Lower immigration is exactly what the economy needs

Australia’s mainstream media continues to run propaganda claiming the collapse in temporary migrant numbers will decimate the Australian economy.

The latest example comes from 7News Sydney, which has featured the usual spruikers, like Abul Rizvi, claiming that any sharp decline in immigration would hurt the “property, retail and hospitality sectors, as well as education and tourism, making a recession inevitable”

Abul Rizvi continues to argue that taxpayers should pay temporary migrants tens-of-billions of dollars in JobSeeker and JobKeeper allowances in order to stop them from leaving. He also contradictorily argues that large scale migration is required to pay back the huge government debts incurred by the COVID-19 stimulus, which would obviously be much higher if one million-plus temporary migrants were given welfare.

Now let me present the counter point – something you will never read in the mainstream media – on why much lower immigration would be good for the Australian economy.

1) Lower immigration would put a floor under the jobs market and wages:

Australia is facing mass unemployment. According to Roy Morgan’s latest estimate, Australian unemployment rocketed in the second half of March to nearly 17%:

The Grattan Institute has also forecast that Australia’s labour market is facing its biggest downturn since the Great Depression, with up to 3.4 million Australians set to lose their jobs:

The absolute last thing unemployed Australian workers need is to be competing for scarce jobs with millions of temporary migrants. This would only lengthen the unemployment queues and put downward pressure on wages.

Far better to let temporary migrants leave, as projected, thereby reducing job competition:

2) Lower immigration would allow Australia to catch-up on infrastructure:

Over the past 15 years of extreme immigration (see next chart), Australia has accumulated massive infrastructure deficits across roads, public transport, water supplies, schools and hospitals.

Lower immigration, combined with stimulus spending on new infrastructure, provides a unique opportunity to catch up on this infrastructure shortfall.

The alternative is to let immigration rip and see infrastructure shortfalls get worse and living standards collapse. This is exactly what was forecast by Infrastructure Australia in 2018, when it projected worse traffic congestion and commute times, as well as reduced access to schools, hospitals, jobs and open space as Sydney’s and Melbourne’s populations balloon to a projected 7.4 million and 7.3 million people respectively by 2046:

3) Lower immigration would improve housing affordability:

Australia’s extreme house prices – especially in the migrant hotspots of Sydney and Melbourne –  has locked out nearly an entire generation from ever owning a home and has consigned the rest to a lifetime of mortgage slavery.

Removing one of the key demand drivers – population growth – would obviously improve the housing affordability situation. It would also mean fewer people being forced to live in shoe box apartments.

4) Lower immigration changes growth, it does not destroy it:

These are the three major reasons why Australia needs lower immigration and they add up to a fourth.

For too long, Australia’s economy has relied on importing hundreds of thousands of people every year to work in non-tradeable services industries, alongside increasing household debt. Together, these have driven consumption and malinvestment into property and catch-up infrastructure, rather than productivity, which has ultimately eroded living standards.

Moreover, adding roughly one million people every 2.5 years has necessarily diluted Australia’s fixed mineral base, thus diluting wealth per capita and making us individually poorer than we otherwise would have been.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect opportunity to reset immigration back to early-2000 levels and create a more sustainable Australia built on growth in both productivity and individual living standards.

Lower immigration will lower the Australian dollar and input costs such that Australia grows more by creating and exporting goods and services rather than importing people.

It changes growth drivers, it does not eliminate them.

Unconventional Economist

Comments

  1. Prior waves of immigration into this country saw hard working Italians, Greeks, Vietnamese fleeing civil unrest and poverty in their own countries to work hard and assimilate into this country,

    Now we have the arrogant and indolent children of wealthy Chinese and Indians who come here to get bullshit degrees and prop up car dealership and property developers, who don’t even make the effort to learn the language or assimilate, and apply themselves to the most unproductive sectors of the economy to get rich quick.

    The Australian public should have no sympathy for any of the immigration factory stakeholders affected by Covid, they are absolute leaches and the longer we can keep them out of this country the better for our long-term prosperity.

    • roylefamilyMEMBER

      Don’t agree. Have worked with loads of them in electronic product development. They are fine apart from the minority of Chinese that arc up if you support Hong Kong and Taiwan. I have met an increasing number of Chinese immigrants who unambiguously reject the CCP. They get in to some strife with the parents back home.

      • and I have met a frightening number of Chinese immigrants who resemble nothing less than sleeper agents of the CCP, who are lazy and self-entitled, and have an appalling level of arrogance towards this country.

        • Can you blame them?

          They have stacks of cash, waving them high, and about hundreds of Aussies pleading to each Chinese in whispering desperate voice “please buy my soul…”
          It is like a single customer that comes to a red zone street and about a dozen of who-okers fighting.
          We trained them to be like that, by selling lock, stock, barrel, a kitchen sink, wife, daughter, V8 ute, the dog…

    • Leave the Indians out as most of them do jobs and pay tax, unlike the Chinese who run cash shops and dodge the system everyday. Indians also speak much better English than most other Asians.

        • haha! Really u have some personal insight or making a wild statement? On serious note there are more rapes committed in US than any other country.

          • You mean – there are more rapes REPORTED in US than any other country.
            India also has a culture of “don’t say anything to avoid shame on yourself and family” and lots of victim blaming. So what numbers are you really using to make this sweeping claim?

      • Charles MartinMEMBER

        What’s your view on bringing over the elderly on bullschit visas for free health care?

      • Maybe in your world but I have know quite a few dodgy ones who would sell their mother for a dime if they could.

      • A relative term as it relates to Indians. These are not the poorest and most vulnerable Indians fleeing their country to find a better life. They are the children of parents with means. Indians are either brilliant or lazy, and we seem to attract more of the former via the student/citizenship scam.

    • LOL always with the same bullshit AYE!!! Blaming a certain group of immigrants at least they are doing something. Bullshit degree??? remember at least most people won’t be employed in Australia if most unis are closed or if there’s no student. Look at what COVID – 19 does to the university. Clearly, you are not a business person or if you are you must be from the stone age, investor maybe you don’t even own a property looking at your opinion.

      • Why, hello my English as a second or third language friend with an Anglicised Chinese username.

        Not blaming the immigrants themselves, they are only responding to signals being sent to them by useless politicians.

        But with that said, would be enormously happy as a university graduate, business person and property owner to see an end to the extreme levels of Chinese and Indian immigration this country has hitherto encouraged.

        • LOL ” owner to see an end to the extreme levels of Chinese and Indian immigration this country has hitherto encouraged.” Remember you also colonise this country from the Aboriginal people think about it maybe they also feel the same about you hey how about you leave this country you don’t own this planet!!!

          Also, you want immigrant to assimilate to Australian culture. Can you tell me what specific culture? Is it the heavy drinking and driving culture? The hyped-up divorce culture? The family abuse culture? The scratching cricket ball with sandpaper culture? At least immigrant is hard-working people that is something compared to the culture you want us to assimilate into right???

          You should be ashamed to be a business person clearly you are not well educated based on the way you speak!

  2. Yes we MUST have a reduction in immigration numbers, both temp and permanent. the real cost to our economy whilst we have rising unemployment is unjustified. it would be fiscally imprudent to do otherwise. immigration rates should always be tied to unemployment?labour market rates. we need to get maximum productivity out of our available workforce not dilute it with extra participants!!

    • The loudest most vicious cries against isolation response to covid, are those who profit from the work of others. They are ready to expose them to suffering or death. These bloodsuckers have had a feast of it. Similarly profited by importation of people in excess to carrying capacity. I don’t care if the universities business models fail, clearly they can get a new model for the good of Australia if that is only way to survive.

  3. Media is just speaking for the commercial interests of its owners. Kerry Stokes has big property interests.

  4. Gotta love the cognitive dissonance of the press.

    “Standing on the top level of his company’s $400 million apartment development at Milson’s Point, John Carfi has a fine view past Luna Park to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and beyond.”

    “Migration and inbound capital have been effectively driving the Australian economy for as long as I’ve been in business,” he says. The government is doing all it can to deal with the initial crisis, but as we get to the point where we’re looking at the rebuild phase I think they’ll have to have a serious look at immigration and population.

    https://www.afr.com/property/residential/this-is-the-double-whammy-that-s-about-to-hit-the-property-market-20200416-p54kf9

    Yeah mate, gotta look at migration, my Bentley lease is about to expire and I want an upgrade.

    Perhaps the MB community can direct its disgust to these scumbags rather than some poor punter who bought a 2 bedder on the advice of their accountant.

  5. We can limit temp & perm immigration if many things change.
    Our soft creamy youth can be part of the solution if they do the crap jobs that the imports do. Aged care, rural work plus much more etc. Get out of Shytney & Hellbourne and see what out there. Theres work, it just takes a bit of ticker and you might raise a sweat.
    Make sure correct wages are paid. Nothing kills incentive like getting f*cked over for a days work. Makes penalties tough. Take the farm if you have to.
    My guess is nothing will change and we’ll just wallow in our own misery blaming everything and everyone else, straya style

  6. LOL
    one must love the spin: who is going to repay the debt if no immigrants
    yeah, everyone is going to be thrilled to come into poverty and unemployment just to be used to pay off the debt

    there was no immigration policy changes during great depression and how many immigrants came? none, few?

    • LOL, how can you make so much sense on this topic but diametrically opposite on Covid?

      I agree… depression will make bucket loads of immigrants without roots flee as secondary (service) businesses fail, and even less will want to come to Aus into a depression.
      If Aus does not use the virus induced recession to divert investments from assets to innovation and manufacture, it will be the last chance…

      • you are just blinded to see the same sense in both topics
        letting the virus run it’s course as quickly as possible without causing the healthcare crash is as essential to our survival as it’s diverting investments from assets to innovation and manufacture, maybe even more.
        Getting rid of covid19 problem is essential to prevent society from a collapse – if we stay in this for much longer we may see civil unrest and even a dissolution of the country

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          Getting rid of covid19 problem is essential to prevent society from a collapse – if we stay in this for much longer we may see civil unrest and even a dissolution of the country

          Good grief. You complain about other people exaggerating them spout out hysterical silliness like this.

          • @ X
            letting the virus run it’s course as quickly as possible without causing the healthcare crash

            A nice catch-22 example

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Do you remember (from books) the GD went on for the better part of a decade, not a couple of months ?

  7. Add a 5th benefit – emissions must be lower with a lower population. That is irrefutable. And last time I checked, Paris targets were aggregate, not per capita.

    We should stop immigration unless we get carbon credits from the exporting nation!!

  8. The guy in that video is such a joker. Are we expected to have 10 kids and bring in 10 million immigrants every time there is any kind of crisis? What the hell kind of stupid strategy is that?

  9. First thing we need is end to refugee intake , then stop elderly parents visa. Next should be to make PR points even higher for international students and those who have no employment history in sort after skilled occupation. English band 8 requirement for across all migration pathways.