Aard regular Phil often expresses worry about the effects of immigration. This has reached the point where I’ve decided to collect a few points to explain why I am not worried. Phil recently even claimed that when I say I’m not worried, I create more support for anti-immigration movements. This makes no sense to me. I know a lot of fear-and-hate voters are poorly educated, but I don’t think they’re all stupid.
So here’s why I don’t worry about immigration.
- I have lived for 21 years (and counting) on a multicultural 1970s housing estate and seen very few problems.
- My first wife was a second-generation immigrant from Finland and my second wife is an immigrant from China.
- I know loads of immigrants personally. Just my weekly gaming group includes 1st and 2nd generation immigrants from Venezuela, Iran, Israel, Russia and the Netherlands. My nearest neighbours include people from Turkey, Poland, Finland, Pakistan and Serbia.
- My next-door neighbours are a housing unit for single Middle-eastern male refugees who have been given asylum and are learning Swedish. They are not causing any trouble. (Nor for that matter is the housing unit for autism-spectrum youth next door to them.)
- I have met a lot of Middle-eastern and Central Asian refugees, even had a few over for lunch, and they seem like nice people.
- About 1% of old-timey Swedes get convicted for crimes. About 2% of immigrants in Sweden get convicted for crimes. Two much stronger predictors for crime are being male and being poor, but even among poor men in Sweden, the vast majority are honest.
- Immigrants buy stuff, pay taxes, start companies and create jobs. Many even arrive with university degrees for which Sweden pays nothing.
- Immigration, crucially, counteracts Sweden’s Japan-like tendency to a process of demographic collapse. Regardless of ethnic origin, living in Sweden causes people to make babies at way below the replacement rate.
- I enjoy the cultural diversity that 60 years of high-volume immigration has given to Swedish society.
- Any problems that immigration causes Sweden, in addition to the important positives listed above, pale when compared to the problems that cause people to migrate. I am a cosmopolitan humanist. I don’t think suffering is OK as long as it stays outside the Swedish border.