I have employed large numbers of migrants – and I now understand the terrible damage that mass migration has done

Growth in living standards – as any South American junta could tell you – comes in one of two ways: real or artificial. The real thing is the result of putting more people to work, embracing technology, and reducing inefficiencies. But all kinds of sleight of hand can conjure an illusion.

Printing money will convince people – at least in the short term – that there is more to do. The graveyard of economic history shows how tough that drug boom is. However, looking back at our own recent economic picture, despite the technological developments that may have turbocharged prosperity, it is difficult to conclude that our own economic growth was not so artificial.

Today, “printing money” (and it means little else) is rebranded as quantitative easing. Some £875 billion of newly minted money was used to buy assets, injecting cash into the economy at huge cost. The Treasury now faces a huge bill, which could be between £100 billion, to cover the losses. But as the Telegraph reported, there were winners: high street lenders, in particular, made an extra £9 billion in profits over 2023 thanks to the scheme.

So there you are: taxpayers down, and the banks up. This might be justifiable if the policy was driven by strong growth. I see no evidence of this. Instead, it appears to have driven dramatic growth in asset prices. Britain’s money supply has greatly increased, devaluing the wages of British workers, to the benefit of British banks.

The money didn’t seem to be making its way to ordinary families. Rather it was used to bail out financial institutions whose own diversion into more complex forms of fractional reserve banking created vast sums of fictitious money which, in the first instance, fueled inflation in real estate and financial assets, and in consumer prices. Just ten years ago, this same shell game resulted in the collapse and global financial crisis.

Since the 1970s, the ratio of the average house cost to salary has more than doubled to a full 8.8 times. Gone are the days when a single earner in a family could lead a decent life. Today, families are forced to send children to childcare to service exorbitant mortgages on the same homes their parents’ generation lived in.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England, trying to rein in the runaway inflation that resulted at least in part from its own errors, is now punishing the country with interest rates that hit the workers and the hardest hit in the first place. place.

No wonder so many feel they are suffering from a relentless decline in living standards. However, the artificial growth did not stop there. Monetary quantitative easing has been accompanied by what is now called “human quantitative easing”: mass migration.

By importing millions of workers to fill vacancies, often at below market wages, British companies may have felt they were getting a good deal. I should know. As the former CEO of one of the UK’s largest staffing agencies, I have employed more migrants than perhaps anyone else in the UK. It was a profitable business but – in the end – practices like this caused great harm to both British and migrant workers.

Internally, the seemingly endless flow of migrant labor has reduced British wages, slowed investment in automation, and contributed to the growth of a permanently unemployed class. And like the other “quantitative easing”, which also benefited asset owners at the expense of workers, it was implemented in the absence of democratic debate.

The unelected chiefs in Threadneedle Street levied quantitative easing. First the EU’s open borders led to mass migration. Today, ministers set levels in the abstract behind closed doors. Every internal proposal from the Government to reduce the number of migrations – as Robert Jenrick – has shown, is accompanied by apocalyptic predictions of economic destruction from faceless officers of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

It is being said that those who witnessed these shady practices up close are speaking out. Jenrick, the former immigration minister and an old friend of the Prime Minister, resigned from office to speak out about migration. As he made clear, while immigration raised total GDP, it probably sent GDP per capita – how much is produced per person – into a cycle of stagnation.

Lord King, the former Governor, has warned that a dangerous “group think” has crept into the Bank’s monetary policy decision-making. He said that not a single dissenting voice had checked his erroneous thinking in recent years. And yet, despite this emerging realization, our politicians seem to be obsessed with the policies of the past.

The Prime Minister’s approach to reducing migration was cautious at best. Meanwhile, this election has shown that Jeremy Hunt and Rachel Reeves have the same enthusiasm for the policies of the cangos who run the UK financial state. If anything, Reeves – herself a former Bank of England economist – seems to be even more inured to orthodoxy.

But we know exactly where this will go. It is all too clear to the victims of these policies. Only our political classes seem to be the last to embrace the change we need.

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