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Immigration Now

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 23rd, 2018 - 74 comments
Categories: Africa, Donald Trump, Europe, immigration, International, us politics - Tags:

Germany has one of the very few national-level consciences on world immigration, but even that is now under threat.

The difference in attitude and processes between the United States and Germany could not be more stark. Since we’ve seen a fair bit about the United States’ issues recently, I thought I’d concentrate on Germany’s approach. Occasional global upsurges in solidarity with refugees remind us of a fundamental reality: immigration is central to the success of the modern world – and in particular Europe.

The self-destructive ageing of Europe’s population is so important that is has led to hilarous focus from some governments.

This has made immigration in Europe an imperative, its social models make it possible, and Africa’s demographic explosion combined with climate change will require it.


Before the financial crisis, Europe was on the way to becoming the most open region of the world in migration flows. The rise of European employment following the GFC, terrorism-influenced xenophobia, and a brutal closing of borders, has piled such political pressure that most governments have radically altered from Sweden to Turkey.

The European Union had a population of nearly 510 million in 2015, compared to 485 million in 1995. That’s .2% annual compared to 1.2% for the world population at the same time. Three quarters of that E.U. population growth was due to migration. Between 2000 and 2010, the EU absorbed a flow of immigration of roughly 1 million per year – a level equivalent to the United States, and into a far more culturally and geographically diverse area (Islam remains marginal in the U.S.). When the European area was relatively welcoming, unemployment was falling up until 2007-08.

The United States recovered more quickly from the crisis that it had triggered. It rapidly returned to growth, and immigration held steady at around 1 million per year. But Europe, mired in sterile posturing and division, still hasn’t regained its’ pre-crisis level of activity, resulting in rising unemployment and a closing of borders. While cross-EU net immigration brutally declined between 2000-2015, in 2016 Germany took about 1 million migrants by itself.


The openness shown under the leadership of Angela Merkel to migrants has in the face of massive Europe-wide opposition been an outstanding model.


Germany has little choice given its very low birth rate. Even with high levels of net immigration, Germany’s population will decline from 81 million to 63 million between now and the end of the century.


Germany’s economic growth is due in part to a gigantic trade surplus, which by definition can’t be extended to the whole of Europe (no one could absorb such a volume of exports).


That growth is also explained by the efficiency of Germany’s industrial model, based on a very high degree of worker involvement and their representatives (often with half of the seats on Boards of directors) – an example we would do well to learn from.

The openness to the world that Germany has shown to date sends a strong message to the EU members of the Former Eastern Europe, who want neither more children nor more migrants and whose combined populations, according to the UN, are expected to fall from 95 million today to little more than 55 million between now and century’s end. With the new hard right Italian government in place blocking the alternative to the refugees’ Balkan route, Germany is now leading negotiations for Albania to help.


Germany – and Chancellor Merkel – remains the last in Europe to stand for openness to immigration, and that policy safety net is now but a final few threads hanging together.

Immigration itself is the global political problem of the decade. It has destroyed nearly every strong-left European government (except until last month Spain’s), installed Trump in the US, squeezed Labor out of Australia, and due almost entirely to immigration the hard right is outflanking the centrist right nearly everywhere in the developed world.

It looks now to get even worse.

The Trump administration and his allies are now actively working to topple Germany’s Angela Merkel in favour of the hard right.

Should that occur in the coming months, the full moral tenor of Europe shifts darker very very quickly.

74 comments on “Immigration Now ”

  1. Sabine 1

    Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany and recieved a Dr. for Quantum Chemistry. I put my money on Angela Merkel before i put anything on the resident orange bowl of diarrhea and his enablers in the US and other places.
    She has known Putin since at least 2002. This women is made of better stuff than the orange bowl of diarrhea.

    And frankly where Germany to go down that way, they will then get what they deserve.
    Same as with the US. The ‘economically anxious and utterly racist and bigotted white male and his wife’ might be the last ones on the list to pick, but when all others are gone it will then be their time.

    When they came for the Unionists …… etc etc etc.

    White People will have to learn that they are neither special, nor super plus good, and that they are a minority on this planet.

    • saveNZ 1.1

      I think you have to look at the lifestyles of the countries that have non white people, aka Africa and Asia which do not have welfare states or in some case democracy… the choice is really do we want the western way or the eastern way, or the African way or the Russian way… forget ethnicity, the war is about what government doctrine is best..

      I’d prefer to see a world that adopts the German ways of tolerance, but we are not seeing that at all around the world, more a drive for power and short term profits using immigration to achieve them and destroying the middle class or bombing the crap out of countries like Syria or race based like Palestine.

      We live in a diverse world and nobody seems to be advocating German style regulation and free university education here. It is all policy being cherry picked by the neoliberals about immigration and even the rental situation is not apples vs apples.

      In Germany tenants have to put in their own kitchens and reinstate their rentals exactly back to the original state, where as in NZ there is very little investment expected from tenants and nor can they afford it, when they lose/change their jobs every five minutes due to being a commodity in the workforce under our laws!

      At present immigration is serving neoliberalism. Germany has a lot of regulation so they can make it work in the short term. But it remains to be seen how powerful Germany is, in 20 years or if there is a war for resources and other countries start to flex their muscles… Look at what immigration has done to the EU as a whole, it’s dividing them.

      Brexit would never have happened if the UK had allowed a slower transition of people over 30 years so that they could adapt the infrastructure and create the jobs and houses, not just drive up house prices and lower the standard of living for many while using neoliberal policy to have so much foreign investment also creating housing that people can’t afford to buy or live in.

      In many ways it does not feel like the world is having social advancement or higher values in the West, now the economic system is driving this race to the bottom in the west and creating people as commodities to be shipped around the world.

  2. Andre 2

    I just don’t get all this bedwetting about there not being enough young people to support an ageing population. Robots will do an outstanding job of the simple physical tasks involved there.

    Meanwhile, creating fewer new resource-wastrel wealthy westerners has got to be a good thing for the planet as a whole. Then if there really comes to be a demographic ‘problem’ that leads to more acceptance of generally younger refugees from parts of the world more severely affected by the way we’ve fucked things up, then that too has to be a good thing.

    • dukeofurl 2.1

      What the Germans want is more ‘low skilled’ people for those jobs that ‘ordinary’ germans dont want.

      • bwaghorn 2.1.1

        Sounds like nz

        • saveNZ

          Super interesting article from 2013! Ha looked what happened, in particular no immigration controls and within a short period of time, Brexit. They threw out the bath with the bathwater. Didn’t need to happen if they had planned it better!

          Immigration: people move freely, but who pays?
          Plans to limit benefits for Romanians and Bulgarians go some way to discourage new migrants, but Britain has a strong case to push for wider controls


          “But Britain’s firms have become addicted to hiring motivated migrants rather than solving the greater challenge of turning our own young people into productive workers. A former CEO of General Motors used to claim that “what’s good for General Motors is good for the USA”. But such sentiments are self-serving.
          As a recent OECD report showed, Britain has done a terrible job at skilling up our young people. Perhaps only by starving firms of willing immigrants will they face up to their social responsibilities.”

          • saveNZ

            Look what is happening in NZ.

            “I sat down with a local aged-care employer who said they had a vacancy and 75 people applied, but none of them were the right fit.

            “You have to ask why none of the 75 were the right fit. The aged-care sector is very profitable, a lot of Kiwis invest in them because they produce a strong return. There are some things they could do to make working there more attractive.”


            • SaveNZ

              And my final question is, What sort of Labour government does not have Iain Lees-Galloway asking what are the employment conditions and discrimination that mean that 75 people have applied but none deemed suitable for a low wage job and why when we have so many unemployed and school leavers that they can’t be deployed (due to discrimination) into construction and aged care?

              They should also do a practicality study, about how much percentage of wages are needed for transport to the jobs, food and accomodation and are the minimum wages high enough for a person to survive and actually get ahead on it?

              If not, bringing in more poorer people is actually making the issue far greater… whereas having a $100,000+ job to bring a worker in, might actually achieve the employer bothering to train somebody local?

    • SaveNZ 2.2

      +1 Andre, we have a planet with declining resources, it is good that our population is declining naturally as there are too many people! Stability of the world is dependant on having enough resources for the people that need them.

      We already know that jobs are going and that there is a gap for many people. Making them the victims in their own countries by replacing them with cheaper workers is hardly a solution, likewise the countries that could be developing but can’t because their people are leaving.

      That way the next generation can enjoy the same lifestyle and probably better than the previous one, rather than going backwards to feudal times where there was huge amounts of poor, a small middle class (the church), and the absolute rich with all the power.

      Neoliberalism demands more people in the Ponzi scheme and companies seem to measure their worth by increasing their growth, that is driving this discourse that we need to increase the amount of people. Look at China, they decreased the amount of people and have become a superpower!

      Likewise the countries that had less people but more educated and socially moving populations, have got the power and the money for their citizens to have a decent life.

    • SaveNZ 2.3

      +1 Andre, we have a planet with declining resources, it is good that our population is declining naturally as there are too many people! Stability of the world is dependant on having enough resources for the people that need them.

      We already know that jobs are going and that there is a gap for many people. Making them the victims in their own countries by replacing them with cheaper workers is hardly a solution, likewise the countries that could be developing but can’t because their people are leaving.

      That way the next generation can enjoy the same lifestyle and probably better than the previous one, rather than going backwards to feudal times where there was huge amounts of poor, a small middle class (the church), and the absolute rich with all the power.

      Neoliberalism demands more people in the Ponzi scheme and companies seem to measure their worth by increasing their growth, that is driving this discourse that we need to increase the amount of people. Look at China, they decreased the amount of people and have become a superpower!

      Likewise the countries that had less people but more educated and socially moving populations, have got the power and the money for their citizens to have a decent life.

  3. DH 3

    I fail to see the benefit in immigration when it’s merely to hold up or boost a population. That’s just a Ponzi scheme. The new citizens pay for the old, they’ll then need even more immigrants to pay for the new… and the original problem is still there except there’s an even larger population to take care of.

    These people who promote immigration tend to go silent when they’re asked who will pay for the pensions of the immigrants; who will take care of them when they’re old. It’s a pretty damned selfish attitude IMO.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Demographics and age ratios. Pretty dull subjects if you ask me. That’s probably how you manage to stay ignorant of them, although it doesn’t explain why you choose to blather your reckons around the place anyway.

      • DH 3.1.1

        I’ve been wondering for a while what condition it is you’re suffering from. The way you jump in and abuse people isn’t normal behaviour by any stretch of the imagination.

        I knew a guy like that at one of my old watering holes. He’d burst into abuse for no reason. It turned out he had tourettes and once the locals understood he couldn’t help himself we all got used to it and didn’t let it bother us. We used to step in and stop the fights that occasionally erupted when he abused someone new there. He wasn’t a bad guy once you got to know him. It’s a pretty horrid affliction.

        So….. care to enlighten us why you so often feel the need to abuse, harangue and attempt to bully people on this site?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          You were here yesterday telling lies about US immigration policy. If you don’t understand why that’s offensive and under the circumstances, bordering on fighting talk, I shouldn’t be at all surprised.

          You feel insulted? Poor snowflake.

          • DH

            Y’know it’s a funny thing, how karma works out. I was going to explore this rage you seem to have bottled up but you’ve already done it. In your contributions on this page you’ve managed to patronise, denigrate or disparage just about everyone you engaged with.

            Stop being so unpleasant to people OAB, there’s no justification for it.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Oh I beg to differ. Polite discourse with Nazis and their enablers is a serious error of judgement.

              • DH

                OAB that is plain disturbing. Take a stress break mate, you’re winding yourself up and nothing good can come of it.

                I’ll leave it here. To be honest I regret starting it but I’m as human as the next person and the armour isn’t completely bulletproof.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Repeating prejudicial and dishonest propaganda regarding migrants is pretty shabby behaviour at the best of times.

                  These aren’t the best of times.

                  • marty mars

                    more facts

                    “Are immigrants more likely to commit crimes?
                    In 2017, Gallup polls showed that almost half of Americans believe that immigrants raise crime rates. Yet many studies have found that the reverse is actually true.

                    Native-born Americans are more likely to commit a crime than immigrants, and more likely to be incarcerated.

                    One study spanning four decades compared immigration rates with crime rates. The researchers found that immigration appeared to be linked to decreases in violent crimes like murder, or property crime such as burglaries.

                    “The results show that immigration does not increase assaults and – in fact, robberies, burglaries, larceny, and murder are lower in places where immigration levels are higher,” said the paper’s lead author, Robert Adelman.

                    A 2017 study by the Cato Institute found that the incarceration rate for native-born Americans was 1.53%, compared to 0.85% for undocumented immigrants and 0.47% for legal immigrants.”


                    Worth reading the whole article because it is on

                    “US President Donald Trump has hosted the relatives of victims killed by illegal immigrants…”

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Demographics and age ratios.

        We understand them. You don’t. If you did then you’d know that immigration is simply kicking the can down the road but doesn’t solve the problem. It’s also why Labour and ACT wanted to increase the retirement age.

        The fact of the matter is that we’re about to have a huge number of people retire and we don’t have the population and productivity necessary to support them.

        Of course, that would probably change if we stopped exporting so much wealth.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Sure Draco, an ageing population with a dwindling tax base is no problem at all, I guess, when you will never have any responsibility for running anything more complicated than software.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Sure Draco, an ageing population with a dwindling tax base is no problem at all

            If the government did it correctly – correct.

            The government doesn’t need taxes to utilise the nations resources and a adequate level of R&D into automation would remove the need for workers.

        • bwaghorn

          We need to turn the retirement age in to a flexi scheme . The longer you stay of it the more you get . I work for an 84 year old who still puts in a decent day every day and can still shear sheep . Retiring at 65 is for most people a fast track to mental a physical decay .
          I want to die with my boots on not dribbling on myself in a retirement home

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Try doing manual labour for forty years and see how you feel about being “encouraged” to join the flexi scheme.

            • bwaghorn

              Started a paper round at 12 and haven’t stopped being in physical work 34 years later (forestry farming oil rigs possum trapping )
              Let’s face it so called unskilled workers like me NEVER make much so can live with less and don’t usually live that long so taking less early isn’t a problem . But if we manage to ease back from the coal face and with the rise of labour saving machines if our carcasses hold we could keep going for longer

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      I fail to see the benefit in immigration when it’s merely to hold up or boost a population. That’s just a Ponzi scheme. The new citizens pay for the old, they’ll then need even more immigrants to pay for the new… and the original problem is still there except there’s an even larger population to take care of.


      So many people truly don’t seem to understand that.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        Say there’s a “perfect” level of habitation. How do you maintain it when the replacement rate is at 1.8 rather than the 2.1 it needs to be?

        • Gabby

          Say you’re above the ‘perfect’ level. How do you return to it nonny?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            If your replacement rate is at 1.8, you return to it automatically, and then drop below it and keep on dropping. I’m sure you could have figured that out for yourself though.

      • One Two 3.2.2

        No, they don’t understand, Draco…

        But many of those same folks will wax lyrical about climate change…

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Bringing greenhouse gas pollution into a conversation about immigration, when the problem countries all have stable population levels 🙄

          But don’t you have a chemtrail to measure?

    • SaveNZ 3.3

      +100 DH

      Just had this discussion on open mike, about why NZ is letting so many aged migrants into the country to be supported by the current residents. At least 87,000 according to the articles.

      According to Bill, the criteria is “Unless a parent has an annual income of more than $60 000, and a spare $1 million that they’ll invest in NZ over four years and another $500 000 to live on, then they ain’t getting in.”

      What I find disgusting is that our own government is expecting poorer long term resident Kiwi’s to support new rich aged coming into NZ and now talking about the privatisation of super (of course now it starts making sense, as banks and financial services profit from it, likewise social bonds and private prisons for the displaced Kiwis and imported low wage workers needing welfare pretty much immediately).

      One million doesn’t even buy you much of a house in Auckland, and super and health is not means tested…so you get your 500k to live on while our laws allow new rich people to then get extremely generous aged benefits including free transport that beneficiaries who are disabled or very poor don’t get. Not only that the cost of living is so high, then that might only be $50k per year for 10 years, if you come in at 65, and live to 100, then that’s 25 years of an aged person with no income needing financial support!

      If you believe in social democracy and a welfare state, surely the 1.5 million better spent of making the new aged migrant pay their own way via super and health care not expect the Kiwis to chip in for their affluent lifestyle, take a house, hospital and aged care bed, use the roads and infrastructure, when they have not been living in NZ most of their lives?

      Of course as well as all that, you can just convert that money into a trust once you gain citizenship and viola, you have no income and can claim even more benefits here!

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    We will know when there is a genuine labour shortage. Wages will rise and keep rising, and industries will cheerfully train locals instead of dunning the government for training subsidies and more low wage migrants.

    As longevity improves it will be quite feasible for some folk to work longer. But that won’t suppress worker outcomes in the way immigration does, so that solution will not be considered.

  5. Funnily enough Greece, with its economic basket case category, 25% unemployment rate, and the fact it is being held down by the very sharp boot of German self interest, is, in fact, doing more than its fair share to support refugees.

    Wealthy Germany spends 0.5 per cent of GDP on refugees, to Greeces 0.3% of GDP.




  6. Ed1 6

    There is an article in the Financial Times (paywall) “Europe should beware a nationalist Germany” : https://www.ft.com/content/06dd0240-7499-11e8-b6ad-3823e4384287
    which is worth reading; also see:

    The saying that “the right seek to divide and rule, the left to cooperate to lift all boats” has enough truth that the veto system for the Security Council hampers the United Nations in having a role in the refugee crisis.

    • Ad 6.1

      Project Syndicate has some good articles.
      But immigration policies from the left aren’t much help in politics for the foreseeable future. They just don’t win anything, and just never achieve power.

      The hard right across Europe is on the rise – even in Germany.
      Bannon and his cohorts are regularly over there fomenting overthrow, and they are very successful at it. The Hungarian, Austrian, Polish, Italian, Serbian, and Czech governments are but the worst of an astonishingly bad run of anti-immigrant legislatures.

      It’s hard to see an EU-wide immigration policy ever forming when most other constituent nations withdraw from even getting around the table and discussing ideas, as they did this week.

  7. Tuppence Shrewsbury 7

    Immigration is a fine thing. And what you are proposing is exactly right, but only on the condition of humanitarian reasons.

    The problem for your argument lies in your allies on the lefts vociferous opposition to immigration for those more fortunate in life.

    Is it not a problem when immigration only comes from one “group”? Shouldn’t immigration be encouraged across all so that social harmony can actually be achieved?

    • Ed1 7.1

      Except of course they don’t. First lets not pretend that either the “right”or the “left” have complete consensus on attitudes to immigration, and that there are not positions that are not held by people from both groups. But arguments against higher levels of immigration have included opposition to:
      importing people with trades qualifications while at the same time reducing trade training and other adult education, leading to higher youth unemployment in New Zealand, and lower wages
      Allowing general immigration that reduces job opportunities for New Zealanders, and has placed strain on infrastructure developments – even National must have listened to polling results and seen that the lie about there not being a housing crisis had to end . . .
      Automatic residence / citizenship following completion of paid courses (some of which have been found to be scams and have lost NZQA certification) – again from the perspective of lower wages through “unfair” competition to the detriment of New Zealand cisitizens
      “Sweat shop” immigrants where a false “skills shortage”is used to justify lending money to people who then come to New Zealand and find themselves working for minimal wages outside minimum employment conditions – with variations on that theme
      “Capital Gains Farmers” – they buy property in New Zealand and leave it vacant – there are many variations . . .
      “Bolt-holers”- some may be prepared to meet residential requirements to gain citizenship – or like Peter Thiel get it in other (unspecifeid) ways
      Bringing in refugees is usually seen as New zea;and being a “good world citizen” – and the numbers coming in has been embarassingly small – anbd would still be small if doubled.
      The majority of immigrants are returning New Zealanders (often with overseas acquired families), workers meeeting immigrations skills and experience requirements, and family repatriationsThey come from a wide variety of locations, but largely Australia, UK, Canada, Asia, USA (There are probably statistics on country of origin), and they will come with a variety of levels of asset and income earning power. Some categories of work have found that our fall towards a low wage high housing cost society has reduced our attractiveness; I would share you concern if that has reduced social harmony.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Immigration itself is the global political problem of the decade. It has destroyed nearly every strong-left European government (except until last month Spain’s), installed Trump in the US, squeezed Labor out of Australia, and due almost entirely to immigration the hard right is outflanking the centrist right nearly everywhere in the developed world.

    Probably because the Left in general thinks that immigration is always good when it isn’t.

    Immigration in the face of increasing unemployment is actually bad – it will increase unemployment.
    Excessive population is itself a problem. You imply that a falling population is bad when it’s highly likely that those countries with falling populations probably can’t support their present populations within their own resources.

    Considering the research that is available we have to seriously consider what effect population has upon our sustainability. How many people we can support with present technological levels.

    The Left seems to want to ignore this reality as much as National do but for different reasons.

    • Duncan 8.1

      I agree with all that. Immigration should be seen as much an environmental issue as a socio-economic issue.
      When you have no, or little immigration, then people, hapu, iwi, or entire countries, have to live within their means, and the means are determined by the sustainable use of resources and this dictates the population. Or else take the risk of warring with your neighbours and taking their resources.
      But when you allow immigration, free movement of people and free trade, then the incentive economically is to exploit your environment to the max and then move to someplace else that has not been destroyed, carrying your great wealth from the destruction of your homeland.
      We should place more weight on the importance of positive feedback loops that ecosystems provide us, but globalisation and immigration remove those links and dissociate us from the natural world that sustains us.
      In addition, immigration lowers diversity and will ultimately lead to a homogenous society with no cultural or genetic diversity. This makes us weaker as a species, and yet proponents of immigration suggest greater diversity through language such as “cultural melting pot”, which is just an amalgamation of different things into the one continuum.
      This is why I never understand the Greens immigration stance, it is totally out of step with green ways of thinking.

    • Stuart Munro 8.2

      Among many lessons they have refused to learn, the Left have ignored Putnam’s research on social participation. The melting pot is not a better society, it is a deculturized one, with exceptionally low social participation.

      That’s not a flaw to career politicians – it’s a feature that lets them do more of what they want. But it destroys one of the finer features of democracy – when a group of people are united in the pursuit of particular goals they achieve them. As Savage did with housing. As postwar societies did with public health.

      NZ has been going backward for decades. Immigration is not the solution.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3

      it will increase unemployment.

      [citation needed]

      There is no evidence of economically significant reductions in native employment.

      The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth, Friedberg & Hunt 1996.

      Do you really believe that in the face of the National Party’s relentless assault on wages and human rights, that immigrants are the problem here?

      • Stuart Munro 8.3.1

        Since the immigrants are part of the National Party’s relentless assault on wages and human rights, of course they’re a significant part of the problem. If they weren’t the Gnats would never have let them in – it’s not like the Gnats give a monkey’s about human rights or any other form of common good.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Read the link. Or present your evidence, and explain how you can isolate the effect of immigration (which as the link shows is zero) from the effects of anti-union and anti-worker legislation.

          Also see that ol’ time tried and true right wing habit of dividing and ruling via fear and divisive rhetoric, especially aimed at groups that can be framed as “other”.

          Failure to invest in social and physical infrastructure was a decision the government made. Why you giving them a smokescreen?

          • Stuart Munro

            I’m not sure I need to address a hypothetical equivalence between an old study of a very large labour market such as the US, and a very small one like NZ. It’s by economists, and one thing I’ve learnt with certainty in my working and academic lifetime is that the pronouncements of economists are statistically less reliable than chance. Consider Rogergnomics – a textbook failure – though the textbook currently resides on the bookshelf of one of my stronger students back in Korea.

            Immigration, in spite of the pollyannaism of faux progressives, is not an exception to the rule that economic phenomena have both positive and negative consequences. The elites reap the benefits and everyone else pays.

            Now, migration has been exploited for quite some time in NZ, by lazy, backward and fucking irresponsible governments not up to doing their jobs.

            So, locals go untrained, underpaid, and underemployed. This is not what I signed up for by working 116 hour weeks deepsea under Pommy assholes to become skilled in my trade. Nor did my colleagues, many of whom, subsequent to the hollowing out of my industry by the admission of slave workers on $2 US a day, have committed suicide.

            Immigration must be regulated responsibly, and it is far from that at present – the number of scams and overstayers presently exceeds Immigration’s ability to investigate them.

            You might consider the study cited here, https://croakingcassandra.com/2016/03/08/immigration-and-productivity-spillovers/ which is less sanguine about the manifest benefits of migrants, and may more closely reflect the reality of declining productivity in a race to the bottom that seems to be the reigning paradigm in NZ at present.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Governmental stupidity – or National Party incompetence and malice – cannot be the fault of people who have yet to attain the right to vote in their new country.

              Your source (who is an economist), cites US research, so I’m not sure what to make of your assertion that US research is irrelevant and the work of economists is unreliable.

              Perhaps you can show me a graph which illustrates the alleged correlation between new arrivals and unemployment.

              But I doubt it.

              • Stuart Munro

                It is mostly not a question of migrant fault – though the argument may be made in the case of illegals.

                “I’m not sure what to make of your assertion that US research is irrelevant”

                The least you should make of it is that they are very different systems, so that what may be true of one is not reliably true of the other.

                “Perhaps you can show me a graph…”

                Why don’t you show me one – of local data showing increased productivity. You can’t, because economist babble notwithstanding, that hasn’t been the effect here.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I’m asking you to provide evidence that new arrivals cause unemployment.

                  But if you want to show a causative relationship between productivity and new arrivals, please go ahead. For example, you could look at productivity and migration levels by country and see if there’s a pattern, eg: that countries with high new arrival levels have lower productivity.

                  In the meantime, I’m hoping for changes to employment law, a rising minimum wage and boosts to eg: labour inspectors. I think they’ll be far more effective.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I’m fairly sure it could be shown – but the paucity of local research, together with the Pollyanna presumption that immigration is an unmixed blessing means that little work in done in the area.

                    One need merely look at any industry where, over the last few decades, local workers have been supplanted by foreign ones. Dairy is a good example, and you could chat with Eco Maori were you so disposed, whose decades of experience in dairying will not get him a decent job in that industry, while cheaper foreign workers are available.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      the Pollyanna presumption that immigration is an unmixed blessing

                      Cool story.

                      the paucity of local research

                      What paucity? Migration, productivity, unemployment and wage levels are all published, locally as well as globally. Treasury is fascinated by productivity levels and comparisons and produces reams of material on the subject.

                      Had we a government that was prepared to make the social and infrastructual investments involved, it seems to me there was plenty of work to be done. That it didn’t get planned, let alone done, cannot be sheeted home to migrants nor refugees. Divide and rule, eh.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “What paucity? Migration, productivity, unemployment and wage levels are all published…”

                      And from these the previous government spun a fabulous tapestry of lies.

                      Migration is one of the taps readily turned by a morally and intellectually bankrupt government. The last one did so to excess, to suppress wages and to inflate property prices and rents. These effects do not cease merely with a change of bottoms on seats in parliament.

                      Immigration has long term negative effects for many New Zealanders, and pretending otherwise is frankly irresponsible.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Repeating the same assertions over and over again may work on authoritarian centrists, but to me it just demonstrates a dearth of evidence. Not to mention providing comfort to bigotry.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Well you haven’t provided any evidence – but you still expect me to fall in line. Ain’t gonna happen.

                      “providing comfort to bigotry” This is your real problem – you’re so concerned with racism you’ll ignore real issues that are hurting working people, and allow them to continue rather than resolving them.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Stuart, what do you call the link at 8.3?

                      Here are net migration stats from 2008 – 2018. Here are the unemployment stats from Trading Economics. You can use the controls to see the same time period.

                      You will note that as immigration rose, unemployment fell.

                      Your assertion fails the reality test. And yes, I think the encouragement it provides to bigots is a shame.

                    • Stuart Munro


                      There are serious problems using macroeconomic statistics without triangulating to ensure they’re not just massaging the content away.

                      I certainly have no confidence in the employment figures used by the last government to deny the vast freight of social problems they were causing.

                      You have to get down to individual cases to find the truth of the matter. I’ll raise Eco Maori again, because he shows one of the holes in the data. Here we have a very competent and experienced individual with more than twenty years in his field. With access to cheap foreign labour, that experience merely means he will expect more than the minimum wage, and so he is not offered employment and is obliged to self employ as a lawnmower. This is not a good outcome – the industry loses skills, and EM loses job security and the value increment of his years of experience.

                      It doesn’t show up in the data government has chosen to collect, but for him the outcome is extremely negative.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      In other words, you aren’t looking for evidence, you’re looking for anecdotes, and you still haven’t demonstrated that you can isolate the effects of immigration from the effects of the National Party’s assault on human rights and wages/conditions.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “you aren’t looking for evidence, you’re looking for anecdotes”

                      By no means. The ostensible “data” is not picking up these instances, which goes some way to explaining the otherwise anomalous outcome of very high inward migration combined with negligible productivity gain.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.3.2

        Less attention has been devoted to the possible benefits of immigration. Immigrants may complement some native factors in production, which would lead to these factors benefiting from immigration, and overall welfare may rise. Another question less commonly asked is how immigration influences growth in per capita income.

        A lot of may’s and if’s in that.

        Maybe something a bit more current and topical:


        “There is a concern that recently there has been a relative decline in the skill level of our labour migration. The increasing flows of younger and lower-skilled migrants may be contributing to a lack of employment opportunities for local workers with whom they compete.”

        The current approach “may have encouraged reliance over time on lower-skilled labour in some parts of the economy”, and that could discourage increased wages or training.


        A 2014 report by Treasury concluded the positive economic impact of two decades of immigration had been “modest”.

        “New Zealand’s economic performance has not been transformed. Growth in GDP per capita has been relatively lacklustre, with no progress in closing income gaps with the rest of the advanced world, and productivity performance has been poor,” the report said.

        An OECD study, also from 2014, says that while positive net migration grows total GDP, it had – at best – a small impact on economic growth per capita.

        Do you really believe that in the face of the National Party’s relentless assault on wages and human rights, that immigrants are the problem here?

        Immigrants are the tool that National are using to attack wages and conditions.

      • Baba Yaga 8.3.3

        I must say you have a remarkable imagination OAB.

  9. Janet 9

    Totally agree with DH above.
    We need to consolidate not keep “biggering and biggering ” ( The Lorax Dr Seuss ) The world is overstocked and becoming very polluted from it. Africa should curb its population climb as China did because it just overflows into other peoples patches.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Africa should curb its population climb…

      Which country is “Africa” again?

      becoming very polluted

      Almost exclusively at the hands of rich white people from countries whose populations stabilised decades ago.

      The tried and true way of slowing population increase is material wealth.

  10. Antoine 10

    The Germans are welcome to it


  11. dukeofurl 11

    “The Trump administration and his allies are now actively working to topple Germany’s Angela Merkel in favour of the hard right.”

    Merkel is made of stronger stuff. Any one who knows anything about the election results knows it a fanciful claim.

    Yes, if the CSU leaves the ‘Union faction’ in the Bundestag ( 200 +46) then the CDU-SPD government loses its majority.

    They can and would be replaced by the Greens who were in the original CDU/CSU coalition talks , along with the FPD. Those talks failed over the FDP requirements on immigration.
    I cant see any real reason the Greens would let the CDU and SPD government fall on immigration issues as CSU leaving means room for them.

    CDU 200 seats
    SPD 153
    Greens 67
    CSU 46

    355 seats needed for majority
    Any hard right would need AfD (94) and CSU (46) plus FDP ( 80) which totals 220 and is well short.

    • Ad 11.1

      You may well think Merkel is safe.
      She isn’t.
      Her radical Interior Minister is continuing to undermine her from within.
      Her coalition is on eggshells.

      And AfD is rising.
      If she has to face a new election, her party will have to deal. Who knows maybe the Greens will both rise enough AND agree to form a coalition. Didn’t work last time but hey.

      That’s not where the betting money is across Europe.


      Bannon and friends have been successful, and it is their star, together with AfD, that is rising.


      • dukeofurl 11.1.1

        I explained the numbers , but you have your non fact based beliefs.
        Seehoff, the Interior Minister isnt part of Merkels CDU. Losing the Seehoff and CSU and gaining the Greens means Merkel carries on.

        if you followed German politics you would know why the Jamaica Coalition talks failed. But you dont. It was the FDP who baulked on immigration issues, not the Greens.
        Do you think the Greens are more immigration friendly and largely support Merkels position ?
        Technically the CDU had run out of time for a new coalition and were supposed to have a new election, but the SPD swallowed a rat and went back into a Grand Coalition and the German President stretched the rules.

        Has happened before in Germany , the FDP 1982 swapped horses halfway between elections and broke their coalition with the SPD and joined the CDU .
        New government formed , no new election as the two parties together had a majority

        Interesting side note to 1980 election, The SPD was second largest party but initially formed government with the FDP [ They continued their previous coalition though]

        • Ad

          Your numbers were based on the existing party percentage mix in Germany. Based on the polling trends I provided for you to see, that mix is unlikely in a future election, so the numbers you provided are simply not relevant.

          I am aware of what party Seerhof is in. If you like I could have said “from within the coalition”. He is already on record forming active international coalitions against Merkel’s pro-immigrant policies
          You may wish to deny it, but his record against her is clear.

          He is clearly warning her that he will bring the government down if she even tries to discipline him. There’s no clearer or more recent threat than this from today:


          I have no idea whether the Greens would join a future coalition, and I’ll be bound neither do you despite your stated expertise in current German politics. From their record both seeking to negotiate governments, and being in power, neither do they. So your confidence is misplaced.

          I am surprised at your confidence in Merkel’s continuing political survival.
          Every single country around them other than France has been consumed by anti-immigrant movements. Many of the states within Germany have rising immigrant movements that may overwhelm their governments.


          Even specific towns and cities are hardening their stance.


          You may wish to think that the AfD has peaked. Who knows.

          But then, many commentators thought Trump couldn’t possibly get in,
          nor would Brexit succeed in Britain,
          nor would the hard right ever gain power again in Italy, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Poland, or indeed most of the EU. And yet they did.
          Germany is now one of the few remaining islands of relative policy tolerance. If you don’t see the risk that is growing, your are blind to the clear trends across Europe.

          What you need to do is pull back a bit and read the political trends across Europe that are occurring because of anti-immigration policies.

          • corodale

            German opposition leader AfD are talking well, but seem to be just a re-fry of ya standard bankers’ party.

            Some hope in the Links, but they need a name-change and protective-herbs to help them work with AfD, to end the drivers.

            The Green’s constitution has them committing to divide-n-conquer pawnism, well meaning, searching for full grasp on harmlessness and freedom, not as strong as NZ Greens.

            Could a Bayerish caliphate break the perpetual CDU-SPD stagnation? With Bayern out, the Grand would have majority 😉

            A Neuro currency from The Netherlands, with Belgium, France, the northern and eastern countries, minus Bayern and southern Europe.

            And Trumps’ Scots to reclaim Ireland from Rome and slowly return the middle east to the Celts!

          • dukeofurl

            Its only been a 100 days in government. The term is 4 years.
            The existing seat numbers are highly relevant. Polls in 4 years time are the only one that matter ( look at polls over previous 4 years ! )

            Seehof is only the leader of a small party- the smallest in the Bundestag, of course he has a hard line on migration- he says so himself.

            While leaving the government would leave the Grand Coalition just short of a majority, the Constitution only allows a Constructive vote of no confidence
            After the experience of Weimar you cant ‘vote down’ a government , only ‘vote up’ a new coalition.


            You seem to be be completely unaware of the rule against ‘ no confidence’ votes , or even what parties have how many seats in the Bundestag.

            This has happened before in germany. In 1982 in between elections, the government changed when FDP changed sides.
            Seehof doesnt have the numbers to form a new government without CDU, all they can do is go in opposition.

            A new coalition can form with out elections if the Greens ( my pick) or the FDP ( unlikely as they too are not as immigration friendly) join with Merkel.

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