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The Economic Argument Against Mass Immigration To Canada

Not long ago a nation was said to be experiencing economic prosperity when per capita income was rising together with increases in population. This was the “Western” conception of economic well being. But as our Western elites became obsessed with the promotion of race mixing through immigration, economists have come to downplay the importance of per capita income growth while singularly identifying prosperity with increases in population size and in the gross domestic product.

The only economic justification Century Initiative (CI) makes in favor of a massive increase in immigration numbers to Canada is that a bigger population means a bigger market for goods, more real estate, more highways, and more shopping malls, all of which they equate with prosperity, without considering how sustained increases in the supply of labour may freeze or lower real wages and per capita incomes.

Century Initiative claims that a Canada with 100 million inhabitants created through a massive increase in immigration will be a prosperous “model” to the world. The sole article CI relies upon to make this claim, Debunking the Myth of the Job-Stealing Immigrant (New York Times, March 2015), is intrinsically flawed not only because it is not about Canada’s economy but because it equates economic well being with increases in the gross amount of goods and services produced. China, India, and Brazil are ranked higher than Canada in terms of their gross domestic product; Norway, Switzerland, and the Netherlands are even lower than Mexico and Indonesia. Yet, all these (still) White nations have far higher per capita incomes, higher levels of education, cleanliness, and civilized state of existence.

The author, Adam Davidson, opens this article condemning his “racist and homophobic” grandfather for believing in the “illogical” idea that “immigrants were stealing jobs from Americans.” In the “model nation” our elites will make out of all Western nations through immigration, indigenous Whites will be expected to turn against family members who don’t agree that aliens are harbingers of prosperity.

While Americans may not be as racist today, Davidson can’t understand why “most anti-immigration arguments” are still variations of

the erroneous notion that there is only so much work to be done and that no one can get a job without taking one from someone else.

Immigrants don’t cheapen labor, claims Davidson. Immigrants only bring economic benefits and no costs because they increase demand for a whole range of goods:

using the wages they earn to rent apartments, eat food, get haircuts, buy cellphones. That means there are more jobs building apartments, selling food, giving haircuts and dispatching the trucks that move those phones. Immigrants increase the size of the overall population, which means they increase the size of the economy.

This passage contains in a nutshell the economic argument for immigration. The “economic benefits of immigration may be the ­most settled fact in economics,” writes Davidson. Polls of leading economists, he says, show that everyone agrees with this argument. George Borjas of Harvard is the only exception with his observation that low-skilled native workers don’t benefit from the importation of cheaper labour. But Davidson adds that Borjas’s argument, which was about short term costs, has been misused by “anti-immigration activists.” He wants us to believe that the United States, which has been welcoming in recent years about 1.2 or 1.3 million legal immigrants annually, would become far wealthier if 11 million immigrants per year (!) were brought in.

It cannot be denied that in our cultural Marxist age the overwhelming majority of economists now think that immigration is good for the economy. But don’t be fooled by the claim that this is an idea established by the discipline of economics; rather, this is an idea propagated by Western economists. In the non-Western world there are no economists arguing for the benefits of mass immigration to their homelands.

Right from their student days, Western economists are under enormous pressure to equate prosperity with mass immigration, population growth, and increases in the gross domestic product. Opposition to this argument entails opposition to immigration, which is deemed to be racist. The one person who argued about the economic costs of illegal immigration to the United States, Jason Richwine, was actually forced to resign in 2013 from his research position in the Heritage Foundation.

Fortunately, Richwine has continued his work as an independent policy analyst, producing in 2016 three carefully written studies on the costs associated with mass immigration to the United States. In Immigration and Wages he actually takes on Adam Davidson and the economic studies he relies on, showing that there is data available about how “immigrants potentially reduce native wages.” He makes the sensibly obvious observation that, beyond economics, there are costs to immigration “on multiple dimensions, including culture and national security that must be carefully weighed when designing a selection system.”

The title of a subsequent, more detailed, study, Immigrants Replace Low-Skill Natives in the Workforce, announces what many Americans sense, and what the grandfather of Davidson instinctively understood. It is worth quoting at length the key conclusions and findings of this study:

Harnessing both labor-force participation rates and total hours worked per year, this study presents evidence that immigrants are replacing low-skill native-born men in the workforce. All of the following results refer to prime-age men who are not incarcerated:

  • Among natives without a high school degree, the fraction who were neither working nor looking for work rose from 26 percent in 1994 to 35 percent in 2015. Over the same period, the fraction of their immigrant counterparts who were out of the labor force actually declined from 12 percent to 8 percent.
  • Turning to hours spent working, native-born high school dropouts worked an average of 1,391 hours (the equivalent of about 35 full-time weeks) per year between 2003 and 2015, while immigrant dropouts worked 1,955 hours (or 49 full-time weeks) per year.
  • Native-born dropouts have seen their work time decline from 41 equivalent full-time weeks in the 2003-2005 period to 32 weeks in 2012-2015, while immigrant dropouts declined only from 52 weeks to 50 weeks.

In summary, the United States has been a magnet for low-skill immigration even as low-skill natives have worked less and less. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that immigrants replace natives in the workforce…Instead of searching for ways to get natives back to work — whether through higher wages, less access to welfare, social pressure, or some other means — government and business leaders have brought in immigrants to do the work instead.

How about the costs of immigrants to the American taxpayer in terms of the percentage of immigrant-headed households that use welfare programs as compared to native households? We have another study by Richwine on this issue, The Cost of Welfare Use By Immigrant and Native Households. Looking at federal welfare programs (cash, food, housing, or medical care), Richwine came up with these findings (keep in mind that by “native household” he is making no distinctions in welfare use between Whites and non-Caucasian natives):

  • The average household headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) costs taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare benefits, which is 41 percent higher than the $4,431 received by the average native household.
  • The average immigrant household consumes 33 percent more cash welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more Medicaid dollars than the average native household. Housing costs are about the same for both groups.
  • At $8,251, households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico have the highest welfare costs of any sending region — 86 percent higher than the costs of native households.
  • Illegal immigrant households cost an average of $5,692 (driven largely by the presence of U.S.-born children), while legal immigrant households cost $6,378.
  • The greater consumption of welfare dollars by immigrants can be explained in large part by their lower level of education and larger number of children compared to natives. Over 24 percent of immigrant households are headed by a high school dropout, compared to just 8 percent of native households. In addition, 13 percent of immigrant households have three or more children, vs. just 6 percent of native households.

There is no denying that in terms of gross economic output, in the simplest sense, immigration is good for businesses. More people means more apartments rented, more real estate development, more fast food ethnic restaurants, clothing, furniture, appliances, cars. But it also means lower per capita incomes, as well as more pollution, noise, foul smells, racial tensions, rapes, crimes, terrorism, and the cultural and economic dispossession of Whites.

Here are two contrasting visions of what constitutes economic prosperity.

“Less developed” California in 1955:

“More Developed” and “Immigrant Enriched” California Today:

Research the anti-Canadian Century Initiative.
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