Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Numbers Matter

SPOTLIGHT: There’s a big difference between properly managed immigration and the current state of affairs.

BIG PICTURE: In The Strange Death of Europe, Douglas Murray argues that immigration has spun out of control. Since the 1950s, he says, governments have consistently underestimated the number of people expected to arrive under various immigration programs.

For example, eight East European nations joined the EU in 2004. A report prepared for the UK government the previous year predicted that between 5,000 and 13,000 citizens of those nations would move to the UK annually due to these new circumstances.

Using the upper-range estimate of 13,000, that community was expected to increase from 167,000 to 297,000 over a decade (2004 – 2014).

But the experts were wildly wrong. Instead of 13,000, an average of 107,500 arrived in the UK annually. More than a million people who hadn’t been anticipated showed up in just 10 years. From just one part of the world.

These million people needed jobs, places to live, schools for their kids, and medical care. But because the system wasn’t expecting them, nothing had been done to prepare for their arrival. So affordable housing became scarcer and social services even more stretched.

TOP TAKEAWAY: Government estimates sound authoritative. But they’re frequently wrong, and there’s no feedback loop incentivizing the bureaucrats involved to raise their game. The harm caused by their mistakes doesn’t touch them. It’s endured, instead, by those at the bottom of the economic ladder.


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This entry was posted on February 28, 2018 by in quotations and tagged , .
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