John Hewson’s mea culpa: Immigration crushes wage growth

It is hilarious watching economists and politicians finally acknowledge that Australia’s mass immigration program has crushed Australian wage growth – something that MB has argued for nearly a decade.

The latest to have a mea culpa is economist and former Liberal leader John Hewson, who posted the below today via Twitter:

Curiously, John Hewson attacked Bill Shorten in 2016 for daring to curb 457 visas on the grounds that they were taking away job opportunities for Australians and lowering wages:

The rhetoric of Shorten’s attack this week on 457 visas, essentially claiming that these immigrants are taking our jobs when we have some 700,000 unemployed and as many as 1 million underemployed, was most divisive and irresponsible, especially with the echoes of Trump.

Hewson also freely labelled opponents of mass immigration racists:

Hewson said race was often discussed under the veneer of policy discussion about immigration policy, “a sort of ‘nudge nudge-wink-wink-’, I say ‘immigration’ but you know I’m really talking about ‘race’”.

Hewson said Australia’s multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious polity was its “greatest asset” and must be carefully preserved, rather than divided for political gain.

“It’s divisive, it eats away at the basic social fabric of our community, which is something that must be carefully managed.”

As I noted in my response to John Hewson in 2018:

Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ program is having a corrosive effect upon the public. It has clearly outstripped the ability of the labour market to absorb so many immigrants, as evidenced by the slight uptick in the labour underutilisation rate during the one million “jobs boom”. Two-thirds of all new jobs have gone to migrants (see next chart). Wage theft is at epidemic proportions.

Infrastructure is at breaking point, evidenced by rising traffic congestion and overloaded public transportation, hospitals and schools. The outcome is a spiralling infrastructure deficit that will never be dealt with so long as 4,000 migrants a week continue to pile into Australia, concentrating in Sydney and Melbourne.

Then there is the concurrent housing crisis with no end in sight, adversely impacting low-income households the most, especially in our major migrant hotspots of Sydney and Melbourne.

The economic elites love mass immigration because it helps drive down wages growth, boosts profits from expanding markets, and increases real estate demand. Yet bizarrely, those on the Left also support mass immigration, despite its deleterious impacts on the working classes and the natural environment that they purport to represent.

The Left’s usual response is to scream “racism” or “xenophobia” any time that reducing immigration is brought up, along with fabrications about the “need” for supporting the ageing population. This comes despite the five most recent opinion polls all showing overwhelming voter support for lower levels of immigration…

Without representation from the left, the door has been left wide open for extremist elements to gain ascendancy by scapegoating migrants, rather than targeting the real problem of excessive levels of immigration.

Maintaining turbo-charged immigration levels will necessarily make housing affordability worse, dilute workers’ bargaining power, enrich the capital owners and wreck overall liveability.

Delivering those outcomes will jeopardise the multicultural consensus.

The only difference between today and 2018 is that RBA governor Phil Lowe has finally admitted that immigration lowers wages.

And now that an authority figure like Phil Lowe has stated the truth, economists like John Hewson have come out of the wood work to admit what was obvious all along.

Australian economists are a herd of sheep.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. It’s called Factor Price Equilisation. It’s in any good International Economics course at Stage 2 University. At least it was when I was studying. I imagine nowadays they get given crayons and are asked to draw pretty pictures of container ships and ports…

    • can someone run a gofundme so we can send a box of donuts to the ANU for her.
      it’s a long term plan but maybe the diabeetus can save us from the tyranny of this demographer.

  2. haroldusMEMBER

    Hewson said Australia’s multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious polity was its “greatest asset”

    Yeah champ, how’s it workin for Gladys.

  3. chadszinowMEMBER

    You know, for Phil to even make that statement … let’s just say I had no respect for him but now there is some. This is a really big statement which the press and the government must now acknowledge as a thing and not a fringe belief that gets no air time.

    He’ll probably be on the chopping block now like the guys at ASIC who dared to go after the banks for dodgy lending.

    • It’s also daring the next Governor to contradict him if that’s what the Treasurer says he has to do to get the job.

    • Peter SMEMBER

      Frontpage of the AFR today, Treasury, backed by usual suspects at ANU, deny any link!

      • chadszinowMEMBER

        “Don’t you know
        They’re talking about a revolution?
        It sounds like a whisper” (at first)

        When enough people talk their tune will change. ANU is the worst though. I only presume they protect the flow so their construction members have their jobs at the detriment of all other members wages.

  4. bolstroodMEMBER

    Good on you Leith, you have fought the good fight long and hard on this issue, and now your efforts are paying off.
    Every working Aussie owes you a debt of gratitude.

  5. Anders Andersen

    If the truth be told Hewson hasn’t had awakening, before it was politics. I cannot believe the vast bulk of economists are dumb, more likely is they’re driven by vested interests.

    • ” I cannot believe the vast bulk of economists are dumb”
      Get them to talk tax and you will soon find how dumb they actually are.

  6. Australian economists are a herd of sheep pack of sleazy cunce with the morals of a 20 cent wh0re who will say whatever the hand that is simultaneously up their ar$es and feeding them directs them to say.

    Bazza at the pub knows that importing 200000 cheap slaves every year crushes wages, overloads infrastructure and fcks the environment. These dogs in silk suits who pretend otherwise while hooting “racist” aren’t dumb, they’re on the take.

    I used to think they deserved the wire brush and dettol treatment, but my views have started to harden recently.

    • Let us peel back the foreskin of self-interest and apply the wire-brush of enlightenment

    • kierans777MEMBER

      I have enjoyed your spelling choices to avoid the moderation filter.

      You’re also 100% correct

  7. turncoatMEMBER

    We dodged a bullet with Hewson. Keating saw him off, and as Jane Austin might have said: he has fallen to his natural level

  8. So what’s with this Lowe guy? Has he a death wish?
    Reckon he’s only got months left in him. That is never gonna run in Government circles (read that as all politicians no matter what tribe!).
    You’d never believe him over dr demographic at ANU anyway!!!!

  9. Lord DudleyMEMBER

    John Henson is an election losing has-been who is as relevant to the current appointed-by-God Trumpy LNP as John McCain is to the current US Republican Party.

    The old conservative guard is irrelevant, and loathed by the current LNP and their supporters. Malcolm Fraser is exhibit A.