Is it working yet?

When these skilled and energetic young people from all around the world started to work together, another virtue of the migrant economy became apparent. Not only did migrants provide skills but they also stimulated creativity. People with different backgrounds and ways of thinking spurred each other on to produce ideas.*
(Douglas McWilliams)

Look Look Look Look Look Look Look! I’m running away with my imagination.**
(Ruth Krauss)

Douglas McWilliams published his book The Flat White Economy a year before the UK’s European Referendum. He suspected but didn’t know how arguing over immigration would play out a year later. He did know that all figures suggested the cost to the UK economy over ten years if immigration were restricted would be far more than £200 billion, the kind of loss that will leave us all 6% worse off.

Something more from what he writes is how you can’t cherry pick when it comes to immigration because, whilst you may know what already exists and needs filling job-wise, you have no idea what will happen when determined, bright, imaginative people find each other and create new things you hadn’t thought of.

Thousands of years earlier the “Teacher” had written of his hope that people would enjoy their food and their work, even if they couldn’t fully understand the past or know the future:

He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.^

All these years later no one fully understand the past or knows what will happen in the future, but we do know that people can imagine some incredible things and, make just a little part of the future more visible, making a difference for others on the way:

Creating the future does not begin with a plan. It begins with a dream. And when someone acts on a dream it creates a spark.^^

(*From Douglas McWilliams’ The Flat White Economy.)
(**From Ruth Krauss and Michael Sendak’s
Open House for Butterflies.)
(^Ecclesiastes 3:11-13)
(^^From Alex McManus’ Makers of Fire.)

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