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Can An Immigrant Logically Oppose Immigration?

It is logically contradictory for pro-immigrationists to argue that immigrants should be afforded all the rights that people in their adopted country enjoy, then to argue that they do not have the same right to insist on a sustainable population. Do people in a theatre forfeit the right to complain that the theatre or restaurant manager has allowed it to become too crowded, that the number of patrons has obviously exceeded safety?

A great many immigrants have come to understand that mass immigration is bad for Canada, but feel constrained in making their feelings known in deference to a common refrain: “So now that you’re here, you want to pull up the ladder.” One long-time middle-aged friend, whose mild mid-Atlantic accent betrays the fact that he moved to Canada with his parents as a twelve year old, is particularly sensitive to that charge. I don’t think he should be. And I don’t think anyone is right to reproach him for having what they believe to be an “I’m-alright-Jack” attitude.

Club Canada - No second class members

I don’t think an immigrant with or without a foreign accent should be disqualified as a credible critic of immigration policy. Arguments of that nature are the inverse of Groucho Marx's famous remark that he would not belong to any club that would accept him as a member. They don’t make sense. If you were admitted to the club, you are a club member and should have all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of other club members. There should be no second-class club members. And all club members should have the right---and the responsibility---to shape and revise club policies including who should or should not be able to join in the future. Maybe club facilities are already over-used. Maybe the club can no longer pay for them. Maybe the club should raise its admission standards. Those are decisions which all club members should have the right to participate in.

Rights and Responsibilities

It is logically contradictory for pro-immigrationists to argue, on the one hand, that immigrants should be afforded all the rights that other Canadians enjoy, but on the other hand, to argue that they do not have the same right to criticize immigration policy as other Canadians have. Do people who enter a theatre or a restaurant forfeit the right to complain at some point later that the theatre or restaurant manager has allowed it to become too crowded, that is, that the number of patrons has obviously exceeded the number the fire marshal has determined as safe? And do not people who feel sorry for those left standing outside in the rain have the option of giving up their seat and leaving the premises so that one of those outsiders may come in and take their place? Who is being hypocritical here?

Beware of overloading

There have been times when I found myself in an elevator that was packed with so many people that my face was almost pressed against the wall. On some of those occassions, when I was within reach of the panel, I pressed the "close door" button in an attempt to prevent more people from trying to enter. Was I being a hypocrite? After all, I too was once standing in the lobby, wanting to get into the elevator, and aspiring to reach a higher floor. How could I have something against aspiring elevator passengers? As I said, I was one myself. Or my father or grandfather once aspired to be passengers of the elevator too, and the door was open for them. All of us, we are told, are from "the lobby" or are descended from people who came from the lobby. We---Canada---- are an elevator of former lobby occupants, as we are reminded over and over again. So we don’t have a moral right to close our doors to people who wish to follow us. Or so goes the reasoning.

Solidarity among passengers

But the point is that once on board, I have a right to safety, and if more people were allowed on the elevator, it would not serve their interests or mine to have the cable snap. And for the record, I am not against passengers who just got on board. I am against any policy that would keep the elevator door open to allow more passengers than the elevator can handle. How many people an elevator can carry is a question that should be informed by scientific analysis. In Canada, 25 of Canada's top scientists---the Science Council of Canada---determined in their Report No. 25 that future resource constraints would make it unwise to go much beyond 30 million people, that we should slow our population growth rate so that there were not diminishing economic returns with each increment of population growth. And in 1997, another group of scientists, led by UBC's Dr. Michael Healey, concluded that Canada needed a "Population Plan" so that our growing urban centres did not inflict the same kind of ecological damage that his team of researchers found in the Fraser Basin. But alas, those warnings have been ignored, and Canada, according to the last two Census reports, has for the last decade, been packing its elevator at a rate higher than any other country in the G8 group.

Priorities

I am for closing the elevator door. But what if I closed the door because I noticed that most of the people in the lobby were non-white? What if I closed it because I am a bigot? That may be a bad reason, but it wouldn't discredit the most relevant one----that the elevator has a limited carrying capacity. Bad character does not preclude correct judgment. The right decision can be made for the wrong reasons by wrong-headed people.

Some bad reasons for overloading Canada

Imagine though, if someone had a vested interest in cramming as many passengers as they could into that elevator. Imagine if some were able to charge elevator entrants a fee. Imagine if some on board were salesmen who thought that they would have more opportunities to sell more of their products if more potential customers were allowed to come in. Imagine if some were temporally blind and thought that the elevator had more space than was safely available or that they couldn't understand that the law of gravity and other biophyical laws trumped all other considerations . Imagine if some believed that there might be a technological advance that may increase the capacity of the elevator. ("Some one will think of something, after all, they always have..). Imagine if some were Greens who told us that the elevator could take on more people if only we weren’t so greedy and went on a crash diet and lost weight. ("Move over, squeeze tighter, and keep on squeezing so that more and more people can share our bounty") And imagine further if these people with a vested interest in packing the elevator with more people noticed that most of the people in the lobby were non-white and that the best way to get them in was to accuse me and those like me who would close the door of being right wing looneys, racists , xenophobes or bigots.

Your right and duty to speak up

You really wouldn't have to imagine that scenario, would you, because as a resident of Canada with a ring-side seat to political correctness, censorship, blacklisting, character-assassination, guilt-by-association, and the social ostracism of those who challenge orthodoxy, you would realize that you are seeing it unfold before your eyes. Our political culture is inimical to reasonable discussion and education in the fundamentals of math and logic.

The truth is, in Canada it is socially outrageous to state that, like elevators, theatres or restaurants, Canada has a limited carrying capacity. There is a limit to growth. And somehow, when immigrants say that, it seem s even more outrageous. It shouldn’t be. Speaking the truth never should.

Tim Murray

February 11, 2012

Comments

Shortsighted 'Airport Gate Immigration' ignores the triple bottom line cost of 'Fully Settled Immigration'. What I mean by this is that the growthist open door encouragement of immigration to the airport, simplistically views a one sided benefit that more people arriving bring more dollars and economic demand. It is like a tour operator seeing tourists arrive and seeing them as tour revenue.

But immigration is not tourism. They stay forever. Unlike tourism, immigrants represent not just revenue, but cost - Triple Bottom Line cost - a phrase that has been little used since the 1980s. 'Sustainability' is more euphemistically malleable.

The economic, social and ecologial costs of immigration are selectively ignored by growthists, particularly government short-termism which just loosk as quick fix employment - aka 457 Work Visas for the mining industry, too mean to invest in training the local population. Meanwhile corporate miner profits are at record levels. The banks are making a killing with more mortgage loans and their profits are soaring.

National government economic numbers look good because demand is up with its multiplier effect on consumer demand, housing demand and numbers employed. But it twists the definition of unemployment. It conveniently ignores the society and liveability metrics and ecological health indicators - these are worsening.

So 'Airport Gate Immigration' has these hoards arriving. Australia's Immigration Department handballs sall the costs to the stats and urban governments where most of these immigrants mainly end up settling. Look at the statistics for Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth - the main destinations of choice by most immigrants into Australia by far.
And so in these places social and governent infrastructure has exceeed capacity - road congestion, public transport congestion, hospital waiting lists, propert demand is through the roof (which contiunues to make growthist property developers richer).

Australia's public utilities are overloaded (water, electricity, public transport, roads) and so major capital investment is being undertaken, robbing treasury resources away from locals who have long funded government coffers from decades of paying taxes. So the taxes now go into multi-billion dollar desalination plants in these cities. Electricity transmission infrastructure can't cope with the population increases in Australia's major capital cities. Traffic congestion is undermining Australian traditional lifestyles as more people have to dedicated more of their day commuting. The Australian Dream - owing a quarter acre block, has all but disappeared and now some growthists even curse it as a folly. Escaping to the backyard is now denied to most young Australians.

Try getting a job and see the queues!

Try finding affordable child care in an Australian capital city!

Try renting a flat in an Australian capital city!

Try buying a house in these cities where one's parents live and like one's parents once could. Children reaching adult age are forced to more away from their parents to more affordable areas, often to the country and interstate. Immigrant demand for urban housing is segregating established local families. The children are forced to move out of the cities their grew up in.

Demand for housing is ruining urban amenity as more high-rise towers become imposed upon established locals. When new housing is built, the necessary public infrastructure is ignored by both the developer and national government - no new schools, child care, public transport, hospitals, etc. Local and state governments are unfairly expected to absorb the cost burden. Housing demand is also driving urban sprawl which is destroying arable land for vital food production. Sprawl is bulldozing ecology and reducing vital remnant habitat into smaller islands, with more species closer to the brink of extinction.

'Airport Gate Immigration' is like burning down you house to keep warm, or eating you arm off because you're hungry. Traditional Australia is seeing death by a thousand immigrants.

'Fully Settled Immigration' on the other hand, is about the full accommodating of immigrants until their are fully settled into their new country. They have work, a home, education, and have happily integrated into Australian society. Fully Settled Immigration respects the full needs and full costs of immigrants, rather than saying ok your own as one exits the international airport for the city. In Australia, history since World War II has shown integration generally takes at least two generations. This is a realistic timeframe for Australian Govermment's immigration responsibility and accountability.

It is time for a moratorium on all immigration until the full settled cost of immigration is known, made public and accepted by the Australian national government and the Australian people. It necessitates nationalising all transport, housing, education, health and all the demands of immigrants in order to alleviate the immigrant cost burden from overstretched state and local governments. The growthist industries need to pay their way too with appropriate infrastructure levies and employment training levies for each on an immigrant per capita basis.

Take the regional Victorian township of Alexandra with its 12,000 residents for instance. For every 12,000 immigrants, the national goverment needs to replicate the same infrastructure that Alexandra enjoys in order to maining Australian social standards. But it needs to do this with no ecological footprint, because ecology is already disappearing with the 26 million already insatiable humans here.

Tigerquoll
Suggan Buggan
Snowy River Region
Victoria 3885
Australia

Like the traditional inhabitants of our land, our First People, Australian families are being displaced from home and land ownership. More people - to the delight of developers - are "choosing" to live in high rise apartments. Such living conditions are not desirable for families.

An economy based on growth means costs of living keep increasing, population increases and land becomes un-affordable. It displaces a layer of people at the "bottom" of the economic ladder, in a Ponzi-scheme, and denies the damage being done.

Growth means public facilities are constantly in short supply due to growth outstripping everything. This unrealistic and hostile economic model could be replaced by a more human-friendly one. There are limits to everything.

The public housing queues are years long, and families are living in tents. What was the Lucky Country is edging to increasing third-world conditions.

The homeless should start sleeping in tent communities in public parks, rather than being hidden away. People are far to complacent and cooperative.

The accusations of "racism", the guilt and the threat of being a social pariah, is a strong and clever way of controlling public thoughts and opinions. With patriotism safely dampened, growth and immigration can continue without debate.