Betraying Your Own People
In the latest figures released by Statistics NZ, the level of net migration has breached a new record once again - soaring to 71,300 new migrants in the preceding year. That number broke the previous record set in 2015 which was at 68,000 net migration.
In a country where homelessness is on the rise and unemployment is at a high level you would think that such a statistic is a cause for concern. However, when confronted with this development the Prime Minister Bill English defended the soaring migration numbers instead and attributed it on local employers' demand for more workers. That of course is the rule of the free market, where employers can source overseas for labour provided that there are no workers appropriate for the job in the country. However, the same Statistics NZ report also reported of an increase in the unemployment rate to 5.2% or about 139,000 New Zealanders without paid work.
If there are increasing numbers of local workers unable to find employment what is the need to tap overseas labour markets? Also, why would the leader of the country call a rise in migrant job hiring positive news? English justified the need to hire workers from overseas on the work ethic and conduct of Kiwi workers, saying that many of those unemployed "cannot pass a drug test." That comment irked many, not only because it is a serious allegation to make but also because of how demonstrably false it is.
Thanks to an initiative by then Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, a colleague of English from the National Party, thousands of welfare beneficiaries who were seeking work had to undergo a drug test in 2015. Taxpayer funds were used to fund this large-scale program which would be money well-spent had it produced substantial reports, however the result of the test found only 55 beneficiaries positive of drug-use. It is a minuscule percentage overall which does not justify the use of public funds and also disproves the notion that these beneficiaries are drug addicts.
If English also doubts the work ethic of New Zealanders, then he should consider this: there were 4,000 applicants for only 26 WorkSafe jobs last year. Were the unsuccessful applicants who did not find work also lazy even though they endeavored to apply for the job? Based on that scenario, aren't the meagre number of vacancies as well as the overabundance of competition for those limited jobs the problem?
The Prime Minister should also consider that under current immigration laws, checkout operators and fruit pickers are considered "essential skills" and thus warrant the issuance of work visas. This was defended by former Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse, also a National Party member himself. Funnily enough, those jobs are so rudimentary that they could be done even by the drug-addled and lazy - yet we need to issue work visas for "skilled" migrants to fill those gaps. On a serious note, such jobs could be tapped by the unemployed to lower the rate of unemployment but the ruling National government chooses to forego with that economic solution in favor of overpopulation - inflating the already troubling housing bubble and adding to more unemployment.
The comment Bill English made regarding New Zealanders is nothing new to hear from a member of the National Party, similar sentiments were echoed by the previous Prime Minister and English's predecessor, John Key. The latter suggested last year that Kiwis could not find work because they were "lazy or drug-addled", again drawing criticisms from various sectors. Key was not shy to express his lack of faith in the Kiwi worker, which is not surprising giving his history as a currency speculator - making a living by betting against the Kiwi dollar.
It is safe to say that the National Party lack belief in their own people, which is ironic given the name they have chosen for their cabal. The party hierarchy are proud to declare their preference for the foreign worker, as evidenced by the growing number of their compatriots unemployed and record levels of migration. English, Key, and co. may call their antics as "sound economics", but there is a more appropriate term for it - treason, the act of betraying your own people.