Welfare Strikes Again
[Guest Post by Callum McPetrie]
The welfare state and "multicultural" government policy of many European governments has yet again led to riots. As reported in Stuff:
"Dozens of immigrants from North Africa rioted during the night in a multi-ethnic neighbourhood in Milan, smashing shop windows, overturning cars to protest at the knifing death of an Egyptian, Italian police said."
This certainly isn't anything new; in fact, it's the second in Milan this year! And of course, we all remember the famous Paris riots of 2005, when large numbers of poor immigrants from Paris's suburbs went on a rampage. In all parts of Europe, many immigrants (including second and third generation immigrants) are not assimilating into European society, and many are living in the poor suburbs of cities like London and Paris. Likewise, the immigrants are not just from one part of the world - the Egyptian in the story was killed by a South American. Why is this so?
A quick glimpse will show that many of these disenfranchised immigrants live in state housing. Unemployment is extremely high - a New York Times article written before the recession reveals that the unemployment rate in a Parisian suburb with a high number of immigrants, Les Bosquets, was about 40%. Likewise, these suburbs have high numbers of young people, with birth rates several times the national average across Europe.
So, these disenfranchised immigrants are, by and large, products of the European welfare states. Likewise, heavy labour restrictions - particularly so in France - are preventing immigrants from working their way up the social ladder. Without any way to get up, many young immigrants turn to crime and gangs to make up for lost self-esteem. This can also lead to the spread of dangerous ideas such as jihad, among Muslim youth. The welfare state and French-style social democracy provide a disincentive and make it harder to climb the social ladder and assimilate into the local culture, be it French, British, Italian or Greek.
Compare this to immigration to the United States. There, most immigrants (including those terribly dreaded by conservatives, the illegal immigrants) see the ability to work and live in the US as a chance to make their lives better, not live at the expense of the welfare state. Whereas in Europe, immigrants are placing a great strain on the welfare systems, and immigrating to take advantage of the welfare state does not provide long term immigrants an incentive to assimilate.
The second important reason for the non-assimilation of immigrants in Europe is the governmental policy of multiculturism, and plain old political correctness. By emphasising the differences between cultures - and then proclaiming them to be equal, whilst giving the most handouts to the groups the most "disadvantaged"- multiculturism provides no reason for immigrants to assimilate; indeed, it actually foments hostility to the dominant culture. This is why you're increasingly seeing Muslim immigrants in Britain, for example, professing their hate for anything British. It also brings hostilities between immigrants of different nations to their new nation - witness the Cronulla riots in Sydney.
Likewise, multiculturism can often foment a sense of nationalism amongst the dominant cultures, and hate for the supposedly "disadvantaged" groups at the receiving end of the welfare state - this is seen with the rise of nationalism throughout European, and worryingly, the rise of neo-Nazism amongst young people in Eastern Europe. When a man knows his money is being taken to feed his neighbour who is not in fact starving (as per the original purpose of welfare), he will not have a high opinion of his neighbour.
Europe's problems with immigrants are well known. If it wants to deal with its immigrants without resorting to outright racist and anti-immigrant measures, it will have to do three things:
1) Dramatically downsize the welfare state,
2) Remove regulations that strangle the ability for low-skilled immigrants to get a job, and
3) Remove the policy of multiculturalism from the public sphere.
Only then, will its immigrants stop being a burden on society, and start bringing the great benefits that immigration naturally brings when removed from the welfare state and multiculturism.