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Monthly Archives: February 2017

What should Britain’s post-Brexit Immigration policy look like?

by John Brian Shannon | February 27, 2017

One of the main drivers for the 17+ million Britons who voted to Brexit was that they felt overwhelmed by the large numbers of refugees and economic immigrants in the UK — all of which are additional to the outsized share of EU citizens who live, work and play in Britain.

Two things can’t be stressed enough when it comes to immigration policy; Immigration is always a good thing for an economy, and when immigration loads become too high social unrest occurs.

Therefore, immigration policy is a balancing-act for governments caught between economists and voters

Britain Infographic: Which countries host and send the most migrants? | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

As per the chart above, Britain has invited a grand total of 8.5 million immigrants into the country (half of which are permanently unemployed) while 4.9 million Britons live and work in other countries.

Certainly the economic case for immigration for countries like Britain is recognized by economists who stress that immigration is a positive, as refugees and economic immigrants typically accept any job offered to them — even the low-paying jobs.

Which isn’t the case with those born in the UK who prefer higher status or higher paying jobs — with the notable exception of young Britons just entering the workforce, or young people working to pay for a university education, or older workers with limited skills.

Britain Infographic: Where Foreign-born Workers Are Employed in the UK | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Economists agree; Too much immigration can be detrimental

It can be a life-changing experience for a young person to get ‘beat-out’ on their first attempt at employment by 500 other applicants for that one available job in their hometown, it’s especially troubling for them to imagine (whether true or not) that if the government hadn’t allowed such high levels of immigration, that he or she would’ve otherwise gotten their first job, straightaway.

The seeds of anger, anti-immigration, and possibly of racism, are thereby set early in life.

Britain - Of the 31.5 million workers in the UK, about 10% are immigrants.

Or put another way — “10% of UK jobs are taken by immigrants instead of Britons who wanted those jobs.”

Another item of concern arises when large numbers of immigrants live in one neighbourhood due to the low rents found there, and a process of ghettoization can begin. These become areas of high crime, with certain elements within the group asserting control over their own ethnic or social group. This can be done using peer pressure, ultra-strict interpretations of religious code, by threats or intimidation, or by those working as supervisors at the local factory or farm who can ‘control’ via employee schedule modifications, how many hours per week each worker is allotted.

In early 20th-century America this was a full-blown industry among the Irish, Italians, and later, the Polish immigrants to the United States, which later morphed into each ethnic group having its own ‘mafioso’ to ‘police’ its own nationality.

Britain’s government must play close attention to hitting the sweet spot which occurs between keeping the economists happy (importing plenty of low-wage labour) and keeping the citizens happy, which surely can’t be an easy task.

Who Should Stay and Who Should Go?

Not only should Britain allow fewer immigrants post-Brexit than it does today, it must deter those who would move to the UK hoping to further their criminal career. (‘Richer’ pockets to pick in the UK than in their home country)

Britain can deter such opportunists by maintaining a high deportation rate (much higher than at present) for those convicted of crimes. For economic migrants and refugees, to be caught and convicted of any crime more serious than jaywalking should mean automatic deportation from the UK. (A fair trial on Friday, followed by a deportation on Monday)

A bright spot in all of this is that Britain is better than many countries at ‘weeding-out’ those that engage in crime, and it successfully deports them to their place of origin. Many other countries aren’t faring as well as Britain.

To do it right takes a lot of effort, plenty of police assets and time, and a robust ‘tipster’ system, where those living under duress feel they can safely and anonymously report abusers and other criminal behaviors in their communities to the government. Fortunately, the UK government seems to have a good, if not perfect handle on the deportation aspect of British immigration policy.

Britain tag | Infographic: Which EU Countries Deport The Most People? | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

And, bonus! Pound for pound, deporting ‘problems’ is the most efficient way to lower the overall crime rate, to lower property damage and property insurance costs, and to lower policing and court costs. Not to mention slashing the astronomical costs of incarceration.


In the UK it is estimated that each new prison place costs £119,000 and that the *annual average cost per prisoner* exceeds £40,000.” — Kevin Marsh: The real cost of prison – The Guardian


Britain tag | Infographic: The EU's highest incarceration rates | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

It’s always a noble thing to accept refugees into a country, and economic migrants can make a better life for themselves and simultaneously help the host economy to thrive — but each level of government must always pay close attention to the total number of migrants in the UK, in each particular county, and in each city and town.

Far too often only the total numbers across the entire country are examined, with practically zero attention paid to small cities, towns and rural counties. It’s important that each jurisdiction doesn’t end up with a total immigration load of more than 6.5% of that jurisdiction’s population.

Each county, town, or city must have the authority to limit the maximum number of refugees, economic migrants, and normal émigrés within their boundaries to 6.5% of that jurisdiction’s total population.

Immigrants as a percentage of the total population

Many political scientists argue for a minimum of 4.5% to an absolute maximum of 6.5% immigrants-to-natives mix. Ghettoization in the community, and a much higher crime rate in nearby communities, begins to occur at 6.5% of the total population along with other serious social ills.

According to the world’s best political scientists, Britain, with a total population of 65 million calls for a maximum of 4,225,000 migrants of all kinds (refugees + economic migrants + normal émigrés) — instead of the 8.5 million that were in the country in 2015. Almost certainly that number surpasses 9 million now, in February of 2017.

It’s all about Balance!

Overly generous Britain needs to act decisively to lower total immigration loads by half in the immediate post-Brexit timeframe — or Britons need to double their extremely low fertility rate (presently set at 1.88 births per woman) for about 20-years, which seems unlikely.

All the economic and social good that occurs via immigration for the United Kingdom, for the migrants themselves, and for international goodwill, will eventually become undone if Britain continues to carry twice as many migrants as is advised by the world’s expert political scientists and demographers.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies ‘Bad for Business’ Say $2.8 Trillion Investor Group

by John Brian Shannon
Originally posted at kleef.asia

In advance of the G20 Hamburg Summit in July 2017 investor groups that control $2.8 trillion in assets report that fossil fuel subsidies are counterproductive to G20 economies.

This latest call to remove fossil fuel subsidies came two years after the G20 Brisbane Summit where leaders announced their intention to, “reaffirm our commitment to rationalise and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.”G20 Brisbane Leaders’ Communiqué (November 2014, Item #18)

The 16-member mega-investor group says G20 nations should set a clear timeline “for the full and equitable phase-out by all G20 members of all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020,” and mobilize “to accelerate green investment and reduce climate risk” in a report submitted to G20 foreign ministers preparing for the upcoming G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

G20 fossil fuel subsidies total $452 billion a year according to the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International.

A Must Read: Empty promises:
G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production

Fossil Fuel Subsidies chart from Empty Promises - G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production. Image courtesy of ODI and Oil Change International

Annual  G20 Fossil Fuel Subsidies (2015)

Meanwhile, annual subsidies for renewable energy in the G20 nations amounts to only 1/4 of the annual subsidy awarded to fossil fuels, which have received mega-billions of subsidy dollars every single year since 1918.

G20 Fossil Fuel Subsidies total 452 billion globally 2015, while Renewable Energy Subsidies total 121 billion globally 2015

Annual G20 Fossil Fuel Subsidies = $452 billion. Renewable Energy Subsidies = $121 billion (2015)


For the next few paragraphs, let’s look at the United States exclusively…

Fossil Fuel Subsidies - Energy subsidies from 1918-2009. Image courtesy of Nancy Pfund

1918-2009 Fossil Fuel Subsidies vs. Renewable Energy Subsidies in the U.S. The Historical Role of Federal Subsidies in Shaping America’s Energy Future: What Would Jefferson Do?

The average annual subsidy for Oil and Gas alone in the U.S. from 1918-2009 totals $4.86 billion.

Adding all those (oil and gas only) subsidy years together gets you the astonishing figure of $442,260,000,000. in total from 1918-2009 — that’s half a trillion dollars right there, folks.

Which doesn’t include wars to protect foreign oil exporters to the United States.

Nor does it include so-called ‘externalities’ which are the negative costs associated with the burning of oil and gas — such as the 200,000 annual premature deaths in the U.S. caused by airborne pollution, along with the other healthcare costs associated with air pollution, the environmental costs to farmers and to the aquatic life in our rivers and marine zones, and higher infrastructure (maintenance) costs.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies chart from DBL Investors What Would Jefferson Do. Total Capital Gains tax allowance coal subsidy 1.3 trillion 2000-2009

Fossil Fuel Subsidies chart from DBL Investors What Would Jefferson Do? which shows the capital gains allowance (a type of subsidy) enjoyed by the U.S. coal industry that totals $1.3 billion over the 2000-2009 timeframe.

This chart shows only the U.S. capital gains allowance! There are other coal subsidies, direct and indirect, at play in America — in addition to the externality costs of coal.

On the Externality Cost of Coal
Harvard Medicine

Each stage in the life cycle of coal—extraction, transport, processing, and combustion—generates a waste stream and carries multiple hazards for health and the environment. These costs are external to the coal industry and are thus often considered “externalities.”

We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public… over half a trillion dollars annually.

Many of these so-called externalities are, moreover, cumulative.

Accounting for the damages conservatively doubles to triples the price of electricity from coal per kWh generated, making wind, solar, and other forms of non-fossil fuel power generation, along with investments in efficiency and electricity conservation methods, economically competitive. — Full Cost Accounting for the Life Cycle of Coal (Harvard Medicine)

Fossil Fuels = High Subsidy Costs, High Externality Costs and Lower Employment: When Compared to Renewable Energy

In addition to the direct and indirect subsidy costs of fossil fuels, there are the externality costs associated with carbon fuels, but almost more important, is the ‘lost opportunity cost’ of the carbon economy.

Over many decades in the U.S., conventional energy producers have tapered their labour costs to only a few persons per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) while renewable energy hires more workers per BOE, which will result in a significant net gain for the U.S. economy.

Infographic: More Workers In Solar Than Fossil Fuel Power Generation | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Even with the paltry subsidy regimes presently in place for U.S. renewable energy in the year 2017 — once fossil fuel subsidy costs, the externality costs of fossil fuels, and the ‘missed opportunity’ costs (fewer jobs per BOE) are factored-in to the equation, renewable energy really begins to shine.

And best of all — by 2020 and without any subsidies (yes, really!) renewable energy will regularly beat highly subsidized conventional energy generators at their own game — by lowering electricity costs, by lowering healthcare and infrastructure costs, and by creating thousands of new, good-paying jobs.

Who was saying that renewable energy was a pipe-dream?


Bonus Video:

A Special EU Status for London?

by John Brian Shannon | February 14, 2017

It has become fashionable in recent weeks to talk about arranging some kind of special status for the City of London so that EU citizens can easily travel to London without the need to pass through UK customs.

Which would be convenient, wouldn’t it?

No pesky border guards to answer to, no briefcases opened and searched, and no wasted time for important EU-centric bankers and their European Union customers — and that applies whether they’re travelling for family vacations, to arrange financing for an EU business, or to meet their mistress in Calais.

Soon, bankers from every country will move to the UK to have all the advantages of EU access, combined with the privileges of living in Britain: A veritable banker’s paradise where the financial industry informs the UK government exactly how things will be.

Look now, it’s happening — just that it’s happening in slow-motion and nobody is seeing it for what it really is.


The Painfully Obvious Future of a ‘Special EU Status’ London

It’s so obviously in the EU’s interest to contrive a situation whereby London residents vote in a referendum to join the European Union, even as the rest of the UK continues to leave it (effectively sectioning-off London from the rest of the UK via the London Ring Road and Gatwick Airport) at which point the rest of the United Kingdom no longer held together by the economic gravity of London would probably dis-unite.

If Britain grants London ‘Special EU Status’ eventually it will become an EU City-state, Principality or Duchy, and Britons will need a passport to visit London.

Therefore, I can see why Brussels would want to contrive a ‘Special EU Status’ (SEUS) plan for the city of London, and I’m astonished at the innocent naiveté of Britons.

Britain tag | London, UK at night. Image courtesy of Leave.eu

London, UK at night. Image courtesy of Leave.eu

Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel practically ‘mansplained’ to British Prime Minister Theresa May how “The UK will not be allowed to cherry-pick the bits of the EU it likes” — even as EU negotiators do their own cherry-picking — with London as the plumpest and richest cherry in all of Europe.

READ: EU negotiator wants ‘special’ deal over access to City post-Brexit

Allowing this plan to come to fruition will create a weaker and less-united United Kingdom and it will handover the ‘gold’ (London) to the EU. And there’s not a thing Britain can do to prevent it once the City of London is granted any kind of EU-centric special status.

Yes! It’s a wonderful plan if you’re a member-state of the European Union, a Europhile, or a London banker who wants to avoid the hassle of going through customs with the little people.

Apparently the thinking goes along these lines; The world already has a global ‘1 percent class’ who own more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth and will own 80 percent of the world’s total wealth by 2035, so it’s obvious that the world should have a distinct ‘banker class’ and their friends the global elites can accomplish that via alternately bullying and schmoozing the UK government into a customs-free zone with the EU. Which seems to be working.

“Oh, and a peon holiday every Monday in London, Elizabeth. We don’t like Monday morning traffic. Cancel their other holidays to make up for it. Sniff.”


I would like to ask the UK government; Where else in the world are bankers allowed to travel without passing through customs because the bankers arranged the passing of a law that allowed them to do so? And where else in the world would a country that is leaving a Union, leave behind their own capital city with most of the country’s wealth?

The answer is; Nowhere on Earth has this happened, and for obvious reasons!


Rather than incrementally handing Britain’s most historic and important city to the European Union, it would be smarter to simply invite the EU-centric part of London’s financial sector to leave. Ah, Paris in the spring!

READ: The language of love sweet-talks the City

Losing the EU-based financial sector that operates out of London is surely preferable to losing the entire city of London to the EU — which WILL happen over time if the Special EU Status zone is approved, resulting in the consequent dissolution of the United Kingdom.


Is There a Precedent for Integration that leads to Assimilation?

All law functions on precedent and there is a rather large precedent for this in business law — the case of the United States vs. General Motors in the 1960’s. It’s a fascinating story.

In the early part of the 20th-century many manufacturers built vehicles for the American public who were decidedly pro-automobile. Ford was the first company to utilize innovative automotive production line assembly techniques and the company grew exponentially — in fact, they couldn’t keep up with the demand for their car, the Model T.

At the time, General Motors built trucks and other vehicles for the U.S. military, and heavy industry vehicles for the mining and forestry sectors and GM was heavily subsidized by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, Chevrolet simply fed off the demand that Henry Ford’s company couldn’t meet.

It was a brilliant strategy for Chevrolet. They adopted Ford’s assembly line manufacturing innovations and met most of the consumer demand that Henry couldn’t.

So successful was the Chevrolet plan, that the first car to outsell the Model T was the 1934 Chevrolet Coupe, which was Chevy’s version of the Model T which was available in every colour imaginable — unlike the Model T that was only available in black. Henry Ford painted all his cars black because that allowed the largest number of cars to be built in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest cost-per-unit. (No fussing with colours)

Ford grew, Chevrolet grew, and General Motors grew.

By the 1950’s, Chevrolet decided to turn the tables on its main competitor (Ford) by taking a note from Henry Ford’s playbook — outsourcing. Chevrolet lowered costs by outsourcing some manufacturing to the massive General Motors Corporation which accommodated Chevy’s request to build a few hundred thousand engines per year at a lower cost than Chevrolet could have ever imagined.

GM even asked Chevy to send over their engine specs and said they would build Chevy’s engines exactly how Chevrolet wanted. And with higher manufacturing standards.

It worked so well for Chevrolet that they later asked GM to supply transmissions, window glass, seats and door panels, and finally car bodies for Chevrolet. And General Motors happily obliged.

One sunny morning, GM began a hostile takeover of Chevrolet. Chevrolet objected and so did the U.S. government — and understandably Ford, Chrysler, Studebaker and the other automakers strenuously objected to the hostile takeover.

But during the discovery process to verify which company owned what, and which company was most responsible for Chevrolet’s massive success — even Chevrolet’s legal team couldn’t make a clear distinction. Neither could the FBI or U.S. Department of Justice investigators. Nor could the U.S. Supreme Court judges deciding the case who were left with no recourse but to allow the merger to proceed, as nobody could tell them exactly what constituted Chevrolet and what constituted General Motors!

Everyone in the industry was furious. Yet Ford, Studebaker, Chrysler, the new American Motors Company (AMC) and others couldn’t do a thing about it. And the U.S. Department of Justice wasn’t happy either.

It took approximately 25 years for GM to absorb Chevrolet, but in retrospect they could have done it in 18 years if they weren’t so busy playing it safe. (To better ensure their assimilation plan worked)

Chevrolet became a victim of its own brilliant success, while General Motors had a stellar plan all along; Integrate until nobody can tell the difference.

Assimilate London is exactly what the European Union will do with a separate-customs-arrangement-London.

It would be criminally naive to think otherwise.