Friday, 17 June 2016

The way to help them out is to keep them out.

It is only human to feel a little shame at the way London treats it's office cleaners. They creep listlessly from one job to the next from early morning to late into the night. They count the hours to the end of their labours each day and then collapse into a dreamless sleep until the dawn alarm awakens them once again. In this way they count away the hours of their existence waiting for only the next sweet oblivion of sleep and therefore- without realising it- desire nothing more than death.

Yet the poor deserve more than our sympathy. They deserve a human existence and only rational economics can provide this.

The German Army shot this football.

I passed a demonstration of Filipino cleaners  haranguing their former employer in Spanish or Tagalog- I am not sure which. Alongside him a white guy translated the rants into English.

This raised a number of questions in my mind. What is the point in shouting at a former employer in a language he does not understand? Is the employer expected to love his former employee more as a result? What possible good result can come of it?

The life of the London cleaner is hard. Surrounded by wealth and beauty they live in desperate poverty. They are here and yet not here at all. Unable to partake of London life because of language and money barriers they are like ghosts who can only look and never touch.

Who's fault is this? We may blame the cleaners for coming here without skills or we may blame the employers but the question is fruitless. Economics is a thing of the intellect and not the heart.
Ult can come of it?A photo posted by Richard Ford ( on

Strangers in a strange land.

These wretched beings suffer because their skills are easily replaced. The more unskilled people we allow to enter the country the more desperate their plight becomes because the skills they offer are devalued by each new arrival. The only way to help these people is to limit the supply.

Then it occurred to me. There is a sort of universal economic law at work here.

The problem here is static capital, mobile people.

Everyone who travels the world without capital or skills ends up desperately poor. This will only worsen with globalisation as this increases the supply of labour and lowers its price.

There is another economy- but this one is enjoying rapid improvement in living standards. This is the mobile capital, static people economy. China is an example of this. It imports technology and exports finished goods. The supply of people does not increase because of border controls and so wages rise as demand rises for the goods produced.

Then we have the static capital, mobile people economy of London.

Many of the successful industries of London could not exist anywhere else. Tourist attractions cannot move and many of London's traditional industries are so closely associated with the capital that they would lose their appeal anywhere else. Savile Row tailoring could only exist in Savile Row and so on.

This economy is doing quite well and so are the people who work in it. This is because the location of London offers some monopoly power and prevents the wage rates here being driven down despite the fact that millions come here in search of their fortune.

Finally we have the billionaires of the world who work in a mobile capital, mobile people economy. These people can avoid taxation by changing nationality and they can take their money with them. They are the only true winners of the present system.

Choose well.

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