The Death of European Welfare.

Europe is being inundated by immigrants from failed states in North Africa and the Middle East. Millions have already made the trek to the major destinations of Germany and Sweden. These nations offer some of the most generous no-strings-attached welfare benefits in all of Europe.

The governments of these nations are eager to take them in. They view these immigrants as an addition to the workforce. They view the immigrants as a means to prop up the failing welfare systems in Europe.

They are going to get more than they bargained for. The winter will be quiet; but millions more immigrants will make the trek next spring.

What has occurred already is a sort of trial run. The most determined of immigrants took the risk first. There was the chance that they would be turned back; they have not been turned back. They have cashed in; the major welfare havens of Europe have agreed to take them in, although not without some domestic opposition.

Bottom line: the immigrants are not being turned away. They are being gobbled up by Western Governments and placed onto the welfare rolls ASAP.

The impact of this will be obvious: the less-determined immigrants from failed Arab states will be making the trek in the next spring thaw. There is less risk the second time around. It is clear that the major European welfare states are going to eagerly accept them into the fold. So why not go for it?

Millions this year, and millions next year.  The governments of Europe, most especially Germany, are going to get far more than they bargained for. They are going to have way more immigrants than they know what to do with.

European government leaders think this is going to save the European welfare systems with new injections of taxpayers. They are horrendously mistaken. This is going to utterly backfire. The immigration influx is going to destroy European welfare. European liberals are going to get hoisted by their own petards.

The immigrants are going to cash in on the welfare system. They will receive free medical care, schooling, housing, and food. They’re not going to be a boon to the workforce; how could they? Most of these immigrants are probably totally unskilled, at least to European standards. The insane minimum wage laws in Europe will prevent the immigrants from effectively competing with the more skilled European workers in the entrenched unions. The immigrants are going to barely learn the local languages, refuse to assimilate, and are going to remain cloistered in the Arab ghettos of Europe. They will gladly accept the welfare, but will by and large not provide any return on the “investment”.

22-year old Syrian immigrant Mohammed doesn’t feel any need to work hard and get taxed up the wazoo so that Fritz or Pierre can retire at 55 on a government old-age pension. Why should he care? Mohammed is not related to Fritz or Pierre. He shares little to no cultural values with Fritz or Pierre. He does not even like them. He sees them as uppity old fools, maybe even as infidels. Mohammed is better off not working at all and sucking Fritz and Pierre dry through the welfare system. Even better, Mohammed can work for tax-free cash under the table and make money while still sucking Fritz and Pierre dry.

This isn’t entirely Mohammed’s fault. This is how the welfare system is designed to operate. So what if he’s cashing in on the system? That’s what it’s there for. Whose fault it that?

Europeans have lived a delusional dream for the past 70 years. They have believed that heavy taxation, government regulation, and extensive welfare would provide comfortable security for all citizens. For a time, it seemed great… until the word got out. Now the losers of the world know where to go to get free goodies: Europe. They are cashing in on the European cow. And they are going to milk the cow until it goes completely bankrupt.

This is where the liberals of Europe are trapped. On the one hand, they want to appear egalitarian and charitable. This is especially true of the Nordic states, where this mindset even has a nickname: Moral Narcissism. The liberals in these nations want to welcome any and all failed-state immigrants with open arms and open welfare. No job prospects? No skills? No money? No problem! They ignore the fact that these are immigrants who will only pay minimal taxes into the welfare system, yet draw upon billions in taxes.

The liberals of Europe will not want immigrants to be required to provide for themselves, as that might be misconstrued as “conservative” and un-progressive. Therefore, the welfare states of Europe will run enormous deficits in order to make the whole thing look workable. The guilt-ridden liberals of Europe, who see it as some kind of divine paternalistic duty to give money to immigrants from Third World countries, are going to nail their own coffins shut. When the children of immigrants have enough voting power to begin taking control the government, they will eventually dispose of the useless European liberals. “We came; we saw; we conquered. Thanks for the help. Now get lost.

This is a truly hand-wringing situation for a European leftist. On the one hand, they want massive welfare systems that pervade society. On the other hand, they also want to accept any and all immigrants from Third World countries. The welfare systems cannot handle this influx of low-tax and no-tax recipients. But Euro-liberals are dedicated to giving welfare to whoever will take it. They see the provision of welfare as a divine duty. They absolutely oppose any restrictions to welfare other than wealth-based restrictions.  So they will not place any restrictions on receiving welfare. But this same refusal to do so is what will destroy welfare; damned if they do, damned if they don’t.  They cannot have both unrestricted welfare and unrestricted immigration.

European liberals have long pined for democratic socialism, which is also known as economic democracy. Guess what? They’re going to get it. The “economic” part will be the overwhelming of the welfare system, and the “democracy” part will be when the numerous children of immigrants become swing voters and possibly an eventual majority. The Euro-liberals will get economic democracy, all right; they’ll get it straight up the butt. For years, they’ve been the ones administering wealth redistribution and state-sponsored theft. They’re going to figure out soon enough what it’s like to be on the receiving end. What goes around, comes around.

I’ve said before that the political left is intellectually dead. I still believe this. There is no more revolutionary fervor or belief in building the future. They have no grand vision or systematic outline for society. The main thrust of the Modern Left is little more than a vote-buying scheme based on stealing money from some folks to give to others. It is about people wanting free goodies, not a revolutionary and egalitarian society. Vladimir Lenin would not be impressed with the modern condition of the great socialist movement.

In a free market economy, Europe could deal with immigration. This situation would be workable, from an economic standpoint. There would be no welfare. There would be no state-subsidized goodies. There would be no economic security that you could not provide for yourself. In this economy, immigrants would be viewed as welcome opportunities to expanding domestic productivity, because that is exactly what they would have to do to survive. And in all likelihood, Europe would not receive much immigration from those who cannot, or will not, support themselves. In addition, the social problems associated with immigration would probably not be as severe. As Milton Friedman put it, “the Free Market is important not only to encourage productive activity, but also to foster harmony and peace among the peoples of the world.” To a certain extent, this is true. The Free Market certainly does not bridge all gaps, but it does encourage cooperation among individuals for mutual benefit in spite of any cultural, racial, or religious differences. Contrast this with government-dominated economies in which the government, by nature, has to select winners and losers. This encourages hatred and antipathy between people.

But most of Europe is dominated by a big-government, big-welfare mindset. In the bureaucratic, union-dominated, and guilt-ridden welfare states of Europe, the immigrants will cash in on the loot. This pisses off some Europeans. “Hey, we stole this loot from other taxpayers fair and square! Back off!” Tough. Stealing is immoral. Institutionalized immorality is a solvent; it does not cease encroaching just because it makes you uncomfortable. Maybe pro-welfare Europeans will think twice next time before embracing the politics of theft.

For us libertarians, there’s a bittersweet beauty to take in from all this. Does it stink to watch things flounder this way? Yeah. But it’s not like they weren’t warned. It’s always good to see a prediction come true. Let’s hope this situation opens some eyes.

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