Saturday, August 29, 2015

More on the refugee crisis

Okay, my post of a couple of weeks ago, in which I suggested the Greeks piss off the Germans by shipping masses of refugees directly to Bremerhaven, had more to do with annoyance at Schäuble's economic persecution of Greece than with the actual refugee crisis — and I have to give the Germans credit for accepting more refugees than any other European country, over the loud and frequently violent objections of their neo-Nazis and other xenophobes who would be cheering for the Donald if they were Americans.  The truth, though, is that Germany needs immigrants, and needs them very badly.

The average German woman today has 1.4 children, far below the number required for population replacement.  The German population is aging rapidly, and it is unlikely that young Germans will be able to maintain the admirable welfare state that provides their elders comfort and dignity if the trend continues.  There is no reason to believe the trend will not continue.

Syrian arrivals have the strongest claim to refugee status.  They are not economic migrants, but are fleeing years of brutal war.  Also, they are the products of a business oriented, entrepreneurial culture, and can make real contributions to German society.  Granted, there are obstacles to assimilating darker complected, Arabic speaking immigrants, many of whom are Muslim.  It will be worth the effort, though, even if it means transforming, to an extent, what it means to be German.

Another country that could use an influx of Syrians is the United States which, so far, has accepted scarcely more than one thousand refugees from a war US foreign policy helped to kindle.  I'm not sure how many of the Greek cruise liners are suitable for transatlantic crossings, but I wouldn't mind seeing a bunch of them arrive at the ports of New York, Norfolk, and Savannah.

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