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Martin Wolf: The benefits of migration are questionable

The benefits of migration are questionable
Cosmopolitanism is incompatible with our organisation into territorial jurisdictions
Martin Wolf, FT September 29, 2015

I am the child of refugees. My parents came to the UK to escape Hitler. Their arrival saved their lives. More passionate patriots cannot be imagined. It is not surprising that I believe Europe has a moral obligation to protect refugees. But what should one think about immigration more broadly?

Immigrants lower the ratio of the retired to those of working age (the old-age dependency ratio). But the impact on dependency, at least with current levels of immigration, is modest. 

To lower it substantially requires enormous inflows.

In 2014, there were 29 dependants aged 65 and over for every 100 people of working age. According to the UN, keeping this ratio below a third would require immigration of 154m between 1995 and 2050, with far more thereafter: immigrants age, too, after all.

Yet migration is not just about economics. Immigrants are people. They bring in families, for example. Over time, large-scale immigration will transform the cultures of recipient countries in complex ways.

People may legitimately differ on the correct policies.

Full text

"Immigration increases the size of the economy." 
This is true, but irrelevant.

What matters is its impact on the welfare of the pre-existing population. 

What is remarkable is that there is next to no good argument or evidence to suggest that immigration on the current scale does raise that welfare to any significant degree.

Martin Wolf FT 3/4 2008

Martin Wolf at IntCom


James Grant, ZIRP and Helicopter Money

Central bankers have taken it upon themselves to sponsor great bull markets in the hopes of making people spend more because they will feel richer.
That was the theory.

James Grant, September 26, 2015

Governments through central banks have muscled down money market interest rates to zero and in some cases below zero.

Not content with that, they have implemented what economists chose to call «the portfolio balance channel».

That’s a very fancy phrase meaning higher stock prices in the interest of rising aggregate demand.

That was the theory of the Bernanke Fed and it certainly was the theory of the Chinese communists who sponsored the fly away levitation of the Shanghai A-shares. 

So the world over – and this goes for Europe as well – central bankers have taken it upon themselves to sponsor great bull markets in the hopes of making people spend more because they will feel richer. 



Soros:Europe now faces at least five crises at the same time, Ukraine Losing it would cause irreparable harm: it could create a failed state of more than 40 million people

Because of the structural defects of the euro, the European authorities have had to become masters of the art of muddling through one crisis after another. 

This practice is popularly known as kicking the can down the road although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking the can uphill so that it keeps coming back. 

But Europe now faces at least five crises at the same time: four internal ones—the euro, Greece, migration, and the British referendum on whether to remain in the EU—and an external one, Russian aggression against Ukraine. 

Both the public and the authorities are overwhelmed. 


Romerna och Schengens Contradictio in adiecto

Romer och andra Schengeninnevånare får vara här tre månader. 

Men hur vet vi när dom kom hit om vi inte har passkontroll vid gränsen?

Och att inte ha passkontroll vid gränserna Schengenländerna emellan är själva grundbulten i Schengenöverenskommelsen.


Gideon Rachman den 7 september. It would be heartwarming to believe that the crowds that turned out to welcome Syrian refugees arriving at Munich station

It would be heartwarming to believe that the crowds that turned out to welcome Syrian refugees arriving at Munich station show that Europe will respect its commitments in full. It would also be dangerously naive.

Gideon Rachman, FT September 7, 2015

If you want to understand what is happening to the European Union’s constitution, the EU flag is a good place to start. European leaders will agree to delete references to the flag in the constitution.
Everybody knows the flags will keep flying.
The words in the constitution will change. But the substance will remain the same.

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times June 12 2007

It would be unfair to demand that the federalists simply abandon their ideal of political union in Europe.
We are all entitled to our dreams.
But they should recognise that in the current political situation they lack both the power and the legitimacy to press on with "the project".

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times, August 29 2006

Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist

If there is one thing that the French and Dutch referendums demonstrated, it is that local politicians are spectacularly bad judges of what sways their voters.

It is already clear that when the Germans take over the EU presidency in January they will use their position to relaunch the constitutional debate. As a result, constitutional wrangling may dominate the next couple of years of the EU’s political life.

The constitution’s most ardent advocates are not embarrassed by this prospect. They do not regard the rejection of the document by voters as in any way definitive – merely grossly inconvenient.

More here

Mer av Gideon Rachman at FT


Malin Axelsson ny chef för Ratioteatern en kvinna som vill skriva men i stället umgås med apor.

Malin Axelsson, ny chef för Radioteatern, romandebuterar med ”Anropa” – en surrealistisk bok om en kvinna som vill skriva men i stället umgås med apor. 

Eller är det kanske män?

Det skulle kunna vara männen som är apor; Axelssons roman som en konfrontativ uppgörelse med manssamhället och mannens tolkningsföreträde.

Ytterst är nog apan ändå en sinnebild för människan. Och jagets upplevelse av att befinna sig i en värld full av apor handlar både om förfrämligande och gemenskap.

 ”Anropa” är inte bara en roman för oss som håller i den, den behandlas också som text i själva romanen, i vad jag ser som ett försök att plocka sönder litteraturens själva villkor. 

Detta är skrivet av Therese Eriksson, litteraturkritiker och kulturskribent, 

SvD Kultur 14 september 2015


DN 2015 Englund 2001: EMU fungerar inte utan oacceptabel federalism

Finanskrisen avslöjade obarmhärtigt bristerna i eurons konstruktion. Medlemsländerna var för olika 
För federalisten är allt okomplicerat. Lösningen heter finanspolitisk union, en enda budget bestämd av ett departement i Bryssel 
En sådan är fullständigt otänkbar för Tyskland 
För Sveriges del skulle euron vara för evigt omöjlig. 

DN huvudledare 4 september 2015

Problemets kärna är att det inte går att ha EMU om man inte vill ha ett Federalt Europa,
styrt från Bryssel och Frankfurt, eller om det blir Berlin.

Rolf Englund, Nya Wermlands-Tidningen, 11 juni 2001

EMU start