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Jonathan Portes

Jonathan Portes is the director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Scapegoating Immigrants

Jonathan Portes, 20 June 2013

There are two major problems with contemporary British society, according to David Goodhart in The British Dream, and both are primarily caused by immigration. The first problem is economic: the plight of the white working class, especially the young, and the decline of social mobility. Goodhart argues that low-skilled immigrants have taken jobs from unskilled natives, leaving them languishing on benefits, while high-skilled immigration reduces both the incentives and opportunities for ambitious and talented natives to move up the ladder.

Letter
Jonathan Portes writes: So The British Dream contains ‘only a small number of factual errors’. How would David Goodhart know, when by his own admission he doesn’t check facts or cite sources? As I pointed out to him, his discussion of the US welfare state contains three factual errors on a single page. Fortunately this has no bearing on the main arguments. We can leave to one side...

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