Are immigrants economically desirable?
One would have thought that the obvious answer 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. Judging by the surname, Mr Spasic's forebears did not come to Australia in convict ships, as two of mine did. More likely they came from what was for a while Yugoslavia.
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 native-born population. Were all other "refugees" like them!
South Africa is a bit of a bee in my bonnet (I have been there both during and after Apartheid) so let me diverge slightly from my original topic at this point:
Even a lot of affluent South African "liberals" (critics of Apartheid) have decamped. When they got the "rainbow" nation they had campaigned for, they decided that they didn't like it after all. Liberals like J.M. Coetzee and Tony Bloom have emigrated: Bloom to London and Coetzee to Adelaide. Crime was very low under Apartheid but is astronomical now. When I was in S'Af in 1979 during Apartheid, I saw no fences in Sandton (an affluent Jo'burg suburb). Now there are 8' high fences topped with razor-wire. Some things speak for themselves.
So when it came to the safety of their own skin, ideology took a back seat for the likes of Bloom and Coetzee. Do they care about the many other whites who have not been able to flee the situation that liberals helped create? Not as far as one can see. All white South Africans should be welcome wherever they want to go in my opinion. They really do risk life and limb by staying. Thousands of white farmers ("Boers") have already been attacked and killed by blacks in the last few years, to say nothing of urban crime -- JR.