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Migrant Crisis
In Germany, Reality Sets In

In 2015, as more than a million refugees and migrants streamed into Germany, many pundits and industry leaders initially praised Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “welcome policy” as not only being humane but also economically savvy. But now, as Politico reports, a new reality appears to be setting in as the German analysts have a closer look at just who the migrants are. The official government line continues to be that migrants could take some of the unoccupied jobs caused by Germany’s declining labor force (there are as many as one million such jobs). But the director of the Munich-based Ifo Center for the Economics of Education is quoted in the story that “[f]rom everything we know so far, it seems that the majority of refugees would first need extensive training and even then it’s far from certain that it would work out.”

The Politico story also notes that, according to the OECD, on average, an eighth-grader in pre-war Syria had a similar level of education to a third-grade student in Germany. And an official from the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce is quoted as saying, “[s]omeone who comes from Eritrea and says he was an electrician might have repaired a radio or laid a cable there, but he might have never seen a fuse box, as we use it in Germany.”

Our very own Adam Garfinkle anticipated this back in September, writing:

I will only note that many Germans seem to think that the Levantine Arabs now entering their country by the hundreds of thousands will act like their Gastarbeiter Turks. They are in for a shock. Many also think that they’re getting the cream of the educated crop from Syria. I heard several observers note that the people coming are young men, coming not directly from Syria but from camps in Jordan and Turkey. They are presumed to be engineers, doctors, and the like, and given Germany’s age-cohort imbalanced demographic picture, the consensus among the saintly is that they will boost the German economy in the not-too-distant future. This means that they know not the first thing about the real status of education in the Arab world. Only a tiny percentage of these asylum seekers are well enough educated to hold down a middle-class enabling professional job in an economy like Germany’s.

As these dynamics play themselves out, the nature of the challenges facing Germany will shift. Germany very much needs skilled workers, but unskilled workers suffer from higher unemployment. If you add un- or under-employment to the cultural clash between Germany and the newcomers, the challenges of assimilating the refugee inflow becomes more even more daunting.

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  • jeburke

    How hard could it have been for Germany to have established a system to woo immigrants with needed skills from anywhere in the world — China, India, Korea, the Phillipines, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil? Surely there must be a million such people. No, I think Merkel and company wanted to win “credit” for humanitarian leadership by welcoming the migrants and the workforce line was a cover story.

    • Ofer Imanuel

      Perhaps do something like Australia? Or our own H1B?

      • jeburke


    • Beauceron


      But it’s a pretty typical Western story, isn’t it? The elites in politics, the media, NGOs and academia want something, push for something– and don’t even bother asking the people if they want it. You just do what you’re told or you’re denounced as a racist or Islamophobe.

    • Andrew Allison

      Turns out they did Read carefully, ignore the headline and look at the level of education and assimilation of the Slavic immigrants (and lack thereof among those from North Africa).

      • jeburke

        Interesting. Germany has had a long history of attracting immigrants. I recently came across the fact that on ths eve of WWI in 1914, Germany was playing host to hundreds of thousands of Poles.

        • Rodney

          Are you sure that the hundreds of thousands of Poles in Pre-WW1 Germany wasn’t a result of Prussia splitting Poland up with Austria and Russia? I remember reading in a history book about WW1 that Polish soldiers in that war were more or less treated as snap-on tools. A Pole in the German army captured by the Russians would be handed a Russian uniform and put back on the front line, and vice versa.

          • jeburke

            Quite sure. According to historian Alexander Watson in “Ring of Steel” (about Germany and Austria-Hungary during the First World War), Germany fed the needs of its booming industry before the war with immigrants. As of the outbreak of war in 1914, there were 1.2 million foreign workers in Germany, including some 350,000 Russian-subject Poles from “Congress Poland,” the ethnic Polish territory that was then part of the Russian Empire.

            Of course, later, when Germans occupied most of Congress Poland, Lithuania, etc., Germany mobilized labor from those areas and at one point began drafting Poles to fill army ranks depleted by casualties.

  • Pete

    I use to think the Germans were intelligent.

    I guess all the smart ones got killed off in WWII.

    • Tom

      Or moved here afterwards.

      • Jim__L

        Or before.

  • Jim__L

    Someone pointed out over on The Federalist that instead of an “echo chamber”, our elites’ reality is defined by a high-tech version of Plato’s Cave…

    Many of these elites do not see reality; they simply see shadows of real events, cast by the flamewars on Twitter.

  • adk

    Back in September/October, “just like those in Silicon Valley”…

    Refugees may be Germany’s ‘next economic miracle’, says Daimler boss

    The huge influx of refugees and migrants into Germany could turn out to be the foundation for the country’s next economic miracle, according to the head of one of its major carmakers.

    Far from being a danger, immigration presented an opportunity, he said – referring to Germany’s postwar boom to which millions of “guest workers” contributed.

    The comments at the Frankfurt Motor Show came from the head of Daimler the makers of Mercedes-Benz.

    Dieter Zetsche acknowledged that accommodating the numbers was a “herculean task” for Germany, and that not everyone arriving would be a “brilliant engineer, mechanic or entrepreneur”.

    But he added that many would be well educated and highly motivated, citing successful examples of migration elsewhere, such as in Silicon Valley.

    Daimler launches internships for refugees

    Stuttgart, Oct 13, 2015

    — Company offers further assistance: German classes, vehicles for aid organizations and food donations

    — Employees across Germany provide help and support for refugees

    — Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, IT & Mercedes-Benz Vans: “Immigration is an opportunity for Germany. As a company, we take social responsibility very seriously. With our `bridge internships´ we help refugees with their professional and social integration and offer an unbureaucratic entry into the labor market.”

    Michael Brecht, Chairman of the General Works Council of Daimler AG: “We welcome people, who have experienced escape and displacement. The great efforts of our employees and our company to ensure that refugees are given a fair chance in our country are strong signals of solidarity.”

    • IAEH

      What an idiot. All these companies want is cheap labor. They will fire the Germans after they trained these migrants.
      More money, more money, more money.

      • John Pryce

        What makes you think that they can be trained?

        • Perhaps they could but if they do not wish to be ‘trained’ we haven’t even gotten to the point of wondering what they CAN do.

          • John Pryce

            As Aristotle says, there are some who cannot be instructed. This is not due to stupidity, it is instead a flaw of character; they do not wish to learn. Untrainability is a choice.
            That’s not to say that none of them can be trained. Probably most can. But it’s not a good idea to have “get job training and you can get a job in Germany!” as your slogan for people who have already arrived in Germany. Or anywhere else.

  • Fat_Man

    The political and economic elites in Europe, and the US, hate their lower classes with a passion and fury that they cannot muster for any foreign enemies.

    In both the EU and the US immigration policies are intended to replace the working class with foreigners who will be more pliant and respectful. Social discord between immigrants and natives is a plus for the elites because it will prevent the groups from uniting to destroy their real enemy. Call it a little bit of the old school divide et impera.

    The interesting thought is that the German military is so underfunded that it probably can not respond to outbreaks of violence caused either by “refugees” of native Germans.

  • gabrielsyme

    Truly, the most reactionary conservative would have been the best guide to the migrant crisis this past year. Rape gangs of unemployable “refugees” on the streets of Cologne and Helsinki? Women sold into prostitution to human smugglers? ISIS using the migrant path to infiltrate Europe? Check, check and check.

    And then, of course, the open-doors policy of Frau Merkel, the Swedes and others is causally responsible for a large portion of those thousands who have died on the way to Europe. Since when has criminal negligence causing the deaths of thousands been laudable? Merkel et al have blood on their hands.

  • Robert Burke

    All Germany needs to do is disavow Hegel’s maxim: “No proposition can be proved true”…which is the rock-bottom lie and basis for all of Progressivism and upside down elite behavior.

    Because, guess what? Their Progressive policies are proving unchecked leaders can be, well, like Hitler. This is always one heck of a great way to disprove Hegel-Progressivism. What’s the answer?

    The answer is to disavow the worldview of Progressivism because it lets leaders get away with murder. If nothing can be proved true, then Jungle Law is okay. So, in actuality, Progressivism is just Barbarism Dressed Up. (It’s why the Progs let in the Barbarians… for they are common ancestors.)

    So after the Germans lead Europe out of Darth Vader-ville, they will show that sub-educated elites can do the right thing and disavow Progressivism… and embrace the only exceptional worldview: “1776-Tragic-Liberty” worldview.

    So the main thing this means is that their public education of Progressivism will be defunded, and replaced with “1776-Tragic-Liberty” worldview! Who knew? (Anybody who drives a Mercedes! 😉

  • texasjimbo

    But but but…, only two or three months WRM and company were bemoaning the fact that nationalists and “conservatives” in Europe were exploiting the “refugee” flood for their political benefit (when they were actually expressing completely reasonable concerns and advocating for the only sane policy response). Too little too late, both by Europe and AI. Europe is toast and will not vaguely resemble a liberal society in 100 years. And the “enlightened” sentiments and policies of the leftist cultural elites (of which WRM has SOME sympathy for) are largely to blame. Civilization: it was nice while it lasted.

    • There’s a video of a witness to the attacks who claims astonishment. He thought all that stuff about Islam is the Religion of Pieces was Rightwing Propaganda. Oy! What happens when propaganda is made real right before your eyes? Well, at the least you are more likely to show up for the regular demos against open immigration. Turns out, if you ever get tired of being blindsided by Reality, you better listen to Beck and Limbaugh and Levin; read National Review and WSJ. Otherwise, fellow babies, you are asking for trouble when the spread between your presumptions and Reality snaps back, as it must. Forward.

    • Boritz

      And no labels have changed during that time. Those against the refugee flood are “far right” and those who enabled the flood are “centrists”. Corruption of the language is corruption indeed and you see it in force.

  • GRL

    You can’t bring in a mostly uneducated group raised with real fascism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-semitism/christianity as a culture and religion passed on as early as their “mother’s milk” and then put them in a reality where they truly have little to contribute to the established society and not expect a backlash, if only to throw a tantrum and way for them to re-establish themselves. And we’ve seen much worse, as much as the media and political left try to hide it.

    For most of Europe, it’s still too post-WWII, post-fascist p.c., and the left may make it too late. Just hoping Obama and his ilk haven’t yet made it too late for the US and civilization, though everything possible is being done to ensure to spread the cancer and kill the patient.

  • They education they would need they and their imams consider haram. No, they are there at the instance of their imams, who now can demand ever larger taxpayer support (aka state-established religion), same as the German Christian prelacies receive. Always, the imams are behind these disruptions and troublemaking. Always it is the imams, the mullahs. The Moslem Brotherhood is leaping for joy:

  • Terenc Blakely

    Wow, who could have seen that coming? Well anybody with two brain cells which gives you an idea on how stupid or duplicitous most lefties are.

  • Even those who WANT to work for the kaffir, which are few, are largely illiterate even in their own obscure languages. Surely they will then supply unskilled labor, relieving others with modern skills to apply them, right? Wrong. Why would they take minimum wage jobs when they can get more on welfare? And you can’t get fired from welfare. Ha! Enjoy, you halfwits. Forward.

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