I have just read a very clever argument by Greg Cochran at West Hunter questioning the economic benefits of mass immigration from low-IQ countries that we are always hearing about. This was the argument:
Imagine a country with a modern economy that has a population of 100 million people. All of them speak English, are reasonably well off, have an IQ of 100 and are educated to a reasonable level. Now imagine this country decides to take in 10 million immigrants from an almost identical country where the people speak English, bring capital with them, have the same secular social and political culture to the country they are going to. The question is, would this make the host country any richer?
As far as I can see all you have done is make your population 10% bigger but the GDP per capita stays the same so no one would be any better off. There might be a very slight increase in the country’s wealth due to economies of scale – it can now buy in bulk and still only needs one consulate in Panama – but these savings would be negligible.
Now, imagine if the host country had decided to take in 10 million immigrants, not from the country just described, but from a poor country where the people had low IQs, a low level of education, didn’t speak English, brought practically no capital with them but instead brought along their backward religious, social and political views from the home country. The question is the same: Would the host country become any richer? It is hard to see why it should be any stronger than in the previous scenario. In fact it would almost certainly not fare as well. If this is the case, why do economists constantly insist that immigrants from poor countries are a huge boon to wealthy modern economies?
One argument could be that holes exist in the job market that, if filled, could make the whole economy work more efficiently. But is an illiterate, religion-drenched, low-IQ peasant from Tequila or Islamabad who barely speaks English really the person modern economies have been waiting for? Or is this just politically correct, multicultural zealots lying to us once again? The latter strikes me as being the more likely explanation of the two.