Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"No evidence average wages depressed" says Jonathan Portes

"Really no evidence average wages depressed" says Jonathan Portes on his Twitter site, commenting about the effects of immigration.

Here he violates one of the primary rules of academic discourse - absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Of course in a very literal sense he (and Mehdi Hasan and James Bloodworth and all the rest of the lefties piling in to comment) might be right.

Suppose a factory has an annual wage bill of one million pounds over 50 staff (including the owner who pays himself a salary as a tax dodge), paying them an average of £20,000 per annum.

The owner then decides to replace 49 of the staff with cheapo uncomplaining immigrants and just pay them £10,000 per annum and raise his own salary to £510,000.

The number of staff remains the same.  The wage bill of £1 million remains the same.  The average salary remains the same.

Jonathan Portes prances around with his sliderule and tells us immigration has no impact.

Matthew Goodwin learnedly pontificates about "deprivation" for the poor immigrants.

The Labour party lectures us on "vibrant diversity".

You see how this trick is played?

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