The continuing success of the German high wage economy relative to the Anglo-American low wage / high finance system is raising worries among the global great and good that a newly confident German public might start thinking for itself on immigration.
Particularly agitating to transnational elites is that Social Democratic central banker Thilo Sarrazin published an immigration restrictionist book, Germany Abolishes Itself. (Here’s Rafael Koski’s informative review of Sarrazin’s book in VDARE.com.) Since August, it has sold a million copies. (Trust me when I tell you that’s an astonishing total for a statistics-heavy social science work.)
Germany’s economic model requires, on average, a highly productive population with strong human capital. Germans deeply value extensive technical education or demanding apprenticeships in the skilled crafts. But high investment parenting means that, especially in a crowded country like Germany, children are expensive. Thus, the main long-term threat to Germany’s high investment / high wage model is the below-replacement birthrate among Germans.
Sarrazin advocates policies to boost the birthrate so that Germany won’t abolish itself. Yet there’s an obvious problem: incentives to reproduce would tend to appeal more to parents who don’t invest as much in their children’s human capital, especially Germany’s Muslim immigrants.
Germany is now into its third generation of Muslims. As Sarrazin documents, they tend to lag behind in achievement, much as Mexicans do on average here in the U.S., even after four generations.
What are the causes of these gaps? Genes? Culture? Or whatever?
We’ll eventually find out for sure. But meanwhile, this is the pragmatic take-home message: these disparities have been long enduring. Therefore, they can’t just be assumed away when discussing future immigration policy.
Conclusion: immigration restriction is a logical necessity.
This is especially true in welfare state Germany. There, immigration from the Muslim world since the abolition of guest worker programs in the 1970s has been more or less an elaborate form of welfare fraud carried out through marriages arranged to obtain “family reunification” visas. As Christopher Caldwell pointed out in Reflections upon the Revolution in Europe, from 1971 to 2000, the number of foreign-born people in Germany rose by 150 percent—but the number of foreign-born workers didn’t go up at all.
Neighboring Denmark, the epitome of a civilized country, has had an immigration-restrictionist party in the ruling coalition since 2001.The Danish government has actually cracked down to some extent on arranged marriage immigration scams by not accepting foreign spouses under 24.
Like American scientist James Watson in 2007, Sarrazin was quickly forced to resign his post. Here, when somebody gets fired for political incorrectness, the general assumption is that he must have had it coming. Yet the German people have responded by assuming that if the ruling elite is desperate to silence Sarrazin, he must have something important to say.
Elite efforts to dissuade anyone from listening to Sarrazin’s analysis have now spread to America.
November 2, 2010
From my new VDARE.com column:
Read the whole thing there and comment upon it here.