Australian immigration poll and democracy

14 04 2010

According to this poll, 69% of Australians said “No” in response to the question:

“Do you think Australia needs more people?”

The illegal refugee problem is big news in Australia and so too is the issue of immigration quota.  In a populist democracy polls are politics.   Might = right.  Unlike many people I recognise this as a flawed system.  I also recognise that I have no right to be influencing the immigration/emmigration movements of other people. 

I hate this type of news story.  It shows to me that people don’t understand or care about freedom and individual rights.  It also brings up an economic fallacy.  Economic fallacies are particularly annoying due to their prevalence and the way they are constantly reinvented and just won’t go away!  In this instance:

The idea that an increases in a population must correspond to a decrease in prosperity/resource availability.  This is false.  Historical cases demonstrates this. eg/ USA, British Colonies 

People motivated enough to find a better life for themselves and their families by taking the brave step of moving to another country are exactly the type of people I’d like to welcome to Australia. 

I can’t help but note the hypocrisy of 69% of Australians considering Australia is built on immigration, a far younger nation than the USA. 

I also can’t help but suspect that most Australians do not think of people in terms of individuals but in terms of groups. 
Groups are a concept only and in reality they are made up of differing individuals.  Individuals are what exists and rights for individuals.  The law should properly start with individual rights.  It seems Australia never did move on from the infamous White Australia policy.  I suspect that Australians are concerned about particular groups of people such as those from countries with a reputation for violence like Sudan or Islamic, Middle Eastern countries.   

In a modern democracy, government powers tend to increase.  This reminds me of an interesting article I recently read by Mark Steyn.  He’s put out some good ones lately.  This one was entitled “Tax Season” and points out that soon, over half the US populace will pay no income tax.  Economically unproductive people will potentially outnumber the producers and in a modern democracy this could be disastrous politically and economically. 

“According to the Tax Policy Center, for the year 2009, 47 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax.”

This line from the same article is a classic and sums up the article very nicely:

“In less than a quarter-millennium, the American Revolution will have evolved from “No taxation without representation” to representation without taxation.”

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