Paul A Kramer’s talk below comes from the perspective of the US Immigration debate; however, with Boris Johnson proposing a strict points-based immigration system for the United Kingdom, Kramer’s insight resonated with me.
You will be unsurprised that, as an artist myself, I am uncomfortable with reducing any human being to a single measure of objective value, the dismissal of the intangible and soft benefits of new cultural perspectives in favour of solely the strictly measurable and assumed certain benefits of “proper” employments; and the moral question of whether we can assign a person a single measure of worth seems similarly clear.
However, as Kramer shows, abandoning the false assessment of “are they worth the damage they will do”, rejecting the idea that outsiders are by default a source of loss at all, also aids those who are already here. An immigration policy that treats humans as humans, that values art and diversity as well as ability to fill a ‘skill gap’, is better economically for most people.
And Kramer is not alone: many studies in areas including project management, sociology, and psychology show that two people working together are more productive than those two people working individually, that we are better together than divided.
Without unlimited resources, a society needs some rules to avoid being overburdened, but they must account for the increase in resources that comes from standing together.