects (for example, there are no "bad" restaurants in Switzerland because anyone running or working in a restaurant really needs to know what they are doing -- this is not so true in the UK and definitely not true in the US).
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#245 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2021-July-27, 04:24

View Postcherdano, on 2021-July-22, 07:50, said:

You know StevenG, when I asked above for tangible Brexit benefits, I kindly asked to exclude the reason "I would like to see fewer people like cherdano in this country". Your are entitled to your xenophobic bigotism, but please don't consider them an answer to my question. Also, I am afraid it's too late to get rid of me from the UK.

We didn't pick you up in a rubber dinghy, did we?
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#246 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2021-July-27, 07:02

View PostfromageGB, on 2021-July-27, 04:24, said:

We didn't pick you up in a rubber dinghy, did we?

What does that have to do with the discussion about level immigration started by StevenG's post?? I guess reading accurately becomes twice as challenging when you ser a chance to get a xenophobic ding in?
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#247 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-July-27, 08:15

View Postawm, on 2021-July-23, 02:56, said:

It's a very reasonable position to believe that people who are willing to work full-time ought to earn high enough wages to pay their rent, feed their children, and overall live a moderately comfortable lifestyle. I also don't think it's unreasonable to care more about this being true in one's own country than in some far off place across the world. There has definitely been a trend (across many developed countries) where positions requiring fewer skills and/or qualifications are not providing sufficient income, whereas overall GDP growth is driven mostly by gains at the top of the income ladder. It's also logical to note that paying higher wages will lead to increased costs for many goods and services, but that this may be a worthwhile price to ensure that everyone (well, maybe every citizen willing to work) has a comfortable life.

Where I disagree with StevenG's post, is that I'm not convinced immigration or free movement of people are major drivers of this phenomenon. Certainly the problem exists across many non-EU countries! At the same time, Switzerland has basically solved this issue and while not an EU member, we are part of the Schengen agreement and subject to free movement of people throughout Europe. Comparing London to Zurich for example, we see that London prices are about 20% lower than in Zurich (33% lower if we exclude rent, which is slightly higher in London)... but London salaries are more than 40% lower. If we dig deeper, we see that people working relatively "low skill" jobs often make quite a bit more; for example:

Waiter ~$44k in Zurich vs ~$19k in London
Receptionist ~$53k in Zurich vs ~$23k in London
Cashier ~$35k in Zurich vs. ~$20k in London

Reducing immigration will (slightly) reduce the supply of workers which might (slightly) reduce local unemployment rate, but we have not (in recent years) seen big changes in wages from low unemployment. What works in Switzerland is very strong organised labor which has lobbied the government to enforce strict licensing requirements (you basically need to have served an "apprenticeship" in many of these jobs in order to be qualified for full-time employment). This has some nice side effects (for example, there are no "bad" restaurants in Switzerland because anyone running or working in a restaurant really needs to know what they are doing -- this is not so true in the UK and definitely not true in the US).


This could lead to a much broader discussion. I have been staying out of the Brexit thread because I am not a Brit and my knowledge is meager. But a couple of comments. Growing up in the USA in the middle of the last century I thought of organized labor as the basic building block of wealth both here and in England. All the pluses and minuses, and the much-changed situation is very complex.

The 1952 Steelworkers strike was when I was 13 and just developing political thoughts. I didn't really understand it then, and that's still true. But it was a big event, I understood that much.

I doubt that immigration here is a large contributing factor in the deterioration of life for those of modest education, but I will not pretend that I have a good grasp on this even in the US, and certainly not in the UK or Switzerland.

I will now wander back to the US centered threads. I might cite some of your salary data there.
Ken
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#248 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-July-27, 09:37

View Postcherdano, on 2021-July-27, 07:02, said:

What does that have to do with the discussion about level immigration started by StevenG's post?? I guess reading accurately becomes twice as challenging when you ser a chance to get a xenophobic ding in?


I don't view this is as a xenophobic ding. Rather, fromage is signalling that he gets off by stroking his dick whilst fantasizing about people dying in the English channel....
Alderaan delenda est
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#249 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2021-September-16, 04:31

M & S closes 11 of its 20 stores in France since the "lengthy and complex export processes now in place following the UK's exist from the European Union are significantly constraining the supply of fresh and chilled product from the UK into Europe". https://twitter.com/...445696022192131

[Cue for fromageGB to get a xenophobic post in!]
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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