What is wrong with the global economy that allows richer countries to get richer and poorer countries to get poorer, and thus encourage economic migration? Professor Bridget Anderson, Deputy Director of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford joins the programme to discuss this issue.
Economists have used the ‘lump of labour’ argument to justify stricter migration policies. But in fact there is no fixed possible number of employable people in any country; as migrants in fact bring more jobs, income and spending power, which drives new business and hence employment. Other arguments such as migrants causing a dilution of local culture cannot really be justified in a world that is becoming more and more internationalized anyway. The real problem, Professor Anderson argues, is the growing gap between rich and poor.
Capital is free to move anywhere it wants globally. Stops and checks are few and far between. More money can be made through globalisation. People, however, are not free to travel. Even the World Bank recently admitted that impediments to free movement of labour has inhibited the growth of the 3rd world countries’ economies to a value of more than foreign aid to those same countries. Furthermore, it has become very difficult for poor countries to shift away from their unenviable positions at the bottom of the world economy despite the philanthropic idealism of advocators of globalisation. Some would argue that it is globalisation, loans and conditions on loans combined with bad governance (in third world countries) and inbuilt problems connected with de-colonisation that have created these problems. As a result, people have in fact become a waste product of globalisation, only shifted around when it is profitable to do so.