Immigration's Impact On Economics & Culture In 2 min

Release Date
November 3, 2016

Topic

Economics Government Immigration Politics & Policy
Description

There’s a widespread misconception of about the economics of immigration, according to Professor Steve Davies.
Immigration creates a sense of fear, whether that’s immigrants taking local jobs, destroying economies, or disrupting the national culture, but Professor Steve Davies explains how most of these fears simply aren’t true.. Watch him discuss the predominant belief among economists about the topic.

Economics Made Easy – How Immigration Can Help the Economy (video): Ben Powell explains how immigration helps the economy.
The Best of Steve Davies (playlist): A playlist featuring Steve Davies’ top Learn Liberty videos.
Economics Made Easy – Foreigners Are Our Friends (video): Bryan Caplan explains how free trade and immigration benefit the economy.

Dave Rubin: When it comes to the immigration situation all over Europe, I sense what you’re saying is there’s a certain natural reaction to people coming in and not assimilating properly or whatever else there may be, the economic strains and all that stuff. What is the proper solution for all of these countries now because the cat’s out of the bag already?
Steve Davies: Actually, a lot of the response is misguided in my view because, for example, there is a widespread perception of feeling that immigration imposes costs on the countries that the immigrants go to. All of the research shows that actually this is not the case. Immigrants are actually extremely good news because typically they are younger than the host population, they are almost always in work, they’ve come to look for work, they want to do productive labor, and can that be a problem, you might say, and so typically they are tax payers rather than tax consumers. They typically make a net contribution to the budget. They do not depress wages because typically they do work that the indigenous population either can’t or won’t do, usually because they lack the skillset. They do have a marginal depressing effect on the wages of the bottom 10% of the income range, but that’s about it. But, there’s a widespread misconception or misunderstanding of what the economics of immigration is actually about, and that’s a failure of public education, really. That’s part of it.
I think the more profound thing, though, is a feeling that there’s a threat to an established indigenous culture, and I think the response here is to simply be more confident. I have enormous confidence in the assimilative power of the culture of a free society. I think the thing to do is not to say, “Okay, here are people who are asserting a particular collective cultural identity. What we need to do is assert our own one in response to that and aggressively against that first one.” The thing to do is to emphasize individualism, and the degree to which a modern, free society is one where people are free to form and shape their own identity through the choices that they make, and that can be true of everybody.