Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Manpower planning

Immigration is a tough issue because open borders run up against security concerns but controls empower all sorts of politicized gatekeepers and also create brutal black market trade.

The Bush compromise initiative on temporary work permits appears to have been lost in identity group politics.

Globalization is the best international anti-poverty policy and migration reform is a key part of globalization.

Against this very harsh background, it is almost humorous to read about the Canadian immigration official who got into trouble, "when it was revealed that she had issued a permit to a Romanian woman who had worked on her election campaign. To the prurient delight of the opposition, the woman was a stripper who had come to Canada in 2003 (along with 552 other Romanian women) under a special programme to fill a shortage of labour in the 'exotic-dancing' business." (See the full story in the January 22, Economist).

One of the dumbest ideas from 1970s American politics was "manpower planning." It appears to be alive and (not) well in Canada.