Why does Germany want so many refugees? Part Two

In a post last week, I argued that Germany’s main motive for wanting to take in so many Middle Eastern refugees is the desire to cope with short-term labor shortages and long-term population decline. I also pointed out that most European nations face different circumstances and thus don’t share Germany’s motive or enthusiasm.

A few days later, the Washington Post struck the same theme in an article called “The refugee crisis could actually be a boon for Germany.” Anthony Fiola began the article this way:

The rest of Europe may see a crisis as a record number of asylum seekers flood the continent from Syria and other pockets of conflict and poverty. But Germany — the region’s economic powerhouse — is also sensing a golden opportunity.

This fast-graying nation of 81 million is facing a demographic time bomb. With a morbidly low birthrate and a flat-lining population, hundreds of schools have ­already been shuttered. Some neighborhoods, particularly in the increasingly vacant east, have become ghost towns. For Germans, it has raised a serious question: Who will build the Volkswagens and Mercedes of tomorrow?

Enter a record wave of migrants.

Still, I don’t doubt that the refugees are far more welcome in Germany than just about anywhere else in Europe. The reason, I believe, isn’t primarily economic. Rather, it’s down to the fact that Middle Eastern immigrants have integrated relatively smoothly into German society.

A very large chunk of the immigrants to Germany come from Turkey, with its secular tradition. Integration hasn’t been seamless, of course. However, to my knowledge Germany, unlike France, hasn’t experienced car burning in the suburbs and the creation of zones in which the police dare not go. There seem to be fewer stories like this one from Reims coming out of Germany.

Full article: Why does Germany want so many refugees? Part Two (Powerline)

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