Tag: indvandring (side 2 af 2)

Esping-Andersen om dansk forskning, lykke & velfærd

Jeg er på det rent forskningsmæssige plan ikke nogen sådan voldsomt stor beundrer af den eksilerede danske velfærdsstatsforsker Gøsta Esping-Andersen, som er forfatter til bl.a. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (1990) og derfor er meget populær herhjemme, især blandt moderat venstreorienterede samfundsforskere. Men måske jeg til tider har gjort manden (som jeg iøvrigt desværre aldrig har mødt) lidt uret–og måske nogle af mine forskerkolleger har gjort ham mere ret, end de selv reelt kunne tænke sig. Ihvertfald har Weekendavisen i denne uge en artikel, “Mr. Velfærdsstat taler ud”, om og med manden. Han er til hverdag professor i Barcelona men har lige været på besøg ved Ålbrg Universitet, hvor de har udnævnt ham til adjungeret professor. Heri kommer der et par betragtninger om dansk forskning, som denne pundit-professor kunne have lyst til at klippe ud og klistre på min kontordør på universitetet–i stedet kommer de her, og så må vi håbe, de læser dem i Ålborg, hvor de næppe kan falde i udelt god jord:

“En ting der slår mig meget er, at både dansk politologi og dansk psykologi har været meget navlebeskuende. De har været rettet mod Danmark uden at være særlig komparative. Meget ofte skrives der på dansk, for det skal være meget traditionelt i Danmark, ikke? Det andet er, at socialvidenskaberne i Danmark – især sociologien – i gamle dage var fanget af det her overteoretiske, filosofiske af marxistisk tilsnit. Det gjorde, at de fag næsten ingen interaktion havde med socialforskere og samfundsforskere uden for Danmark. De havde isoleret sig totalt i et lille lukket miljø. En anden årsag kan have noget at gøre med, at samfundsfagene i Danmark ikke har haft nogen stærk økonomisk træning. Det gør, at den internationale samfundsvidenskabs bedømmelse ofte ser det som lidt sjusket arbejde.”

Ikke overraskende, men godt at høre. Og så iøvrigt disse andre ord om den danske velfærdsstat, der så til gengæld overraskede mig lidt, og som næppe heller helt er, hvad de ventede at høre i Ålborg:

– Danmark er atter blevet udråbt som ‘verdens lykkeligste land’ i en ny international undersøgelse. Det fremgår, at tillid, faste normer og kendskab til hinanden er meget afgørende for at lykke kan opstå. Lykke er altså ikke specielt et spørgsmål om indkomstudjævning – eller hvordan?

“Undersøgelser viser systematisk, at Danmark ligger i spidsen. Jeg tror, at hvis du havde lavet samme type studier for 50 år siden, ville de nok være kommet til samme resultat. Der er mange, der nok vil prøve at argumentere, at det skyldes en god velfærdsstat, at folk stoler på hinanden og er glade. Men om det er velfærdsstaten, der har skabt den her tiltro og glæde – eller om det er omvendt – det ved vi jo ikke. Men jeg tror, at man kan argumentere for, at Danmark historisk ligesom Sverige og Norge har været meget homogen og fået et ret solidarisk samfund sammenlignet med næsten alle andre samfund, vi kender.”

– En stor indvandring påvirker jo homogeniteten. Påvirker en sådan indvandring så også lykken?

“Det er der ingen tvivl om. Det er et stort argument, især blandt økonomer, at grunden til, at USA har sådan en meget dårlig og ugenerøs velfærdsstat, er de store skel, der er i det amerikanske samfund på grund af immigration og raceproblemer. Når ingen stoler på hinanden, kan der ikke skabes et solidaritetssamfund. Det er derfor, de ikke har skabt den type universelle velfærdsstat som i Danmark, hvor folk som regel kan stole på, at når der er indgået en aftale, så overholder alle den. Da Stauning begyndte at oprulle ideerne til en folkepension, der skulle være universel og lige for alle, der lå den solidaritet allerede i den danske kultur. Det var et homogent samfund, hvor folk levede tæt på hinanden og i småsamfund. Der var ikke så brutale klasseskel som i andre lande, og der var ikke store etniske, religiøse og kulturelle skel. Det gjorde, at et universelt velfældssamfund – ligesom i Sverige og Norge – blev ret logisk og let at tænke sig som et alternativ.”

Mangfoldighed, forskellighed, samfundsorden, indvandring

Fremmer mangfoldighed (diversity) vækst, velstand, tolerance, retssikkerhed, et blomstrende civilsamfund og alle de andre gode ting, som såvel liberale som alle andre efterstræber?

Ja, siger meningsdannernes mantra, der forlængst i USA og efterhånden også herhjemme har ført til en ekstrem forkvakling af debatten, der censurerer ubekvemme opdagelser eller endog forhindrer, at de gøres, og som fremmer en række klicheer, der kolporteres aldeles ukritisk.  Mangfoldighed sættes lig med flere interessante restauranter, varer i butikkerne, sprog på gaderne og spændende fremmede skikke.  Og det skal man da være et skarn for at foragte.

Men de gode ting, mangfoldigheden, den etniske og kulturelle, medfører, rækker ikke særlig dybt.  Det er der efterhånden en del, der ved, men de fleste af dem tør ikke tale om det.

En af dem er selveste Robert D. Putnam, der blev verdensberømt i 1990rne med sin bog om social kapital, vækst og demokrati baseret på case studies i italiensk historie og samfundsudvikling (How Democracy Works, Princeton 1993) og som siden videreudviklede sin analyse af social kapital og dens skrantende helbred i USA i Bowling Alone (Simon & Schuster 2000).

Putnams seneste projekt har været at undersøge, hvordan tillid mellem mennesker — som jo er en fundamental faktor i social kapital — har det under forskellige etniske betingelser.  Og han fandt at “etnisk diversity får os til at gå i forsvarsposition.  Effekten af diversity er værre, end vi kan forestille os.  Det er ikke engang sådan, at vi ikke har tillid til folk, der ikke ligner os.  I meget diverse samfund har vi ikke engang tillid til dem, der ligner os”.

Hmja, det kan jo ikke overraske nogen, der har blot et overfladisk kendskab til historien og besidder elementær sund fornuft om menneskers sociale natur.  Men det er eksplosiv tale fra en Harvard-professor og bestemt en af de sandheder, meningsmagthaverne (og de politiske, op til og med vore regeringschefer alle til hobe) ikke ønsker påpeget og slet ikke ønsker at diskutere.

Så bange var Putnam for sin egen opdagelse, som byggede på meningsmålinger og analyser af 26.000 personer i 40 amerikanske by- og landsamfund, at han i flere år nægtede at offentliggøre den, indtil han kunne finde på nogle trøstende løsninger at komme med.  Imidlertid afslørede han nogle af sine opdagelser til en journalist fra Financial Times, mens den ellers trofast progressive Los Angeles Times med udgangspunkt i Putnams forskning skrev:

Those who live in more homogeneous places, such as New Hampshire, Montana or Lewiston, Maine, do more with friends and are more involved in community affairs or politics than residents of more cosmopolitan areas, the study said.

Steve Sailer bringer det vigtigste af interviewet og en analyse dels af Putnams opdagelser og dels af det håbløse politisk-ideologiske klima, der censurerer den slags, her.

Se også, a propos Los Angeles, verdens mest multikulturelle by, Sailers omtale af en ny politiroman af James Wambaugh, der gjorde sig kendt for 30 år siden med realistiske romaner om politifolk i L.A., men ellers har været tavs længe.

Som følge af ideologisk motiverede anklager om racisme fik LAPD pålagt at arrestere flere hvide mænd, for der var for få af dem i politirapporterne i forhold til deres andel af befolkningen, og dette tal er for politiet ligesom for arbejdsgivere en slags Ti Bud, der afgør hvem der må ansættes og forfremmes og altså også i L.A., hvem der må arresteres.  Det er ikke noget, Wambaugh har fundet på, det er den vitterlige sandhed, og den betyder, at politiet må bruge ressourcer på at foretage tusindvis af meningsløse anholdelser med medfølgende papirarbejde for at dokumentere den racemæssigt korrekte arrestationstakt i stedet for at patruljere de farlige områder.

De vestlige eliters selvmordsdrift på alle vore andres vegne er i sandhed imponerende af omfang.

Indvandring: hvem vinder og hvem taber? III

En ny undersøgelse fra den amerikanske National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), kaster nyt lys over diskussionen om, hvorvidt immigration medfører flere gavnlige end skadelige effekter.

Undersøgelsen viser, at indvandrere de seneste 15 år har stiftet (eller er medstiftere af) 25% af USA’s venture kapital baserede børsnoterede selskaber. Isolerer man de venture baserede børsnoterede selskaber, hvis forretningsmodel er højteknologisk, står indvandrere bag 40% af disse selskaber. Markedsværdien af børsnoterede selskaber, stiftet af indvandrere er over 500 milliarder USD. Endvidere er halvdelen af de – white collar – arbejdspladser, der er skabt af venture baserede og børsnoterede selskaber, er skabt af sådanne selskaber stiftet af indvandrere, svarende til 220.000 arbejdspladser i USA og 440.000 på verdensplan. Gode eksempler på sådanne selskaber er Yahoo!, Intel, Sun Microsystems og Google.

Tendensen slår endnu kraftigere igennem bland unoterede – og mindre – venture baserede selskaber, hvor undersøgelsen tyder på, at helt op til 47% af sådanne selskaber er stiftet af indvandrere.

De indvandrere, der starter ovennævnte selskaber er ofte fra Indien, men også Israel, Kina, Iran, Taiwan, Storbritannien og Frankrig er godt repræsenteret.

Såfremt undersøgelsen er troværdig – og det tyder omtalen hos både Wall Street Journal og CNN på – er det et glimrende eksempel på, hvorledes en relativ fri markedsøkonomi – overordnet set – formår at høste frugterne af indvandring, mens indvandring alvorligt hæmmer den europæiske velfærdsmodel.

Men undersøgelsen viser også, at der er grund til at udvise stor skepsis når – særligt national-konservative – råber op om, hvorledes indvandring medfører den Vestlige Civilisations undergang. Den teknologi, som de ovennævnte selskaber har skabt og skaber, er jo netop en af grundende til, at vestlige lande stadig har den økonomiske førertrøje på internationalt set.

Mon ikke også Europas fremtid så lysere ud hvis nogle af de indvandrere, der har skabt milliardvirksomheder i USA havde haft muligheden herfor i Europa? Eller hvis de franskmænd og briter, der har startet succesfulde selskaber i USA havde haft samme incitament i deres hjemlande?

Når den national-konservative læser via Google giver sig til at trawle Internettet for indhold, der kan tilbagevise dette indlæg, så husk, at Deres effektive elektroniske søgning kun er mulig på grund af en blanding af en (relativ) åben indvandringspolitik og ditto markedsøkonomi.

Amerika-valg igen

Denne artikel fra WaPo er endnu et tegn på, at D(emokraternes) sejre ved USA-valget ikke var udtryk for at marginalvælgerne er blevet overbevist om D-partiets ideologi, men at de var trætte af Bush og ikke mindst af, at den R-dominerede Kongres ikke førte R-politik.

Den umiddelbare reaktion på D-sejren var

“I think this is the best environment we’ve had on the issue in quite some time,” said Cassandra Q. Butts, a senior vice president for the pro-immigration Center for American Progress.

Men så viser det sig:

In the days after the election, Democratic leaders surprised pro-immigration groups by not including the issue on their list of immediate priorities. Experts said the issue is so complicated, so sensitive and so explosive that it could easily blow up in the Democrats’ faces and give control of Congress back to Republicans in the next election two years from now. And a number of Democrats who took a hard line on illegal immigration were also elected to Congress.

Intet udelukker en katastrofal indvandringslovgivning, som vil bevare de slette og hindre mulige gode følger af indvandring, såvel lovlig som ulovlig.  Men at det ikke bliver så let at gennemføre eksempelvis en amnesti, som visse D-ledere og aktivister har håbet, er sikkert.

Og lige så sikkert er det, at dette er det store spørgsmål i amerikansk politik i mange år fremover.  For det tredje at den største hindring for en indvandringspolitik, der ikke vil bidrage til at opløse USA, ikke er vælgerne, men eliterne af begge partier.

Har Europa en fremtid?

Blandt andre store emner er om Europa (i genkendelig forstand og defineret som noget værdifuldt) har en fremtid.  Vores allesammens Mark Steyn har netop udgivet en bog, der siger nej (europæere formerer sig ikke og er hastigt på vej til at erstattes af muslimer), som jeg vil vende tilbage til.

Her vil jeg lægge ud med at henvise til en diskussion fra tidlige iår på Cato Unbound, hvor Theodore Dalrymple (= Anthony Daniels) bl.a. havde dette at sige:

a pall of doom does currently overhang Europe. In retrospect, the Twentieth Century may be considered Europe's melancholy, long withdrawing roar (to adapt Matthew Arnold's description of the decline of religion) … Europe's loss of power, influence and importance continues to this day; and however much one's material circumstances may have improved (just take a look at photographs of daily life in France or Britain in the 1950s and compare them to daily life there today), it is always unpleasant, and creates a sense of deep existential unease, to live in a country perpetually in decline, even if that decline is merely relative.

Combined with this is the fact that most European populations experience a profound feeling of impotence in the face of their own immovable political elites … This feeling of impotence is not because of any lack of intelligence or astuteness on the part of the populations in question: if you wanted to know why there was so much youth unemployment in France, you would not ask the Prime Minister, M. Dominque de Villepin, but the vastly more honest and clear-headed village plumber or carpenter, who would give you many precise and convincing reasons why no employer in his right mind would readily take on a new and previously untried young employee. Indeed, it would take a certain kind of intelligence, available only to those who have undergone a lot of formal education, not to be able to work it out.

Så kommer han til sagens kerne som jeg fremhæver a propos mit tidligere indlæg idag om tryghed og risiko.  Altså, at Jacob Hacker kan have ret, men svaret er ikke "flexicurity" eller velfærdssamfundets illusion af tryghed kombineret med spild og dårlig, dårlig værdi for pengene:

The principal motor of Europe's current decline is, in my view, its obsession with social security, which has created rigid social and economic systems that are extremely resistant to change. And this obsession with social security is in turn connected with a fear of the future: for the future has now brought Europe catastrophe and relative decline for more than a century.

What exactly is it that Europeans fear, given that their decline has been accompanied by an unprecedented increase in absolute material well-being? An open economy holds out more threat to them than promise: they believe that the outside world will bring them not trade and wealth, but unemployment and a loss of comfort .. the more … other nations advance relative to themselves, the more necessary does protection seem to them. A vicious circle is thus set up.

In the process of course, the state is either granted or arrogates to itself (or, of course, both) ever-greater powers. A bureaucratic monster is created that takes on a life of its own, that is not only uneconomic but anti-economic, and that can be reformed only at the cost of social unrest that politicians naturally wish to avoid. Inertia intermittently punctuated by explosion is therefore the most likely outcome …

The dependent population does not like the state and its agents, indeed they hate them, but they soon come to fear the elimination of their good offices even more. They are like drug addicts who know that the drug that they take is not good for them, and hate the drug dealer from whom they obtain their drug, but cannot face the supposed pains of withdrawal. And what is true of Britain is true, with a few exceptions, everywhere else in Europe.

In the name of social justice, personal and sectional interest has become all-powerful, paralyzing all attempts to maximize collective endeavor … The goal of everyone is to parasitize everyone else, or to struggle for as large a slice of the economic cake as possible …

But there are other threats to Europe. The miserabilist view of the European past, in which achievement on a truly stupendous scale is disregarded in favor of massacre, oppression and injustice, deprives the population of any sense of pride or tradition to which it might contribute or which might be worth preserving …

This loss of cultural confidence is particularly important at a time of mass immigration from very alien cultures … If the host nation is so lacking in cultural confidence that it does not even make familiarity with the national language a condition of citizenship (as has been until recently the case in Great Britain), it is hardly surprising that integration does not proceed very far.

The problem is multiplied when a rigid labor market is capable of creating large castes of people who are unemployed and might well remain so for the whole of their adult lives. To the bitterness caused by economic uselessness will then be added, or rather be multiplied by, the bitterness of cultural separation. In the case of Islam this is particularly dangerous, because the mixture of an awareness of inferiority on the one hand, and superiority on the other, is historically a very combustible one.

Anne Applebaum forsøgte i sit svar at finde nogle lyspunkter:

I'm going to .. list three factors which could, over the next decade, help reverse Europe's course …

The first, and probably most serious problem Europe faces is a dearth of political leaders who have not only identified the source of the economic problems—the regulation, the over-extended state, the absence of entrepreneurship—but also have ideas about how to fix them, and know how to sell those ideas to the public. To put it differently: Most of Europe is still waiting for its Margaret Thatcher. Most of Europe still doesn't have serious, economically liberal, center-right political leaders who win elections, and who present economic opportunity, economic choice, and economic freedom as positive, not terrifying.

This is not to say that there could never be such leaders. Portugal—not a country known for its libertarianism—did recently produce a free-market government (or freer-market government; these things are relative). So did Denmark.

(Pause.  Kynisk latter, som går over i frustreret gråd).

The second thing missing in "old" Europe is an acknowledgment of the possibilities presented by the new members of the European Union … But—as with everything else—the expansion of Europe has led not to a sense of victory, or a perception that Western ideals were vindicated, but more fear: The Polish plumbers will take our jobs, the Lithuanian construction workers will put ours out of business …

Maybe the rapid expansion of European markets for goods and labor will jump-start the flagging economies of the West. Or maybe—alas it's possible—Western Europe will bribe the best easterners with EU jobs and scholarships, and convert them into negative, fearful Euro-statists before anyone has even had a chance to notice that it's happening.

Finally, Europeans need to ditch their increasingly bizarre obsession with the evil United States. I realize that the current virulence of European anti-Americanism is in some senses an accident, the product of the election of G
eorge W. Bush (whom Europe
ans hated even before Iraq), the events of Sept. 11, the war, and truly terrible American diplomacy. But it's becoming a problem for Europe now too. Relatively mild free-market reforms—privatization, lower taxes, de-centralization—can be skewered, in Europe, if opponents simply refer to them as "too American." Without a sense of solidarity among Western countries—all of the Western countries—it's impossible to construct a coherent response to Islamic radicalism either.

Det er der sgutte megen trøst i.

Hvad mener I?  Er vi enige med Henryk Broder i Berlin, som ligeud siger, at "den der elsker friheden må forlade Europa"?   Hvad anbefaler vi vore børn?  Eller tror vi for alvor og dybt inde, at vi og de stadig har et nogenlunde fungerende rets- og velfærdssamfund (i ordentlig forstand, ikke i Foghs) om 20 år?  30?

Litteraturen om dette emne vokser eksplosivt, og jeg vil fra tid til anden bringe indlæg om den.  Intet forekommer mig faktisk vigtigere.

Indvandring: hvem vinder og hvem taber? II

Min ærede medpunditokrat David Gress har i sit sidste indlæg, med udgangspunkt i U.S.A., sat fokus på fordele og ulemper ved indvandring og sat spørgsmålstegn ved visdommen af at tillade indvandring af ufaglært arbejdskraft.

David Gress henviser til en bog af Gunnar Viby Mogensen, hvis konklusion blandt andet lyder:

Bare fordi USA er bedre i stand til at få indvandrere i arbejde, betyder det altså ikke, at indvandrere er en nettogevinst for samfundsøkonomien. Om de bliver det, afhænger af deres menneskelige kapital, altså evner og uddannelse

David Gress når herefter selv frem til, at:

"Forskningen i indvandringens økonomi er nået langt ud over den naive liberalismes krav om åbne grænser og tro på, at al indvandring er af det gode, for den beviser blot, at arbejdskraft strømmer dertil, hvor den er efterspurgt, og det gavner alle.  En liberalisme, der også er naiv i og med, at den ganske overser historie og kultur, som dog er faktorer, der i høj grad påvirker den sociale kapital."

Punditokraternes redaktør har i en kommentar, ihvertfald indirekte, også istemt sig David Gress' kritik af den traditionelle liberalismes "naive" begejstring for arbejdskraftens frie bevægelighed.

Begge de nævnte medpunditokrater, har utvivlsomt langt større indsigt i økonomi og samfundsvidenskabelige analyser end undertegnede, der på disse områder vel dårligt nok kan kaldes amatør. På trods heraf vil jeg tillade mig at pege på en række forhold, som synes at rokke ved de konklusioner David Gress når frem til.

Cato Institute fik i Maj 2005 foretræde for det amerikanske Senats Komite vedrørende immigration. Her fremlagde Cato en præsentation baseret på en række data, der synes at pege på at indvandring hidtil har netop har medført en nettogevinst for det amerikanske samfund, samt den enkelte amerikaner såvel faglært som ufaglært. Cato skriver bl.a.:

The impact of immigration on the small segment of the U.S. workforce that competes directly with immigrants is more than offset by the lower prices and wider range of goods and services that all workers enjoy because of immigration. Americans also benefit from higher returns on investment, and from the opportunities created for more skilled native-born workers in those industries that depend on immigrant workers to meet the needs of their customers. The comprehensive study by National Research Council in 1997 concluded that immigration delivers a "significant positive gain" of $1 billion to $10 billion a year to native-born Americans. And those gains from immigration recur year after year.

Jeg vil ikke gå dybere ned i de undersøgelser præsentationen er baseret på, dem kan læserne selv dyrke (i fodnoterne) og sammenholde med de data der måtte pege i den anden retning.

I stedet vil jeg dykke ned i den konkrete virkeligheds verden, hvor der findes en række eksempler på, at små amerikanske samfund er blevet afhængige af ufaglært udenlandsk arbejdskraft, mennesker med lav social kapital, som holder økonomien i disse lokalsamfund kørende.

En meget tænksom og nuanceret artikel er skrevet af Christopher Caldwell, der er senior redaktør på Weekly Standard, der bestemt ikke kan beskyldes for at være naive liberalister, især ikke på udlændingeområdet. Caldwell har besøgt "Sussex County" et amt i delstaten Delaware, hvortil der er indvandret et stort antal legale og illegale og ufaglærte indvandrere fra Guatemala, der hovedsagligt arbejder på kyllingeslagterier. Artiklen beskriver de mange facetter af den massive indvandring, både positive og negative:

In the past decade, the Anglo-Saxon Methodists have not just encountered immigration–they have suddenly become a minority. Georgetown had 4,896 people in the 2000 census, 32 percent of whom described themselves as Hispanic. It is hard to find an official in Georgetown who believes that percentage was accurate even at the time it was compiled.

Conservative estimates of the town's Latin American population put it at 3,000. Other guesses run over 5,000, higher than the official population of the town. That might not be far off, to judge from the outlying concentrations of Guatemalans and Mexicans–like the chock-a-block County Seat trailer park, hidden in a forest northeast of town, where mobile homes of 1950s and 1960s vintage are festooned with Christmas lights as if this were Central America.

The majority of Delaware Guatemalans come from near Tacaná, in San Marcos province. Most can use Spanish as a second language but speak an Indian language–usually Mam–at home. They are leaving their mark. On Race Street, there is a place called Central Service where you can do laundry, get guanábana juice, wire money, cash checks, and watch the World Cup.

Som David Gress rigtigt skriver vil en så massiv indvandring af ufaglært arbejdskraft fra fattige lande medfører visse kulturelle sammenstød, hvilket også har været tilfældet i Delaware:

Workers have sometimes crowded into rooms to the point where they were sleeping in shifts. A worker who came back from his night shift job at 2 A.M. and found his bed occupied would wander the streets of town alone to kill time until his bed freed up. This kind of normal Latin American behavior scared the dickens out of the locals. In 1993, an immigrant who had been out drinking drove his car across a median strip and hit a popular high-school cheerleader, killing her instantly and sparking tensions. Bob Ricker, a longtime fire chief and former mayor, infuriated immigrants when he said: "It is their job to bring themselves up to our level, not bring our society down to theirs."

A Latino congregation hoping to worship at a local Methodist church while they built a church of their own got a lukewarm reception. Worries were expressed about the "spread of disease" from too close contact with immigrants, according to one parishioner. At a church meeting to clear the air, a local custodian stood up and shouted, "You're going to regret bringing these people in here!" There was bitter resentment of the local chicken companies, whose need for labor, it was said, had changed the town beyond recognition.

Men tilsyneladende har attituderne blandt den lokale befolkning ændret sig:

Sitting at a desk in a tiny cabin at the front of the used-car lot he runs, Mike Wyatt, the mayor of Georgetown, says the town really didn't have any idea what was happening to it until it had become a different place altogether. "The demographics started changing in the early 1990s," he recalls, "but people didn't wake up to it until about 1997. Back then, everybody hated them [indvandrerne]. Today, I would say that 85 percent understand them."

"When they arrived, they were the sorriest looking people you ever saw in your life," says Carlton Moore, a real estate developer who works on projects in Kimmeytown. "But they were always willing to work."

Hvad med indvandrernes efterkommere? Bliver de uuddannede, arbejdsløse og kriminelle medlemmer af dårligt integrerede parallelsamfund med lav "social kapital", som det kendes fra Europa?:

Given their vulnerability, their high levels of illiteracy, and the language barrier, one naturally expects the children of these immigrants to be struggling a bit. They are not. They are doing extremely–almost shockingly–well. Latinos make up 40 percent of the student population at Georgetown North elementary school, and that percentage is steadily rising. They will make up 55 percent of the first graders who arrive on the first day of school next month. Thanks to No Child Left Behind laws, there is a bevy of data broken down all sorts of ways on school progress. Hispanics in the third grade at Georgetown North are outscoring both whites and blacks in reading comprehension.

This should not surprise us as much as it probably does. Obsessed as we are with upward social mobility, Americans harbor a sneaking assumption that only educated parents can have educated children. Learning, the thinking goes, is a matter of playing Mozart in pregnancy and keeping the Classic Children's Books strewn tastefully about the bedroom. This is quite wrong. You don't learn by aping the learned classes–you learn by taking the work of learning seriously. Latino children come to school as ready to work as their parents do at the plant

Caldwell slutter af med en pragmatisk konklusion:

We should be aware of what we're doing, though. If the border is controlled–and if the book is thrown at all those Mam-speaking chicken workers with their phony IDs and their alcoholic binges and their unusually hard-working children–there will be a price to pay.

There is not a demand in Georgetown for a certain quota of different-looking poor people. There is a demand for people from Tacaná who have two decades' experience in the peculiar Delaware economy of chicken, soybeans, and retirement homes, and two decades of ties to the community out of which that economy grows.

It is not, in fact, certain that the economy of Sussex County could survive without them, for Delawareans have gotten too old and too rich to maintain it on their own. Those who maintain it for them are a conservative force, made necessary because, as Giuseppe di Lampedusa wrote in The Leopard, "If we want everything to stay the same, everything must change."  

Også Reason, hvis holdninger til immigration givetvis bedre end Weekly Standards kan betegnes som præget af "naiv liberalisme", har i en artikel beskæftiget sig med de mange ufaglærte indvandrere, der arbejder i små lokal samfund i USA.

Artiklen tager udgangspunkt i to historier fra hhv. LA Times og Associated Press, der fortæller, hvordan en række større razziaer mod illegale indvandrere med efterfølgende anholdelser har medført, at økonomien i to små amerikanske bysamfund er gået i stå, da de lokale forretninger var afhængige af indvandrernes indkøb, leje af boliger m.v. Dette udsagn fra ejerne af, en lokal forretning er ganske sigende:

The B&S convenience store, owned by Keith and Regan Slater, the mayor's son and grandson, has lost about 80 percent of its business.

"These people come over here to make a better way of life, not to blow us up," complained Keith Slater, who keeps a portrait of Ronald Reagan on the wall. "I'm a die-hard Republican, but I think we missed the boat with this one."

Indvandring:hvem vinder og hvem taber?

For et års tid siden udkom en udmærket bog af Gunnar Viby Mogensen, Folkevandringen til de rige lande, hvor han blandt andet forsøgte at forklare, hvorfor andelen af beskæftigede blandt ikkevestlige (i praksis: muslimske) indvandrere/efterkommere i Danmark er 41 pct. mindre end blandt indfødte, mens differencen i USA er 4 pct.

Bogen er anmeldt af undertegnede her, men da adgang kræver abonnement, får I bogens kernekonklusioner her:

Masseindvandringen til USA [har] éntydigt gavnet indvandrerne; de har det langt bedre, end hvor de kom fra. Den har derimod virket løntrykkende for den indfødte befolkning, især for dem uden videregående uddannelse. For de latinamerikanske lande har udvandringen til USA virket som en sikkerhedsventil, da de lande ikke selv er i stand til at skaffe arbejde til alle. Samtidig virker indvandrernes hjemsendelser af penge som et tiltrængt tilskud. Bare fordi USA er bedre i stand til at få indvandrere i arbejde, betyder det altså ikke, at indvandrere er en nettogevinst for samfundsøkonomien. Om de bliver det, afhænger af deres menneskelige kapital, altså evner og uddannelse. Jo flere indvandrere med høj menneskelig kapital, jo mere produktive er de og jo mere vil de tilføre økonomien.

Forskningen i indvandringens økonomi er nået langt ud over den naive liberalismes krav om åbne grænser og tro på, at al indvandring er af det gode, for den beviser blot, at arbejdskraft strømmer dertil, hvor den er efterspurgt, og det gavner alle.  En liberalisme, der også er naiv i og med, at den ganske overser historie og kultur, som dog er faktorer, der i høj grad påvirker den sociale kapital.

Nu er debatten kommet et par skridt videre i USA, hvor økonomer nu også er begyndt at se på indvandringens virkninger på den økonomiske ulighed.  Man kan have mange meninger om ulighed, eksempelvis at den er en god ting, hvis den er udtryk for, at markedet lønner efter fortjeneste.  At den er vokset siden 1970, er der imidlertid ingen større strid om (striden er snarere om hvorvidt den sociale mobilitet også er stagneret og hvorfor).

Den her referede analyse tyder på, at den voksende forskel på de amerikanske median- og gennemsnits-husstandsindkomster siden 1970 ikke, som hævdet af mange, mest af alt skyldes, at markedet i stigende grad belønner specialviden.  Gennemsnittet er nu 30,4 pct. højere end medianen, mens forskellen i 1986 var 18,6 pct.  I 1989-1997 voksede direktørlønninger 100 pct. i faste $, mens programmørers kun voksede 4,8 pct. og ingeniørers faldt med 1,4 pct.

Forskellen synes blandt andet at korrelere med masseindvandring, hvilket bekræfter Viby Mogensens og George Borjas’ analyser af, hvordan indvandringen har virket løntrykkende såvel nederst (blandt ufaglærte) som blandt specialuddannede.

Jeg stikker det her ud ikke som indlæg pro eller contra indvandring, hvilket er en tåbelig debat, men som belysning af et emne, der er problematisk ikke kun for kultur og samfundsidentitet, men altså også for mange menneskers privatøkonomi og dermed for samfundsøkonomien.

Man kan fra dansk synspunkt indvende, at de amerikanske tal afspejler et luksusproblem, så længe beskæftigelsesgraden blandt dansk bosatte indvandrere er så grotesk lavt, og at alle ved, at dette skyldes et manglende arbejdsmarked for ufaglært arbejdskraft, høje understøttelsessatser og andre mod-incitamenter.  Og dog.  Også i Danmark må debatten om hvilken indvandring, man ønsker, og hvordan man vil opnå den, komme ud over det barnagtige niveau, den i dag bevæger sig på (a la: vi må tiltrække de bedste hjerner, men vi agter sandelig ikke at røre en finger for at gøre det tiltrækkende for dem at komme).

To slags integration: den skandinaviske og den amerikanske

Den i Danmark konstant verserende udlændingedebat har ofte fokuseret på en særlig gruppe flygtninge/indvandrere, som i særlig grad har kunnet sætte sindende i kog nemlig somaliere.

Somaliere og deres efterkommere har angiveligt den laveste tilknytning til arbejdsmarkedet, er overrepræsenteret i kriminalitetsstatistikker og opleves af mange som havende en så fremmed kultur (særligt omskæring af piger og klan strukturen har virket provokerende) at somaliere er uintegrerbare i her i landet. På et tidspunkt gik debatten så højt, at et folketingsmedlem foreslog at løse det somaliske problem med faldskærme.

Det er ikke kun i Danmark, at somaliere generelt har klaret sig dårligt. I Sverige er situationen lige så deprimerende. Spørgsmålet er derfor om somaliere simpelthen er for "kulturfremmede" til at kunne begå sig i moderne vestlige samfund.

Dette spørgsmål har den svenske professor i økonomisk historie ved Lunds Universitet Benny Carlson søgt at belyse ved at sammenligne hvorledes somaliere i henholdsvis Sverige og Minnesota, der i højere grad end mange andre delstater har modtaget skandinaviske immigranter, klarer sig. Undersøgelsen har vakt en del opsigt og er bl.a. (ganske kort) nævnt i seneste udgave af the Economist. Der er god grund til, at undersøgelsen har fået en sådan opmærksomhed for konklusionerne er (med forbehold for lødigheden af undersøgelsen metode og data som jeg ikke kan udtale mig om) ganske slående.

Tidsskriftet Watching America har lavet skrevet en artikel med afsæt i undersøgelsen, hvorfra nedenstående udklip er hentet:

A lot of Somalis who wound up in the U.S. migrated to Minnesota, more specifically to Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Twin Cities, a metropolitan area with a population of roughly 3 million. There are an estimated 25,000 Somalis in Minnesota

 […]According to Benny Carlson, Somalis are "not a prosperous group, but they are a working group, and one that is likely developing dynamically, at that."
The employment rate lies between 55 to 60 percent. Thus it is twice as high as in Sweden.
Entrepreneurship constitutes the first – and likely the most important – explanation. There are around 800 Minneapolis businesses run by Somalis. That number is growing rapidly. In 2003, there were 38 Somali entrepreneurs in all of Sweden.

The second explanation, which is partly connected to the first, is that the Minneapolis Somalis have created an (ethnic) "enclave economy." People with a common ethnicity engage in economic activities to support themselves, to support each other – and later on, this branches out and becomes part of the surrounding community.
Corner stores become supermarkets. Holes in the wall become real restaurants. Taxi drivers join forces and launch their own carriers.

At the Safari Restaurant, Benny Carlson meets Jamal Hashi, who runs the place with his brother. Initially, they only catered to their compatriots and didn't even have a menu. Now they not only have a menu but also a non-Somali clientele. They have thirteen employees: six Mexicans, four Ethiopians and three Somalis

Business is good: "There's opportunity here." The brothers have ambitious plans about building an African fast-food chain. There may, says Jamal, even be a restaurant in Sweden, a country he describes by quoting a friend who lives there:
"There you are like a fly trapped under a glass turned upside-down. You can feel that your dreams are being smothered."

Hussein Samatar arrived in Minnesota in 1994. At the time, he spoke no English. Now he heads an entrepreneurship center, stating that "the dollar is green, not black or white." Omar Hassan, who was an accountant back in Somalia, runs a multi-service business that provides help with tax returns, applications and travel documents. And while he works very hard, he is also in his own words "the top man on the market."

The elder and religious leader Shejk Sàad Muse holds a mini-lecture about how Somalia lies strategically on the Horn of Africa, and how Somalis are therefore used to traveling, trading and adapting: "We can be Somalis, Muslims and Americans at the same time."

[…]As a consequence of all this, Sweden has more than a little to learn from Minnesota and the U.S. There, as is clear in the Minneapolis case, the service sector plays a key role as an (assimilation) gateway. The fact that Sweden and other European countries have a smaller (private) service sector than the U.S. helps explain why unemployment remains stuck at high levels: when jobs disappear in manufacturing, there are not enough new businesses and job opportunities being created in the service sector. Those most vulnerable on the labor market are the ones then most affected.

[…]A recent study by the Swedish Center for Business and Policy Studies (SNS) demonstrates that Sweden, with its regulations as well as the public sector monopoly on services, is the OECD country with the weakest long-term link between growth and employment.
The Americans understand – and celebrate – the social and economic significance of the immigrant businesses. This is in relation to both the immigrants themselves and the society as a whole. In a country like Sweden, however, entrepreneurial individuals are not seen as motors of progress. This role is reserved for the benevolent systems of the state.

Malyun Ali came to the U.S., via a refugee camp, in 1997 and now runs a little store in Minneapolis while also working in home care.
"Life is tough in the U.S., but it's good. If you have a dream, you can realize it," she tells Benny Carlson. She herself is dreaming of an even larger store, and of employing staff.

Sure it sounds somewhat idyllic. Not everyone makes it. Life as a poor immigrant in the U.S. is tough, just as Malyun says. Attitudes towards Muslims have been affected by the September 11th terrorist attacks.
But it is also tough being smothered by good intentions. To be labelled hopeless from the outset. To be a fly under the glass.

På trods af, at undersøgelsens konklusioner givetvis også er relevante for Danmark, er der næppe nogen overhængende risiko for at danske politikere tager konklusionerne til sig, domineret som Danmark p.t. er af den særlige blanding af national-konservatisme og social-demokratisme. Forvent derfor at kriminalitetsniveauet og arbejdsløsheden blandt indvandrere og deres efterkommere forbliver højt, mens den almindelige danskers tålmodighed med disse grupper formindskes og tendensen med parallelsamfund dermed forstærkes. En pris der tilsyneladende er værd at betale for at bevare illusionen om velfærdsstatens velgørende virkninger. 

To versioner af amerikansk udlændingepolitik: Den Kjærsgaardske og den amerikanske

Mandag den 22. maj 2006 skrev Dansk Folkepartis leder Pia Kjærsgaard en artikel under overskriften "Myten om den fri indvandring begraves i det liberale USA" i sit ugebrev.

Som så ofte i Pia Kjærsgaards ugebreve består ovennævnte artikel af en blanding af svulstigt sprog og en lang række løsrevne forhold, som Pia Kjærsgaard forsøger at præsentere som sammenhængende. Jeg skal dog her alene forholde mig til de af Pia Kjærsgaards udtalelser der specifikt omhandler U.S.A. I ugebrevet hedder det bl.a.:

Selv i USA, der bygger på ideen om, at alle i princippet skal kunne komme dertil og skabe sig en helt ny tilværelse, blot de klarer sig selv, er den sydlige grænse mod Mexico ved at blive massivt forstærket.

Præsident Bush har udkommanderet 6000 soldater til at stå vagt ved grænsen sammen med de mange tusinde grænsevagter, der i forvejen er udstationerede dernede. Et nyt sikkerhedshegn til 15 milliarder kroner er nu i udbud, som et led i forstærkningen af USA's grænse til den tredje verden.

Almindelige amerikanske borgere har dannet gruppen Minuteman. Denne gruppe består af frivillige amerikanere, som i frustration over den massive illegale indvandring fra Latinamerika, har sat sig for at stoppe grænseoverløbere i deres fritid.

[…]

USA er kendt som det liberale paradis på jord med lave mindstelønninger og sociale ydelser og til gengæld høje fængselsstraffe. Men ikke engang dér kan det politiske system i længden forsvare en naiv og uholdbar politik med fri indvandring. Nu lukker de hermetisk grænserne i Guds eget land, og tilbage står vi så tilbage i Danmark og i hele Europa og diskuterer i ramme alvor, om vi skal stramme eller slække på grænsekontrollen, alt imens kravet om indførelse af Sharia i mange europæiske ghettoer stiger.

Den 1. august i år holdt USA's Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez en tale med efterfølgende debat hos CATO Institute vedrørende immigration (første del omhandler Cuba og kan derfor springes over). Gutierrez' tale giver et noget andet billede af den nuværende amerikanske administrations udlændingepolitik end den Pia Kjærsgaardske version, der søger at sammenligne den situation USA befinder sig i med den situation VK regeringen arvede ved regeringsskiftet i 2001.

For hvor Gutierrez' tale rigtig nok nævner vigtigheden af at sikre USAs grænser og løse spørgsmålet om illegale indvandrere, er det gennemgående tema, hvorledes indvandring er afgørende for USAs økonomi og en fordel for landet, som det har været igennem hele nationens historie. Nedenfor følger lidt brudstykker vedrørende de fordele Gutierrez og den amerikanske regering ser ved indvandring:

I believe immigration is the domestic social issue of our time — and a key to our future economic health.

America has dealt with difficult immigration issues in the past. There have been large waves of immigrants from Asia, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe, throughout our history.

In fact, proportionately, we have fewer foreign-born people living in the United States today than we did in 1890. In 1890, 14.8 percent of our population was foreign-born. In 2004, 12 percent was foreign born.

So, the challenges of immigration are not new for America, and I believe they create tremendous opportunities.

[…] what separates us from other nations is our ability to assimilate immigrants and incorporate them into our workforce.

From 2000 to 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that total U.S. population grew by more than 12 million. Forty four percent of the growth resulted from immigration.

We have an incredible advantage. We can stand out from the pack by using our well-honed skills from 230 years of assimilating immigrants.

But to address the challenges of illegal immigration, take advantage of the opportunities, and strengthen our country for the rest of the century, we must show leadership. We must face reality. We must deal with immigration as it is, not as we wish it were. We must thoughtfully work through the issues, and avoid letting emotion take over the debate.

I am encouraged that we are starting to reach some consensus: Recently, more than 500 of our nation's top economists, including five Nobel Laureates, sent a letter to President Bush and all members of Congress. These economists (with diverse political views) stated unequivocally that immigration has been a net gain for American citizens.

[…]The other reality we must confront is that we have 12 million people who are in the country illegally. This issue will not be resolved by ignoring it, or waiting longer to confront it.

[..]Think about the task of deporting 12 millions individuals. Is that something we are going to do as a country? The President has said it wouldn't be wise, practical, or humane.

It would require separating parents from their 3 million American-born children. Some say the children could decide if they go with their parents or stay. Can you imagine that?

Mass deportation is an extreme position, and it's not realistic.

[…]The President's proposal upholds our values. We are both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Det er svært at genkende Pia Kjærsgaards beskrivelse af U.S.A's "hermetisk" lukkede grænser i ovennævnte tale. Det er også svært at genkende Pia Kjærsgaards beskrivelse af USA's hidtidige udlændingepolitik som "naiv", al den stund, at indvandring har bidraget til, at USA er verdens eneste supermagt. Der er ikke så lidt ironi i, at homogene Danmarks frihed i mange år har været garanteret af det multietniske indvandringsland USA.

Pia Kjærsgaards ærinde er dog forståelig nok. Hvis Dansk Folkeparti kan overbevise befolkningen om, at selv indvandrerlande som USA (og Australien og Canada) oplever de samme problemer, som vi jo unægteligt gør i Danmark og Europa, så har Dansk Folkeparti effektivt fået skudt borgerlig kritik og alternativer til den nuværende regerings udlændingepolitik ned som utopi. Tilbage ville så alene stå venstrefløjen og visse dele af det radikale venstres kritik og alternativer til udlændingepolitikken, og dem kan Dansk Folkeparti og VK besejre i søvne. At Pia Kjærsgaards forhold til fakta i denne sag er noget anstrengt er så mindre væsentligt i forhold til hendes mål.

Men Dansk Folkeparti behøver ikke få søvnløse nætter af den grund. I realiteten er der kun et ganske lille (borgerligt) mindretal i Danmark, der er interesserede i at få belyst udlændingedebatten med amerikanske erfaringer. For den venstreorienterede del af det politiske spektrum ville det jo være ensbetydende med at sætte velfærdssamfundet på anklagebænken, og samtidig en hvidvaskning af den "amerikanske drøm", som alle jo godt ved er en myte. For de mere national-konservative ville det være ensbetydende med accept af, at indvandrere rent faktisk kan medføre nettogevinster for et samfund, og det er jo i lodret modstrid med de i disse kredse herskende tanker.

Friedman & Friedman

Punditokraternes absolutte favorit-pensionistpar, Milton & Rose Friedman, blev lørdag portrætteret i Wall Street Journal i et interessant, underholdende og på nogle punkter overraskende interview, "The Romance of Economics", skrevet af Tunku Varadarajan.  Her er nogle klip:

"[…] Milton Friedman is everyone's idea of an American oracle, an American sage. Sages, of course, have their oddities, and the interview last week–at Mr. Friedman's surprisingly petite office at the Hoover Institution, on the campus of Stanford University–got off to a surreal beginning. By his desk hangs a map of Belize–one of those stylized souvenirs made of cloth, embroidered to catch the eye. Why, I asked him, did he have a map of Belize on his wall? Mr. Friedman turned, looked at the object, and said: "I don't know. I really don't know." Not a good start to the interview, some might say …"

Jeg har selv for nogle år siden interviewet Friedman, og han må have fået det Belize-kort siden–eller også var jeg simpelthen for nervøs og "awe-struck" til at bemærke det.  Da jeg mødte ham, havde jeg iøvrigt på en varm juli dag dresset mig op i pæneste jakkesæt og Adam Smith slips.  Milton derimod var superafslappet i shorts og t-shirt, men han sagde da "Nice tie … I've got one like it myself …".  Nå, tilbage til WSJ-interviewet.

 

"… I made a reflexive apology for not being an economist myself. "You mean you're not a trained economist," was Mr. Friedman's comeback. "I have found, over a long time, that some people are natural economists. They don't take a course, but they understand–the principles seem obvious to them. Other people may have Ph.D.s in economics, but they're not economists. They don't think like an economist. Strange, but true." "

Det kan man jo kun nikke til.  Så hvem synes Friedman var "naturlige økonomer"?  Her kan nogle læsere nok få sig en overraskelse–især dem, der kun har deres viden om Keynesianisme vs. Monetarisme fra danske universiteters 1. dels undervisning:

""Was Keynes a "natural economist"?

"Oh, yes, sure! Keynes was a great economist. In every discipline, progress comes from people who make hypotheses, most of which turn out to be wrong, but all of which ultimately point to the right answer. Now Keynes, in 'The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,' set forth a hypothesis which was a beautiful one, and it really altered the shape of economics. But it turned out that it was a wrong hypothesis. That doesn't mean that he wasn't a great man!"

It cannot be said of too many economists that they "altered the shape of economics." Would Mr. Friedman say–modesty aside–that he was one of them? A long silence ensued–modesty, clearly, was hard to put aside–before he mumbled, as if squeezing words out of himself, "Er . . . very hard to say . . ." And then he was saved by the belle: The door opened, and in walked Rose, his wife, bringing a waft of panache into the drab office, her impact enhanced by a beautiful mink coat …

Mrs. Friedman settled herself in a chair, her eyes twinkling, and my questioning resumed. If they were to throw a small dinner party–indoors!–for Mr. Friedman's favorite economists (dead or alive), who'd be invited? Gone was his tonguetied-ness of a moment ago, as he reeled off this answer: "Dead or alive, it's clear that Adam Smith would be No. 1. Alfred Marshall would be No. 2. John Maynard Keynes would be No. 3. And George Stigler would be No. 4. George was one of our closest friends." (Here, Mrs. Friedman, also an economist of distinction, noted sorrowfully that "it's hard to believe that George is dead.")"

Og så nogle af de mere uortodokse spørgsmål:

"Had it helped their marriage–now in its 68th year–that they are both economists? Rose (nodding affirmatively): "Uh-unh. But I don't argue with him . . . very much." Milton (guffawing): Don't believe her! She does her share of arguing . . ." Rose (interrupting): ". . . and I'm not competitive, so I haven't tried to compete with you." Milton (uxoriously): "She's been very helpful in all of my work. There's nothing I've written that she hasn't gone over first."

The spark between the Friedmans is clear, and rather touching. So I'm tempted to ask whether there is a romantic side to economics, in the way there is to history, or to philosophy. "Is there a romantic side to economics?" Mr. Friedman repeats after me, sounding incredulous, and then chuckling. "No, I don't think so. There's a romantic side to economics in the same way there's a romantic side to physics. Fundamentally, economics is a science, like physics, like chemistry. . . . It's a science about how human beings organize their cooperative activities. … In that sense, it's not particularly romantic."

 

Og så til de kontroversielle spørgsmål, såsom indvandring, hvor Friedman har et noget mere "pragmatisk" syn på regulering af dette område end mange andre liberale og et mindre indvandrerfjendsk syn end mange konservative:

"Is immigration, I asked–especially illegal immigration–good for the economy, or bad? "It's neither one nor the other," Mr. Friedman replied. "But it's good for freedom. In principle, you ought to have completely open immigration. But with the welfare state it's really not possible to do that. . . . She's an immigrant," he added, pointing to his wife. "She came in just before World War I." (Rose–smiling gently: "I was two years old.") "If there were no welfare state," he continued, "you could have open immigration, because everybody would be responsible for himself." Was he suggesting that one can't have immigration reform without welfare reform? "No, you can have immigration reform, but you can't have open immigration without largely the elimination of welfare.

"At the moment I oppose unlimited immigration. I think much of the opposition to immigration is of that kind–because it's a fundamental tenet of the American view that immigration is good, that there would be no United States if there had not been immigration. Of course, there are many things that are easier now for immigrants than there used to be. . . ."

Did he mean there was much less pressure to integrate now than there used to be? Milton: "I'm not sure that's true . . ." Rose (speaking simultaneously): "That's the unfortunate thing . . ." Milton: "But I don't think it's true . . ." Rose: "Oh, I think it is! That's one of the problems, when immigrants come across and want to remain Mexican." Milton: "Oh, but they came in the past and wanted to be Italian, and be Jewish&#160
;. . ." Rose: "No they didn't. The ones that did went back."

Og så til Bush, Republikanerne og Irak-krigen, hvor der for en sjælden gangs skyld er uenighed mellem de kendte ægtefæller (hvoraf det er alment kendt, at det faktisk er Rose Friedman, der som regel er den mere liberale, og at hun og broderen, Aaron Director, i sin tid fik nogle af den unge Miltons mindre liberale ideer ud af hovedet på ham).

"Mr. Friedman explains "the story of the postwar period" in the U.S. "In 1945-46, intellectual opinion was almost entirely collectivist. But practice was free market. Government was spending something like 20%-25% of national income. But the ideas of people were all for more government. And so from 1945 to 1980 you had a period of galloping socialism. Government started expanding and expanding and expanding." Mr. Friedman stopped, as if deciding whether to use the word "expanding" a fourth time, before continuing: "And government spending went from 20% to 40% of national income.

But what was happening in the economy was producing a reverse movement in opinion. Now people could see, as government started to regulate more, the bad effects of government involvement. And intellectual opinion began to move away from socialism toward capitalism. That, in my view, was why Ronald Reagan was able to get elected in 1980." I noted, here, that Mr. Friedman, too, had some role to play in this shift in opinion. He was, characteristically, reluctant to take any credit. "I think we have a tendency to attribute much too much importance to our own words. People saw what was happening. They wouldn't have read my Newsweek columns and books if the facts on the ground hadn't been the way they were." (Rose: "Oh, don't be so modest!")

Does it disappoint Mr. Friedman that the Bush administration hasn't been able to roll back spending? "Yes," he said. "But let's go back a moment. During the 1990s, you had the combination that is best for holding down spending. A Democrat in the White House and Republicans controlling Congress. That's what produced the surpluses at the end of the Clinton era, and during the whole of that era there was a trend for spending to come down. Then the Republicans come in, and they've been in the desert, and so you have a burst of spending in the first Bush term. And he refuses to veto anything, so he doesn't exercise any real influence on cutting down spending. In 2008, you may very well get a Democratic president"–(Rose, interjecting: "God forbid!")–"and if you can keep a Republican House and Senate, you'll get back to a combination that will reduce spending."

Mr. Friedman here shifted focus. "What's really killed the Republican Party isn't spending, it's Iraq. As it happens, I was opposed to going into Iraq from the beginning. I think it was a mistake, for the simple reason that I do not believe the United States of America ought to be involved in aggression." Mrs. Friedman–listening to her husband with an ear cocked–was now muttering darkly.

Milton: "Huh? What?" Rose: "This was not aggression!" Milton (exasperatedly): "It was aggression. Of course it was!" Rose: "You count it as aggression if it's against the people, not against the monster who's ruling them. We don't agree. This is the first thing to come along in our lives, of the deep things, that we don't agree on. We have disagreed on little things, obviously–such as, I don't want to go out to dinner, he wants to go out–but big issues, this is the first one!" Milton: "But, having said that, once we went in to Iraq, it seems to me very important that we make a success of it." Rose: "And we will!"

Mrs. Friedman, you will note, had the last word."

To slags multikulturalisme III

Når man i Danmark er vant til at benhård modstand mod indvandring opfattes som et adelsmærke for højreorienterede, og al kritik af denne position automatisk affærdiges som "kulturradikalisme", "utopi", eller, når det går hedt for sig, "forræderi", er det en befrielse at læse hårdtslående konservative (i den amerikanske forstand) mediers tilgang til emnet. I den forbindelse er Wall Street Journal's leder af i dag forbilledlig:

No issue more deeply divides American conservatives today than immigration. It's the subject on which we get the most critical mail by far, no doubt reflecting this split on the right. So with Congress holding hearings on the issue around the country, perhaps it's a good moment to step back and explain the roots of our own, longstanding position favoring open immigration. A position, by the way, on which we hardly stand alone. There is also President Bush, and before him the Gipper. (See our editorial, "Reagan on Immigration.") In the context of the current debate, we also print an open letter supporting comprehensive immigration reform from 33 prominent conservatives, including former Secretary of State George Shultz and GOP Vice Presidential nominee Jack Kemp. (The letter is available here.) The most frequent criticism we hear is that a newspaper called "The Wall Street Journal" simply wants "cheap labor" for business. This is an odd charge coming from conservatives who profess to believe in the free market, since it echoes the AFL-CIO and liberals who'd just as soon have government dictate wages.

Our own view is that a philosophy of "free markets and free people" includes flexible labor markets. At a fundamental level, this is a matter of freedom and human dignity. These migrants are freely contracting for their labor, which is a basic human right. Far from selling their labor "cheap," they are traveling to the U.S. to sell it more dearly and improve their lives. Like millions of Americans before them, they and certainly their children climb the economic ladder as their skills and education increase.

We realize that critics are not inventing the manifold problems that can arise from illegal immigration:

Trespassing, violent crime, overcrowded hospital emergency rooms, document counterfeiting, human smuggling, corpses in the Arizona desert, and a sense that the government has lost control of the border. But all of these result, ultimately, from too many immigrants chasing too few U.S. visas.

Those migrating here to make a better life for themselves and their families would much prefer to come legally. Give them more legal ways to enter the country, and we are likely to reduce illegal immigration far more effectively than any physical barrier along the Rio Grande ever could. This is not about rewarding bad behavior. It's about bringing immigration policy in line with economic and human reality. And the reality is that the U.S. has a growing demand for workers, while Mexico has both a large supply of such workers and too few jobs at home.

Some conservatives concede this point in theory but then insist that liberal immigration is no longer possible in a modern welfare state, which breeds dependency in a way that the America of a century ago did not. But the immigrants who arrive here come to work, not sit on the dole. And thanks to welfare reform, the welfare rolls have declined despite a surge in illegal immigration in the past decade.

[…]Overall, immigrants contribute far more to our economy than they extract in public benefits.

By far the largest concern we hear on the right concerns culture, especially the worry that the current Hispanic influx is so large it can resist the American genius for assimilation. Hispanics now comprise nearly a third of the population in California and Texas, the country's two biggest states, and cultural assimilation does matter.

This is where the political left does the cause of immigration no good in pursuing a separatist agenda. When such groups as La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund push for multiculturalism, bilingual education, foreign language ballots, racial quotas and the like, they undermine support for immigration among even the most open-minded Americans. Most Americans don't want to replicate the Bosnia model; nor are they pining for a U.S. version of the Quebec sovereignty movement. President Bush has been right to assert that immigrants must adopt U.S. norms, and we only wish more figures on the political left would say the same. But the good news is that these newcomers by and large aren't listening to the left-wingers pushing identity politics. Mexican immigrants, like their European predecessors, are assimilating. Their children learn English and by the end of high school prefer it to their parents' native tongue. They also marry people they meet here.

Second-generation Latinos earn less than white Americans but more than blacks and 50% more than first-generation Latinos. According to Tamar Jacoby's "Reinventing the Melting Pot," the most common last names among new homeowners in California include Garcia, Lee, Martinez, Nguyen, Rodriguez and Wong.

Lederen udstiller i hvor høj grad dele af den danske højrefløjs "modstand mod indvandring i hvilken som helst form" langt hen ad vejen i virkeligheden tjener en venstreorienteret agenda, in casu fastholdelsen af en stor velfærdsstat, der som konservative, i modsætning til venstreorienterede, godt ved ikke er forenelig med indvandring (af uuddannet arbejdskraft). Men indvandring er jo blot et ud af mange emner, hvor man må sande, at store dele af den danske højrefløj i virkeligheden har det bedst med den nuværende samfundsmodel og dens rollefordeling mellem det private og offentlige, det er vel nærmere reglen end undtagelsen.   

To slags multikulturalisme II

Undertegnede var forleden inviteret til at deltage i et debatarrangement om sameksistens arrangeret af Mandag Morgen initiativet “Co-existence of Civilizations” i samarbejde med Mellemfolkeligt Samvirkes Next Stop Mellemøsten.

Arrangementet der foregik på Krogerup Højskole, var tilrettelagt som en retssag, hvor henholdsvis Katrine Nyland Sørensen og Adam Holm (begge journalister på DR) skulle være advokater for hver deres tilgangsvinkel på emnet sameksistens i kølvandet på Muhammed-krisen.

Som tolerancens advokatslog Katrine Nyland Sørensen til lyd for at:

Forskellighed er godt, og mere forskellighed er endnu bedre. Der er som udgangspunkt ikke nogens værdier som er bedre end andres, grundlaget for sameksistens må være at respektere, tage hensyn til og værne om forskellighed. Fortalerne for kritisk engagement er som regel kun kritiske overfor andre, mens de glemmer at gribe i egen barm. Snarere end at pådutte andre vore egne snævre værdier og forestillinger om godt og skidt, ret og slet, burde vi derfor indrette vores samfund til at rumme og udnytte forskellighederne.

Adam Holm var det kritiske engagements advokat:

For at leve sammen, må vi engagere os i hinandens liv. Enhver er selvfølgelig fri til at have sin religiøse overbevisning og kulturelle tilhørsforhold, men det er en privatsag, og som samfundsborgere har vi pligt til at blande os i andres liv, også og især når vi er kritiske over for det. Tolerance er et udtryk for dovenskab og ved blot at være tolerante gør vi vore medborgere en bjørnetjeneste. Resultatet bliver parallelsamfund, hvor forskellige kulturelle enklaver nok eksisterer side om side, men uden at mødes og tage favntag med forskellighederne.

Min rolle var sammen med Tanwir Ahmed, Mona Sheikh, Jamilla Jaffer, Gert Raasdal, og Yasar Cakmak at optræde som “vidner”, der med hvert vores indlæg skulle “oplyse” sagen for tilhørerne og sagens dommer, som, naturligvis i dette forum, måtte være Morten Kjærum fra Institut for Menneskerettigheder.

Før sagen belærte Morten Kjærum, klædt i en kåbe han havde fået fra en kirgizisk dommer, salen om, at betegnelsen “Muhammed”-krisen ikke var passende, man skulle i stedet anvende “Jyllands-Posten” eller “Tegnings”-krisen. Kjærum fik også fortalt, at sameksistens var en nødvendighed lokalt og globalt, så var tonen lagt af sagens upartiske dommer.

Mit indlæg var som følger nedenfor:

Sameksistens på tværs af forskellige religioner og kulturer er mulig. Men meningsfuld, fredelig og nyttig sameksistens kræver et frit samfund. Et samfund, hvor borgerne i størst muligt omfang er frie til alene eller i frivilligt fællesskab med andre at søge at skabe og leve det liv, som giver mening for den enkelte. Værner vi om den individuelle, politiske og økonomiske frihed bliver konflikterne som sameksistens medfører til at håndtere og fordelene ved den frie udveksling af idéer, varer, teknologi og menneskelige erfaringer vil overstige ulemperne.

Men frihed må ikke forveksles med kulturel relativisme. Der er rammer for friheden, rammer som ikke kan overskrides uden fatale konsekvenser. De rammer udgøres af det liberale demokratis retsstat og frihedsrettigheder; Det liberale demokrati forudsætter en enighed om, at nogle helt grundlæggende principper, er bedre end andre. Disse principper erumiskendelige vestlige i deres oprindelse. Men at de er vestlige gør dem ikke irrelevante for andre kulturer.

Principperne skal ikke respekteres fordi de er vestlige, men fordi de virker, og fordi de er resultatet af århundreders udvikling og blodig kamp mod tyranni. Så længe det liberale demokrati behandler det enkelte menneske ens uanset race, religion, eller kulturel baggrund er det liberale demokrati fuldt foreneligt med enhver religion eller kultur, som respekterer dets grundprincipper.

Accepteres det derimod, at undertrykkende religiøse og kulturelle dogmer, er ligeværdige med eller højerestående end det liberale demokratis grundprincipper, undergraves disse. Derfor bør særlige rettigheder til etniske, religiøse og kulturelle minoriteter for enhver pris undgås. Sådanne særrettigheder er i virkeligheden udtryk for en misforstået solidaritet og fastholder minoriteter i en offerrolle. Fredelig sameksistens er derfor ikke automatisk, den kræver, at nytilkommeren respekterer grundlæggende vestlige principper. Men også, at den oprindelige befolkning har modet til at stå fast på disse principper, samtidig med at tillade nytilkommere at leve som de vil, indenfor det frie samfunds rammer. På denne vis skabes en ægte solidaritet og et fællesskab om noget helt grundlæggende, samtidig med at retten til forskellighed fastholdes.

Lad mig prøve at demonstrere mine argumenter med nogle eksempler. I USA er både personlig og økonomisk frihed i højsædet. Her har man siden 1990’erne modtaget mere end 10 millioner indvandrere fra hele verden. Indvandrere der bidrager positivt til det amerikanske samfund. Endnu mere interessant er det, at 59% af de amerikanske muslimer har en videregående uddannelse, en tredjedel har en årsindtægt på over en halv million kr. og op mod 80% gifter sig med ikke-muslimer. Dette står i skarp kontrast til visse lande i f.eks. Mellemøsten, hvor religiøs baseret lovgivning hindrer menneskelig udfoldelse og hvor øvrige religioner og kulturer undertrykkes. Men det står også i kontrast til europæiske velfærdsstater såsom Danmark, hvor vi også personlig frihed men mindre økonomisk frihed. I Europa opfattes indvandring ofte som et problem og især muslimer udgør en isoleret underklasse overrepræsenteret i kriminalitets- og arbejdsløshedsstatistikker.

Når vi diskuterer sameksistens på tværs af kulturer er der således meget der peger på, at fredelig sameksitens opstår når mennesker indenfor vide men faste rammer får frihed til at udfolde sig. Sameksistens skabes derimod ikke gennem statslige tiltag og relativistisk særlovgivning. Med andre ord er personlig, politisk og økonomisk frihed sameksistensens forudsætning.

Herefter fuglte spørgsmål fra “advokaterne” til vidnerne. Alle vidnerne var sådan set enige om demokratiet som ramme for sameksistens. De forskelle som utvivlsomt bestod mellem vidnerne fik ikke rigtig lov at manifestere sig. Mest spændende blev det når Adam Holm, som er skarp, gik til Mona Sheikh, med spørgsmål om hvorvidt det liberale demokrati var en absolut størrelse og om hun kunne gifte sig med en ikke-muslim, men grundet den korte tid der var tilgængelig fik Adam Holm ikke rigtig lejlighed til at fastholde Mona Sheikh, der til tider svarede som vaskeægte politiker, på disse spørgsmål.

Undertegnede slog ofte på økonomisk frihed som et middel til bedre integration her i landet. Men også på, at fordomme og skepsis overfor det fremmede er naturligt og menneskeligt, især i et historisk set meget homogent land som Danmark. Fordomme og skepsis hverken kan eller skal derfor forsøges elimineret fra statsligt hold.

Ikke overraskende var Dansk Folkeparti og højrenationalismen genstand for mange angreb. Endnu mindre overraskende var det, at Morten Kjærum, som sagens dommer, i sin afslutning også lagde afstand til Dansk Folkeparti, og insisterede på, at “vi bliver nødt til at blive bedre til at forstå hinanden og til at tale om ting som diskrimination”. Morten Kjærum kom herefter ind på, at mange muslimer i virkeligheden var godt integreret. Eksemplet herpå var, at mange muslimer “slog hånden i bordet på socialkontoret og krævede mere social
hjælp”. På sin vis
har Morten Kjærum jo ret, men at eksemplet fremhæves som positivt, demonstrerer fint, hvor katastrofal en cocktail indvandring, pomo-humanisme og en velfærdsstat, hvor alle skal være lige uanset forudsætninger udgør. 

Franske tilstande II

Min post om de franske optøjer og forskellene på amerikanske og franske tilstande for muslimske indvandrere har afstedkommet en større debat her på bloggen.  Meget passende har det altid spændende amerikanske tidsskrift The New Republic i sit kommende nummer en ganske velskrevet artikel om netop det emne med titlen “Religious Protection”.  TNR kan næppe anklages for just at være en del af Bush-administrationens bagland, men kan omvendt heller ikke entydigt klassificeres som doktrinært venstreorienteret og politisk korrekt.  Netop derfor kan det måske være interessant at se på, hvad artiklen siger–uden at man iøvrigt behøver at være enig i alle dens fortolkninger eller forudsigelser.

Kort fortalt mener forfatteren, Spencer Ackerman, at, ja, amerikanske muslimer generelt er mindre radikale end de tilsvarende europæiske, og at de generelt er bedre integrerede.  Årsagen er to-foldig: For det første har de bedre økonomiske muligheder end i Europa, og for det andet gør der vidtstrakte grad af religiøsitet-cum-religionsfrihed i USA, at de på den ene side ikke bliver opfattet som “nuts”, blot fordi de er religiøse, og på den anden side at debatten ikke så meget bliver én om sekularisme vs. religion.

Her er nogle smagsprøver fra artiklen, som også indeholder interessante faktuelle oplysninger:

“[The] British and American cases are not the same. It’s true that extremist messages exist in American Muslim communities, and there have been a few instances of American Muslims becoming terrorists. Those extremely rare cases, however, are far better explained by individual pathology than by rising Islamic militancy due to group disaffection. Europe’s growing Muslim culture of alienation, marginalization, and jihad isn’t taking root here. As a result, one senior administration official contends, “Al Qaeda finds greater support among European Muslim communities than in the U.S.”–meaning that the self-activated jihadists that Europe is witnessing are less likely to appear in America. In part, the United States is protected because it offers better social and economic opportunities to its Muslim citizens, while Europe’s inability to accommodate its growing Muslim underclass led to rioting that spread from the Paris suburbs across France. But economics alone can’t explain the more fluid integration of Muslims into American life. That, in large part, is a function of America’s ability to accommodate Islam itself.

French political theorist Olivier Roy argues that jihadism stems from a violent identity crisis felt acutely among Muslims in the West. But, ironically, that search for identity is far less of a crisis for Muslims in the United States–the supposed oppressor of Muslims, in bin Laden’s telling–because of a fundamentally American attribute: the mutually reinforcing creeds of pluralism and religiosity. “When I go out to Bush Country,” says Eboo Patel of Chicago’s Interfaith Youth Core, “it is true that, for some people, the way I pray is peculiar. But they don’t think I’m hallucinating when I say, ‘It’s prayer time.'” In other words, if the United States is looking for a way to win the hearts and minds of Muslims worldwide, it ought to first look at what it has accomplished at home. …

There’s no doubt that, as Patel puts it, “extreme messages are out there.” … [But] given the availability of extremist messages to American Muslims–who live in the country that’s supposedly the premier enemy of Islam–it’s startling how few American Muslim extremists there actually are. The Justice Department’s record on counterterrorism post-September 11 suggests little appetite among American Muslims for the jihadist agenda. Though, in June, President Bush boasted of investigating more than 400 terrorism suspects and winning convictions of “more than half of those charged,” an analysis by The Washington Post found that only 39 of the convictions could be considered at all terrorism-related, and only 14 of those prosecuted had links to Al Qaeda.  … What’s more, despite intimations that Islamic preaching in the United States is breeding terrorism, evidence suggests that the few Americans who picked up jihadism in the United States were primed for violence by psychological disturbance or past criminal activity–not the call of an imam. …

Indeed, counterterrorism experts are taking notice of the relative absence of American Muslims in the global jihadist movement. In a September talk, former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke observed, “Al Qaeda’s usual strategy is … to rely on indigenous populations, and maybe bring in a few operatives, but that indigenous population may not be here in the numbers necessary.” (Considering that September 11 was executed by only 19 men, that’s quite a statement about millions of American Muslims.) Some in the Bush administration concur. “An Al Qaeda-like attack–well-coordinated, in sequence, causing significant casualties–is less likely to come from a native American Muslim population,” says the senior official. “Countervailing factors make it less likely for sleeper cells to germinate among the native American Muslim population.” Those factors, according to the official, are fundamental: “It’s the American dream. American Muslims are living that dream.” Even that may be an understatement. For a variety of reasons, the United States has successfully created the model for a Western Muslim identity.

The most obvious reasons for that success are social and economic. As the riots in France highlighted, Muslims in Europe face severe levels of unemployment, few professional prospects, and social isolation. When Eboo Patel studied at Oxford University in the late ’90s, his American youth had left him thoroughly unprepared for what Muslims like himself had to endure in Britain. The economic options for his co-religionists were largely limited to working at “the fish and chips store, where racist insults were thrown at them by drunks on Friday nights.” It was an alien experience: “In America, my dad would go off to a corporate office for his job, and my mom was in advertising.” Patel’s shock is as illuminating as it should be unsurprising. Since Muslims began coming to the United States in appreciable numbers after the immigration reforms of 1965–around the same time that an African American Muslim community began to flourish–they have found a socially and economically hospitable environment.

It’s difficult to document trends among American Muslims, since census data do not track religion. Yet, in 2003, John R. Logan, a sociologist now affiliated with Brown University’s American Communities Project, used ancestry and place-of-birth information to conduct perhaps the most comprehensive demographic study to date of the American Muslim population. (Accordingly, Logan couldn’t track African American Muslims, believed to comprise one-third of all American Muslims.) That population increased by about 85 percent since 1990 and now totals nearly 3 million Americans, though some Muslim organizations claim the figure is too low. Even accepting the blurred edges of his report, Logan found several surprising facts about the American Muslim population: Unlike other recent immigrant groups, and distinctly unlike Muslims in Europe, American Muslims are solidly middle-class and solidly integrated with their non-Muslim neighbors.
60;

America
n Muslims tend to live in a few population centers, along the coasts and around Midwestern and Southern cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Houston. But, inside those metropolitan areas, enclaves–homogenous population clusters historically favored by recent immigrant groups–are surprisingly few. The ten metropolitan regions with the greatest concentration of Muslims tend to be ethnically integrated. With Detroit as the only exception, in both 1990 and 2000, every neighborhood with notable concentrations of Muslims was at least 60 percent white and only around 5 percent Muslim.

Within those neighborhoods, American Muslims display healthy indications of upward social mobility. The median household income of American Muslims in 2000 was over $52,000, nearly the $53,000 reported by the median white household. Even the poorest households among American Muslim groups, North Africans, earned $40,000 on average in 2000–$6,000 more than blacks. The typical American Muslim in 2000 possessed 14 years of education (more than whites, Latinos, blacks, and Asians); and American Muslims of Middle Eastern descent, who possess the lowest levels of education, still record higher levels of education than whites, blacks, and Latinos. American Muslims are presently living in census tracts where nearly 60 percent of residents own their homes and over 35 percent of residents have college educations. “Overall,” writes Logan, “the Muslim-origin population is characterized by high education and income with low unemployment.” “

Franske tilstande II

Edith Thingstrup har lørdag et debatindlæg i Berlingske Tidende med nogle af de samme tanker, som udtrykt her forleden.  Vi kan ikke linke til eller gengive kommentaren, men her er en smagsprøve:

Den franske model er bankerot. Frankrig er et af de europæiske lande, hvor dagens ret i mange år har været »etatisme«, det vil sige statslig indblanding i alt fra sprog til økonomi. Franskmændene har lagt deres liv i statens hænder i en grad, hvor der stort set ikke findes liberale kræfter i landet. Det giver bagslag.

Nu er uroen brudt ud i lys lue i Frankrigs ghettoer. Og hvad siger socialister verden over. Stort set intet. Hvad skulle de også sige? I Frankrigs ghettoer ser vi den socialistiske utopis fallit. De har talt om frihed, lighed og broderskab. De har nægtet at forholde sig til, om der var særlige problemer i bestemte etniske grupper. De har nægtet at reformere deres arbejdsmarkeder for at gøre det lettere at skabe nye jobs. Resultatet er unge arbejdsløse i tusindtal.

Læs selv resten i dagens Berlingske.

Franske tilstande

Kan nogen mon huske, hvorledes de danske medier—og danskerne i almindelighed —i september var ovenud indignerede over de forfærdende tilstande i New Orleans ovenpå “Katrina”?  Det var vist noget med, at der i et par dage var tyverier fra rømmede butikker og boliger, og der gik rygter om mord og voldtægt.  (Efterfølgende viste det sig ganske vist, at historierne om bandeskyderier og voldtægter ikke bare var overdrevne men var helt misvisende, men lad det nu ligge.)  Og det var i hvert fald noget med, at Bush havde fejlet (også desuagtet at der er gode grunde til at mene, at det først og fremmest var byen New Orleans og staten Louisiana, der havde fejlet).  Ud af 100 adspurgte i Politiken ultimo september om deres syn på lighed/ulighed, advarede et stort antal indigneret mod, at vi i Danmark fik “amerikanske tilstande” som “i New Orleans”.

Er tonen–og vinklingen–mon den samme i forbindelse med, hvad der p.t. foregår i Paris?  Hvor det i New Orleans drejede sig om (vildt overdrevne) historier om nogle få dages problemer som følge af en naturkatastrofe, hvorledes beskriver de danske medier så, når der hos os i Europa udvikler sig noget, der bedst kan betegnes som de mest borgerkrigslignende tilstande, som er set i et vestligt demokrati de seneste 37 år?  Hvor borgerne skyder med skarpt mod politiet?  Næsten to ugers konstante natlige opstande, mere end 5.000 ildspåsættelser, og mere end 1.200 arrestationer?

Tja, mandag aften kunne man f.eks. se den sædvanligt indignerede Georg Metz på Deadline, hvor han advarede imod, at vi snart kunne se noget lignende som de franske optøjer herhjemme, for “vi er jo ved at indføre en slags Apartheid”.  Denne åbenlyst groteske påstand lod den hyggelige og flinke Kurt Strand passere frit, helt uden at anfægte den.  (Var det samme mon sket, hvis en dansk borgerlig intellektuel havde påstået, at f.eks. Georg Metz advokerede sovjetisk planøkonomi?)  Udtalelsen illustrerede i hvert fald udmærket, hvorledes venstrefløjen nu “spinner” optøjerne: Det skyldes “kapitalistisk udstødning”, de væmmelige borgerlige, som tegner tegninger af Muhammed, o.s.v., o.s.v.

Wall Street Journal har ikke så overraskende et anderledes og mere sofitistikeret syn på den sag.  På deres lederside tirsdag skrev Joel Kotkin under den sigende overskrift “Why Immigrants Don’t Riot Here”:

“What has been largely ignored has been the role of France’s economic system in contributing to the current crisis. State-directed capitalism may seem ideal for such American admirers such as Jeremy Rifkin, author of “The European Dream,” and others on the left. Yet it is precisely this highly structured and increasingly infracted economic system that has so limited opportunities for immigrants and their children. In a country where short workweeks and early retirement are sacred, there is little emphasis on creating new jobs and even less on grass-roots entrepreneurial activity.

Since the ’70s, America has created 57 million new jobs, compared with just four million in Europe (with most of those jobs in government). In France and much of Western Europe, the economic system is weighted toward the already employed (the overwhelming majority native-born whites) and the growing mass of retirees. Those ensconced in state and corporate employment enjoy short weeks, early and well-funded retirement and first dibs on the public purse. So although the retirement of large numbers of workers should be opening up new job opportunities, unemployment among the young has been rising: In France, joblessness among workers in their 20s exceeds 20%, twice the overall national rate. In immigrant banlieues, where the population is much younger, average unemployment reaches 40%, and higher among the young.

To make matters worse, the elaborate French welfare state–government spending accounts for roughly half of GDP compared with 36% in the U.S.–also forces high tax burdens on younger workers lucky enough to have a job, largely to pay for an escalating number of pensioners and benefit recipients. In this system, the incentives are to take it easy, live well and then retire. The bloat of privileged aging blocks out opportunity for the young.”

Anderledes i USA:

“The Big Apple offers a lesson for France. An analysis of recent census numbers indicates that immigrants to New York are the biggest contributors to the net growth of educated young people in the city. Without the disproportionate contributions of young European immigrants, New York would have suffered a net outflow of educated people under 35 in the late ’90s. Overall, there are now 500,000 New York residents who were born in Europe (not to mention the numerous non-European immigrants who live, and prosper, in the city). …

[As regards Paris] The contrast with America’s immigrants, including those from developing countries, could not be more dramatic, both in geographic and economic terms. The U.S. still faces great problems with a portion of blacks and American Indians. But for the most part immigrants, white and nonwhite, have been making considerable progress. Particularly telling, immigrant business ownership has been surging far faster than among native-born Americans. Ironically, some of the highest rates for ethnic entrepreneurship in the U.S. belong to Muslim immigrants, along with Russians, Indians, Israelis and Koreans. …

It is almost inconceivable to see such flowerings of ethnic entrepreneurship in Continental Europe. Economic and regulatory policy plays a central role in stifling enterprise. Heavy-handed central planning tends to make property markets expensive and difficult to penetrate. Add to this an overall regulatory regime that makes it hard for small business to start or expand, and you have a recipe for economic stagnation and social turmoil. What would help France most now would be to stimulate economic growth and lessen onerous regulation. Most critically, this would also open up entrepreneurial and employment opportunity for those now suffering more of a nightmare of closed options than anything resembling a European dream.”

En anden med et interessant perspektiv på samme emne er den fortrinlige svenske Timbro-skribent, bestseller-forfatter og globaliseringsaktivist Johan Norberg.  Her er uddrag af, hvad han skriver i Expressen:

Föreställ dig att det var USA som tolv nätter i rad drabbades av våldsamma upplopp. Maskerade gäng drar runt och bränner bilar och skolor och kastar brandbomber och skottskadar poliser. Vad skulle franska politiker säga?

Vi behöver inte använda vår fantasi. Under de våldsamma upploppen i Los Angeles 1992 förklarade den franske presidenten François Mitterrand det som resultatet av USA:s marknadsliberala modell. Han slog fast att något sådant inte skulle kunna hända i Frankrike eftersom “det är landet med världens bästa sociala skyddsnät”.

Men sedan dess har USA skapat mer än 20 miljoner nya jobb. Samtidigt har den “sociala” franska modellen stagnerat och skyddsnäten har trasslat in miljoner i segregation och massarbetslöshet. Och nu är det över hela Frankrike som våldsamma upplopp bränner byggnader och sliter sönder samhällsväven.

För ett halvår sedan förklarade den unge franske liberalen Aurélien Véron att “Frankrike långsamt håller på att gå sönder”. Véron menade att regleringar och socialstat drar ned ekonomin och skapar arbetslöshet, vilket leder till “en fullständig brist på framtidstro”.
>Statistiken bekrä
ftar Vérons varningar. Nästan var tionde fransman är arbetslös, och andelen av dessa som är långtidsarbetslösa är mer än 40 procent. Bland de unga har bara var fjärde ett jobb. När minimilönerna är höga och arbetsrätten stark blir det för dyrt att anställa dem utan yrkeserfarenhet, rätt utbildning eller goda språkkunskaper. De slängs ut.

Jeg vil nu læne mig tilbage og vente tålmodigt på, at danske medier skal lave lange, tænksomme indslag, der viser, hvorledes “amerikanske tilstande”—kapitalistisk markeds-integrering—er bedre for indvandrerne og de pågældende samfund end socialistiske “franske tilstande”.

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