A few days ago I complained about how sensational UK journalism distorted the facts of the Madonna adoption case.
I have to admit, though, that this lede is far livelier and more entertaining than anything an American paper would run:
“Britain is such a soft touch that even Americans are coming here to claim asylum and sponge off the state.”
It turns out that poor folks from America, often minorities, can get into Britain by asking for asylum. One immigrant duo that claimed U.S. racial discrimination as grounds for asylum “freely admitted they were here for the free healthcare and accommodation.”
Besides exposing dependency-importing gaps in British asylum law, this story underscores the economic notion that when you subsidize something, you get more of it. As we’ve seen in the U.S., if you pay people for being poor, being poor looks a lot more attractive. That isn’t to say that poverty is ever enjoyable by any stretch, but if your only job opportunities pay little and a government is willing to pay you a comparable amount for staying home, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the easiest thing to do.
Even if you have to go overseas to do it.
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.