Tyler Cowen’s take on the Swiss referendum on migrant quotas:

“In my view immigration has gone well for Switzerland, both economically and culturally, and I am sorry to see this happen, even apart from the fact that it may cause a crisis in their relations with the European Union.  That said, you can take 27% as a kind of benchmark for the limits of immigration in most or all of today’s wealthy countries.  I believe that as you approach a number in that range, you get a backlash.”

Shaun Raviv in the Atlantic on why ‘brain drain’ can actually benefit African countries:

“But a fascinating new paper from the World Bank turns this logic on its head.“Does Migration Foster Exports?­” has a title with an unnecessary question mark. According to the authors, migration does indeed foster exports in Africa, and in numbers large enough that they should catch the attention of development and policy leaders worldwide. Their findings “suggest that one additional migrant creates about 2,100 dollars a year in additional exports for his country of origin.””

Behind the numbers from the IOM on migrant transit deaths:

“Some estimates, for instance, suggest that up to 10,000 migrants have died in Africa in less than a decade – data which are not possible to verify and are not included in the global figure presented here. In another example, research conducted by IOM on African migrants smuggled to South Africa, found that 10 per cent of interviewed individuals travelling from Somalia reported deaths among members of their group.”

The ACTU’s Economic Bulletin for February 2014:

“Australia spends less on welfare (i.e. cash benefits to households) than nearly all other OECD countries. In 2013, we spent 8.6% of GDP on welfare; that’s less than Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and every other member of the EU. That’s even less than the famously frugal United States.”

Peter Mares on New Zealand’s ‘Bondi bludger’ and other Australian myths:

“Kiwi-bashing is not without precedent in Australia, although there seems to be persistent confusion about the exact nature of the threat. It is unclear whether the core problem is that New Zealanders work too hard, and so threaten to “steal Aussie jobs”, or whether they are too lazy, and so threaten to sponge off the generous and unwitting Australian taxpayer.”

Sam Dastyari on the cruel use of ministerial directives by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison:

“The minister has gratuitously penalised people who have satisfied his department that their application for asylum is genuine, that their status of refugee is genuine and that their right to a protection visa is genuine. Since arriving in Australia, these people have first been subjected to our immigration detention system and then, since joining our communities, they have abided by our laws, entered our economy and given no-one any reason to doubt their character.”


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