Why Europe Needs Migration: ‘The Old Continent’

Commentary by Louis VIS (Traduction Française)

Europe has never felt older. It is the continent with the fastest ageing population in the world, and if its welfare system is to remain sustainable its labour market is in desperate need of workers. At a time when Europe needs migrant workers, it is ironic to see anti-immigration parties thriving in most European Member States. A fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman is considered to be the desirable rate for any population to remain stable, yet many of the Member States in the EU currently have a fertility rate of 1.4 or less. One need only look at Greece, with a fertility rate of 1.3, to see that at this rate Europe’s population will shrink and its pensions systems will collapse. There is little doubt that the most cost-effective way to avoid an economic catastrophe would be to allow migrants into ‘Fortress Europe’. Doing so would ultimately help boost Europe’s current labour supply, and finance the welfare states in anticipation of the retiring baby-boomers. However, in this current political climate, national government are very unlikely to resort to such actions. Indeed, populist political parties are currently using immigrants as scapegoats for slow economic growth, whilst also blaming them for recent terror attacks and social unrest. Unfortunately, these actions only serve to further marginalise migrants whilst reinforcing stereotypes. This is not the right approach.

More immigration could solve the UK’s, and Europe’s, demographic problems – dannyman, licenced under CC BY 2.0
More immigration could solve the UK’s, and Europe’s, demographic problems – dannyman, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The average age of Europe’s population is currently 43, far higher than the average age of 35 for immigrants. These younger individuals are of an ideal age to enter the labour market of Member States and will ultimately help to finance the states’ welfare bill through taxation. Whilst the arrival of some illegal and unskilled workers into the EU is inevitable, OECD research found that up to two-thirds of immigrants arriving in Europe have been to university. Such skills mean that, contrary to what populist parties may say, migrant workers rarely come to Europe in order to live off benefits. Indeed, using the example of the UK, a recent study by Dustmann and Frattini of UCL found that between 2001 and 2011, post-2000 non-EEA immigrants provided a net contribution of £2.9 billion to the British budget. In contrast, native Britons actually net cost the budget £624 billion over the same period. This should make people realise the inaccurate myths fed to us by the media and politicians.

Opposing immigration into European Member States will only serve to make a bad problem worse. Indeed, Eurostat expects Germany’s population to drop from 82 million to 74.7 million by 2050, while the average age is predicted to rise to 50. As the baby-boomers retire and fertility rates continue to drop, this trend will only get worse. People often ignore the economic consequences of a shrinking population. However, unsustainable welfare bills due to the fall in productivity levels will lead to slower economic growth throughout the continent, where these rates are already very low. As Europe continues to age and the number of pensioners continues to rise, Europe’s population will soon have to face the fact that in order to enjoy the fruit of their labour via state pensions, extra migrant workers are going to be needed. If not, we will only have ourselves to blame.

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81 thoughts on “Why Europe Needs Migration: ‘The Old Continent’

  1. West has destroyed the Afghan and other Muslim societies and economies. West must take responsibility to look after their refugees in their own countries. The western policies of illegal wars, regime changes and support for gulf despots stop, there won’t be refugees in the first place. And of course the Middle East was a shining light of peace and tolerance before the Evil West got involved. Well, actually, the West actually did fuck up the ‘Middle East’ good and proper after World War 1, the blowback very much responsible for the cluster-fuck that’s happening right now. I don’t debate that. My point is that debating that right now does absolutely no good whatsoever for those poor petrified kids being hauled off that boat in the pic above. It’s a diversion. But hundreds of thousands of refugees didn’t use to try to get to Europe by rickety boat years ago did they? So it seems blindingly obvious that western involvement in those countries which was based around war and oil and regime change clearly contributed a great deal to the current situation.

    Germany needs 800,000 plus new citizens to help compensate for its ageing demographic. Europe will soon need 30 to 70 million more people to sustain its current population and economy. The old xenophobic, racist arguments are irrelevant to today’s reality. Germany can use the 50% unemployed youth in southern Europe. Economic immigrants are cheaper to pay, hence it wants them. This is why Germany invites and welcomes young, energetic, entrepreneurial workers from middle east conflict zones. Refugees will quickly create wealth, pay taxes and care and provide for the elderly German welfare recipients. Its a win: win for Germany and for refugees.

    An immigrant is an immigrant. He is neither legal nor illegal. In order to maintain strong economical growth we need technological growth AND population growth! Technology is not the issue, but maintaining a growing population will be hard when Americans are having less kids and families are becoming smaller. We need to sustain population growth through immigration.

    Immigration,is that what the idiots in parliament gas about every day ? First fact, human beings live on one bloody planet…The only reason why divisions of bits of planet called countries exist is that the elite have these bits of planet as plots of land so they can farm human capital, keep everything fenced and bordered up because theory only see people as livestock of the economy and not as human beings… I hate living on this planet with this BS… I express more thoughts about it. I welcome immigration and the enormous contribution it has made to build modern Britain. It’s scroungers like IDS and his rich friends who we can do without.

    Most of Brits do not want immigration on this scale. That is shown by every poll. But at the same time they want someone to serve them in a bar and clean their hospitals and make cheap clothes. They want someone to drive them across town. Birth rate is declining and old population is on the rise. Migration is on the rise. Mass immigration has caused problems, but it is the fault of the politicians. In education, migrant communities should have their own state funded schools with their own teachers so that native teachers could concentrate on their own children. It is never too late to set up schools for different communities. Muslim community suffer more than others in the field of education. There is a dire need for state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers for Muslim children, otherwise, they would be lost in western jungle.

    West must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. The problem of extremism we are experiencing is not “mass immigration”, immigration has been happening since the dawn of mankind. The problem we are experiencing is a direct result of lack of respect and tolerance substituted by ignorance. The problem we are experiencing is the direct result of poor consciousness and awareness of selective “information” being conveyed to us through various mainstream media sources. There’s a new mainstream anti-Muslim racism that is built on fears for the survival of Western values. That’s the product of a nervous society in which social betterment is becoming increasingly difficult and in which there is a sense of omnipresent competition and struggle. The emotions generated by this are often not directed at a system, but at those who are different, at foreigners. This is also launched from the political arena and
    absorbed at grassroots level.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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  2. An extremely irrational and idiotic pro-migration argument is being put forth without even realising the far-reaching consequences. When European cities are converted into Beiruts or Damascus or Baghdads, let youngeuropeannetworks answer those opposed to migration of the barbarians from the conflict zones of North Africa and Middle East

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    1. People’s fears about migration are completely unfounded. Most of the refugee from Syria are in Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan NOT the European Union. Furthermore even if all 4m+ Syrian refugees arrived into the EU (which will not happen) they would still represent a drop in the ocean for a population of 500m inhabitants. Not to mention that if that was the case the proportion of Muslims living in EU would only rise from 4% to 5% so far from the ‘cultural invasion’ you are worried about… Like it or not, Europe needs migration due to our demography so lets follow the lead of the EU and come up with a EU wide migration/refugee policy to help spread the number and benefit everyone equally.

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      1. But they will not be shared amongst 500 million, they will insist on being shared amongst a far smaller number, and those same citizens that they are shared amongst already know that they will not integrate and have decided they are unwanted and unwelcome.
        What a fine student of cultural marxism you are.
        When this unnecessary mess is cleared, when the unwanted are removed, we will come looking for you, pray you can escape, pray you can find a home amongst the unwanted, enjoy the sand and hopelesness, pray 5 times a day.
        Your sick type have no place in Europe, I think you know it, the clock is ticking.
        Until then sorry scribe, type away, then prepare to run.

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      2. “Those same citizens that they are shared amongst already know that they will not integrate and have decided they are unwanted and unwelcome.” This is exactly where you go wrong. There is absolutely no reason why migrants and refugees will not integrate into our society. Unfortunately, their integration is made extremely difficult, even impossible at times, simply because people with reasoning similar to yours do not even give them a chance and prefer to marginalise them further, which benefits no one. As for telling me that “your sick type have no place in Europe”, I am European through and through and there is nothing you can do about that. If you do not like it nothing stops you from going to live elsewhere.

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      3. Do you seriously believe that people can’t integrate because native stand on the corner of the street with a banner against immigration? Do you believe that _that_ is the reason for Molenbeeks to come into existence? And we have many Molenbeeks by now. When you and I visit places like Rotterdam, Brussels, East London and Amsterdam, do we actually notice the same thing? Are you really going to stand there and proclaim, maybe I should say virtue signal, how incredibly happy you are with all those veiled women walking around going to their imam for advice on how to further not fit in. Do we see the same rape stats? Do we see the same Taherush that never happened before in Europe?
        Perhaps you should reply to the OPs remark about the situation in those Molenbeeks and how you are going to resolve it, other then blaming it on us because we are sick of your multiculturalism. These migrants are not just a drop. They are again the next drop, further dragging these beautiful cities down to Beiruts and Baghdads (place explain what you perceive, if you don’t agree here).
        Also concerning us “marginalizing” migrants by protesting open borders and calling bullshit on multiculturalist agendas (which I suspect are indeed driven by cultural Marxism, since economic Marxism doesn’t work and the extreme left keeps longing for their revolution), I think the population is incredibly docile (for the same reason why they don’t long for an economic Marxist revolution by the way: over-satiability). Yes, it is horrible that fire bombs are thrown at asylum centers and every racist incident is one too many. But if something like the Cologne New Years rapes would have happened in any other non-Western country, if a minority would group rape free local women, that minority would be lynched anywhere else in the world. And I am not saying that I would favor this, in no way. But I do think that we are incredibly lenient. There has to be much more jsutification for that other than “o they will all integrate if you keep your mouth shut and don’t protest my grand ideas on open-border migration”.

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      4. Obviously that is not the only reason, but yes I do strongly believe that public opinion towards migration and our current attitude towards foreigners does not help migrants settle down and integrate into our societies. It is partly as a result of this that places like Molenbeek develop. As for the issue of the veil, no I do not have any problems seeing veiled women walking around cities like Brussels. Whilst I totally condemn what happened in Cologne during the New Years celebration, I must remind you that hardly any of those men were actually refugees from Syria or Afghanistan…

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      5. Blaming Europeans for the failed integration of Muslims who were generously accepted into their societies, bespeaks of your self-hatred. It is clearly also indefensible, since the Chinese in Amsterdam, the Vietnamese in Prague, the Ukrainians in Eastern Europe, etc have all been integrated and barely cause problems or come with backwards demands….
        Meanwhile you keep spouting your migration nonsense while not even offering a solution for the Molenbeeks that keep on expending….
        Taherush happened in Cologne because more inbred, backward and uneducated migrants were welcomed under the self-congratulating banner of tolerance, the emotional weakness of virtue signalling and the opaque code of self-hatred and the hidden political agenda of cultural Marxism.
        I hope you have long hair Louis, then at least you may soon experience what kind of denigration it is to be publicly raped Taherush style (my friend has been in Afghanistan and told me that there they don’t distinguish much between girls and men with long hair, horny and morally deprived as they are).

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      6. Yes the Chinese in Amsterdam, the Vietnamese in Prague, the Ukrainians in Eastern Europe have all integrated but it does not happen over night and takes time, time which we do not allow them to have. On a side note, please keep your insultes to yourself.

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  3. One just needs to read the more readable replies below TE articles nowadays to understand how wrong they are on the topic of migration. Their deceptively rosy picture is maintained on purpose and the readers are sick of it.
    I say this as a person who loves reading TE. IT is one of the most insightful publications on geopolitics and European politics, often written exceptionally well.

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    1. I actually think the contrary. People are highly critical of TE’s opinions on topics such as migration simply because they do not like to faced the truth. If dealt with in the right way, migration can bring numerous benefits. Unfortunately, people prefer turning a blind eye on issues they feel uncomfortable with even though inactions brings tremendous costs.

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      1. … or maybe the TE-readers are critical in their comments when allowed, because they KNOW what the REALITY is in the migrants dominated suburbs? Are we all stupid and irrelevant with our negative experiences of migrants?

        Last night in Tensta, a “Molenbeek” close to Stockholm, an ambulance was trashed while the staff went to fetch the patient who had called them. I wonder what kind of people those savages are? And they are not alone. Cars are also burned there every week, several times and no police dares to enter the area alone. The firemen only go in, if there are at least two police wagons escorting them as extra enforcement. I doubt The Economist ever will write or want to perceive such profitable expressions of immigration.

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      2. As I said, I come from Brussels and know Molenbeek well enough to say that if we actually gave all those migrants a chance to work, integrate and adapt to our society things could be very different! Unfortunately due to misplaced stereotypes and prejudice we do no such things. The consequences of which are visible today. If you want things to change for the better it might be time for people to become more open minded and embrace change. With the refugee crisis, many migrants are now already in Europe and with war in Syria still getting worse they are here to stay. Therefore rather than marginalising them and segregating them even further, a different attitude might actually benefit all of us and make this work. Your choice.

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  4. Sorry, friend but you are naive. The migrants are NOT like your mates on this site: all cultivated,highly educated on university level, speaking several languages and of course none of you live in Molenbeek where most of these newcomers will end up or in places like Molenbeek. We have already at least 200 “Molenbeeks” in Sweden alone.

    At a Swedish job-center 170 newcomers were tested some weeks ago. Most of them could not read or write, i. e. they were illiterate even in their mother tongue Arabic. Only two (2) of them had qualifications usable on the Swedish labor market. 2 out of 170! You think you got better people in Belgium?

    I do not think that the people at The Economist live in Packham Rye ((kind of “Molenbeek” in London)) either. They are not even aware of the conditions there. However, common people like myself, live there and they have to cope with and survive the burdens of everyday migration in their area though they have never been asked if they liked it or not.

    Immigration can be useful if you pick the migrants with proper qualifications like Canada or Australia. But this is not the case in our overrun Europe now.

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    1. I was actually born in Brussels and have lived there for most of my life so I actually know the area very well. Whilst Molenbeek might not be the best example of migrant integration, Brussels as a city is very diverse and nothing like the media has described in the last few months. I love the city and its diversity. I personally think that anyone who knows the city will agree that multiculturalism and diversity can be achieved! Migration is useful, provided we give migrants a chance to integrate.

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  5. Technically, it is far more fair and understandable, if you allocate the pensions in a way that what you worked together will be YOUR pension. The longer you work, the more you get. Check the system in Sweden: you get every year a summary of your future pension. So already as a young person, you will be informed every year how much you can count on if you continue working the way you did.

    The migrants have been met by a very positive attitude in the past in Western societies They were immediately included in the welfare system and offered a lot of language and other training possibilities.Yet the average time for entering the labor market for MENA-migrants is around 20 years in Sweden. Their average income (the basis of welfare & pensions) is around 50 % below the Swedish average.

    MENA-migrants are however non-proportionally OVER-represented as for living on welfare benefits and in criminal ledgers. They do not want to mix and integrate but to create their own small “Baghdads” around the major cities, with their own values and culture. They do not want to adjust to our liberal Western values, with e,.g. gay and women’s rights. Sometimes they rather kill their own children instead of letting them get married to a Westerner. Is this news to you?

    Maybe you should check in your country: how many Muslims get married to Christians? What is the trend? This is a very good sign of the acceptance of and the willingness towards new values in a new home country.

    Kindest regards,

    Strindberg

    P.S. POLITIO “the free press” deleted my questions on their site.

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    1. The Swedish system might be more fair and understandable but that’s not how it works everywhere… With regards to migrant integration, it is obvious that it does not happen overnight and might take generations but there are no reasons why they will not integrate, especially if you consider the fact that we are offering them a chance to rebuild their lives rather than death back home. As for the fact that you have given me they only represent a tiny proportion of migrants, they are highly stereotypical and far from representative. People simply do not like change, yet in a fast changing world, that is a problem.

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      1. I think you systematically avoid one very important component of integration: the willingness to accept our Western values, culture and law by the migrants. How long have you had migrants in your (my) country? 50-60 years or so? Around at least 2 generations? Western Europe needed working staff in the 50-60-ies but those jobs of low quality are today thank God and industrial development!) all gone. The migrants of last year are not the ones usable in our high tech-industries. Instead of contributing to the society they will live on our taxes and welfare systems. And we have already (!) some hundreds of thousands of such people. In Sweden though 10 % of the people are migrants however among the unemployed, their share is around 50 %, which means they are 500 % over-represented in the field you believe they will work and contribute. And those people are no newcomers: they have been here for a while and learned already how the welfare system works.

        What the “newcomers” have demonstrated so far is that they rather run over several safe countries and pick their country of asylum instead of respecting international law and regulations. That is not a good first sign of willingness, is it?!

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      2. I disagree and if you want to understand why in more details this article might be useful: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21662547-bigger-welcome-mat-would-be-europes-own-interest-let-them-and-let-them-earn. Furthermore being so stubborn in opposing migration helps no one. Plenty of migrants have already reached Europe so it only makes sense you try and maximise the benefits of such a large influx of workers by avoiding negative attitudes towards them. Indeed, such attitudes benefitonly make things worse…

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  6. Moreover, you really exhibit your lack of understanding honor cultures. My Kurdish friend tells me that Arabs in general “expect to be ruled”. I learned similar things from Iranians, Turks and others.
    But in our Europe the wimpy approach will always take precedence because the scepter of the racism card hangs constantly over our heads (whereas if we would know a bit more geopolitics and history, we would understand that the same scepter is probably more appropriately hung above the heads of Muslims, with their legacy of the biggest slave trade, the most atrocious colonialism with 80 mil butchered in India, lack of apology for both, and current day prosecution of Christians, women, gays, etc etc).

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      1. “Expectation can be changed”
        How incredibly naive. Read on the experiences of the Heroes project, which confronts these so-called honor cultures with their stance towards women. If a whole family expects of the brother to use physical force to bring his sister home lest her honor (read: her hymen) might be in danger from going out with friends, how do a few naive westerlings like you change this with some wimpy explanations about western “tolerance”.
        Case in point, when the Netherlands made a video about Dutch society which contained homosexuals kissing and naked people on the beach, almost two decades ago, it was considered a provocation by Islamic community leaders (where of course our government listens to with their idiotic top-down culture Marxism, ugh multiculturalism I mean).

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  7. LV

    Please, allow me a few questions:

    What about working together YOUR OWN pension & retirement?

    How realistic is it to believe that uneducated migrants from a very different culture, with no respects for borders or laws, could contribute to “your pension”?

    Why are there SO MANY ghettos around in Western Europe with enormous social tensions after 50 years of migration if the people “can be” integrated?

    Why could NOT you integrate them in the past?

    Thanks in advance for your answers!

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    1. It has to be understood that the pensions for today’s pensioners are paid for by today’s workers. Thus if they are more pensioners than workers, these workers will either have to pay more in tax or work more to help finance state pensions. At this rate and without the help of migrants, who once allowed to work would pay their own tax and help finance the welfare state, the welfare states of many Western countries will suffer or collapse in the future. Therefore if today’s workers want to benefit from a state pension in the future, something needs to be done. Furthermore, migrants have a lot more skills than you might think. As for the few who actually do not have any skills, they are hardworking and thus far more likely to do the unskilled work no-one actually wants to do. With regards to integration, it would be a lot easier for them to integrate if we changed our attitude to them. In the current climate we are only making their integration harder. Yet, there are plenty of examples of successful integration of migrants in Western societies…

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      1. O give us a break.
        The “integration” culture for years has consisted of bending over backwards: they want separate swimming classes: ok. They want to ban Voltaire’s plays: ok. They don’t like dogs on television: replace the commercials. Etc etc. The backslash is welcome and still not enough given the amount of self-deceit and self-hatred still portrayed in the media and by politicians (read Bruckner’s Tyranny of Guilt to see decades full of examples).
        Integration would work best if we finally learn again who we are and value our culture instead of hating it to the point where we are keen on replacing it or diluting it with multiculturalism.
        In fact, the talk of us working to “integrate” people who come from far and want to live in our countries is already very revealing. It is simply idiotic to expect the population to work harder to learn migrants to be like them. If they really want to come here, adapting to our ways, at least in public, should be on them….
        But this remains the upside-down world of multiculturalism, where virtue signaling one’s “tolerance” takes precedence over all else.

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      2. ‘ The “integration” culture for years has consisted of bending over backwards: they want separate swimming classes: ok. They want to ban Voltaire: ok. They don’t like dogs on television: replace the commercials. Etc etc. ‘ – I have no idea where you live but regardless, your argument is completely ludicrous and factually wrong. Furthermore, your attitude towards multiculturalism is one of the main reasons in preventing migrants from fully integrating into our societies.

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  8. Replacing Europeans with third-worlders has no effect on the ageing of the European population.
    It only worsens the situation. Extreme tensions are appearing between the two rivaling populations, as witnessed by the recent killing-spree in Paris.
    Virtually all terrorists are descendants of immigrants. You are correct that not all of the Muslims are radicals. Indeed, in your country only 40% of them want Sharia law (ICM).

    At any rate, you don’t get more drinking water by pouring black tar into your water jugs.

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    1. Allowing migrants to enter Europe and settle would not ‘replace’ Europeans but it would provide the necessary workforce to keep our welfare states sustainable. Terrorism is a risk but as you mentioned yourself not all migrants are terrorists. Indeed, only a tiny minority are. Not to mention the fact that the majority of the Paris attackers were French… Here is a brilliant article on the topic, which you might enjoy reading: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21678785-battle-against-islamic-state-must-be-waged-every-front-how-fight-back

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  9. I am against Islamisation of the Europe – while “youngeuropeansnetwork” obviously is not. This seems to be the crucial difference.
    People like you are Europe’s worst enemy. I can understand why Muslims do what they do – having read Quran and the hadiths. They do not come to work and integrate – they come to conquer – or, according to Allah’s 25th promise – to take what is rightfully theirs. They use the excuse of “cultural differences” or not knowing our laws – while in reality the opposite is true: the do know what our laws are – they just couldn’t care less.
    Sharia law is what they recognize – so why should they bother with complying with infidel’s laws ?

    What I do not understand is why people like you are so hell-bent on destroying European culture and national identity – and this is going to happen in a bloody and violent way if things preceed the way they are.
    Extermination of any other culture and religion is a norm in countries where Muslims manage to achieve the numbers.
    Until then – they rely on people like you to pave the way.
    This, however, is not going to save you – they consider this behaviour as a sign of weakness – and deal with it appropriately when the time comes.
    Until then – useful idiots are what they are…useful idiots.
    I am quite sure that political correctness will not allow you to publish this – but who knows…

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    1. You are wrong in believing that all Muslim are radicals. Not to mention that people’s fears about migration are completely unfounded. Most of the refugee from Syria are in Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan NOT the European Union. Furthermore even if all 4m+ Syrian refugees arrived into the EU (which will not happen) they would still represent a drop in the ocean for a population of 500m inhabitants. Not to mention that if that was the case the proportion of Muslims living in EU would only rise from 4% to 5% so far from the ‘cultural invasion’ you are worried about… Like it or not, Europe needs migration due to our demography so lets follow the lead of the EU and come up with a EU wide migration/refugee policy to help spread the number and benefit everyone equally.

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      1. As Europe has an ageing population (which you well know) it makes more sense to compare the age group that most of the “refugees” fall into, i.e. 18 – 35, against the number of Europeans in that age group.

        Then there is also the matter of family reunification. Muslims will be a majority in many of Europe’s major cities in two to three decades, let’s hope your descendents are not treated the way non-Muslims are treated in most Muslim countries. They will take little comfort from the fact you supported this invasion in the hope it would resolve Europe’s demographic problems.

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      2. Most of the refugee from Syria are in Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan not the European Union. Furthermore even if all 4m+ Syrian refugees arrived into the EU (which will not happen) they would still represent a drop in the ocean for a population of 500m inhabitants. Not to mention that if that was the case the proportion of Muslims living in EU would only rise from 4% to 5% so far from the ‘cultural invasion’ argued by many… The same applies for the fact most of the migrants are men. These numbers will not make a huge difference in the population as large as the EU. Not to mention that we are the ones preventing them from bringing their families over. Like it or not, Europe needs migration due to its demography so lets grab this opportunity whilst we can.

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      3. Right most refugees are in Turkey / Lebanon.
        There they receive the warranted “protection” of refugees, but in general not the asylum which is only given at the discretion of a state. In fact, there they are not even allowed into the cities.

        Europe does not need migration to rejuvenate. We discussed that before. That’s like saying the Indian population in the US requires the settlers to sustain their dwindling numbers. bah.

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  10. What are you taking about? Are you seriously nuts? There is no large scale demand for workers in Europe. Even if there were there are much more sensible sources of migration like Eastern Europe or the Far East.

    The economics are rather simple: we produce way more output than 40 years ago. We just do it with less people. Pensions and the wellfare state are absolutely sustainable by our societies we just need to shift the way we finance it from taxing work to taxing corporate income and profis. Amf most of the “facts” you are presenting are dubious.

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    1. Thanks for your concern but all the facts in this article are taken from actual academic research. Whilst our society does produce more than 40 years ago we also have to meet the needs of more people (which you do not take into account ). Not to mention that your comment does not give a solution of what to do with all the refugees already in Europe…

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  11. Here’s the fundamental problem the writer misses:

    ‘Long Term’ thinking is not thinking that stretches 5, 10, or 20 years into the future.

    ‘Long Term’ thinking is thinking that stretches 50, 100, 200+ years into the future.

    The solution will patch up the problem for the next 20 or 30 years. But what effect will it have on the future development of Europe after this? Nobody knows; little thought has been given to it, both in this piece and in European politics more broadly.

    The author’s viewpoint is based on a fundamental belief that all humans are inherently the same; that they can be swapped around like cogs from one society to the other, and the society won’t change or be affected in any way by this. This viewpoint is certainly popular now, and career-safe for any academic to express; but whether it is actually true or not is, to put it mildly, hardly a settled question.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. However, whilst I understand your point of you I just wish to add a few thoughts. The argument I support in this article is based on the fact that refugees are already here, yet no one seems to have any idea of what to do with them or how to solve this crisis. I simply argue that allowing them to settle, work and pay taxes will help them integrate better and help us finance our welfare state. Indeed, migrants tend to have more children than those from the host population and although this trend diminishes with time it does not very slowing. This will therefore means we will still see a reduction in our population but the process will be graduate rather than the opposite. Furthermore, most refugee are only asking to be given a second chance in life away from a civil war so I see no reason why they would not settle and adopt our own diverse and tolerate way of life.

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    2. Good comment. Thanks.

      Many idealistic Westerners would indeed be surprised that their humanistic values are not shared all over the world.
      – In India it is not frowned upon to call your shop Hitler
      – In the Arabic world many anti-semitic books like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion circulate abundantly
      – Chinese officials openly practice some form of cultural supremacism, in Chinese of course (I have been told by a Chinese friend who was glad to quit her job of welcoming them)
      – I’ve seen Turks joking about Islamic colonization of India (they left because the women are ugly)
      – racism and exclusive nationalism is accepted in many societies from Africa to Asia

      On top of that we have different cultures: value cultures (like the West if it doesn’t become a victim culture soon), honor cultures (as in I rather see my daughter dead than without honor = having a hymen for her first husband to rupture), autocratic cultures (Japan is an example of a value-based but hierarchical society), etc
      To pretend that these behaviors will just align (we are talking deeply rooted tendencies here) when all these cultures are put together is simply wishful thinking. Especially, when ignoring the already existing realities on the ground.

      PS
      About your nick. Buddhism was wiped out in India by intolerant Islamic invaders. Let’s not let that happen in Europe in the 21st century. Watch out for the pushes of Islamic nations to criminalize blasphemy and the other intolerant demands from imams under the cloak of victimhood (which pitifully already plays very well in our changing culture, as our own answer to diversity seems to be to stick our heads in the ground and to lose our spines i.e. to become wimps).

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      1. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: ‘most of the 4m Syrian refugees are not actually in Europe but in Turkey and Lebanon. We are only facing a tiny minority here and with an EU population of 500m they only represent a drop in the ocean. Indeed even if all 4m Syrian refugee arrived on our shores (which will not happen) the number of Muslims as a proportion of EU population would only rise from 4% to 5%…’

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  12. By the way, multi-culturalism has been declared dead in academia decades ago (search e.g. for “Light-and-fluffy multiculturalism” and “quack-multiculturalism”).

    I should note that I am myself an academic and I have a certain contempt for academics saying all the PC things about multiculturalism, while at the same time demonstrating that they equate it with the ideal situation in their faculties (the brain drain immigration which I am actually not against). It is like they willfully stay blind to the real societal issues just to be able to label themselves as “tolerant”. Even worse, sometimes the other side is simply labeled racist without argument (see papers on “immigration control is inherently racist” or TA van Dijk calling almost every UK parliament member racist by assuming “In sum, racism is a complex system of social inequality”)
    Therefore, I sincerely doubt the “compassionate” motives of the authors of the article you cite. Because for me, compassion should be balanced with wisdom, so that we actually aim to benefit the most amount of people over the longest period of time.

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  13. How is closing our borders against our basic human values?
    Are you morally obliged to open your house when riots break out on the street?

    Compassionate would be to help refugees with what they need. That does not mean you should give them what they want.
    Neutral would be to do nothing.
    Inhumane would be to drop bombs on them (e.g. Assad).

    But none of the above applies when not done out of free will (democratically), e.g. when instructed by Ms Merkel or because of somebody threatening to label you as xenophobe, or even racist, or lacking human values for that matter, if you don’t.

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      1. Yes: help them. So stabilizing temporary refugee camps is an option and would be a good idea. In no way, does “helping them” imply let them into your community permanently.

        It is debatable whether this kind of immigration is profitable. The argument of importing skilled workers is a non-sequitur as we are already brain-draining countries by taking the best PhDs, doctors and technicians (including from Eastern Europe btw, think of Merkel’s proposal in that light for a while). The current refugees instead represent an average population, including farmers, villagers, etc. Which is perfectly fine, but it does not mean that they are suitable candidates for integration and for contribution to our communities. If you have experience with immigration yourself, you would know that integration is very hard, even for educated folk within Europe. You would also have your reservations if every person from the country side decided to move to your city, like China is actively preventing now.
        All of this is confirmed by statistics on how bad immigrants from the ME perform in Western Europe (with the notable exception of often highly-educated Iranians).

        Sometimes the argument is made that we are just lucky to be born here and should realize that. Viewed that way, we can also turn it around: why not make sure that more babies have the chance to be born here (increase fertility in the West), and less in the Third World (a goal many are already actively pursuing). There is nothing wrong with that in my view, as long as we take care of our environment and pursue a kind of inclusive, non-aggressive nationalism (we are are awesome, people are awesome, but in that order and never excluding a group from “people”).

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      2. As I have said in my article, studies have shown the numerous benefits of migration. Whilst I fully agree with you that we should also provide them with good refugee camps and decent aid, many refugee are already in Europe. I therefore argue that we should integrate those who are already here as acting now would also benefits our own economies. Although allowing them to settle will cause ‘brain drain’, the argument does not stand for much in Syria. Indeed, if these skilled people stayed many of them would perish, which would not make the situation any better in their country. It is much more useful for them to thrive here and go back with extra skills once this long-term conflict is over than to let them die back home.

        Furthermore I agree that the key to success is to make sure they integrate well into our society. However marginalising them and preventing them from integration will not help the situation. Rather we should welcome them with positive attitude. Our current negative attitude only makes their integration harder. We are the ones reinforcing populist stereotypes about migration, not the other way round. Not to mention the fact that most of the 4m Syrian refugees are not actually in Europe but in Turkey and Lebanon. We are only facing a tiny minority here and with an EU population of 500m they only represent a drop in the ocean. Indeed even if all 4m Syrian refugee arrived on our shores (which will not happen) the number of Muslims as a proportion of EU population would only rise from 4% to 5%… Thus nothing to worry about.

        This being said I do also believe that our own gvts should do much more to boost fertility rates in Europe via better childcare etc… Overall I only suggest a useful solution to deal with the numerous migrants already in Europe.

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      3. In a refugee camp they do not die.

        Your selective quoting from the research does not represent the article which states that non-EEA immigrants barely made a net contribution (see conclusions). Also we might question the approach of the article if it manages to conclude that the native population costs the state almost a trillion in 10 years. Is the state insolvent? It is easy to shove money around you see? Do you see how the authors appropriate to “individuals their share of cost for each item of government expenditure and identifying their contribution to each source of government revenues”?

        But I actually I do not care about the argument at all. Even if immigration offers immediate economic benefit (the article does not show that), it does not mean that it benefits the social fabric of the society, which accounts for its long-term health. If you have been paying attention, and I’m sure you have, you know the rightful disillusionment nowadays with multiculturalism.

        Let me give examples why I think these cultural groups simply are better off in countries with similar cultures:
        German judges gave lenient sentences to at least 18 honor killing fathers based on their culture [1], in effect saying “we cannot hold people from your cultural background accountable for murdering relatives, as much as we do in our culture”. So they agree with me that the culture does not fit here. I spoke to a Kurd and Iraqi (educated fellows) who indicated that in there culture people expect to be ruled. The Iraqi is against more immigration to the Netherlands. I encourage you to inquire along these lines as well. I have seen the misogyny in the street in the Netherlands where I lived, when younger boys send their elder sisters away. I have experienced the imported clan culture from kindergarden, where entire extended families would show up for a fight if one was hurt. I hope it won’t affect your children. You do not get these cultural treats out easily, and frankly it should not be our job if they want to live here. Open your eyes, these are not stereotypes! Ask around.
        Now if Westerners had some kind of pride in them about their culture and not so much self-hatred and unthankfulness for its achievements, I would perhaps have said that the immigrants could be helped to integrate. But as things stand now, I highly doubt that immigrants will hear more than: “you are right”, “we are culpable to slavery, ‘capitalism’, etc etc”, as exemplified by those judges and countless of other cases.

        Good that you limit yourself to immigrants in Europe. And good that you realize now fortress Europe is a necessity. Indeed we do not need an economist to tell us that opening borders would increase influx, or that ME and Africa do not fit into Europe, nor would they be helped in the long run if empty. We should not feel too good to admit the border controls that has been in place since yore, by all political parties, are a practical necessity!

        [1] http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/lenient-courts-german-justice-slammed-in-honor-killing-study-a-777997.html

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I have to say I do not agree with you. I find it very unfortunate that so many people are disillusioned with multiculturalism. Indeed, how can people so quickly forget why the European Union was created and the benefits of such multiculturalism? Or how can they ignore the fact that without foreign workers from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc… our NHS in the UK would be completely understaffed and the UK economy would not be as strong as it currently is.

        You are right is stating that some migrants do cause problems in host nations. However, it is only a minority and ignores the fact that many trouble-makers are also from the indigenous population. In the UK most prisoners and convicted criminals are British not foreigners. Furthermore, you reasoning ignores the fact that our population is aging and we need workers to fill those vacancies if we are to finance the baby-boom pensions. Migrants provide this solution. We should welcome them for the overall benefit they will bring. Indeed, most of them are young, active males which provides us with ideal labour. Even if the current refugees are Muslim and thus from a ‘different culture’ there are already plenty of integrated Muslims in Europe so why deny others entry? As I already said the proportion of Muslims in Europe is only 4-5% of total EU population. How does that represent a threat to anyone? Last but not least how else are you planning to solve the current crisis?

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      5. I already offered a solution to the crisis (fertility). But I see the crisis as a more deeply rooted problem. I see aging and infertility as a problem of the “societal sink”. All symptoms are there: a meaninglessness of Western cosmopolitan life, a refusal to defend one’s own values and identity, etc. Read Pascal Bruckner’s The Tyranny of Guilt or Paul Berman’s The Flight of the Intellectuals, and you know what I am talking about. Reversing this will be a huge challenge, maybe never achieved before, by no other culture, and having a Babylonian, ghettoized society with thousands of different minorities around is certainly not going to help.

        The EU is a collection of countries each with their own culture. That already is difficult enough to bridge on many levels ,see the news. It is not an imposed mixed bag, ragtag of cultures in one location that ignore each other largely.

        The NHS would save a lot of money without “Asians”. E.g. 25% of all children with birth defects come from these 5% minorities because of (forced) first-cousin marriages (a legality that the Dutch Muslim organization defends by the way). (Also the Netherlands is importing at least 18 child brides as we speak. Forcefully married 13-year olds reunited with their happy 40+ year-old immigrant husbands there). I could go on and on with these examples, just mention the next “beneficial” aspect of the immigration we enjoyed. I didn’t even get to statistics and ideology yet. It’s the tip of an iceberg.
        I am not even talking about a few criminals (although the child-rape cases in the UK appall me), I am talking about something much bigger: An irreconcilable culture. People that have been thought from birth to only respect pickorders of violent authorities. A mindset you do not loose, also not in a few generations.

        What do you really know about these cultures? Do you interact with them? Are you often invited to Pakistani weddings etc? Sorry, but it seems to me that the most eager multi-culturalists know the least about the cultures they seek to profess to love to have in their midst. Mark Steyn puts it in a very funny and clear way [1].
        Other questions that come to mind: Japan has much more aging society. They don’t take immigrants. Did you know that 4 year olds can roam the streets there safely? Guess what happens if they accept thousands of yound horny Muslim men some of whom feel that uncloaked women are fair game. Exactly, the Japanese would have to change their own behavior.
        In fact, there is no other part in the world that champions this multiculturalism of diluting one’s own culture, except for Western countries. It is perfectly well understood that a society is a harmonious community with one set of customs (maybe we should try and calculate how much economic efficiency that provides).

        [1] https://books.google.at/books?id=thP_UKhPbP0C&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=mark+steyn+absolves+them+from+actually+knowing+something&source=bl&ots=k_BzPcA9q5&sig=dkq7GoO1KsWX9ydPtf31rRR5SY4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAmoVChMIi5S-gNCmyAIVAj4UCh0dpwhC#v=onepage&q=mark%20steyn%20absolves%20them%20from%20actually%20knowing%20something&f=false

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      6. Clearly this argument is going nowhere as it does not seem I will convince you about the benefits of multiculturalism nor will you convince me of the contrary. However, I just wish to say a few final words. Yes multiculturalism may at times be difficult but I have been brought up in a very international environment so I know what I am talking about when I say that the mixing of different cultures is very beneficial for a society. Furthermore, whilst your solution to this crisis (ie: rising fertility level) is a good one, it will not happen over night as changes in levels of fertility take generations. Therefore in my article I demonstrate that the best, easiest and cheapest alternative to the problem is migration. You solution does not either tell me what will remedy the shortage of labour force in Europe within next 20 years nor what you plan on doing with the migrants current in Europe… Furthermore and as I have already stated these refugees coming to Europe are a drop in the ocean when compared to the overall European population. Thus your worries are exaggerated and are generalisation based on a tiny fraction of migrants actually in Europe.

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      7. True, it was an interesting conversation nonetheless.

        If I look around in cities like Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, etc I do not see a drop in the ocean. What I see shocks me. And I wonder again out loud if these burqaad ladies represent the international culture you were brought up in.
        As I said, I _happily_ live in international culture in the hallways of the universities. But I also see that this very remote from what happens in the rest of society. My international colleagues are the ones who confirm me this (not my native colleagues, they seem to busy to portray themselves as tolerant without actually inquiring into anything).

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      8. Yes, I guess we will perpetually be at fault. Germany is improving though, they also added cleaning staff to the centers. But it turns out now that the staff can only be male, as females are harassed…. We really should have realized that beforehand, no? So you can be right, we can do better.

        How about instead of complaining, you show some gratitude to the EU tax payers for being so generous already?

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      9. What I am grateful for is that certain politicians actually faced up to the challenge and used taxpayers money to try solve the crisis. Ignorance of the problem would and can still make a bad situation worse yet it seems that most people do not seem to care. This will be to our own detriment.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. The typical government subcontracting.

        Here is what I think is the most odd about all this well-intended “help the refugees” idealism.

        For years, we insisted that our government takes care of us from the cradle to the crave. We don’t care anymore for our elders, we put them in homes for others to take care of (you are referring to this in your article). Our neighbors and parents don’t take care of our children, government subsidized child care is supposed to. We are running a serious real personal care and love deficit, by subcontracting all this stuff to the government. We make the nation as a whole pay for the inconveniences and time that real personal care usually takes. Ironically this insistence on top-down society building is called ‘socialism’.

        It cannot be sustainable as societies run on trust and personal connections, i.e. they are bottom-up by nature. Yet, we don’t bother to evaluate this political enterprise as an economist would, but rather pretend that our fake care is somehow very genuine.

        So here we are, not even caring for our elderly but somehow pretending that it is imperative to care about some migrants we don’t know. No not even that. On top of that we maintain that the care for this migrant should again be subcontracted to the government, and anybody who disagrees is heartless, xenophobe, etc.

        The naysayers additionally receive very little tolerance in the debate. For example, the police in Vienna was derided for voting against migrants, which surprises me little as they deal with the reality every day. But the hateful reaction of the idealist again is paradoxical. How can a society have zero tolerance for the opinions of its average citizens, or in this case even the ones risking their lives for the societies well-being every day, yet pretend to be so tolerant and welcoming of the migrant.

        I for one am not to big to admit that I find it hard enough to care for my family and friends alone. Again this is not bad. This is neutral.
        If you want to score some genuine good karma I would advice you to take in some migrants in your home and personally care for them. But please don’t think that calling for more and more allocation other people’s money and time to solve the problem makes you some sort of hero.

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      11. At no point did I state that ‘we don’t care anymore for our elders, we put them in homes for others to take care of’. Nor do I believe that our national gvts should cover all the burden of welfare provision. As you rightly explain we should rely more on family when needed. Furthermore I never stated that our gvts should fully look after all migrants already in Europe. What I said is that our gvts should allow them to enter our countries and let them work/pay taxes asap rather than prevent them from either entering our countries or seeking work once they have arrive in Europe. All I want to achieve is to make people realise that acting in this way would make sense so it would help if you stopped distorting my words. Thank you.

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  14. So sad to hear young people, mainly British it seems, with such misguided and self -defeating views. Unable to question these basic fallacies that are put out to support much deeper agendas that aren;t at all in most peoples interests and just spouting conventional wisdom picked up on an undergraduate course. Just the need for more young to support the old for one. Its obvious that technology is improving productivity all the time so fewer people are needed to produce, (that includes robotics and chip design etc), its obvious that some industries are going to die and releases lot of workers (banks for one), its obvious that working a few more years is going to solve the retirement/ pension problem, its obvious that the poor health of the old (the major drain on the health service) is already solved since we know what causes heart disease, alzeimers, cancer and diabetes, its obvious that people will chose to buy less crap in the future having gorged themselves on cheap rubbish from china for 10years. So what are we left with. The ability to build an equitable society has always required a stable population. But what do you do with neighbouring countries that produces people and no wealth? Only if you really require labour do you let them immigrate. Otherwise you maintain your borders and let them fight among themselves.

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    1. Quite the contrary, it is because we care about our society that we publish articles such as these, which aim to highlight the real facts many other medias tend to ignore. First of all, whilst technology is improving we are far from having a fully functional society based around robots, thus labour is still needed and still in shortage. Not to mention the fact that jobs such as builders, plumbers, carpenters will never be fully robotised.
      Secondly, although some industries may indeed die, others will be create as it have been through out history. As for the fact banks will die, we are far from such an outcome.
      Thirdly, retirement age has already massively increased and I doubt the younger generations like ours will want to work until their 75th or 80th birthday. The only way to prevent this and to still pay your pensions will be via migrant workers.
      Fourthly, if you say ‘we know what causes heart disease, alzeimers, cancer and diabetes’ could you explain to me why we still have not found a perfect cure for those diseases? Medical research is still needed for this and with new laws in the UK making it more attractive for student of medicine to go work abroad, migrant workers for our NHS are vital if we are to cater for an older population. With or without cures, as people get older they require more help and cost more to the welfare state. How exactly are you planning to fund all this?
      Fifth, I strongly believe closing our border and letting ‘them fight among themselves’ goes against all our basic human values.
      Finally, what do you suggest we do about all the refugees already in Europe? I simply suggest that we act in order to make sure that by helping them out we also help ourselves out. As Paul De Grauwe recently told Bloomberg, the current refugee crisis represents a ‘golden opportunity’ for Europe. We should embrace it.

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  15. The fact that muslims are 60 to 80% unemployed should be a warning that they don’t contribute economically. Furthermore the only ones that are contributing are either higher caste south asians and/or east asians, or white collar east europeans.
    And that perfectly correlates with their average IQ.

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    1. These are completely unfounded facts as if you had taken the time to read my article you would have seen that all migrants (whatever their background) actually add money into state welfare system rather than the other way round. As for the fact you imply that Muslims have a lower IQ than average, this is shocking..

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  16. How does this work, most countries in the EU have an unemployment problem yet you say we need more workers. How high skilled are immigrants from Syria anyway? And is it in anyway provable that they have a certain degree? I mean it is a warzone over there, documentation would be shoddy at best.

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    1. The unemployment problem is due to a devastating financial crisis along with overly restrictive and complex Labour Law in many countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain or France rather than excessive migration. Furthermore research shows that ‘by 2011 the percentage of natives with a degree had nearly doubled, to 21%, while the percentage of EEA and non-EEA immigrants had increased even further, to 32% and 38%, respectively’ (Dustmann and Frattini 2013). In all honesty even if some migrants might not be highly skilled they will provide the labour needed for manual jobs such as builders, which are facing a shortage in labour force.

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      1. It is not true that that migrants will provide the labor needed for manual work, because there is need for workers in EU. I will give two examples:

        1. Builders – it only seems that anyone can do it, you always need to do something valuable (bricker, painter, carpenter etc). Times of “simple work” getting to be a history every day due to automation of processes – today nobody carry brick per 8h any more – you can use forklift, it mens that 10 yrs ago you needed 10 ppl for moving materials, today you need 1 guy who operates forklift (10 vs 1). It is not rocket science, but there is no more deamend for 9 ppl for this job. Same idea in case of paining (rollers vs paints), plastering (aggregates vs handmade)… Even efficiency of welding is higher and if anyone think that everyone can weld it means that has no idea what is talking about. This is fact that Europe need welder. But do we need to import them? In my opinion better solution is to educate our young men who also do not have any idea what job chose.

        2. Assembling at any industry – nowadays it is a fact that production capacity is bigger than market demand in most factories. Managements fokus on cost cutting, quality, productivity (automation). Nobody thinks about increasing of employment. Ppl who do easiest jobs have temporary contracts and usual leave after few months. This high rotation of employee create a delusion of “no workers”. But it is not true, it is a part of HR policies in many production plants. Why? Because it is cheap and flexible. Why employees leaves? Become they earn lowest possible salaries. And what is important, if you can live for lowest salary in Germany or Britain, it is impossible in Slovakia or Poland.

        Summing above, there is not a problem of lack of workers in Europe (check information about unemployment in regions, not countries). Even if problem exist in western EU it is easy to be solve it by moving ppl from eastern UE countries (Poland, Czech, Slovakia) or open borders for Lithuania, Ukraine or Romania. Those nations will work at least as good as migrants form Syria, and for sure there will be no discussion about religion or culture with them.

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      2. Unfortunately you are highly mistaken. Whilst you are right is stating that today’s economy is less labour intensive than it once was, it has to cater for more people, many of whom of approaching retirement. Obvious demographics tell us that as they leave the work force someone will have to replace them if we are to finance their pensions. Futhermore, I agree that gvt should do more to train young people the skills needed for jobs facing a shortage of labour. However, the main reason there is a shortage of builders in the UK or Belgium for instance is due to the fact that the local NEET population is not willing to do those particular jobs. Thus the need for migrants to take up those vacancies. Indeed without migrants we would probably not coven have any builders here.

        This is not just a ‘Western European problem’. Indeed, whatever you may think, these issues are especially relevant to Eastern Europe too. You might want to give this article a read: http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21665031-eastern-europe-may-not-refugees-needs-them-more-other-countries-more-vacancies?fsrc=scn%2Ftw%2Fte%2Fpe%2Fed%2Fmorevacanciesthanvisitors

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  17. Europe population is getting older – that is a fact.
    But maybe instead of taking hundred thousands immigrants from Africa or Middle Easy, which have different cultural and religious background (comparing to European), and quite often do not assimilate well in Europe (Islam), we should try harder to understand why young Europeans do not want to have kids? And make everything we can to change this? Even if this is more expensive way it is definitely better in longer run.
    Your main argument is that we need them to increase our labour force. Which may not necessary be true, because soon we may not need so many workers…
    Many studies show that till 2025 at least 25% of existing jobs will be replaced by either smart software or robots. This number will grow to 35% by 2035. And most of these jobs are exactly these “immigrants jobs”. So taking a lot of immigrants now you can fill our job market for few years but then you end up by the 2025 with huge unemployment within immigrants population. Their (and many Europeans as well) jobs will be replaced by robots, and this could cause massive protest and radicalization of this group of our society…
    I am amazed that people do not see that.. How can you talk about ageing of Europe without thinking about how progress in technology will change our society within next 10 years…
    Any predictions for next 10, 20, 50 years without considering changes in our society caused by advances in science and technology are simply meaningless…
    Best,

    tomek

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    1. Hi Tomek,
      Thank you for your comment. Whilst I do agree that European gvts should do more to help boost local fertility rates by providing better childcare, maternity/paternity leave etc… I do believe that in the current climate using migrants to solve our own problems would not only be the right, albeit selfish, solution to the current crisis but it would also create a win-win situation. Furthermore, whilst in the long-term the key is to stabilise countries such as Syria, Libya etc.. in the short-term welcoming migrants makes sense for all of us.

      Indeed whilst you are right in stating that robots will become more and more useful in the modern world, some manual jobs such as builders (often done by migrants) will simply never be replaced by robots and I must also say that your figures seem exaggerated. Furthermore, research shows that ‘by 2011 the percentage of natives with a degree had nearly doubled, to 21%, while the percentage of EEA and non-EEA immigrants had increased even further, to 32% and 38%, respectively’ (Dustmann and Frattini 2013) and this trend can only increasing thus meaning many migrants will actually replace the skilled workforce which retires in Europe, which cannot be replaces by robots.

      Finally there are already many Muslims, African, Asian and other minorities in Europe, many of whom have already integrated. This means that if we stay open minded and understand the huge potential of migrants (many of whom are already in Europe anyway), we will also prevent them from being marginalised. This will help them integrate better and thus allow our economies to remain sustainable.

      Best,
      Louis

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      1. Hi Louis,

        Thank you for replay.
        Maybe like you said welcoming migrants (I guess we are now talking only about migration from Middle East and Africa?) makes sense in short-term but what about impact of this decision in the long-term? Have we really thought about all possible scenarios? Integration is very complex problem and I believe is still not fully understand especially when we speak about Muslim integration in Christian-based societies. Often different sociological processes occur in the first, second or third generation. So its difficult to grasp complexity of this problem. Please do not get me wrong – I think that we definitely should help these people and end this horrible conflicts but we should do this in a smart way, whereas now I see that most of the decisions are made based on emotions and short-sight politics…

        In terms of robots have a look at:
        http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/publications/view/1314 from Oxford Univ.
        or this amazing scientific article:
        http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html

        Regarding higher level of degree in non-EEA immigrants – this is very positive but everything depends on the quality of this degree… high number does not necessary mean that this people are well prepared to work in EEA. Literacy rate in Syria is around 85%

        I agree that there are many Muslims, African, Asian and other minorities in Europe which integrated well but also there are some which have not integrated at all. We should find solution which would be far-sighted and beneficial both for Europeans, Middle East and Africa. Finally we should also consider advances in technology and science and their impact on our society. Technology really reshapes our society faster than we think and in the future this will only speed-up.
        With best wishes,

        tomek

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      2. Hi Tomek,
        I fully agree with you that we need to solve this current refugee crisis in the best possible way by both helping migrants and making sure they integrate fully into our societies. However, I do believe that national gvts and media should do more in explaining the realities of the problem to their populations and making sure we implement the right policies for our common future in a peaceful Europe. Doing so would make people realise the benefits and potential of welcoming migrants. Currently (or at least in the UK) it seems that the mainstream media is only publishing negative aspects of migration and thus promoting hostility and opposition, which in turn will prevent migrants from fully integrating. Obviously this is a really issue as societies where locals resent migrants will not function properly. However, I do think that only a minority of, albeit very loud, people are actually fully opposed to accepting refugees. Thus with better gvt actions and leadership, we should be able to solve the current crisis.

        Anyway thank you for sending me those links about technology and society, I will definitely look into that. As you say technology will transform our society so it is key we understand and embrace this change in the best possible way for everyone.

        Thank you again for your interesting and constructive comments,
        Regards,
        Louis

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  18. Any economic growth built on immigration is just another Ponzi scheme. Not sustainable. Ends with a crash. The higher they fall…
    Oh, and immigration from Africa has not helped EU in any way. Asia is a mixed bag, Middle Easterners are a drag while indians and chinese and vietnamese might be a boon. The point is that EU pensioners still manage to get more work done per capita than immigrants. Imagine that! And why? Because they don’t have enough money to retire because their retirement money goes to immigrants.

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    1. Unfortunately, I would have to disagree with you. First of all the Ponzi scheme you talk about it all wrong, the current generation moving towards retirement age is exceptionally large in comparison to the younger generations supporting it. Therefore working-age immigrants alleviate this and by the time the immigrants themselves are of retirement age, that retired generation will not be much larger than each of the following generation.

      Furthermore Europe was built through immigration waves as was the USA and Australia to name a few other examples. Finally if you had read the article fully you would have seen that immigrants positively contribute to the welfare state of a country rather than the other way round thus proving your argument is actually flawed.

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      1. “First of all the Ponzi scheme you talk about it all wrong, the current generation moving towards retirement age is exceptionally large in comparison to the younger generations supporting it.”

        There is nothing exceptional about the outgoing generation. European wars have repeatedly wiped out men at their best working age, almost completely wiped out. And local populations have repeatedly endured population crashes of 2x, 3x and even 5x.

        Population growth is not sustainable, it has to decline anyway. The only question is how to manage the degree of decline.

        “Therefore working-age immigrants alleviate this…”
        You are talking of immigrants from Eastern Europe and partly from Turkey and east Asia. Other immigrants do not alleviate anything. There have been reports on the matter, you know.

        “Furthermore Europe was built through immigration waves as was the USA and Australia to name a few other examples.”

        Or was it? It was certainly nothing at the level of USA and Australia.
        Again you are mistakingly labeling intra-european migrations as migration in general.

        “immigrants positively contribute to the welfare state of a country…”
        They don’t. I am from the Baltics, living in the Baltics. I am sure that you can come up with reports touting that soviet immigration to the Baltics was a big boon. I can come up with reports that show that it was a spectacular failure.

        Neither in the UK. Neither in Sweden. Neither in Finland.
        What sort of works is migration between neighbouring countries – finns to Sweden, estonians to Finland, swedes to Norway, czechs to Germany, etc. The rest has mostly been a failure masked by that close-range immigration and selective statistics.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Unfortunately you are getting your generation mixed up by about 40/50 years. The current generation approaching retirement is not the WWII generation but the baby-boom generation of the 1950-1960s. As the name ‘baby-boom’ implies, Europe saw an unprecedented increase in birth rates which has never been matched since. Therefore the generations since 1970 have all been smaller and shrinking, ultimately meaning that the number of pensioners will increase over the next 40 years in relation to the number of workers (which are financing those pensions through taxes).

        Secondly, I agree with you that constant population growth is not wholly good. However, there is a difference between increasing population and stabilising population levels through migration. Because the number of migrants coming into Europe is smaller than the actual decrease in population, our population will not increase but gradually decrease in a sustainable way. Furthermore, when I talk about migration I am referring not just to migrants from Turkey and Eastern Europe, but to those from anywhere in the world.

        Finally, as stated by the academic research in my article, migrants do contribute to the welfare state. Many scholars and economists recognise and celebrate this, and publish such papers in the hope of demonstrating that extreme right-wing propaganda is unfounded.

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      1. You seem to be believe in cultural Marxism. Because traditional economic Marxism didn’t work out — people in general are perfectly happy with earning less than the CEOs as long as they can watch TV the whole day — cultural marxists focus on cultural revolution. The end goal is to force every human being on earth to be the same despite his different birthplace and the local customs he/she grew up in. The means is by diluting culture with multiculturalism and preaching “tolerance”. The motive comes from a longing of revolution so inherent in Left thought, but also a historical imbibed self-hatred (the two motives strengthen each other as the progressive thought demands a negative view on one’s own history and the negative view — mostly asymmetrical wrt other cultures — again strengthens the self-hatred).

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  19. Do you not think you are just postponing the problem? Immigrants age too, and immigrant birth rates (except for the seriously religious) look to be eventually converging to native levels.

    Every country in the world will eventually have to deal with ageing populations, why not tackle the problem now?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right, eventually immigrant birth rates will converge with that of native populations. However, France shows that this is not obviously the case (or at least it does not happen as quickly as one would think). Thanks to its large population of North Africans, fertility rates has been standing at 1.9 for years, which is one of the highest in Europe

      Furthermore, whilst I agree my that my article only gives a relatively short term solution to the problem, it does provide a solution that will increase fertility rates whilst also dealing with the current migration crisis in Europe. Indeed, by accepting refugees and migrants into the EU we would not only help solve the current crisis but we would also fix our own economic problems.

      Regards,

      Louis

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