Monday, September 14, 2015
Are immigrants economically desirable?
I wrote this for my AUSTRALIAN POLITICS blog but I think its interest extends well beyond Australia
One would have thought that the obvious answer to the question above would be: "It depends on the immigrant". Some immigrants are obviously better than others. But there is an argument popping up rather a lot lately, mainly from the Left and people of recent immigrant origin, claiming that ALL immigration is desirable.
There is a completely empty such argument consisting of nothing but hand-waving assertions by neo-Marxist economist Thomas Piketty here. One could with complete adequacy reply to Piketty simply by saying: "No. Immigration is NOT good for a country". Both the reply and the original would be equally free of relevant data.
Another example written by Mat Spasic is here. It does at least mention Australia so I will say a little about it.
Spasic's argument is basically just a load of old cobblers. He sedulously avoids mentioning any relevant statistics about the different immigrant groups. No mention that Muslims and Africans tend to be highly welfare dependent, for instance.
If all immigrants were equal, his argument would be sound. He points out well-known demographics which show sub-replacement birth rates and an ageing population. Adding a large number of younger newcomers to the workforce would be very helpful in those circumstances. But that's the point. How many of the current crop of "refugees" will enter the workforce? And how many will go onto welfare? Mr Spastic offers no information on that.
And some of the arguments he puts up are quite laughable. He argues that Germany is prosperous because it has a large immigrant population. That Germany is prosperous because Germans work and study hard he does not consider. There is no chance that he would have mentioned the fact that Germany is the only country where members of the national parliament (Bundestag) normally hold a doctorate. Germany has ALWAYS been prosperous, with or without immigrants.
So here are just a few of the things that the Spastic ignores:
Sweden's immigrants are almost entirely Muslims from the Middle East. And there is ten times higher welfare dependency among them than among native Swedes. How beneficial is that to Sweden?
And in Germany, 80% of those Turkish Muslim "guest workers", that Mr Spastic praises, claim welfare payments. "Guest parasites" would be a franker description
And in the Netherlands: 50-70% of former Muslim ‘asylum seekers’ live permanently on welfare.
And in Denmark the crime rate among Somalis (African Muslims) is ten times the rate among native born Danes.
And according to the most recent figures released by Australia's Immigration Department, Muslims had an unemployment rate of 12.1 per cent in 2011 while the national average was 5.2 per cent. And if we look more closely at the statistics, the unemployment rate among some migrant communities is 20% -- all living off the Australian taxpayer.
It is quite simply unreasonable to generalize about immigrants. All men are not equal. If we care for our national wellbeing, we have to ask: "Which immigrants?".
Even official economic research acknowledges that. I quote:
"It is clear that the experiences of immigrants in the labour market vary between NESB [non-English-speaking-background] and ESB [English-speaking-background] immigrants. The experiences of ESB immigrants are generally very similar to those of people born in Australia, while NESB immigrants are generally less successful in the labour market than the other two birthplace groups.
It is clear that NESB immigrants, when compared with the Australia-born, are less likely to participate in the labour force (partly due to NESB immigrants being more likely to be discouraged in their job search), have higher rates of unemployment, and are more likely to be underemployed"
A good example of how much ESB background matters is the large number of white South Africans who have fled to Australia to escape the racism of the "rainbow" regime there. They just do not show up anywhere in any statistics. They blend seamlessly into the prior population. Were all other "refugees" like them! -- JR
Refugees, bleeding hearts and the danger of moral bullying
By British doctor Max Pemberton
Back in the Seventies, a psychologist from Yale University identified a phenomenon he called ‘groupthink’. It’s what happens when people are so anxious to conform and get along together that they ignore alternative viewpoints and end up making bad decisions.
Anyone who’s sat in an office meeting knows how it can work. Someone comes up with an idea that, frankly, isn’t terribly good. But everyone around the table is so keen to avoid conflict and reach a consensus that they talk themselves into agreeing.
It feels disloyal to point out inconvenient flaws in the argument, or suggest other ways to solve the problem. Creativity and independent thinking are suppressed; facts that don’t fit are ignored.
Before long, it starts to seem morally wrong to pipe up against the prevailing view. Who wants to be the mean-spirited contrarian, standing in the way of progress and contradicting what all right-thinking people in the room clearly believe?
The irony is that everyone is so busy agreeing with each other, it makes them even more convinced they’re all wise and wonderful, when they’re blinding themselves to reality.
The Yale researcher, Irving Janis, suggested groupthink was one of the factors behind various fiascos involving the U.S. government — from the failure to anticipate Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor to the Bay Of Pigs invasion of Castro’s Cuba.
But I’m starting to wonder if there’s some dangerous groupthink going on in Britain right now, about the awful refugee crisis engulfing the Mediterranean.
Maybe I’m heartless. Maybe I’m mistaken. But I’m not convinced that the answer to the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Syria is to open our borders to tens of thousands of refugees.
I’m not sure it’s right for our country and I’m not sure, ultimately, it’s right for the Syrian people. And according to a number of polls conducted this week, I am not alone in having these concerns.
In one survey, only one in four people favoured taking in more than 10,000 refugees. In another, two-thirds said they were worried that the images of drowned children risked distorting the debate.
Yet on social media and among our broadcasters and politicians, there’s a very different consensus.
In fact, people in these groups —often privileged, always fond of their own voices — have been competing with each other to insist we offer asylum to ever greater numbers. Those who haven’t joined this collective orgy of emotion are condemned as immoral, cruel and stupid.
This is itself a classic example of how Janis suggested groupthink works. The group insiders not only over-rate their own goodness and competence, but they also dangerously underrate the abilities and humanity of those who dare disagree with them.
Now, I challenge anyone not to be moved by that awful image of poor little Aylan Kurdi lying dead in the surf. Of course it was horrific. Of course we must seek a solution to this crisis and do what we can to ease the suffering of all involved.
However, I’ve worked with many refugees over my years as a doctor, including in outreach projects that helped asylum seekers. I am acutely aware they require a lot of support.
Inevitably, they will have witnessed and endured terrible things that can leave deep mental scars. The language barrier makes helping them cope with these problems especially hard. It’s no small burden for a country to take on.
It is entirely disingenuous for our leaders not to acknowledge that an influx of refugees has an impact on public services — not just in health but in education, housing and welfare. What frustrates me is that the people so enthusiastically insisting that we welcome large numbers are not the ones who will feel the pain of all this.
The Twitter hashtag mob will, largely, continue with their comfortable lives untouched. It’s mostly the poor and the sick who will feel the impact of refugees coming into their community.
There are countless other arguments here — not least the danger of encouraging yet more people to risk their lives on dangerous journeys.
But it’s not the specifics of these arguments that I’m worried about today. It’s the way influential groups in society are exerting pressure — consciously or unconsciously — to stop those arguments, and the feelings behind them, being expressed.
It’s psychologically unhealthy for people to think they have no right to voice sincerely held convictions. And at a practical level, it’s dangerously counterproductive for dissenting voices to be shouted down by a chorus of people desperate to show how caring they are.
Surely we need open, rational debate so we can thrash out solutions. If people’s worries or objections are unfounded, then expose them to the light and watch them wither away. Don’t try to shove them under the carpet.
The idea of groupthink was partially inspired by George Orwell’s nightmarish novel 1984, which used a similar term ‘doublethink’ to describe the way people manage to live with totally contradictory ideas to survive under a dystopian dictatorship.
But in the age of social media, fostering competitive compassion and intellectual conformity, groupthink may be a bigger threat than anything Orwell imagined.
The British Labour Party is now led by an unambiguous hater of Britain (shades of Obama!)
It has become a cliche to say that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to be the leader of the Labour Party – at least for anyone who didn’t vote for him in yesterday’s leadership ballot.
But it’s worse than that. He is barely fit to be an MP. Corbyn doesn’t just hate America, Nato and the West. He appears to hate Britain itself.
Every one of his foreign policy positions involves supporting our enemies and attacking our friends. Last week he attacked David Cameron for launching the drone strike that killed British IS terrorist Reyaad Khan.
Corbyn said he would not have authorised the attack and that it was ‘unclear as to the point of killing’ Khan. Most of us might think the point is simple: Khan is now dead.
To Corbyn, everything Britain and the West does is wrong, which leads to the barmy conclusion that any enemy of Britain and the West must, at the very least, have a point.
IS might have burned people alive, plunged them in cages into water, raped them and beheaded them. But it would be wrong, says Corbyn, to ‘make value judgments’ about Brits who travel to Syria to join IS.
It is not just terrorist groups who benefit from his warped world view. Most of us think the collapse of the Soviet Union was one of the greatest events in the modern world. Not Corbyn. In his view, Poland should never have been allowed to join Nato because it was a deliberate provocation of Russia.
When Putin invaded Ukraine last year, he was not demonstrating Russian imperialism but acting defensively against US and Nato provocation, says Corbyn.
In the Middle East, Hamas might murder its opponents, kill homosexuals and be committed to the extinction of the Jewish people, but to Corbyn they are welcome ‘friends’.
When his welcoming language towards Hamas and Hezbollah was exposed, he said he was simply being polite and it was important to speak to people of all political stripes. But you will struggle to find him introducing representatives of the Israeli government as ‘friends’. Because he hasn’t. Ever.
The point is that in the Corbyn world view, any enemy of the West is worthy of support. Any ally is opposed. So he was happy to invite Raed Salah, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist with a conviction for spreading the blood libel (that Jews drink the blood of gentile children), to take tea with him at the Commons.
Bizarre and dangerous as these alliances may be, they are wrapped up in the language of concern – for the poor, for the rule of law and for the powerless.
Consider this quote from 2006 by John Rees, the national officer of Corbyn’s Stop the War Coalition: ‘Socialists should unconditionally stand with the oppressed against the oppressor, even if the people who run the oppressed country are undemocratic and persecute minorities, like Saddam Hussein.’
Some things are beyond parody. And one of them is now leading the Labour Party.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 12:37 AM