The Age and Sydney Morning Herald news outlets have published a report and survey showing ‘Voters worry about falling wages, back lower migrant intake‘.
In a nutshell, evidence is emerging since the pandemic that voters are beginning to join the dots on high immigration and its impact on their economic well-being. “Voters are also losing confidence in the outlook for the economy this year and are turning against the idea of restoring permanent migration to the numbers seen before the coronavirus pandemic, with almost two-thirds of respondents saying the intake should restart at a lower level.”
The report implies that voters link lower wages and high immigration. This is welcome news. However, some claim lower wages in a wealthy country are a ‘first world problem’. In a wealthy country, should domestic inequality be an issue? Of course it should, and so should international wealth inequality. It is short-sighted to doggedly focus on immigration – or population redistribution – as a solution to global inequality and not distinguish between refugees and other visa types. Disregarding the domestic wealth-gap-widening effect of high non-humanitarian immigration in pursuit of narrowing international inequality, is nonsensical. Foreign policy is also an important component of this conversation that is too often separated out. It is even more disconcerting that no mention is made of the effect on the natural environment. As usual, the economy is assumed to stand apart from the ecological systems underpinning it. Global climate change is affected by local actions such as boosting the population of over-consumers. Everything is connected.