colin wrote:The easy importation of cheap unskilled labor is absolutely the issue, how can it not be , its virtually tautological , unskilled labor = low productivity. It is not complicated. Yes the complicated bit is getting out of this situation because we have let it progress so far . It's not just East Anglian farmers who have become dependent on immigrant labor its any business that can make use of such labor as an alternative to using more efficient means of production.
Step 1: reduce unskilled labour immigration
Step 2: put tariffs on imports that would otherwise be imported rather than produced, with the now higher-costs of unskilled domestic labour.
Impact: Employers like Costa etc. have to put their prices up to cover increased labour costs. Joe Public discovers he doesn't need quite so many lattes and Costa start closing unprofitable outlets, OR Joe really needs the lattes, but now has less money to spend on other items. Barrista-boy has some more money, admittedly, but the tax-man will make this a net-negative for the economy as a whole.
East Anglian farmers put prices up (again to cover labour costs) and supermarket customers start to switch to other products or buy the more expensive produce but then have less to spend elsewhere.
How does this (admittedly straw man example) solve the underlying issue of increasing productivity?
I'm not baiting you (or at least, that's not my intention). I am genuinely interested as to how we, UK Plc can get out of this mess.