2008-02-02

Make Immigration Win Win: Bring Back the Head Tax

60 Billion Dollars
Canada earned today's equivalent of 1.2 billion Canadian dollars from the Chinese Head Tax before banning Chinese immigration altogether. By the way, that is a ban that essentially persists to this day.
 
I say bring back the head tax, but impose it on immigrants of all origins. Imagine the revenue that would be generated if immigrants gave our government $200,000, each, for the privilege of living in Canada. That seems like an outrageous amount, but yet that is today's very approximate equivalent of what Chinese immigrants were paying in the last couple of years of the head tax program.
 
At current immigration levels, such a program would generate 60 billion dollars a year, and would save a fortune in administration costs. If we were really greedy, we could front the money and charge substantially more thanks to interest. We could make paying off the loan a condition of becoming a citizen. That way politicians would be less likely to forgive the loans (granted, they haven't for students, so why would they for immigrants, even if they could vote).
 
Fairness
Ok, so you say this would be completely unfair. Well, under the current system, people often pay small fortunes to be smuggled into the country, often with fake documents, often via other inhospitable countries, at a significant risk to their lives!
 
As well, under the current point system, to immigrate to Canada you have to have a post secondary education that is payed off in full! How is that fair? As well, you usually need work experience in your field. So if you are a Belgium university graduate but are working at Starbucks, you can't come to Canada to work in Canada's oil fields until you get experience, presumably in Belgium's oil industry.
 
Basically, the point system is a sick farce. The net result is we let people in who will not benefit financially from coming to Canada. The people that would benefit usually don't have enough points to come here legally. So they come as fake students, fake tourists, fake refugees, all the while spending large sums of money insuring their fakeness is not discovered.
 
The temporary worker class is a quite popular method of coming to Canada. Technically, temporary workers are here temporarily, and they are not immigrants. They are matched to a job before being let into the country. The job doesn't work out, they go back. The employees are terrified of losing their jobs as they would be forced to go back home. This leads to terrible exploitation and wage deflation.
 
From an employer's perspective, it is also bad. Employers can't hire people already in the country. They have to pay outrageous fees and spend a good deal of time filling out forms, and they end up with a mediocre employee, it could take 6 months to get a replacement approved!
 
Win, Win, Win, Win
With a head tax, iimmigrants would could significantly improve their lives, both financially and otherwise, would be coming to Canada. Those are the immigrants we want. The ones who make a rational decision to come here. Immigrants who pay the head tax would win because of the improvement to their lives and the simple admission process: pay fee = welcome to Canada eh.
 
Employers would win because it would be much easier to attract motivated, qualified individuals who are here to stay.
 
Canadians would benefit because the head tax revenue could be used on government programs or to lower taxes. Also, immigrants would have less money to drive up the cost of real estate. Immigrants would be more likely to live in apartments and use public transportation. So it would also be good for the environment.
 
So I say bring back the head tax, but charge the same amount to all immigrants, regardless of the country of origin.
 
Did I mention the 60 billion dollars?
 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really don't know what to say. It should be so freakin' obvious that the only people who would benefit from this plan are the human trafficers that I'm truly dumbfounded that anyone would even propose this.

On the otherhand, this does deserve a response, so here goes:

That seems like an outrageous amount, but yet that is today's very approximate equivalent of what Chinese immigrants were paying in the last couple of years of the head tax program.

It is an outrageous amount. The whole point of charging that much was to keep the Chinese out. That's why it was replaced by an outright ban on Chinese immigration.

At current immigration levels, such a program would generate 60 billion dollars a year...

And you don't think that this proposal would reduce immigration? By quite a bit in fact?

... we could front the money and charge substantially more thanks to interest.

Give a $200,000 loan to individuals without knowing whether or not they'd be able to pay it off? Even the NDP aren't that retarded. (Which is saying a lot, given how retarded the NDP is.) Since you'd also scrap the point system, most potential immigrants would not likely end up in jobs where they'd be able to pay off that kind of loan.

Ok, so you say this would be completely unfair. Well, under the current system, people often pay small fortunes to be smuggled into the country, often with fake documents, often via other inhospitable countries, at a significant risk to their lives!

In other words: There is evil shit in the world; more evil shit would be better!

Basically, the point system is a sick farce.

The point system has problems, but the reality is that 300,000 people a year come to Canada under the point system, and significantly more would make it in if Ottawa didn't cap that number.

The temporary worker class is a quite popular method of coming to Canada.

The whole point of the temporary worker system is to be able hire with specific skills that they cannot find in Canada. It's not like there's a labour shortage in Canada. Given that you'd also scrap the point system, the need to look abroad for certain skills would actually increase, not decrease.

With a head tax, immigrants would could significantly improve their lives, both financially and otherwise, would be coming to Canada.

These are precisely the people who would need to turn to the human trafficers in order to enter Canada.

Those are the immigrants we want. The ones who make a rational decision to come here. Immigrants who pay the head tax would win because of the improvement to their lives and the simple admission process: pay fee = welcome to Canada eh.

More like become slave - welcome to Canada.

Employers would win because it would be much easier to attract motivated, qualified individuals who are here to stay.

You already have to be highly motivated to be able to come to Canada. The point system, which you'd get rid of, ensures that immigrants have qualifications that employers look for. Your proposal would mean a sharp increase in those whose only qualification is being desperate enough to sell themselves to a human trafficer.

Canadians would benefit because the head tax revenue could be used on government programs or to lower taxes.

Not that much revenue, given how much immigration would drop as a result of the head tax. In fact, it's likely that the negative economic impact of such a large drop in immigration would more than offset the revenue raised by the head tax.

Also, immigrants would have less money to drive up the cost of real estate.

Can I assume that you live in Vancouver, and are a member of a white supremecist organization?

Did I mention the 60 billion dollars?

Did I mention the human trafficing?

Altavistagoogle said...

I think we are underestimating the economic appeal of Canada. 200 grand is much less than what many new Canadians spend on their gigantic subburban houses. Many people would be willing to pay that kind of money to come to Canada, especially if they could borrow the money from the government (we could charge them a slightly higher income tax rate untill the loan was payed off).

By the way, you don't need a post-secondary degree to make good money in construction or the oil sands.

Anonymous, you said:
"The point system, which you'd get rid of, ensures that immigrants have qualifications that employers look for."
Nothing could be further from the truth. The point system is ment to let in "adaptable" candidates. There is no link whatesoever between offer and demand. If there were, we would be letting in people who could work at Tim Hortens.

Anonymous said...

Gigantic new houses? What are talking, less than one percent of new immigrants?

The biggest hurdle faced by most new immigrants is getting their qualifications recognized. This is why doctors and engineers (which are in demand, by the way,) are driving taxi cabs or delivering pizzas. These people are not buying gigantic houses.

As to your claim that "many" immigrants would be willing to loan that much to come to Canada, do you have any data to support this, or does it come from the same pool of BS as the rest of your post?

You post is absurd, making wild claims which cannot be supported by evidence, and is vastly out of touch with reality.

Altavistagoogle said...

In essence, the program already exists. They just get the money back.
And if the Chinese were willing to pay it in the early 20th century, why not now?
Business class applicant

Anonymous said...

The immigrants that you will get that can afford that kind of money would be ones that are criminals in their home country. Is that who you want living in your town? Or do you want someone who comes to Canada for higher education, finishes his or her degree and then decides to work and live in the country. i.e a productive member of society.

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