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Kanzler Sebastian Kurz – Staatsmann oder Gaukler?

Posted by hkarner - 7. Oktober 2019

Gero Jenner, 6.10.2019

Die Frage ist nicht aus der Luft gegriffen, denn bevor der Vorsitzende der ÖVP gestern seinen sensationellen Wahlerfolg errang, ließ sich das Urteil der Parteien im Hinblick auf seine Person etwa unter diesem Gegensatz subsumieren. Auch für die unmittelbar bevorstehende Zeit wird sich die Frage kaum eindeutig beantworten lassen, denn ein gerechtes Urteil über einen Politiker kann erst die Nachwelt abgeben, wenn sie ihn in die Reihe seiner Vorgänger und Nachfolger stellt. Doch wird man eines schon jetzt sagen dürfen. Der jüngste Kanzler in der Geschichte Österreichs hat etwas fertiggebracht, was die wohl umsichtigste Führungskraft der westlichen Welt, die nicht mehr ganz junge Kanzlerin Deutschlands, nicht zustande brachte. Sebastian Kurz hat Österreich vor der AfD bewahrt, denn die FPÖ, ihr österreichisches Gegenbild, hat in dieser Wahl – nicht ohne aktive eigene Mithilfe – eine verheerende Schlappe erlitten.

Ja, höre ich jetzt diejenigen rufen,

die in Kurz nur einen Gaukler sehen. Dieser Erfolg sei doch nur möglich gewesen, weil er die Politik der extremen Rechten für sich übernommen habe!

Nein, das ist nur teilweise richtig. Er hat genau das von ihr übernommen, was die Bevölkerungsmehrheit wollte, nämlich eine vorsichtige Immigrationspolitik. Und er hat genau das nicht übernommen, was die extreme Rechte wollte und immer noch will: nämlich den Hass gegen alles Fremde schüren und sich im Chauvinismus suhlen. Auch seine ärgsten Feinde werden dem Parteiobmann der ÖVP nicht vorwerfen können, dass er mit dumpfem Fremdenhass und dummem Chauvinismus sympathisiere. Davon hat Kurz sich stets unmissverständlich distanziert und die Brücke zu den Freiheitlichen in dem Augenblick abgebrochen, als diese wieder braune Ausschläge zeigten.

Andererseits ist dieser rechte Politiker

kein blauäugiger Idealist, der Ideale zur Not auch gegen eine Mehrheit der eigenen Bevölkerung durchpeitschen will. Er hat gesehen, dass in Österreich – wie ebenso auch in Deutschland – eine Elite aus Politikern, Juristen, Anwälten, Lehrern die eigene Aufgeklärtheit durch eine Politik der angelweit aufgesperrten Tür demonstrieren wollte, während die Bevölkerungsmehrheit zu Recht befürchtet, dass diese liberale Großzügigkeit zu ihren Lasten gehe, sind es doch vor allem ihr Lebensstandard, ihre Jobs und Einkommen, welche eine ungeregelte Immigration gefährdet. Bekanntlich haben sich in den USA die Vertreter der Industrie aus genau diesem Grund für eine liberale Einwanderungspolitik eingesetzt. Die Einwanderer liefern billige Arbeitskräfte, welche die Löhne drücken und so den Profit vermehren. In dieser Hinsicht kann man dem Kanzler Kurz keine wirtschaftsfreundliche Politik unterstellen.

Aber hat dieser Kanzler nicht schon in seiner ersten Amtszeit

viel Unglück angerichtet, indem er die Mindestunterstützung für Immigranten kürzte, so dass sie kaum noch fürs Überleben reicht und daher Integration enorm erschwert? Das ist ein ernstzunehmender Vorwurf. Hier sieht sich, meines Erachtens, jede Partei mit einem überaus schwierigen Problem konfrontiert. Wenn es heißt, dass westliche Wohlfahrtsstaaten auf Einwanderer eine geradezu magnetische Anziehungskraft ausüben, weil sie den Immigranten mehr Unterstützung bieten, als die meisten von ihnen in ihren Heimatländern durch eigene Arbeit verdienten, so ist diese Behauptung kaum bestreitbar, ganz gleich ob sie aus dem Mund eines Fremdenhassers oder aus dem eines nüchtern urteilenden Wissenschaftlers kommt. Ich halte es für unverantwortlich, die Leistungen für diejenigen zu kürzen, die man im Land aufnehmen will und die das nötige Startkapital brauchen, um sich einzuleben, damit sie schließlich auf eigenen Füßen stehen.

Andererseits wird aber kein Staat den eigenen Bürgern zumuten können, dass man auch denjenigen einen vergleichsweise weit höheren Lebensstandard zukommen lässt, die man allenfalls für kurze Zeit oder auch gar nicht im eigenen Land beherbergen will. Kein europäischer Staat wird auf die Dauer die in Zukunft noch zu erwartenden Flüchtlingswellen aus Afrika so großzügig unterstützen können, wie das in der Vergangenheit möglich war, als man mit vergleichsweise kleinen Immigrationsschüben konfrontiert war. Keiner wird, selbst wenn er das wollte, über die dazu erforderlichen Mittel verfügen, noch weniger wird er das gegen den demokratisch erklärten Willen der eigenen Bevölkerungsmehrheit durchsetzen wollen. Man vergesse nicht: Afrika zählt heute 1,3 Milliarden Menschen, eine Zahl, die sich bis 2100 voraussichtlich mehr als verdreifachen wird. Dann werden dort etwa sieben Mal mehr Menschen als in Europa leben, während die Folgen des Klimawandels die natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen zur gleichen Zeit reduzieren und natürlich auch an Europa nicht spurlos vorübergehen.

Von derart bedrückenden Aussichten

will die Politik gewöhnlich nichts wissen, weil auch die Bürger sie gern verdrängen – hier ist parteiübergreifend viel Gaukelei im Spiel. Zwar wird immer wieder beteuert, dass die richtige Hilfe darin bestehen müsse, den Menschen das Überleben in ihrer jeweiligen Heimat zu ermöglichen, doch dieselben Leute, die dieses Rezept verkünden, haben dafür gesorgt, dass Österreichs Entwicklungshilfe auf ein Minimum reduziert worden ist – und daran wird sich wohl kaum etwas ändern. Überdies war Entwicklungshilfe bisher nie sonderlich erfolgreich – die viel geschmähten Kapitalisten haben durch Betriebsgründungen in Ländern mit billiger Arbeitskraft die ökonomische Entwicklung sehr viel stärker gefördert. China liefert dafür bis heute das klassische Beispiel.

Aber China zeigt auch,

dass selbst diese Förderung wirkungslos bleibt, wenn sie nicht durch eine entsprechende Bevölkerungspolitik unterstützt wird. Ohne die energische Einkindpolitik seiner Regierung wäre China noch heute das Afrika des Ostens mit einer auf zwei Milliarden oder mehr gestiegenen Bevölkerungszahl. Die Misere Afrikas ist ja nicht allein auf den Klimawandel zurückzuführen, sondern mehr noch darauf, dass die Staaten dort (wie auch im Mittleren Osten) weit mehr Menschen aufweisen, als sie aus eigener Kraft zu ernähren oder gar mit Jobs zu versorgen imstande sind. Jeglicher Fortschritt im Lebensstandard wird von einer wachsenden Menschenzahl gleich wieder zunichte gemacht. 2015 lag die Geburtenzahl in Subsahara-Afrika beim 52-fachen des deutschen Wertes, 2100 wird sie knapp das 200-fache betragen. 2015 lebten dort etwa 15 Mal so viele Menschen wie in Deutschland, 2100 werden es 62 Mal so viele sein.

Kein Politiker Österreichs oder Deutschlands

tritt mit diesen Zahlen vor die Öffentlichkeit – man will die Bürger ja nicht beunruhigen -, aber unbekannt sind sie der Politik natürlich nicht, zumal sie auf Zahlen der UNO beruhen. Der neue alte Kanzler Österreichs war klug genug, die Immigration in diesem Wahlkampf kaum zu erwähnen, die Bürger wissen ja ohnehin, dass er hier die Interessen der Mehrheit verteidigen wird. Stattdessen hat er die Altenpflege und die Pensionen in den Vordergrund gerückt – Themen, die normalerweise nicht gerade für Spannung sorgen. Dass man von ihm eine Politik der Wirtschaftsnähe erwarten kann, darüber sind sich politische Freunde wie Feinde ja ohnehin einig.

Ja, und am Punkt der Wirtschaftsfreundlichkeit,

zeigt sich noch ein weiteres Phänomen, das nicht allein in Österreich und Deutschland die Schwächung jener Parteien zur Folge hatte, die bis dahin die Interessen der Geringverdiener – und damit die einer demokratischen Mehrheit – verteidigten. Ich spreche natürlich von der SPD in Deutschland und der SPÖ Österreichs, die beide einmal bedeutende Volksparteien waren, aber jetzt nur noch als Schatten dahinvegetieren. Wie konnte es dazu kommen, dass eine demokratische Mehrheit sich für rechte Parteien entscheidet, die in der Regel nicht ihre, sondern die Interessen der Wirtschaftskonzerne begünstigen? Niemand wird allen Ernstes behaupten, dass der neue österreichische Kanzler sich für die Politik der Gewerkschaften stark machen wird. Sind diese also mitsamt den linken Volksparteien durch Gaukler wie Sebastian Kurz oder gar die deutsche Kanzlerin Angela Merkel an die Wand gedrückt worden?

Die Antwort auf diese Frage

scheint mir nicht sonderlich schwer zu sein, obwohl sie in der öffentlichen Diskussion kaum eine Rolle spielt. Tatsache ist, dass die Wirtschaft sämtlicher Staaten global so verflochten ist, dass der Entscheidungsspielraum eines einzelnes Landes – noch dazu eines so kleinen Landes wie Österreich – kaum noch größere Manöver der Umverteilung oder des Privilegienabbaus erlaubt. Gerade die erfolgreichsten österreichischen und deutschen Betriebe pflegen auf den internationalen Märkten präsent zu sein. Die internationalen Märkte sind es deshalb, die ihnen Kosten und Preise diktieren – eine nationale Regierung kann nur dann höhere Steuersätze für Zwecke der Umverteilung beschließen, wenn Innovation den eigenen Unternehmungen die entsprechenden Gewinne verschafft. Aber auf die Mehrzahl aller „normalen“ Unternehmen trifft das eben keinesfalls zu. Stärkere staatliche Eingriffe können daher die Betriebe leicht so stark belasten, dass die kurzfristigen Vorteile im Sinne einer sozial ausgerichteten Politik mit langfristigen Schäden verbunden sind. Die Umverteilung funktioniert zwar für kurze Zeit, aber die Arbeitsplätze werden abgebaut – der Saldo ist negativ. Das ist der Grund, warum linke Parteien seit etwa drei Jahrzehnten ihre Versprechungen kaum noch erfüllen konnten.

Gegen das größte Übel unserer Zeit, die weltweite Konzentration von Macht und Vermögen, Vermögen und Macht kann der einzelne Nationalstaat inzwischen so gut wie nichts ausrichten, weil alle Maßnahmen in dieser Richtung zur Abwanderung führen. Denn das Kapital ist heute so mobil wie niemals zuvor. Nur die EU insgesamt könnte hier eingreifen – und auch nur um den Preis, dass sie den Außenhandel zu regulieren beginnt, wie das Trump gegenwärtig mit dem Holzhammer für die Vereinigten Staaten versucht.

Allen schön klingenden Parolen zum Trotz

sind nationale Politiker gegenüber den – zum Teil verheerenden – globalen Tendenzen zu weitgehender Machtlosigkeit verdammt – und aus diesem Grunde wird der Unterschied von Links und Rechts immer nebelhafter, obwohl die Parteien selbst natürlich propagandistisch bemüht sind, aus den Mücken, die sie allenfalls noch zu bändigen vermögen, ausgewachsene Elefanten zu machen. Ich würde den Linken wünschen, dass sie nicht zu wohlmeinenden aber weltfremden Idealisten werden, die in Gefahr sind, gegen Windmühlen anzurennen. Der Staatsmann Sebastian Kurz scheint gegen diese Gefahr eher gefeit zu sein.

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Is Immigrant-Bashing a Vote Winner for the Left?

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2019

Philippe Legrain

Philippe Legrain, a former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission, is a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute and the founder of Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), an international think-tank whose mission is to advance open, liberal societies. His most recent book is European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right .

With Europe’s traditional voter blocs now scattered like never before, some center-left parties have been tempted to siphon off working-class votes from the right by adopting an anti-immigrant agenda. But aping far-right populists is a mistake for progressives, on both moral and tactical grounds.

LONDON – Is a hardline position on immigration the key to electoral success for Europe’s beleaguered center left? Denmark’s Social Democrats certainly think so. They took first place in a general election this month after arguing that immigrants threaten the country’s social cohesion and generous welfare state. The far-right Danish People’s Party, whose line that message echoed, suffered significant losses.

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The language struggles of immigrants to America

Posted by hkarner - 26. Mai 2019

Date: 23-05-2019
Source: The Economist: Johnson

Forcing them to learn English can be counter-productive

Lev golinkin left Soviet Ukraine as a nine-year-old in 1990. With assistance from hias, a Jewish organisation that helps refugees, his family made its way to Indiana. In America, not having English felt “like having a massive stroke, only instead of being sent to the hospital and getting help you have to go out and get a job.” His experience suggests immigrants don’t have to be told how important it is to speak the language of a new country: they are more painfully aware of it than natives can ever know.

Yet they are often assumed to need coercion. On May 16th, for example, Donald Trump vowed to ensure that immigrants to America learn English and pass a civics exam before arriving. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Donald Trump’s real target is not illegal immigration but diversity

Posted by hkarner - 25. Februar 2019

Date: 24-02-2019
Source: The Economist: Lexington

That battle is already lost

When juan garcia started work as an urban planner for the government of Gaston County in 1997, he reckons he was the only Latino among its 1,400 employees. Hub of a dying textiles industry, on the western edge of Charlotte, the county was missing out on the boom already rippling through the periphery of North Carolina’s most dynamic city. For that reason Gastonia, its altogether less zippy capital, was not seeing many of the Mexican immigrants then pouring into the state, to labour on the building sites erupting in Charlotte and revive the poultry industry in Union County, east of the city. But this was about to change.

Finding opportunities overlooked by others in Gastonia’s run-down factories and mills, migrants started settling in the town’s trailer parks and poor black neighbourhoods. Its Hispanic population soared, to around 6,000, or 9% of the total, within a few years. This caused friction with Gastonia’s white majority, recalls Mr Garcia, who was born in Colombia. “Mexicans like to get physically closer when they’re talking to you than Anglos do. They might slaughter a chicken in their yard. They play loud music there.” But the ill-will rarely went beyond grumbling about the migrants’ poor English. Some in Gastonia said this reflected the much deeper tensions in the South between whites and blacks. Resentment of immigrants was only a brief distraction from that main drama. In any event, the migrants, many of whom had either moved from Texas or come directly from the Rio Grande, expected no favours. “So long as you treat people the right way, you’re all right,” shrugged Elvira, who came to North Carolina to pick tobacco 25 years ago and now works at the “Las Americas” supermarket in Gastonia.

The influx of Hispanics to the town, and hundreds of unfashionable cities like it, illustrates how much they have changed America over the past three decades. The Hispanic population has risen ninefold since the 1960s, to around 60m. Its members, many of them second- and third-generation immigrants, are dispersing across the country, driving growth and changing the social fabric wherever they go. While the white population is on the cusp of declining, most states have flourishing Hispanic communities. North Carolina, which had around 40,000 Hispanics in 1990, now has almost a million. The high growth rates it has meanwhile sustained owe a lot to this migrant infusion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Studie zu Arbeitskräftebedarf Deutschland braucht 260.000 Zuwanderer pro Jahr

Posted by hkarner - 13. Februar 2019

Auch bei der Rente mit 70 und einer höheren Geburtenrate kommt der deutsche Arbeitsmarkt nicht ohne Fachkräfte aus dem Ausland aus, ergibt eine Studie der Bertelsmann Stiftung. Jährlich müssten deshalb 260.000 Menschen zuziehen.

Dienstag, 12.02.2019 10:42 Uhr, spiegel.online

Um den Arbeitskräftebedarf der Wirtschaft zu decken, braucht Deutschlandeiner Studie zufolge in den nächsten 40 Jahren jährlich netto mindestens 260.000 Einwanderer. Ohne Migration werde das Angebot an Arbeitskräften angesichts der alternden Gesellschaft bis zum Jahr 2060 um rund 16 Millionen Personen – also um fast ein Drittel – massiv schrumpfen, schreiben die Forscher.
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Bei der Ermittlung der Zuwandererzahl seien auch Potenziale der in Deutschland lebenden Arbeitskräfte eingerechnet worden, betonen sie. So seien eine höhere Geburtenrate sowie eine steigende Erwerbsbeteiligung von Frauen und Männern bereits berücksichtigt. „Doch selbst wenn Männer und Frauen gleich viel arbeiteten und in Deutschland eine Rente mit 70 eingeführt würde, könnte der Fachkräftebedarf nicht mit inländischen Mitteln gedeckt werden“, schreibt die Bertelsmann-Stiftung als Auftraggeber der Studie. Deren Zahlen basieren auf Berechnungen des Instituts für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB) und der Hochschule Coburg. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 16. Dezember 2018

Date: 15-12-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Europe’s Populist Left and Right Share a Common Call: State Intervention

Italy’s new government shuns the EU’s long-held pro-market policies, instead opting to step in to prop up Alitalia

Italy’s new antiestablishment government engineered the state-owned railroad’s offer to buy a controlling stake in ailing Alitalia.

MILAN—Antiestablishment parties gained support across the continent in recent years by attacking the EU’s immigration and fiscal rules. Less noticed has been their growing pushback against an EU economic orthodoxy that favors markets and competition over state intervention.

In Italy, the new antiestablishment government engineered the state-owned railroad’s offer to buy a controlling stake in perennially stricken airline Alitalia. The railroad, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA, made its offer, the terms of which aren’t public, contingent on finding an airline as a co-investor. Should a deal be sealed, the Italian government would likely end up with a direct Alitalia stake of about 15% and would control the airline through that holding together with Ferrovie’s share.

The government in Rome, comprising the far-right League and the ideologically eclectic 5 Star Movement, also wants to nationalize water utilities, create a government-controlled bank to finance the economy, and has floated the idea of nationalizing the highway system.

Italy’s economic development minister, Luigi Di Maio, has led the government’s attempt to revive Alitalia.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Bogus Backlash to Globalization

Posted by hkarner - 11. November 2018

Date: 10-11-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Charles Kenny

Resentful Nativists Oppose Free Trade and Immigration—Don’t Appease Them

The last two years have seen an outbreak of self-abnegation among former advocates of globalization, who wonder if their cosmopolitan views on migration and free trade might have helped deliver the White House to U.S. President Donald Trump. In turn, longtime critics of globalization on the left have crowed at this apparent admission of defeat. Both camps have suggested that the backlash Trump represents is understandable and that internationalists should do more to accommodate an electorate that has turned against global engagement.

Yet both camps misunderstand Trump’s electoral success. The voters who were won over by his antiglobalist message were not legitimate victims of globalization. Many, if not most, were and are older white supporters of patriarchy who resent people with dark skin, especially those from other countries. Although it might be inexpedient to call this group deplorable, a program of appeasement toward their views is wrong—economically, politically, and morally. Globalization has been an overwhelmingly positive force for the United States and the rest of the world. Instead of apologizing for themselves, it is time for internationalists to take the fight to an aging minority of nativists and wall builders.

THE BLESSINGS OF GLOBALIZATION

Backlash appeasers have a number of thoughtful and influential voices on their side. Many are former champions of globalization who worry that it has moved too fast. The Financial Times commentator Edward Luce, for instance, suggested in his 2017 book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism, that by promoting globalization, “the world’s elites have helped provoke what they feared: a populist uprising against the world economy.” To save the liberal project, he argued, we must abandon “the drive to deep globalization.” Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has similarly warned of “a growing suspicion on the part of electorates that globalization is an elite project that primarily benefits elites.”

Other members of this chorus are liberals and left-wingers who have long been critical of free trade and who see Trump’s election as a vindication. In a March article for The American Prospect, the liberal journalist Robert Kuttner claimed that “elites of both parties won the policy debates on trade, but lost the people.” According to Kuttner, “the more that bien pensants double down on globalization, the more defections they invite and the more leaders like Trump we get.” The author John Judis took to The New York Times to criticize the left for ignoring the emotional appeal of nationalism, arguing that low-skilled immigration and China’s unfair trading practices had hurt American workers, helping to “create a new class of angry ‘left-behinds’” who were susceptible to Trump’s message.

These arguments are misguided. They severely overstate both the number of Americans hurt by globalization and the depth of the popular backlash to it. Regarding immigration, it is very hard to find evidence of a single demographic or regional grouping of U.S. citizens that has been harmed. In a 2015 paper, the economists Gaetano Basso and Giovanni Peri looked at 30 years of data on labor market outcomes in the United States and concluded that increases in immigrant labor, both in aggregate and by skill group, either increase native wages and employment or are simply uncorrelated with them. Conversely, Trump’s plan to end work permits for the spouses of H1-B visa holders could cost the U.S. economy $2.1 billion per year, according to the economists Ayoung Kim, Brigitte S. Waldorf, and Natasha T. Duncan.

On trade, there is reasonable analysis suggesting that increased competition arising from imports, for all of its overall benefits, can hurt employment in particular communities and sectors. In an influential series of papers, the economists David H. Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon H. Hanson argued that China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 had a negative impact on local U.S. labor markets exposed to Chinese competition. For at least a full decade after the “China trade shock,” they claimed, these labor markets—many of which had depended on manufacturing—saw higher unemployment, lower wages, and depressed labor force participation rates.

But critics of the studies point out that their conclusions fail to account for a few important facts. First, increased trade with China allowed U.S. firms to import cheaper materials, lowering their own costs and enabling them to expand production; and second, China’s accession to the WTO increased U.S. exports to China, as well as other countries. Looking beyond just China, research by the economists Robert C. Feenstra and Akira Sasahara suggests that between 1995 and 2011, growth in U.S. exports worldwide led to 6.6 million new U.S. jobs, including 1.9 million jobs in manufacturing—more than the jobs lost owing to global import competition. And although an estimated two million U.S. jobs were lost because of competition from Chinese imports over those 15 years, the U.S. economy saw about 1.9 million layoffs and discharges each month during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Manufacturing job losses to China are in the headlines not because they are a major source of terminations but because they make a good story for those who oppose global engagement.

Furthermore, looking only at the production side of the economy ignores the considerable benefits that consumers—particularly poor consumers—derive from cheaper goods. According to a study by Pablo D. Fajgelbaum and Amit K. Khandelwal of the National Bureau of Economic Research, poor people spend more of their income on goods, while the rich spend more on services, which are less tradable; for this reason, if the United States moved to end imports, the poorest ten percent of American consumers would see their buying power decline by 82 percent, compared with a decline of only 50 percent for the median consumer.

Most Americans recognize the economic benefits of trade and migration to the country. Contrary to the backlash thesis, globalization is more popular now than ever before. Since 1992, Gallup has asked if trade is primarily an opportunity for economic growth or a threat to the economy. For 23 years, the proportion suggesting it was primarily an opportunity never rose above 56 percent; in 2017 and 2018, it exceeded 70 percent. And since 1965, Gallup has asked Americans if immigration should be increased, decreased, or kept at the present level. The proportion favoring an increase or sustained rate, at 68 percent, has never been higher, nor has the proportion calling for a decrease (29 percent) ever been lower.

WHITE FRIGHT
But if the economic benefits of globalization are widely understood, a minority sees it as a cultural threat. This is what explains the supposed backlash. Public opinion surveys from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggest that 34 percent of all Americans feel that the growing number of immigrants threatens traditional American values and customs. But only 19 percent of those aged 18 to 29 feel that way, compared with 44 percent of those over the age of 65 and 53 percent of white evangelical Protestants of all ages. Similarly, the political scientists  Diana C. Mutz, Edward D. Mansfield, and Eunji Kim found that whites are consistently less supportive of trade deals than are members of other racial groups. They attribute this imbalance to whites’ “heightened sense of national superiority” and ethnocentrism. If markers of economic hardship—such as low education, skills, or wages—determined opinions on trade (or migration), minorities would be the ones opposed. In fact, the reverse is true.

Some evidence does suggest that migration and trade flows may influence communities to vote Republican. Autor, Dorn, and Hanson argue that between 2000 and 2016, areas in which employment was concentrated in the industries that faced the most competition from Chinese imports tended to shift toward the Republicans. And the economists Anna Maria Mayda, Giovanni Peri, and Walter Steingress analyzed county-level data, finding that between 1990 and 2010, high-skilled immigration to a county decreased the overall share of the Republican vote while low-skilled immigration increased it.

What is considerably harder to see is how such factors could explain Trump’s increased vote share relative to the Republicans’ 2012 presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Survey evidence suggests the American electorate recognized that the 2016 presidential candidates, Trump and Hillary Clinton, presented them with a clearer choice on trade and migration policy than had Barack Obama and Romney four years earlier. But voters’ exposure to globalization was not related to the size of their swing toward the Republican candidate between 2012 and 2016. Cultural factors were.

The Gallup economists Jonathan T. Rothwell and Pablo Diego-Rosell, for instance, found “no link whatsoever” between greater exposure to trade competition or immigrant workers and greater support for Trump. They did find a particularly large swing to Trump in counties with a high share of old white residents with only a high school education. And Diana Mutz found that people who felt that “the American way of life is threatened,” or who believed whites and men were more oppressed than women or minorities, were significantly more likely to switch to Trump than those who did not. In short, the voters who bought Trump’s rhetoric on trade and migration were those who were culturally attuned to his message.

Indeed, a significant proportion of Republican partisans have decided that white Christian men are the new oppressed. A PRRI survey in February 2017 found that 43 percent of Republicans felt there was a lot of discrimination against whites, and 48 percent thought there was a lot of discrimination against Christians, compared with only 27 percent who thought there was a lot of discrimination against blacks. Given the gap between black and white families in terms of both median income and median wealth, such thinking is delusional. But many whites, Mutz notes, fear that they will soon become a minority within the United States and feel that the country as a whole is losing its global dominance. This sense of lost national status and persecution fueled support for Trump.

NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER
When regretful internationalists talk about pausing globalization to save it, the group they cater to is not the “left-behind” but older, bigoted whites who are unreconciled to the cultural changes of recent decades. It would be both ethically repugnant and politically and economically unwise to pander to them.

Politically unwise because theirs is a minority view that is dying; economically suicidal because for all that old white men are delusional about facing discrimination at home, they are absolutely correct regarding the United States’ slipping status as a superpower. That is why it is particularly urgent for the country to lock in fair global regimes while it still has the leverage to do so. This means playing by the rules of the WTO and taking those immigrants who still want to come to the United States. Ironically, immigration is particularly important for aging whites themselves: although non-Hispanic whites will become a minority of the overall population within the next three decades, they will still make up 60 percent of people over the age of 65 in 2050. They will need young immigrant workers to keep Social Security and Medicare solvent. Add to these political and economic motives an ethical one: globalization has been the most powerful force ever for lifting humanity out of destitution.

Globalization has been imperfectly managed, and a new push for fairer global engagement should involve reforms, including better regulation of capital markets, limits on intellectual monopolies such as patents and copyrights, and cooperation on tax havens to ensure that corporations and rich individuals pay their share for public services. Strong international agreements are urgently needed on issues such as climate change and data privacy. And a raft of domestic measures could increase both equality and productivity in the United States: tightening lax controls on market concentration, slashing limits to affordable housing in job-rich areas, reducing the barrier to entry that unnecessary licensing imposes on small businesses, reforming a banking system that bails out irresponsible institutional investors, and doing more to help Americans who lose their jobs, for whatever reason.

But one thing that won’t help is for liberals to legitimize the backlash to globalization. Those who do so are useful patsies for Trump, allowing him to channel racial resentment into tax cuts for the rich. Responding to a group of people who think that white male Christians are discriminated against, or that the rest of the world getting richer is something for Americans to fear rather than celebrate, is admittedly hard. But whatever the reaction to the nativist rage of old white men, it cannot be appeasement.

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Anti-immigration, like pro-immigration, is a legitimate political position

Posted by hkarner - 7. August 2018

Date: 06-08-2018
Source: The Economist by Yuval Noah Harari

A book excerpt from “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” by Yuval Noah Harari

An historian by training, Yuval Noah Harari rose to prominence with two best-selling books. Sapiens looked at humanity’s past and Homo Deus at its future. His latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, considers the here-and-now, spanning subjects from technology and terrorism to populism and religion.

In the excerpt that follows, he considers the underlying premise of immigration and what migrants and societies might “owe” each other, to conclude: “It would be wrong to tar all anti-immigrationists as ‘fascists’, just as it would be wrong to depict all pro-immigrationists as committed to ‘cultural suicide’. […] It is a discussion between two legitimate political positions, which should be decided through standard democratic procedures.”

*      *     *

The European discussion about immigration often degenerates into a shouting match in which neither side hears the other. To clarify matters, it would perhaps be helpful to view immigration as a deal with three basic conditions or terms:

Term 1: The host country allows the immigrants in.

Term 2: In return, the immigrants must embrace at least the core norms and values of the host country, even if that means giving up some of their traditional norms and values.

Term 3: If the immigrants assimilate to a sufficient degree, over time they become equal and full members of the host country. ‘They’ become ‘us’.

These three terms give rise to three distinct debates about the exact meaning of each term: Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Nationalism, Immigration, and Economic Success

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juli 2018

Jason Furman

Jason Furman, Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, was Chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2013-2017.

There can be no question that immigration provides a net economic benefit to advanced economies, particularly those experiencing a retirement boom. But as long as anti-immigrant sentiment dictates the political narrative, growth will suffer, and resurgent populist forces will grow stronger.

CAMBRIDGE – One of the central challenges facing the world’s advanced economies is slowing growth. Over the last decade, growth rates in the advanced economies have averaged 1.2%, down from an average of 3.1% during the previous 25 years.

History shows that slower economic growth can make societies less generous, less tolerant, and less inclusive. So, it stands to reason that the past decade of sluggish growth has contributed to the surge of a damaging form of populist nationalism that is taking hold in a growing number of countries. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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First They Came for the Immigrants. Then They Came for the Robots.

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juli 2018

Date: 13-07-2018
Source: FOREIGN POLICY BY BRUCE STOKES

Politicians must prepare voters for automation; otherwise, opportunistic populists will seize the agenda.

The phrase “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet” has been used as the title of several pop songs and a French film. It could also aptly describe the future of politics across the globe as the twin specters of nationalism and populism intensify and people grapple with the social and economic impacts of increased automation and the spread of artificial intelligence.

In key respects, this future has already arrived. In 2016, there were already 309 installed industrial robots for every 10,000 manufacturing workers — a measurement known as robot density — in Germany, 223 in Sweden, and 189 in the United States. The use of robots had risen 7 percent in the United States, 5 percent in Sweden, and 3 percent in Germany in just one year. That may not sound like much, but at that rate, robot density would double in the United States in about a decade. And these numbers are only likely to grow because next-generation robots are already highly cost competitive. The average hourly cost of a manufacturing worker in Germany as of 2013 was $49, in France it was $43, and in the United States $36. The hourly cost of a collaborative robot — a machine that does not require skill to interact with — was $4, according to a recent study by Bain & Company.

That same Bain study estimates that advances in automation could displace up to 25 percent of the U.S. labor force over the next two decades. This would mean nearly 2.5 million Americans would have to find new work each year. By comparison, only 1.2 million Americans were displaced annually in the transition from agriculture to industry in the first part of the 20th century. Estimates for other countries vary widely, but all suggest significant displacement can be anticipated thanks to the rapid adoption of robotics and AI in both the manufacturing sector and, increasingly, the provision of services. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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