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Weekend reading: The immigration issue

Weekend reading

My weekly roundup of the week’s posts and links.

With the first sunny spell here in the UK since, oh, 2008, I don’t expect many of my British readers to tune into this installment of Weekend Reading until Monday morning.

If you’re reading this at your desk after a great 48 hours (or even your Easter holidays), my commiserations. Hey: you’ll always have the sunburn!

Anyway, there’s no doubt many of us are spoiled with our modern burdens, whereby a hard day at the office means slumping in a meeting with a bunch of clueless bosses, eating digestive biscuits and being simultaneously annoyed at not being able to speak, yet dreading being held accountable in a system where we have no control (or was that just me? 😉 ).

My article of the week brought this home very strongly.


A descendant of a U.S. immigrant, Ruben Navarro writes that America won’t be able to tackle the issue of its ten million illegal immigrants until it admits why they’re there:

Why does the United States have so much illegal immigration?

I know the answer. It’s my fault. It’s because of me, and tens of millions of other Americans just like me. We create the demand for illegal immigrant labor not because of anything we do but because of all the things that we will not do – at any wage.

The article makes you think about this strange time and place we’ve been born into. Many people reading this post live like the kings of just a few hundred years ago. Indeed, I’ve written before how we can all learn from recent immigrants, whose ambition and zest for opportunity can be inspiring.

That’s not to say you should bend over and take it from your current employer. Whether you want to quit work or just more financial freedom, you should check out Jacob’s guest post on early retirement, which I ran earlier this week.

I also posted on bond default probabilities and the Natwest Black card.

Some of the week’s best blog posts

From the big newspapers and magazines

  • Japan: Sleepwalking towards disaster – The Economist
  • The end of the era of free stuff – The Economist
  • The toxic tale of rising longevity – Reuters
  • Debt debacle is not going to go away – FT
  • Bolton fund misses its £650 million target – FT
  • A longer-term view on green assets – FT
  • Sparkle returns to diamond market – FT
  • Savers urged to use new £10,200 ISA limit now – FT
  • Is platinum the new gold? – The Telegraph
  • Eastern European markets emerge – The Independent
  • Investors blind to property fund perils – The Independent

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{ 4 comments… add one and remember nothing here is personal advice }
  • 1 Simple in France April 10, 2010, 1:07 pm

    Ah, the weather factor! We’re having spectacular weather here in the Alps (for once!) but I’m taking a break form the sunshine. I was out all morning.

    I liked that editorial on immigration. I’m from CA originally and I actually can’t wait for stricter immigration laws to be enacted–so that people will be FORCED to admit how much our economy depends upon such cheap, precarious, uncomfortable labor–and the willingness of tough new arrivals to stick out those conditions, live in dense housing situation and basically work their butts off.

    We got a little glimpse of it a few years ago and I remember contractors in Arizona and So-Cal whining because they couldn’t get work done. . .because they couldn’t find workers.

    And I also love the way our federal government contracted with a company that then used illegal labor to build that clever wall between the southern States and Mexico. I’m all for laws that will force people to realize they can’t have their cake and eat it to. Maybe then we’ll see some real reform.
    .-= Simple in France on: Take that, French driving test! =-.

  • 2 The Investor April 10, 2010, 10:32 pm

    @SIF – Enjoy the sun while it lasts! 🙂 Although I bet you have a bit more of it there than in London, which really is the greyest place in the world. (Though not today — it was glorious — hurrah!)

  • 3 Valentina April 12, 2010, 7:59 pm

    We have a slightly different need in Canada for immigrants – if not for the immigrants our population would probably be stagnant. On the other hand many Canadians do leave for the US and it certainly has nothing to do with getting minimum pay jobs. The sheer size of the economy opens greater opportunities to professionals who can get a much bigger paycheck than at home. This is particularly so in the entertainment field. Many of the top names in Hollywood for example are actually Canadian. So too the financial world. So in our case, we seem to be losing our best to greener pastures and more often than not, those greener pastures are the US.
    .-= Valentina on: Four Bleeping Hours! =-.

  • 4 The Investor April 12, 2010, 9:46 pm

    Hi Valentina… Yes, similarly here in the UK, up in Scotland they need more immigrants — the population is declining, due to their only being about 1 hour of daylight a month I guess! — whereas London is creaking at the seams.

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