Sangoma wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:32 am
Someone getting "money for nothing" always gets a strong reaction from the public. But looking a little deeper makes this fallacy very clear.
Money given to migrants and refugees come back to the economy very quickly. Sure, they don't pay taxes (for a while at least), but the money they get goes back into the economy: refugees buy food, clothes, use public transport etc. Most migrants find a job (or two) and work their asses off to build better future for their children. The math is simple: more people - bigger economy, more goods and services sold. There are a few studies that looked into the economic impact of migrants and refugees, most of them report overall benefit.
Migrants and refugees are good for economies
To assess nations’ economic well-being, the researchers measured average incomes over the years by dividing a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by the size of its population. They also calculated a variable called fiscal balance, which subtracts the amount of money a country spent on public programmes, such as welfare, from the amount of money raised through taxes.
The model suggests that within two years of an influx of migrants, unemployment rates drop significantly and economic health increases (see ‘The economics of migration’).
Asylum seekers also benefit economies, but their effects take longer to transpire — from three to seven years — and the boon is less obvious. Unlike migrants, people seeking refuge often face restrictions on working, and must move to another country if their applications for permanent residency are denied.
I wouldn't necessarily read too much into that study for several reasons which are very important to this debate.
1. The study primarily looks at controlled flows of immigration rather than large scale immigration shocks (like France experienced at the conclusion of the Algerian War-- the immigrant groups were not well integrated into French society or the French economy). The immigration flows following the war in the Balkans was relatively small scale while the post 2015 flow of migrants/asylum seekers is comparatively larger. Size matters.
2. It doesn't look at the impact on low skilled labor-- migration hurts the wages of low skilled labor (native or migrant). (a good summary of the American debate on points one and two is here
.) The impact is often hard to quantify because low skill labor is often done in the informal economy. Low wage native labor is normally very sensitive to even small changes because it effects their livelihood. I would imagine that modest changes in their voting patterns have big impacts on the composition of parliamentary coalitions.
3. They are looking at a sustained economic boom period, largely impacted by a booming US economy and the winding down of the Cold War (both external factors).
4. Not all migrant groups are equal-- some integrate into society better than others.
5. The social welfare and integration costs required for migrants, even if short term, are coming at a time when European coffers are under strain-- especially with the EU financial crisises.
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule