Thursday, June 7, 2007

Europeans Flee Homes Because of Society and Money

Paul Belie has an article in the Washington Times about the exodus of young, educated, successful Europeans from their home countries to nations which offer a better future.

Last year more than 155,000 Germans emigrated from their native country. Since 2004 the number of ethnic Germans who leave each year is greater than the number of immigrants moving in. While the emigrants are highly motivated and well educated, "those coming in are mostly poor, untrained and hardly educated," says Stephanie Wahl of the German Institute for Economics.
In a survey conducted in 2005 among German university students, 52 percent said they would rather leave their native country than remain there. By "voting with their feet," young, educated Germans affirm that Germany has no future to offer them and their children. As one couple who moved to the United States told the newspaper Die Welt: "Here our children have a future in which they will not have to fear unemployment and social decline." . . .
Since 2003, emigration has exceeded immigration to the Netherlands. In 2006, the Dutch saw more than 130,000 compatriots leave. . . .
Elsewhere in Western Europe immigration currently still surpasses emigration, though emigration figures are rising fast. In Belgium the number of emigrants surged by 15 percent in the past years. In Sweden, 50,000 people packed their bags last year -- a rise of 18 percent compared to the previous year and the highest number of Swedes leaving since 1892. In the United Kingdom, almost 200,000 British citizens move out every year.

Why are so many people leaving? There are various reasons, of course, and the article points out two: economics and social change. "Some complain that the tax rates in Germany are so high that it is no longer worthwhile working for a living there. Others indicate they no longer feel at home in a country whose cultural appearance is changing dramatically." The rate of emigration from the Netherlands spiked after the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh by Islamicists.

Unfortunately for the European Welfare States, those leaving are the same individuals they can least afford to loose: the young and the successful.

Gunnar Heinsohn, a German sociologist at the University of Bremen, warns European governments that they are mistaken if they assume that qualified young ethnic Europeans will stay in Europe. "The really qualified are leaving," Mr. Heinsohn says. "The only truly loyal towards France and Germany are those who are living off the welfare system, because there is no other place in the world that offers to pay for them... It is no wonder that young, hardworking people in France and Germany choose to emigrate," he explains. "It is not just that they have to support their own aging population. If we take 100 20-year-olds [in France or Germany], then the 70 [indigenous] Frenchmen and Germans also have to support 30 immigrants of their own age and their offspring. This creates dejection in the local population, particularly in France, Germany and the Netherlands. So they run away."

As the native populations flee Europe, they are being replaced by immigrants fleeing their own troubles. Many north Africans, Turks, and Arabs are settling in their new lands. Ironically, as the birth rates among native Europeans continues to fall, their governments are subsidizing the population explosion among the immigrant population.

A woman in Tunisia has on average 1.7 children. In France she has six because the French government pays her to have them. . . Of course, the money was never intended to benefit Tunisian women in particular, but French women will not touch this money, whereas the Tunisian women are only too happy to... For Danish and German women the welfare benefits are too low to be attractive. Not so for the immigrants.

It seems sometimes that Europeans have given up, that they view the world as sliding down hill, interpreting all news through that lens. Recent polls have shown that, on many levels, Americans are more optimistic about their lives than their continental counterparts. To me, it seems that most of their problems are a result of their outlook, rather than the other way around. When you expect your society to collapse at any time you don't try very hard to keep it up.

HT Cato at Liberty


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