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But beneath headlines about fat, cigarettes and a national epidemic of drunkenness, two diseases that were believed vanquished decades ago are re-emerging. Both are linked to immigration. On December 28th the Department of Health D o H confirmed what doctors have long suspected: rickets seems to be on the rise.
The disease—thought to have been eradicated in the s—stunts growth and deforms the skeleton, characteristically causing bowed legs and worse. The other disease is tuberculosis, dimly remembered as an affliction of slum-dwellers and glamorous Victorian poets.
Yet cases have been increasing since the mids. In 6, were reported in Britain excluding Scotland Southwold the fat adult girls i missed it, or Migration is involved in the resurgence of both conditions, though in different ways. Rickets is usually caused by a lack of vitamin Dwhich is needed to absorb calcium to build bones. Most vitamin D is made when skin is exposed to sunlight. Not much sunshine is needed—around 15 minutes a day in summer—but obtaining it in Britain, with its grey climate, house-bound children and official warnings about skin cancer, can be tricky.
Southwold the fat adult girls i missed it of around 52 degrees latitude roughly, beyond Milton Keynesthe winter sun is too weak for vitamin D to be produced. Skin colour matters too: dark-skinned people require more sun. What scant data there are suggest that up to 1 in children from ethnic minorities may suffer from rickets. Whereas migrants from sunny countries may develop rickets after arriving in Britain, tuberculosis is a disease that often comes with them.
Rates of infection are lowest among natives and highest among immigrants from Africa see chartwhere the disease is common in part because of the spread of AIDSwhose sufferers are particularly susceptible to infection. Tuberculosis is most common in the poorer areas of Britain's cities, which tend to have high immigrant populations and where poverty and deprivation erode resistance to the disease. Newham, a poor east London borough that is home to many immigrant families, has around infections perpeople, the highest rate in the country and comparable to China's figure.
In theory, rickets is easy to cure: official advice is to get more sunshine and, for pregnant women and young children, to take vitamin D supplements though only around a fifth of mothers heed it. Tuberculosis is harder to stamp out. Vaccinations, which used to be universal, have been reintroduced for children in high-risk areas. Immigrants from countries with the disease are offered screening when they arrive, although Chris Griffiths, a tuberculosis expert at Queen Mary, University of London, reckons the system is too leaky to catch all of them.
Often those most at risk are hardest to reach. One drug-resistant strain has been circulating in Camden and Islington for five years, especially among homeless people and ex-prisoners. This has prompted suggestions that sufferers be detained in secure hospitals—a Victorian response to a Victorian disease. FOR the past two decades or so, high rates of immigration into OECD countries have coincided with prolonged economic growth in much of the Western world. Consider Cobh, a bustling tourist town in southern Ireland which used to be famous for exporting people.
Some 2. Now, like the rest of Ireland, Cobh heaves with foreign workers. There are Poles on building sites, Latvians who own a shop selling dumplings, sauerkraut and other continental delicacies, a South African in the tourist office and another driving a taxi, Chinese in restaurants, a Bangladeshi managing a fishing business, and so on. A hotel owner says that he could not do without the migrants: when he recently advertised for a receptionist, none of the applicants was Irish. Migration can be both a consequence and a cause of economic well-being, but many people in host countries with lots of migrants have yet to be convinced of the economic benefits.
Some of the hostility towards immigration seems linked to worries about the economy. If recession looms, locals are more afraid that outsiders will take their jobs or scrounge on their welfare systems. The last time that immigration in America was as high as it is now, just under a century ago, xenophobia rose as recession took hold. Today, amid concerns that a housing slide could lead to a general economic slump, American anxiety about migration is rising again. But the poor worry about immigration even when the economy is thriving. Legal migrants usually have better job prospects than illegal ones, and the more educated outdo the rest.
Not all of them stay. Nearly a third of those who crossed the Atlantic to America between and —and as many as half the Spaniards and Italians—re-emigrated. Similarly, surveys today show that a majority of Poles in Britain plan to go home within a few years. Some migrants do better not only than those left behind but also than those in their destination countries. The Institute for Public Policy Research, a British think-tank, found in that the foreign-born of many ethnic groups are both more likely to have a job and to be better paid than the average Briton.
In America, over the past century, studies have shown migrants' wages catching up with, and then often surpassing, those of average Americans. Migrants' children do well too. This is not surprising. Migrants need health, skills, determination, a willingness Southwold the fat adult girls i missed it take risks and some entrepreneurial nous to take the plunge, which marks them out as special people.
Assuming that migrants are in work, they are bound to benefit the economy of the host country as a whole. Most simply, an expanding workforce permits faster growth. More people can do more work, and many migrants are young adults who are particularly productive. Moreover, migrants increasingly alleviate specific labour shortages in rich economies. Some economies could not function without foreign workers. Around half of the new jobs created in Britain today are filled by migrants, often because they have skills that locals lack from plumbing to banking or because natives scorn the work from picking fruit to caring for the elderly.
Low jobless rates in Ireland, Sweden, Britain, America and other countries with high migration suggest that, so far, foreigners are not squeezing out natives. Migrants also help to create jobs, because a good supply of labour encourages those with capital to invest more. For example, the hotel owner in Cobh, knowing he can find affordable staff, has added an extension with extra rooms.
In contrast, countries where migrants have been kept at arm's length, such as Germany, complain about a chronic shortage of skilled workers such as engineers, scientists or programmers. Foreign workers are often more flexible than native ones, too. Having already moved from Mexico to California, say, they are probably willing to take a job in Chicago.
Migrant labour helps to keep economies on an even keel. At times of strong growth, an influx of workers reduces the risk of wage pressures and rising inflation. If growth weakens, migrants can go home or move to another country, or choose not to come in the first place.
For example, the flow of Mexicans to America is probably slowing as the housing slump worsens and construction jobs disappear. Migrants can also release skilled natives to do a job for example by providing child care that allows a parent to go back to work. And they are consumers, too, renting accommodation and buying goods and services. The owner of the off-licence in Cobh is delighted by his Polish customers, who are fond of bison grass vodka and east European lager. Cobh's supermarket, fast-food restaurants and other shops are flourishing too.
Quantifying the impact of all this is tricky. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers concluded that a surge in migration has helped to lift Britain's growth rate above its long-term trend. Alexandros Zavos, of the Hellenic Migration Policy Institute in Athens, reckons that immigration into Greece has recently added as much as 1. For countries that have long had high rates of immigration, such as America, sustained economic growth partly reflects an ever-growing workforce.
Sceptics say that migration may boost the economy as a whole, but on a per-head basis the benefits for the natives are less impressive. Migrationwatch, an anti-migration group in Britain, reckons that for the average Briton the inflow of foreigners provides just a few extra pence a week.
Roy Beck, an anti-immigrant activist in America, suggests that countries with ageing workforces should try to make their economies less labour-dependent. But some jobs such as cleaning or nursing cannot be sent abroad or mechanised. And even if more natives can be trained to do highly skilled work, shrinking native workforces in many countries could mean economic contraction. Some of the sceptics' arguments touch raw political nerves, particularly when it comes to the least well-off natives in the host country.
Southwold the fat adult girls i missed it America the share of national income that is going to the poorest has been shrinking in recent decades. Inequality has increased and the real wages of the least skilled have fallen. Circumstantial evidence suggests that foreigners, who typically work in less skilled jobs, might be partly to blame.
If the illegal workers could be counted, the figures would probably be much higher still. Do migrants make life worse for poor natives? Studies comparing wages in American cities with and without lots of foreigners suggest that they make little difference to the income of the poorest. But Mr Borjas also calculated how a rise in the of migrants might have encouraged the creation of jobs, which reduced the impact on wages. This tallies with the outcome of natural experiments in recent history, such as the influx ofRussian Jews into Israel in the early s, the return ofFrenchmen from Algeria in or the homecoming ofPortuguese after the collapse of their empire in Africa in Each time the influx of workers expanded the workforce and wages dropped slightly, but subsequently recovered.
Given prolonged immigration, argues Steven Camorata of the Centre for Immigration Studies, the impact is sustained. Worse, say the sceptics, migration may limit poor natives' chances of moving up to better-paid jobs. With changing economies that reward skills, it is anyway getting harder to move up the ladder from low-wage jobs to better-paid ones.
Now migrants, especially those with skills and drive, are making life even harder for the weakest natives. A second worry is that migrants will put a strain on public services and the tax system. It is in schools, public housing and doctors' surgeries that natives come face to face with migrants and it is often at the local and state level, where responsibility Southwold the fat adult girls i missed it such services usually lies, that hostility to migrants seems strongest.
Local councils in Britain complain that clinics and schools are overloaded and central government is slow to dish out help, and local police in areas with many immigrants blame foreigners for a rise in crime. In Greece, as new illegal immigrants arrive at remote spots on the border, officials complain that they lack funds for policing and social services.
Several states have passed tough new laws banning illegal migrants from using their public services. But crowding, although likely to cause resentment, from the unexpected arrival of those migrants, with bureaucracies taking time to allocate resources to the right places. In itself, it does not prove that migrants are a drag on public services as a whole. Indeed, migrants Southwold the fat adult girls i missed it make a large contribution to the public purse. When a foreign worker first arrives, usually as a young adult, fully educated and in good health, he makes few demands on schools or clinics.
A legal immigrant will pay taxes just like any native; even an illegal one will contribute something if only through the tax on those bottles of bison grass vodka. If the immigrant stays on and quite a few do notthe benefits will diminish as he ages, but at least he has given his host country a breathing space. To complicate matters, highly skilled migrants contribute much more to tax and social-security systems than do less skilled ones. But migrants as a whole, in the long term and counting the contribution of their children when they grow up and get jobs, are not a drain on public services.
For rich countries with ageing workforces in particular, gains from importing the young, the energetic and those willing to take risks comfortably outweigh the costs.
That is a precedent which many British physicists must surely wish had become traditional. At the moment, money for physics is in short supply in Britain.Southwold the fat adult girls i missed it
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