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Op-Ed: AI and more vs immigration — The economics of big trouble

Immigration is a symptom of a much deeper worldwide problem.

Image: © F. J. Brown, AFP
Image: © F. J. Brown, AFP

Immigration is a symptom of a much deeper worldwide problem. Whole continents have been allowed to deteriorate into slums for decades. Poverty is the generational norm for a huge percentage of the world’s population.

The West in particular is now getting a dose of its own toxic medicine. It doesn’t like it. When costs of living are out of control and insane, even the word “immigration” can’t be popular.

If your economy is falling to bits and new generations are being buried by hopelessly out of touch economics almost before they’re born, more people isn’t the answer to anything.

Yet immigration is maintaining a balance between a tricky aging populations and a workforce that isn’t being sustained by natural births around the world. That situation will get a lot worse in the next 20 years. In the West, people simply can’t afford to have kids. What are they supposed to feed their kids with, press releases and party politicals?

A further gigantic spanner in the works will be artificial intelligence, transforming the nature of work and decimating the current employment models. There’s a lot of talk (and very little else) about what will happen, but it hasn’t happened on any representative scale yet.

Result, no ideas. There’s no vision. Nobody’s been looking ahead for so long even the idea of the future is almost incomprehensible. Economic planning has long since been lost in corrupt absurdities ad nauseam.

The markets, supposedly leveling forces, are driving economies into meltdowns. Credit is completely out of control around the world. The most basic controls were deregulated to oblivion. Irresponsible lending and impossible debt scenarios have been rampant since the 1990s. The Great Recession showed how untrustworthy finance can be.

None of this is new. The cracks in the societies are now huge abysses. Wealth disparities have been obvious for decades, particularly in the West. The lower brackets are well out of their depth in terms of costs for everything and drowning in price hikes. The upper brackets seem to be populated largely by idiots and narcissists. It’s not a great mix.

You want to bring immigrants into idiot-led economies which are crashing and burning? The immigrants aren’t being done any favors. Their own countries went down this very rocky road a long time ago.

They’re trying to escape. Many of them come from the old “outsource countries” which decimated local workforces in the 90s. They’ve been priced out.

The West’s problems are self-inflicted. Theirs aren’t Those countries are actual hells made much the same way as the “developed world” is now collapsing. Nor are they entering some sort of Promised Land. The Land of Opportunity is too cheapskate to give decent wages or opportunities to its own people.

The imbecile politics are a guide to the incompetence. Hysterical anti-immigration rhetoric ignores the fact that labor is needed in many sectors. In the US and UK, immigrants do the work their own people won’t do. The politically induced hate simply further fragments the societies. Everyone gets defensive.

You’ll notice that as usual the politics has nothing to do with the reality. This is an extremely difficult administrative matter for which politicians are uniquely unqualified.

When AI takes over, it’s anyone’s guess what happens next. Nobody knows. The immigrants are heading to the strong likelihood of just being jobless somewhere else. The locals are meanwhile heading to another decade of more socioeconomic mismanagement.

What to do about it?

You could put EU-style social programs in place like the US did during COVID. No “privileged classes”. Just throw away the old economic model which can’t work anyway. Bulldoze the rich tax-dodging yokels out of their monopolies and force business compliance. No more “break the laws and just pay the fines” holidays. You pay and clean up the mess, whatever sector you’re pretending to be in.

Fix the broken nations. At this rate, Haiti is going to be a role model for the world. The public needs fixes, not talk. Divert taxes to healthcare, education, and housing without going broke for a change. Reduce prices by the most irrevocable and brutal way possible to hit the gougers where it hurts them most. Destroy the tax havens (there’s no such thing in fact) and tax them until they squeal or start acting like human beings.  

…Or you could expect sanity and recognition of the big existential cliff ahead from the price manipulators. They could suddenly turn into decent people. They might even guess that every price rise devalues their own wealth, almost as though they could read and write.

Which would you say is more likely?

Immigration is necessary. The dead economics of the 20th century can’t do this job, and nor can those politics. It’s time to take out the dogmas with the other trash.

Contrary to popular belief, nobody, immigrants, or locals, needs another 40 years of total failure.

To hell with your politics. Until the Second Coming of Jeffrey Epstein, you’ll just have to put up with economic realism.


The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

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Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia.

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