Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ahem...

... Mark Steyn on importing poor people. Why can't we import some rich foreigners too? :)

Statistical averages are necessarily simplifications and lump everyone together. What would be interesting would be getting a more accurate picture by disaggregating recent immigrants and their families from the rest of the population. Has the rest of Canada's population seen a fall in real income in the last 25 years? If not, then the trend in the overall average is due simply to the (passive) inclusion of the poorer recent immigrants in the average. By itself, that's not a worrisome trend. But if the non-immigrant population has seen a drop in wage levels, then something additional has happened, perhaps (active) competition driving those levels down. Similar questions can be posed about US income averages and distribution. The effect on tax base and social welfare spending is then an additional question to look at. That's why we have economists!

POSTSCRIPT: Yeah, I know, this posting is dated before Steyn's. It's Binah's new time machine - look for it on Amazon!

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