The equation of immigration is simple. A child born in the Western world costs over one million dollars in order to become a productive participant in the economy. The cost of raising a child to become a highly qualified professional is double. It costs almost nothing to allow an immigrant to become the same.
All those who take the high road of morality and human values in addressing immigration conveniently ignore the hard facts. In the cruel labor market, refugees and immigrants are cheap. Germany will spend 3.3 billion euros on the refugees—the return on the investment will be 300%. Behind each illegal immigrant and refugee there are 10 others or more who want the same opportunity to live and work in the West. Social Darwinism says: take those who dare. Survival of the fittest in pure form.
The never-ending debates in the USA, and now in Europe, over illegal immigration ignore (or prefer not to mention) one fundamental fact: immigrants have “PROFIT” written on their foreheads, easy to see by the well-off who are all set to take advantage. The supply-and-demand equation of the post-industrial labor market quantifies the benefits of brain-drain—we need your brightest—as well as the immigrants’ willingness to work for little money in jobs that the nationals refuse to do. Germany, with its miraculous export-driven economy, has profited more than any other country in the European Union from immigrants and refugees. The high profits achieved in the USA economy are more the result of cheap immigrant labor than technological innovation.
The answer to the human crises that prompt people to abandon their way of life and to seek fair haven away from home cannot be—and should not be—more immigration and more refugees. Where war—the ultimate profit machine—is the immediate cause of the tough decision to run for your life, concerted effort to stop it should be the priority. But we are too addicted to prosperity to give up on wars. Lack of justice, lack of economic development and opportunity, poor education, corruption, and yes, the stubborn clinging to traditions that feed these conditions are, in a way, opportunities. The West can do something to address them. While asking ourselves tough questions regarding our role in triggering this situation, it is just as necessary to ask those seeking refuge whether they are ready to accept the values of the societies they now desperately desire to enter. What we see is not necessarily encouraging.
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