Friday, July 14, 2006

In the Demography Contest, Islam is Kicking Western Butt

Demography is destiny. If the prosperous developed nations of the world decide to stop having children, the people that shaped those nations will disappear from the earth, and be replaced by other people with a, perhaps, less savoury history.

A recent Fjordman Report discusses this issue most bluntly--in the only way in which it is worth being discussed. Al Fin has posted on this issue many times, but this is the first time I have seen a well-known European blogger discuss the issue so plainly. Here is just a taste of Fjordman's excellent report:

Japan has a declining and ageing population, Yemen and Pakistan have booming populations. Does anybody seriously believe that it would be “good” for the Japanese to open their doors to millions of Muslims from Yemen? “Do you have any education?” “Yes, I know the Koran by heart and can say ‘Death to the infidels!’ in ten different ways.” “Splendid, just what we need here in Japan. Can you start tomorrow on developing a new line of plasma TV screens for SONY?”

When it comes to stagnating populations and Muslim immigration, the problems are not nearly as damaging as the cure.

Among political right-wingers, there is frequently a belief that what is good for business interests is good for the country. The problem is, this isn’t always true. There is sometimes a gap between the short-term interests of Big Business for cheap labor from Third World countries, and the long-term interests of the country as a whole. You cannot compete with cheap commodities from Third World countries unless you lower the general wages to Third World levels.

A few decades ago, Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew realized that Singapore could never win the worldwide competition to offer cheap labor. He decided instead that the country was to become a high value-added producer. To Lee, that meant wages had to be high enough to encourage Singapore’s businessmen to invest in labor-saving technology. To raise Singapore’s salaries he had to make sure that local wages wouldn’t be undercut by migrants. Yes, you could pay an unskilled Bangladeshi $400 dollars a month. But in that case you had to pay the state another $400 a month.

In Europe, the one nation that has proved to be most successful in technology, ”Nokia nation” Finland, is also perhaps the one country within the EU that has accepted the least amount of immigration. Today, this small Nordic nation boasts a thriving hi-tech economy ranked the most competitive in the world and the best educated citizenry of all the industrialized countries. Neighboring Sweden, in contrast, with the largest per capita immigration in Europe, is in serious economic decline, and the only thing growing seems to be the crime rates.

Ethnically homogeneous nations enjoy a “trust bonus” which reduces the amount of conflict. There is little evidence that any theoretical “diversity” bonus from immigration will cancel out the loss of this “trust bonus.” South Korea and Japan are among the world leaders in technology. They are both ethnically homogeneous nations. Even China, which does have significant ethnic minorities, could soon be more ethnically homogeneous than many so-called Western nations. There will be no lack of “diversity” in the 21st century, but there could be a lack of functioning, coherent nation states. Maybe the West will “celebrate diversity” until our countries fall apart, and global leadership will be transferred to East Asia.

Yes, it is true that the ability to attract ambitious and talented scientists from other countries has benefited the USA in the past, and given it an edge over Europe. However, it is not without dangers to “celebrate diversity” in a country as diverse as the US. Americans should try celebrating what binds them together instead, or they may wake up one day and discover that they don’t really have a lot in common. What then for the United States?

Anthony Browne notes that Britain “became the largest economic power in the world in the nineteenth century, in the almost complete absence of immigration to these isles. Japan became the world’s second largest economy after the second world war in the almost total absence of immigration.” “Britain can never compete on the basis of low wages with low cost countries such as China for the simple reason that the cost of living is so much higher, and it is a mistake to try. Although cheap labour immigration may have staved off the demise of those industries for a short while, it also compromised them by encouraging them to go down the cheap labour route, and discouraging them from going up the high productivity/value added route.”

The revered former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, stated in a testimony given to the U.S. Senate: “Although discovery of new technologies is to some degree a matter of luck, we know that human activities do respond to economic incentives. A relative shortage of workers should increase the incentives for developing labor-saving technologies and may actually spur technological development.”

Robert Rowthorn, academic economist, criticizes the claim, frequently repeated by Tony Blair’s Labour government since it took office in 1997, that “if we don’t have immigration, we won’t have economic growth.” According to Rowthorn, “if you repeat something often enough, you can perhaps make people believe it.” There is no evidence “that large-scale immigration generates large-scale economic benefits for the existing population as a whole. On the contrary, all the research suggests that the benefits are either close to zero, or negative” as unskilled migrants and their families often are net consumers of taxes.

“Immigration can’t solve the pensions crisis, nor solve the problem of an ageing population, as its advocates so often claim. It can, at most, delay the day of reckoning, because, of course, immigrants themselves grow old, and they need pensions.” “The injection of large numbers of unskilled workers into the economy does not benefit the bulk of the population to any great extent. It benefits the nanny-and housecleaner-using classes; it benefits employers who want to pay low wages; but it does not benefit indigenous, unskilled Britons.” “While Britain has always had immigration, the recent influx is totally without precedent in modern times. Relative to population, the scale of immigration is now much greater than during any period since the Anglo-Saxon and Danish invasions over a thousand years ago.”

Rowthorn also points out, correctly, that “refugees and others granted special leave to remain under the asylum rules account for only 10 per cent of immigration to Britain. Most permanent immigration consists of people who are economic migrants together with their dependants.” Most of them aren’t people fleeing persecution.
There is much more at the Fjordman Report, on the GatesofVienna blog.

Very slowly, the hardworking citizens of the developed nations are beginning to realise that their politicians are selling them out. Some of these politicians are susceptible to the voters, and should be removed from office. Others, within the EU bureaucracy, have insulated themselves from voters, and may have to be dragged--kicking and screaming--from their well paid sinecured positions of arbitrary power.

It is nothing less than a question of the survival of western civilisation--the most advanced and enlightened civilisation the human world has ever known. The alternatives are dismal throwbacks to more brutal and barbaric times. Wake up, western world. You have not much more time to decide.

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