Sunday, February 01, 2009

socialism 2.0 v. depression 2.0 - maybe governments will topple?

All over Europe (and elsewhere) people are starting to express their anger at the financial mess and it looks like the population at large (the great unwashed people that havn't stopped working harder and harder for the last 20 years, and can't see why they have to pay more tax to bail out banks whose bosses retire on multimillion dollar bonuses despite screwing up) are finally starting to demand some sort of significant change - one small aspect of this is the recent complaints about migrant workers taking local jobs - c.g. brown telling workers they are wrong to complain about people being moved 1000s of miles to provide cheap labour

The only reason this can work is that those people are coming from an area that
a) is in the EU (otherwise the availability of local labour would rule out work permit)
b) an area in the EU that has very low housing cost (otherwise the people moving would be paying for local housing and for housing their families back home)
c) apartment rent must be very low in the worker site compared with local labour's housing cost - if you move enough people, this will also impact local housing costs
and finally there is no allowance for carbon costs (let alone social cost) of moving people around peridocally

there's a short term argument (like shortselling shares) that this is just adjusting the labour market. but it doesn't allow for long term market (like transport and housing and so on - e.g. schools etc - if a person moves to Doncaster from Warsaw to do some work, then where do their taxes go to pay for infrastructure (schools, hospitals, police).

No sorry, this is not as simple as Brown likes to think it is and in the current climate, using free labour market arguments is really really going to annoy a lot of people.

interestingly the latest news appears to indicate the government has realised that allowing companies to move people from EU country A to B and to exclude employees who are from country B is not exactly the intention of "free" markets in anything...just dodgy company behaviour!

Davos - clueless - possibly as evil as Dr Who's Davros...

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