Yes, it is a noble idea to help immigrants from poor countries to find a better life in Europe. However, there are some difficulties with that.
First, like it or not, immigration is correlated with crime rate. There was virtually no immigration in Sweden in 1950. Now, there are lots of immigrants. And, regrettably, it shows.
Source: Brottsförebyggande rådet (Brå)
Secondly, immigrants have worse school performance than natives. In a particularly detailed study from Copenhagen, immigrant children perform significantly worse than ethnic Danes. Worse yet, second-generation immigrants (descendants) are just a tad better than the generation of their parents.
Source: Northern Lights on PISA 2003: A Reflection from the Nordic Countries (By Nordisk Ministerråd)
Thirdly, there is a notoriously high level of unemployment among immigrants. The following figures are from France. (In France, it is illegal for authorities to collect data about ethnicity, but there is an academic study available.) You may observe that there is a 35 per cent unemployment rate among African immigrants in France while "only" 16 per cent among the French with no immigrants roots.
Also note that South-East Asian immigrants perform better than French natives in terms of education.
The conclusion? There's none. Everybody knows that Europe has unlimited space and inexhaustible financial resources to support unconstrained immigration.
This is The Devil's Dictionary of Economics & Finance (buy instantly on Amazon.com):
This is someone who knows his country very well:
Source: The Telegraph
Mr. Fillon knows that somebody like this is needed in France:
Source: The Devil's Dictionary of Economics & Finance
Maybe France is not going to be the next Greece. Britain managed to recover from the 1970's, too.
Meet Professor Tsakalotos, the new Greek finance minister:
Like many of his fellow Leftist parliamentarians, Mr Tsakalotos's background is as a jobbing Western academic rather than a career politician, having taught at the universities of Kent and Athens.
Described as the "brains behind Syriza's economic policy", he has authored and co-authored six books, the most recent of which seeks to debunk the causes of Greece's economic turmoil.
Published in 2012, Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone and the World Economic Crisis, argues that far from being an economic laggard, Greece underwent two decades of neo-liberal modernisation before the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. The result, he argues, was a widening in social inequality and a gaping democratic deficit.
Source: The Telegraph
Now this is the result of two decades of neo-liberal reforms:
After even more neo-liberal reforms, Greece could easily spend as much as 20 per cent GDP on pensions. To hell with neo-liberalism.
Source: Open Europe
So, how do you like the idea of sharing risk with Italy?
The share of delinquent loans in Italian banks has reached 11.63 per cent in April 2015, the highest level since inception of the statistics in 1998.
It's easy to see why Italians are so eager about 'a genuine union'.
I mean the real prophet: Professor Samuel Huntington. In his memorable article published in 1993, he wrote it clearly:
Source: Foreign Affairs: The clash of civilisations?
As harsh as it sounds, Islam has always had bloody borders indeed—and the European civilisation has been foolish enough to bring these bloody borders into its own capital cities. A big mistake.
If Mohammed returned...
- I am the Prophet, you idiot!
- Shut up, infidel!
We must not get cowed into silence. Silence means complicity with violence and barbarity. We must defend the freedom of expression, whatever the cost may be.
Young Germans cheered the mobilisation in August 1914:
So did the young British in Trafalgar Square. They greeted the war with the same straw hats:
The poor lads on both sides had no idea what they were headed for. None of them could have imagined the hell of the trench warfare; industrialised large scale killing; and, perhaps worst of all, the sheer arrogance of the military leadership that considered soldiers as expendable material of little value.
Some wars are inevitable: WWII simply had to be fought and won. The Great War, or World War I, was different. There was no moral superiority on either side of the conflict. Germany, Britain, Austria, France, Russia, all belligerents were one civilisation. Europe was on the path of self-destruction with no good reason.
Today, Europe is only superficially peaceful. There is a real, albeit limited, war in the Eastern Ukraine. Israel, a European country located in the Middle East, is under a constant threat. Europe herself has her own breed of fanatic enemies, who are determined to destroy her culture and civilisation.
We, modern Europeans, are peaceful people. It is much better than being bloodthirsty, but our passion for peace has made us complacent and perhaps even unwilling to defend our civilisation. However, we must defend it. It's our duty. The European civilisation is not our property; we merely look after it for the next generations.
There's no guarantee that the superficial peace of our times will last forever. It is, in fact, highly unlikely. We, Europeans, are one civilisation, which should not waste its limited powers on internal conflicts. This is perhaps the most important message of the mournful year of 1914.
Lest we forget.
Whether you like it or not, if you're an EU country citizen, you already live in a superstate. Do you know your new president whom you probably never voted for?
Less that 30% of respondents (41.3% of voters, 17.3% of non-voters) were aware that their vote in the European elections indirectly supports one of the European political parties' candidates as the next President of the European Commission. The whole thing is here.
Every now and then you can hear opinions such as “we must build a united European state to be able to keep pace with the U.S., Russia, India and China. We must be united so that we become stronger."
Quite on the contrary. Unity may be very dangerous. Take the automotive business. There are a couple of manufacturers in Europe, and other brands are imported from Asia and America. The market is very competitive. The manufacturers must put a lot of efforts to improve the quality while keeping costs low. The consumer is king: he or she may choose from many car brands at different price levels.
Imagine there is only one car manufacturer in Europe. Imports are banned or severely restricted. What happens?
Not surprisingly, the hypothetical monopoly corporation—which we may call, e.g., United European Automotive—would be free to set prices at its will. There would be only expensive cars and outrageously expensive ones. Quality and innovation would die out. Why bother with improvements when the monopoly corporation is king and the consumer is serf?
It's the same with government. Luckily, European states compete with each other in prices (tax rates) and in services. The Companies House together with the English law, e.g., is a complex of excellent services that lures foreign businesses to the UK. So is the London City.
Tax rate competition is no less crucial. Imagine that a centralised state emerges in Europe. A European republic with a single capital, single Parliament and a single tax code. What happens?
Rather sooner than later, politicians would raise tax rates in a much faster manner than they normally do. They would feel no pressure to improve the quality of services provided. They would merely tax and spend more to buy votes. Again and again. A united Europe would become a third-world country. Think India.
India is a good example. In the early 1970's, there was a combined marginal tax rate of income as high as 97.75% in India. The exorbitant tax rate was duly passed by the democratically voted members of the Indian Parliament.
Was this sort of taxation auspicious for the country's prosperity? Not quite. With all the due respect to India, its democracy has never worked really well. With democracy like that, people often tend to think about merits of a dictatorship. Quite likely, India would be better off if divided into smaller countries with independent tax rates and free trade, similarly as Europe.
Note that my intention is not to offend an Indian reader who might read this article. The perils of centralisation are universal. India is not the only large country that has had problems with its size.
Just for curiosity, Indian automotive industry used to be a government monopoly, too. For decades, it kept producing one obsolete model, the Hindustan Ambassador. Its production is about to be suspended only now.
This gives you a hint how the democracy of a European republic might look and feel like.
Diversity and Europe of independent states with free trade, is vastly superior to centralisation.
Who wrote the following four paragraphs?
A white male with some professional experience in finance and investing.