The news today has it that skilled Indian chefs are to be allowed into the UK, but not software techies.
My objection is: This is arbitrary. It is decision making on economic issues by baboos. It is like central planning. It is Big Brother knows best.
But Big Brother never knows best.
Note that the news story mentions the hectic politicking that was required to get the chefs in. It says:
“People from the Indian restaurant industry recently took to the streets in London and Glasgow to protest against new immigration measures that prevented them from recruiting chefs from the Indian sub-continent…. Several representations were also made to the government by MPs and associations of restaurant owners.”
If this hectic politicking had not been done, the British baboos in charge of immigration would not have “seen” that there was indeed a shortage of chefs. It was public action that made them "perceive the fact" that the UK needs chefs. Their statistics on employment were of no use. This is precisely the "knowledge failure" that planners inevitably suffer from.
So thay have said OK to cooks. But what of motor mechanics? Or plumbers and electricians? Or taxi drivers? Or nurses? Or whatever?
Note that the effect of these restrictions is to keep wages artificially high in Britain. But that only hurts the Brits as consumers of labour. And this hurts Britain’s competitiveness. No English gent can afford a butler like Jeeves today because of these restrictions.
What is the way out?
One good way is to auction the right to immigrate: a visa auction. At least this will put a market price on the visa and take away government arbitrariness.
Another way is to staple a visa on the passport of anyone who buys property there: get a property title, get a visa. The unsold housing in the USA would all get sold if the USA used this procedure to award visas, instead of leaving it to its baboos.
Of course, I favour the extreme:
That is, allow in anyone with a valid credit card guaranteeing his identity and his creditworthiness. We could then get rid of ALL the baboos on the borders, not just the customs guys, but the immigration chaps too. “Imagine there’s no country.”
Paradise on Earth.