Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Price Tag on Dutch Multiculturalism

Our Flemish correspondent VH has compiled a report on Geert Wilders’ recent call for an official government assessment of the costs of immigration. Here’s his summary (footnotes are all the way at the bottom of the post):

While the Belgian government is planning to hand out residence permits (and taxpayers’ money) to 50,000 or even 100,000 illegal “sans papiers” (the Dutch government did the same in 2007 with 27,500 asylum seekers), the PVV in the Netherlands demands a proper insight in the costs and benefits of immigration. All parties except the center-right VVD oppose the request, and we have yet to see whether the Jan Peter Balkenende government will sabotage the request or not.

Vlaams Belang requested the same a few years ago in Flanders. Though they did not get any answers from the government, they were still able to produce an outstanding report based on data collected by other means. Still, immigration continues: the immigrant share of prison population in the VB report is 38.4% (2006), but in the meantime it has risen to 48% (2009). (Minus three gangsters, Ashraf Sekkaki, Abdelhaq Melloul Khayari, and another one escaped in a helicopter Thursday night.)

The “traditional” parties, on the one hand, claim that immigration is a benefit to the economy and even a necessity, but on the other hand refuse to provide the data or help prove their viewpoint. In Flanders it became clear why: as it turns out, there is no benefit, but a loss of about €2 billion a year, a bill paid by the Flemish taxpayer.

The Migration Policy Institute, a think tank, states on this issue: “[…] Although public spending on immigration is rising in many countries […], there is very little comparative data on migration policy spending.” They further state that “evaluation is required to estimate the impact of policy on individual immigrants as well as on natives.”

VH follows this analysis with several translations from the Dutch-language media. First, from Elsevier:

Cost of Immigration in the Netherlands? At least 100 billion

“Those who research the immigration costs will be discredited”

By Syp Wynia

Sietse FritsmaHow predictable, the hue and cry on the questions directed at the government by PVV MP Sietse Fritsma about the costs of immigration. This is supposed to be a new low in the activities of the PVV, according to its opponents. But is that true?

It is absolutely past time to research the costs and benefits of — since the mid-sixties, large-scale — immigration. If only so that the politicians at least know what the material consequences are when they again open the border to immigrants with similar characteristics (regions of origin, education, employment opportunities, culture, language) to those of the previous immigrants who arrived in the Netherlands.

This, of course, primarily concerns non-Western immigrants, at the moment about two million, who are quite out of tune in the lists on unemployment, pensions, crime and low income.
- - - - - - - - -
Last month the PVV [Party for Freedom], VVD [People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy] and Verdonk [TON, Proud of the Netherlands] together filed a motion to enforce such an investigation. The rest of the parliament, however — the majority at the moment — proved not to be interested and voted against the request (Verdonk apparently changed her mind later, she is now suddenly also against the request by the PVV).

It is quite odd that there are politicians who don’t want to know this. It is even the more remarkable since malicious myths are constantly being spread about the presumed benefits of immigration. But there are no benefits, at least there hardly ever are any.

Over the past few years, the Central Bureau of Statistics [CBS] issued various publications[1] in which it concluded that arriving immigrants, on balance, only contribute to the Netherlands when they have completed their education, earn more than the average resident during their stay — and therefore make an above-average contribution — and depart as soon as there are no more revenues.

It will be clear that most of the immigrants in the last half century do not meet these conditions, not even the hard-working but low-paid Polish immigrants, for they are paying too little tax to contribute.

Nevertheless, politicians continue to argue that immigration is needed to combat the aging of the population (which is nonsense, it will only add to a terrible overpopulation). And that the immigrants that are here at present make a useful contribution to the care for the aging Dutch elderly (the opposite is the case: immigrants are often unemployed and Muslim immigrant women hardly ever work in the care-sector).

Therefore, it is excellent that MP Fritsma asked his questions. Up until now we have had the estimates of the economist Pieter Lakeman[2], who ten years ago in his book Binnen zonder Kloppen [“Entering without knocking”] concluded there was a negative balance of 70 billion guilders [ca. €32 billion or US $45 billion: that would now be over €150 billion euros] — only for the Turks and Moroccans, and without interest [and inflation correction]. Researcher Carlo van Praag back in 1988 calculated there was a negative balance of 54 billion guilders over the period 1975-1988 (but was not allowed to publish it).

Benefits

Last year, Elsevier estimated the costs up to then to be at least €100 billion. Considering all the extra costs[4] and low contributions — from the costs of immigration lawyers up to the much higher than average use of social benefits — it would not be surprising if approximately another tenth may be added on top of that per immigration year. But these still remain estimates.

The answers to the questions of PVV MP Fritsma may offer a more precise understanding — if the government does not sabotage the questions. At the same time it is very strange that among the thousands of social scientists, faculties and research bureaus, there are hardly any who saw a reason to thoroughly investigate the financial balance of immigration.

Whoever did so, though, was taunted. The cost of immigration clearly has to stay under the carpet to enable the falsifications and myths to be continued. The hue and cry of GreenLeft MP Femke Halsema and D66 [center-left, anti Wilders party] MP Alexander Pechtold [3] can not be explained otherwise.

Vlaams Belang writes in a response:

But why do all the opponents rampage as a wild bunch against this PVV request? Weren’t they the ones who always have said that immigrants deliver an essential and indispensable contribution to our prosperity and economy? If that is the case, and can be proven with numbers, isn’t that to their advantage? For they always talk of the “multicultural enrichment”. If that enrichment is not in the economic contribution, where is it then? It won’t be in forced marriages, honor crimes, headscarves or burkas, will it?

And from the PVV website:

PVV: What does the immigrant cost us?

Party of Wilders demands extended cost-benefit analysis of almost all ministries


The PVV wants to know exactly how much immigrants cost the state, and how much they bring in. The question is whether the ministries involved are willing to comply with the demand for this cost-benefit analysis. The Party for Freedom asked almost all ministries to calculate exactly how much money they spend on immigrants and how much income there is from immigrant groups that benefits Dutch society.

Geert Wilders’ party colleague Sietse Fritsma has filed a “bombardment” of written questions to all members of the government who have anything to do with immigration policy. In one sweep, he earlier this week addressed the departments of finance, social affairs, health, housing, education, economic affairs and defense. The core of Fritsma’s questions is always the same: the government is spending a disproportionate amount of money to (non-Western) immigrants and there is little in return.

The PVV member wants to know how much less the immigrants to pay in taxes in comparison to the native Dutch. Because immigrants are more often unemployed or earn less, and have a disproportionately poor score in the tax revenue balance, as Fritsma already foresees in his questions.

From the Department of Education he wants an overview of the disproportionately high budgets that are spent on immigrants, which according to his observations are due to the truant behavior of many students. The Health Ministry should clarify how much more costly immigrants are, because they relatively more often pay a visit to the general practitioner. Fritsma also indicates a larger use of care and welfare support because of specific disorders that increasingly more often occur in this group, for example with the children from “niece-with-cousin” marriages [consanguinity].

On similar basis, the MP asks for a clarification by Social Affairs of the more than average provision of social benefits, and by the Ministry of Housing on the high cost of the immigrants’ share of public housing. The Ministry of Justice must calculate whether immigrants are unusually expensive to the judiciary, and the cost of the fight against terrorism.

To the PVV it is not just about this year’s budget or the next for this government. The party wants all to have an overview of all costs and benefits over the past five years, plus a calculation forecast for the next five years.

It is not the first time the PVV has asked for this. In a parliamentary debate last month, Fritsma confronted Socialist [PvdA] Minister Van der Laan (Housing, Neighborhoods, Integration) with the estimate that the “extra call on social and other services” costs the Dutch government [i.e. the taxpayer] €100 billion. Fritsma confronted the Minister with this in his response to the remark of the minister that “many Muslims in the Netherlands contribute to society.”

Van der Laan promised to provide Fritsma with a comprehensive list of costs and benefits. PVV now requires a detailed calculation. Minister Van der Laan also said in that debate: “I am in no way impressed by the argument about these costs.”

It is not yet known whether all the departments will answer the PVV questions individually, nor whether the Balkenende IV government has decided on a joint response strategy.

VH adds this follow-up on the response to the PVV:

When the request to the Ministries on the costs and benefits of immigration by the PVV became public before the weekend, the Amsterdam PvdA (Labor, Socialists) member Jerry Straub filed a complaint with the Anti Discrimination Bureau Amsterdam on behalf of the PvdA, against the PVV.

Jerry Straub: “Because I will not let the country where I was born drift into a society in which descent and identity are the grounds for acceptance or rejection. That is not the Netherlands and especially not Amsterdam, the capital that I know, and where I, during the working visits to projects, meetings and organizations, almost daily see hear and feel the will and desire of many Amsterdammers to succeed, to live together, to make progress. Therefore the question ‘what do the immigrants cost us’ makes no sense. For the PVV is costing us more than we care for!”

In a response at HetVrijeVolk.com it was then explained that the requests by the PVV in parliament are covered by the constitution, and the Socialist Mr. Staub, who should have known this [or knows it, but hopes to gain the votes of the ignorant gutmenschen], made a fool of himself:

Mr. Straub again ridicules the PvdA: Mr. Straub without doubt feels himself quite a fancy guy. He dared to file a charge against a member of parliament of the PVV with the Anti Discrimination Bureau. However, the only thing Mr. Straub did was to make himself — and with that the PvdA — a ridiculous fool. For what he wants is impossible under Article 71 of the Constitution, which reads: “The members of the States-General [parliament] […] can not be prosecuted in the courts nor be addressed to for what they have said or handed over in writing at the meetings of the States-General or its committees.” Thus of course, the content of (written) requests in the parliament are covered by this article of the constitution.


Notes:

[1] In 1999, the CBS warned about unforeseen risks to the budget caused by immigration (asylum seekers). They estimated for the year 2000 an extra expense of then ca. €0.7 billion (1.5 billion guilders, ex inflation correction) that only due to a very modest increase of wages could be covered. Basically the CBS said that the Dutch taxpayer was earning less than he should, to pay the bill for this immigration. CBS further estimated that every asylum seeker (those days) cost €20,000 for shelter, extra police, education and juridical procedures. Today that would be roughly ca. €30,000 per asylum seeker in the first year.
 
[2] Pieter Lakeman, econometrist, writer and founder of corporate watchdog group Sobi (credo: Cedo Nulli: they recently accused Tim Geithner of “sucking the US treasury dry”) published Binnen zonder kloppen (“Entering without knocking”; Dutch immigration policy and the economic consequences) in 1999. He stated that the immigration policy is a loss to the government: then €6 billion a year. The Moroccans and Turks in the preceding twenty years alone had cost the taxpayer then more than €30 billion. FEM Business wrote: “The book had hardly arrived at the bookstore when the Nederlands Centrum Buitenlanders [Dutch Foreigners Center, run by Mohammed Rabbae, involved in the ban of The Downfall of the Netherlands and nowadays in the International Socialist anti-Wilders campaign] filed a summary procedure in court against the publication of the book. A critical book about immigrants? Immediately ban it! And as it goes with every stupid action, the bold attempt to ban the book caused the exact opposite effect: even more media attention for Pieter Lakeman. Though the procedure seems strange for an organization that claims to strive for a tolerant society, the Pavlov-reflex of the NCB was not really a surprise. Lakeman himself had already described this phenomenon in his book.
 
[3] A few quotes from parties that oppose the PVV request:

  • “Are we all going to ask each other now how many euros we are worth? Terrible,” grumbles Socialist party [extreme-left] MP Sadet Karabulut. Her GreenLeft [extreme-left] colleague Femke Halsema: “It’s crazy wanting to express the value of people in money.”
  • PvdA [Socialist, Labor] MP Khadija Arib [herself a Moroccan immigrant]: “It’s an impossible discussion that will lead nowhere. How does the PVV want to calculate the costs and benefits of the guest workers of those days? Those who worked hard and sometimes died soon, like my own father?”
  • Alexander Pechtold (MP for the anti Wilders party D66 [center-left]) pulls up his shoulders at this “absurd” plan. “You can make it as crazy as you want. I would say, Mr. Fritsma, just go on an enjoyable vacation for a while”.
  • The Christian Union MP Ed Anker does not appreciate the summing up of little numbers as he call it: “Many groups in society cost money, that is part of our welfare state.”

 
[4] Immigration has many costly implications. Just to sum up a few:

In 2007 the government spending on special primary education (children who are handicapped or not doing well at a normal school, due to a behavior disorder for instance) got out of hand: already one billion euros. In Amsterdam a research on psychosocial and mentally handicapped children showed that 59% of children who suffered from these problems were Moroccans and Turks, substantially higher than the average, and possibly due to consanguinity [inbreeding].

And while the Dutch taxpayers also have to pay that bill [estimated one billion plus], Moroccan immigrants themselves transfer money to Morocco “for the purchase of sheep for the sacrifice feast. That money they withdraw from the education budget [social benefit] of their own children in the Netherlands.”

Still, a Turkish immigrant, Zeki Arslan of the multicultural institute Forum, suggested that the government: “cancel the Joint Strike Fighter project for the Air Force, and use that money for education to (immigrant) children with language problems. Otherwise the minister should ask the EU for 1.5 to 2 billion euros for education for [immigrant] children up to 4 years of age”. He did not mention the responsibility of immigrant parents.

The ratio of employed versus unemployed of Moroccan and Turkish immigrants, to give an impression:

  • For Turks the ratio is 1.75:1
  • For Moroccans the ratio is 1.58:1
  • For the native Dutch the ratio is 7.54 to 1

Moroccans with social benefits who own property in Morocco (many do), must report that when they receive social benefits (and then have their benefit reduced). After the government in 2001 discovered massive fraud and wanted to research the registers in Morocco, the social attaché of the Dutch embassy was threatened and was provided with private security. When the Dutch government proposed to stop the transfer of children’s allowance, the Moroccan Ambassador in the Netherlands threatened : “they should not enrage 300,000 Moroccans [in the Netherlands], they will explode.” The Dutch government (then PvdA, VVD and D66) stopped the research.

14 comments:

Zenster said...

The “traditional” parties, on the one hand, claim that immigration is a benefit to the economy and even a necessity, but on the other hand refuse to provide the data or help prove their viewpoint.

As the Baron is so fond of pointing out, anecdotal evidence doesn't cut the mustard. Why the refusal to provide any numbers if this glorious social experiment is such a stunning success?

Moreover, accountability is one of the only hallmarks of good constitutional governance.

It is quite odd that there are politicians who don’t want to know this.

Otherwise known as the Ostrich Syndrome

If that enrichment is not in the economic contribution, where is it then? It won’t be in forced marriages, honor crimes, headscarves or burkas, will it?

"Will it?" Ask the little boy while pointing at the buck naked Emperor.

Fritsma also indicates a larger use of care and welfare support because of specific disorders that increasingly more often occur in this group, for example with the children from “niece-with-cousin” marriages [consanguinity].

This is one of those massive "ticking time bombs" as Muslim populations continue to churn out congenitally malformed spawn that represent a downstream economic burden of astronomical proportions.

By continuing the practice of consanguineous marriage, Muslims may as well be crippling their new born children as they emerge from the womb. It is tantamount to abuse of the unborn (something I never thought I would see myself typing).

When all of the different cost burdens are assembled (e.g., housing, medical, judicial, educational, unemployment, etc.), there emerges a pattern of conduct that exhibits little difference from a well-orchestrated campaign by Muslims to defraud European socialist governments on a heretofore unheard of scale. There is very little difference between this an an ongoing criminal enterprise.

“Are we all going to ask each other now how many euros we are worth? Terrible,” grumbles Socialist party [extreme-left] MP Sadet Karabulut. Her GreenLeft [extreme-left] colleague Femke Halsema: “It’s crazy wanting to express the value of people in money.”.

As she drags her fat government paycheck to the bank for cashing. See how she howls if there is an extra 10% deducted out of her pay for supporting immigrant welfare.

Alexander Pechtold (MP for the anti Wilders party D66 [center-left]) pulls up his shoulders at this “absurd” plan. “You can make it as crazy as you want. I would say, Mr. Fritsma, just go on an enjoyable vacation for a while”.

"Go away son, you bother me!"

[/Foghorn Leghorn]

mace said...

The unquestioning acceptance of mass immigration as a economic benefit seems to be widespread in the West.Skeptics(like me) are usually accused as haboring sinister motives of one sort or another. Mass immigration certainly benefits some sectors of society eg the housing and construction industries and those politicians who slyly court immigrant votes. Huge capital amounts are diverted to ameliorate the negative aspects of high population growth. It's inconceivable that either of the main political parties here in Australia, would have the courage to publicy consider the COSTS of immigration.

DP111 said...

IF Muslim immigration, and the problem we have is mainly due to Islamic culture, was such a positive to the economy, then Japan would be allowing in millions of immigrants.

DP111 said...

Zenster wrote: When all of the different cost burdens are assembled (e.g., housing, medical, judicial, educational, unemployment, etc.)

One of the main costs of Muslim immigrants, is the inordinate amount of money required for national security. Even then we are not safe. The atmosphere of insecurity also leads the government to impose security measures that infringe on historic freedoms, as well unfairly profiling non-Muslims to give the impression fairness.

Tuan Jim said...

DP111 - that's an interesting note regarding Japan.

They've certainly publicly acknowledged the need for significantly more immigrant labor - particularly given that the birth rate is so low and the population as a whole is rapidly aging....however, they have also taken their time to experiment with things and alternative plans to come up with the best options.

They've got several pilot programs in place for foreign nurses/caregivers (Indonesians, Filipinos, etc) - on very stringent guidelines. Probationary periods of up to two years (subject to immediate deportation), non-stop language lessons (and visa can be taken away if skills aren't determined satisfactory by the end of such and such period), etc -- and they've still got big waiting lists for people wanting to apply. And it seems to be working to - granted they're not looking for permanent immigrants as such (although I think there's an option for residency down the road), but they really want to make sure that folks at least reach the bare minimum for cultural assimilation (although they'll always be gaijin in Japan).

OTOH, they've also got issues with lots of undocumented industrial workers - mostly Chinese/Korean - that cause trouble every now and then.

DP111 said...

Zenster

The Japanese do allow in migrant workers, as you pointed out, but they are carefully monitored. Getting a permanent residence permit, is difficult. Getting Japanese citizenship, well I dont what the odds are - probably a state secret.

Tuan Jim said...

I'm not Zenster ;p

Solkhar said...

Immigration has a mixed bag of results. I am not in favor of mass migration myself because the factors are both social and economic. Economic benefits of immigrants is proven and to be honest many jobs that the Dutch for instance do not want to do are easily accepted by immigrants. Immigration also brings some entrepeneurs and investors and that is a growing factor when it becomes long-term immigration from certain regions. It incourages trade etc, etc.

BUT it also can bring in social unrest as is happening with uncontrolled immigration not to mention the irresponsibility of allowing radical extremists and Islamist militant supporters in.

I have no problem with and in fact support stronger controls, vetting and contracts for immigrants so that breaches will ensure cancelling of nationality and deportation no matter what the outcome will be.... my country comes first!

After saying all the above, there is another factor in the argument, that is of bigotry and political agendas especially when it is for the reasons of personality cults like Wilders - whom for those of you who are not Dutch - is the case and everyone here knows it.

The man is considered a fool by the vast majority of the Dutch and that is forgotten in the media and of course the far right is promoting him so they will only say the positive about him. His is obviously dispised by immigrants and anyone in government and public service circles because he represents not only bigotry but an impossible leadership scenario. He has no political agenda other than immigration and complaining, avoids debates when it comes to discussing it. It should be pointed out that he did not raise this particular issue above, because he would have been faced with a barrage of questions.

He has been charged with two counts of hatred creation and will certainly be found guilty on the first charge. He has put himself in a corner of the issue of freedom of speech as he claims to be a champion but when it came to holocaust denial - that became an issue in Holland, he said nothing, why? Because the great number of supporters of his most favourite other place and people - Israel - would never again accept or support him.

I mention Israel only for the Wilders holocaust subject, not because I am Muslims and pro or against Israel, for the record I support the two states and I live in a country with a content Jewish population and 70,000 Israeli tourists each year visiting..... just to clear that up.

ps.... immigration in Holland will be found as making money, not costing anything until they look at social security and find that it blows the budget without adding the immigrants anyhow....

VH said...

@ Mace: "The unquestioning acceptance of mass immigration as a economic benefit seems to be widespread in the West"
That is indeed striking, as well as the similarity in the response when you question it, as you also mention.

But certainly in Europe it is about time to demand accountability, for the EU is planning to import 50.000.000 African "workers" for jobs that don't exist.

Maybe the VB report and the requests by the PVV someday will inspire politicians in other Western countries, and that includes Australia of course, to demand such balance sheet of their governments. If it is refused, they should repeat Zenster's words to them: "Why the refusal to provide any numbers if this glorious social experiment is such a stunning success?" That will make them unmask themselves on the spot.

As far as I understand it, but please correct me if I am wrong, the unemployment rate of the Muslim immigrant population in Australia is over 20% compared to the average 4.5%. That is substantially and can not be blamed to the economic situation alone. Some suggest "religious schools" might contribute to it (institutionalizing Islamic backwardness) and even Islamic sensitivity: "The thought of being dragged through the courts on charges of racism or Islamophobia almost certainly deters some smaller business owners."

John Stone, former member of the Australian Senate, advised a few years ago to at least start at the beginning: "when you are already in a hole, stop digging."

Zenster said...

Solkhar: BUT it also can bring in social unrest as is happening with uncontrolled immigration not to mention the irresponsibility of allowing radical extremists and Islamist militant supporters in.

And, pray tell, how are Western immigration agents supposed to be able to distinguish between honest Muslim immigrants and their jihadist brethern?

VH said...

@ Solkhar: This takes ages, Robert Bosscher! I will help you a bit, finding an answer to Zenster's question and therefore provide you a definition to chew on:

"A fundamentalist Muslim is nothing else but a Muslim who suits the action to the word as written down in the Qur'an, and puts this word into practice."

DP111 said...

Tuan Jim

Apologies. Cut and paste is a mixed blessing .

mace said...

VH,
I've read estimates of an 18% unemployment rate for a 19-24 year old in the Moslem community. However,this is another factoid I'm skeptical of,given the closed nature of that society,as you mentioned.
Of course the PC, cultural relativist disease has spread to Oz as well and we are lectured to on our shortcomings by people from North Africa and the Pakistan.The sinister propaganda that equates racism and legitimate cultural criticism works here as well as in Europe, my home state has anti- discrimation legislation that has been used by Islamists to attack criticism of their religion.Sound familiar? An example of the "mass immigration-is-good-for-you" mentality is represented by an editorial in the August edition of "Australasian Science". After half a page of straw man arguments in support of mass immigration we find this gem-"a truly ethical Australian way is to share our wealth and the global squalor"(sic).Presumably we just open the gates and step back(and end up like the Romans).

VH said...

@ Mace: Thank you for your reply.
"end up like the Romans"… I hope that will not happen! The last thing South-East Asia (and beyond, as well as Australia itself) needs is a PC Australia…

The other day I read an interview with Professor Raphael Israeli, an expert on Islam, who warned: "When the Muslim population gets to a critical mass you have problems. That is a general rule, so if it applies everywhere it applies in Australia. [Muslim] immigrants [have] a reputation for manipulating the values of Western countries, taking advantage of their hospitality and tolerance."

But maybe that discussion was part of the aftermath of the Cronulla riots…