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Monday 21 September 2015

Migration not a solution to world poverty

Recently I was sent a relatively old video, updated in 2010, "Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs" by Roy Beck. It illustrates in a simple and compelling way, the futility of trying to address world poverty by immigration.

It provides a perspective of the size of the poverty problem and how even the most generous migration schemes cannot hope to address the issue.Moreover and this point needs to be emphasized the very generosity of the west in accepting migrants actually makes the problem worse, because the migrants accepted are always the very migrants who could work assiduously to make their home countries better.

While the figures are no doubt out of date, the message is equally relevant today. Indeed, with waves of migrants spreading over Europe they are more relevant than ever.

Should Europe accept these migrants?  Without qualification it is incumbent on all countries to re-settle refugees from war and persecution (see my earlier post on the migration crisis). There is however no obligation to accept so called 'economic' migrants, those who leave their home countries in search of greener pastures.

So often the heart works against the mind. We feel a collective guilt for our prosperity and do not want to deny a chance to at least the few on our doorsteps. Yet we know that we can only offer this to a few, that it encourages ever greater numbers of dissatisfied souls to leave their lands and indeed that it robs their home countries of the most energetic and capable.

The 'gumball' message is clear, it is counter-productive for western developed countries to accept the migrants best equipped to transform their own countries into the type of societies they seek. 

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