Europe is rich in migrants, so why isn’t it rich?

“Europe Has Fallen Behind the U.S. and China. Can It Catch Up?” (New York Times, June 5):

Europe’s share of the global economy is shrinking, and fears are deepening that the continent can no longer keep up with the United States and China. … Beijing and Washington are funneling hundreds of billions of dollars into expanding their own semiconductor, alternative energy and electric car industries, and upending the world’s free trade regime

The secret to wealth is government spending and European governments aren’t big enough.

Private investment lags as well. Large corporations, for example, invested 60 percent less in 2022 than their American counterparts, and grew at two-thirds the pace, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute. As for per-capita income, it is on average 27 percent lower than in the United States. And productivity growth is slower than other major economies, while energy prices are much higher.

The journalists ask us to contemplate an unimaginable horrible scenario:

Imagine if every state in America had national sovereignty and there were only limited federal power to raise money to fund things like the military.

In other words, imagine if the U.S. Constitution were followed and the federal government’s powers were limited to those spelled out in the document.

The news isn’t all bad:

For more than a decade, Europe has been falling behind on several measures of competitiveness, including capital investments, research and development, and productivity growth. But it is a world leader in reducing emissions, limiting income inequality and expanding social mobility, according to McKinsey.

Europe could be leading the leaders in leading even more if governments would hire leading consultants at McKinsey more frequently. Speaking of leaders, the leaders in journalism don’t ask what seems like an obvious question: Science proves that low-skill immigrants make societies rich. Europe is rich in low-skill immigrants, while China is impoverished in low-skill immigrants. “China has the smallest number of international migrants of any major country in the world. Compare its 0.1% of immigrants with near 14% in the U.S. and 18% in Germany.” (Texas A&M, which also notes that immigrants are “very productive”). Shouldn’t Europe’s economic growth be higher than in the U.S. and China?

The NYT article doesn’t mention immigration, except to point out that only a “far-right” political party could question the wisdom of open borders.

Separately, I wonder what would happen if we subtracted out NVIDIA, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft from the U.S. economy. Maybe without Big Tech, the U.S. and Europe would be roughly comparable.

Speaking of the U.S. economy, here’s a chart from zerohedge showing that the number of native-born workers in the U.S. is unchanged compared to 2018:

To find the promised economic enrichment from the presence of migrants we would have to look at the extent to which real wages for the native-born have increased. If we adjust for inflation under the old formula, real wages are likely lower than in 2018. That’s certainly true here in Palm Beach County, Florida.

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Maskachusetts Democrats try to understand their new neighbors

A Massachusetts Democrat’s Facebook post earlier this month (the woman who’d repeatedly expressed alarm regarding climate change was about to board a transoceanic flight, apparently; she’d also previously posted in favor of masks and was about to share a confined space with more than 300 potentially infected humans):

Some comments from fellow Democrats:

  • Migrant crisis [it is a “crisis” when the U.S. is being enriched at a faster pace than under the hated dictator Trump]
  • More mistreatment of immigrants. … [and then after a rare hater who snuck into the exchange points out that “They came here illegally”] Artificially preventing the incorporation of this latest wave of Americans into our fully American diaspora, as is the obviously racist purpose of this outrageous policy we are here witnessing, fully ignores the hard won history of all our (?) ancestors who have, and will continue, to make this nation a better (not worse) place because of their efforts, and abilities. If that’s “mansplaining” then please understand the actual truth delivered by this enlightened man! … I am, however, most interested in the opponents of Democracy, itself, and how they must be squirming in regards to the overwhelming election of Mexico’s first female president, who also happens to be its first Jewish president
  • [response to the above] super exciting to see her elected! She is also an ecologist!! This can only be good for Mexico and the world.
  • shameful
  • Wow. I didn’t know about this. How awful for these families!

For reference, the new president of Mexico, referred to above:


  • “Worried about coronavirus while having sex? Wear a mask, says a new study” (CNN, June 2020, about a study done in Massachusetts (at Harvard Medical School!)): “…it appears that all forms of in-person sexual contact carry risk for transmission of the virus,” said Dr. Jack Turban, study lead author and resident at Harvard Medical School, where he studies the mental health of transgender youth.
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Did the Taliban do anything bad to Afghans expelled by Pakistan?

“Pakistan’s Campaign To Expel Millions Of Afghan Refugees Enters Second Phase” (Radio Free Europe, March 20, 2024):

Pakistan is set to force some 850,000 documented Afghan refugees back to their country next month if they don’t leave voluntarily.

Islamabad is calling this the second phase of its move to force more than 3 million documented and undocumented Afghans out of the country. Since October, it has expelled more than 500,000 Afghans who lacked proper documentation to stay in Pakistan.

“Most of these refugees fled Afghanistan fearing persecution of the Taliban,” she wrote on X. “Such mapping and any further decision will expose them to great risk.”

We are informed that Afghans can’t go back to Afghanistan because the Taliban will persecute them. The above article, though, says that hundreds of thousands actually did go back (albeit involuntarily) and I can’t find any news coverage of persecution by the Taliban.

Could it be that Afghanistan is actually reasonably safe, at least from fear of political persecution?

Afghans going home:

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When low-skill immigration, divorce litigation, DEI, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ intersect

Today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of what used to be called “gay” or “same-sex” marriage here in the U.S., in which Maskachusetts led the way (modern-style opposite-sex marriage, in which divorce litigation may ensue, seems to go back about 4,300 years to Mesopotamia). (Joe Biden also reminds us that today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, not to be confused with the Pride Month that starts in two weeks.)

Let’s check in with a formerly happy couple… “A Broken Marriage, a Big Inheritance and the Murder of an Art Kingmaker” (Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2024):

Brent had long held sway over a cerebral corner of the New York art scene, promoting women and diverse artists in the early 1990s when few galleries or museums exhibited either. … friends gravitated toward his wicked sense of humor, a zest that extended to an ebullient social life, often populated by a revolving door of lovers. “He liked younger men,” says his friend, the artist Vik Muniz.

DEI box… checked. 2SLGBTQQIA+ box… checked.

Now, landing in Rio, Brent was trying to move past a personal low point. Despite his outward success, close friends say he had been emotionally drained after nearly two years of hashing out a divorce settlement with his estranged husband, with whom he had a 13-year-old son. In Rio, he could spend a few weeks relaxing, maybe walk along Copacabana beach to meet locals or meditate.

Miracle of biology… checked. Winner-take-all divorce litigation in New York State… checked. The proud parents and future plaintiff/defendant:

What can New Yorkers do with all of the free time they have because they never have to go to Home Depot?

After work, he and Brent sought out the same nightlife, going to sex clubs and swapping ribald stories, Renaud-Clément says.

Does marriage interfere with going to the sex club?

friends of both men say the couple was known to have an open marriage

Personal background?

Daniel was born in a tiny town in the Cuban province of Camagüey. … Daniel was fleeing a troubled childhood and doing whatever he could to survive in Havana and later Madrid, including sex work, according to Daniel’s 2006 memoir.

Low-skill immigration box… checked.

Daniel got a WhatsApp message from Prevez, his former caretaker in Cuba. Prevez had since moved to São Paulo and wanted to catch up, according to his police statement. … Like Daniel, Prevez had struggled for years to scrape together a living in Cuba, repairing bicycles by day and working as a night security guard. In September 2022, he moved to Brazil in hope of a better salary. … Prevez says he took a job making deliveries for an online marketplace known as Mercado Livre in a borrowed Fiat Palio, but he wasn’t earning enough to support his own family in Cuba.

Low-skill immigration box… checked a second time. (Mr. Prevez migrated from his caretaker job to live in Brazil.)

Prevez said Daniel told him about the ongoing divorce. Then, he told police, Daniel made him an offer: $200,000 and a free place to stay in Rio in exchange for killing his ex.

According to New York law, Daniel could seek a third of Brent’s net worth as the surviving spouse—likely more than he would get in any divorce settlement. Daniel’s lawyers say they intend to claim his share as a surviving spouse.

A European friend: “Big irony is that these gay dudes fought so hard to be able to get sued for divorce.”


  • “Couple who led gay marriage fight to divorce” (NBC): Julie and Hillary Goodridge were among seven gay couples who filed a lawsuit that led to a court ruling making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriages in 2004. The couple became the public face of the debate in the state and married the first day same-sex marriages became legal. The divorce case was filed last week in Suffolk Probate and Family Court and was not unexpected. The couple announced they were separating in 2006.
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Coronapanic and landlords

An aviation connection owns 250 apartments in the middle of the country. I asked him whether he’d lost a lot of money during coronapanic when nobody had to pay rent and he was barred by order of the CDC from evicting anyone. “No,” he said. “Nearly all of my tenants kept paying and, in fact, many of them applied for and received government assistance to pay their rent. I already had 20 percent Section 8 vouchers and ended up with about half of my income coming from the government.”

He took the opportunity to refinance his properties at a 2 percent rate and also substantially raised the rents that he was charging (i.e., his costs fell and his revenue soared). He estimates that his property doubled in nominal value between 2019 and today. He raised rents by 50 percent.

Who else got rich? “The local car dealer [in his small town] bought a Phenom 300 and a Bell 407” (that’s $15 million worth of aircraft; the Phenom 300 is made by Embraer in Brazil)

What else has been working for him? Open borders. “I love having Latinos as tenants,” he said (sorry about the hateful failure to use proper English (“Latinx”), but it is a direct quote), “but sad to say that the English-speaking tenants get upset if there are too many Latinos in their complex. They complain about Mexican music being played and noise. I don’t want to be racist and exclude people on the basis of being Hispanic because it makes other tenants upset.” Has the rising cost of labor eroded his increased profit margin from the 50 percent rent boost? “No,” he replied. “White people have pretty much stopped working, but there are plenty of hard-working Latinos. I wish that I spoke Spanish because then I could do a better job explaining what I need.”

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WSJ article on the working/chump class

“The Calls for Help Coming From Above the Poverty Line” (WSJ, April 6):

United Way, the nonprofit that operates about half of the country’s 200-plus 211 centers, and other poverty researchers blame that disconnect partly on the federal poverty line, which they say hasn’t kept up with the real cost of living.

The share of households below the census-designated federal poverty line has barely budged since 2010. Meanwhile, poverty researchers say a large and fast-growing group of people are earning too much to qualify for social services and not enough to afford the basics where they live.

In other words, the working class has been trampled by open borders, just as the Harvard economics eggheads said: “Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers”.

The trend, which was hugely accelerated starting in 2021, probably isn’t going to be reversed. The question then becomes how should a person of modest means, yet not entitled to “not-welfare”, adapt to a society that has been degraded for the working class?

Humans are social animals and a lot of the misery inflicted on the working class has to do with their standard of living being lower than that of nearby non-working people on what used to be called “welfare” and is now “means-tested”. The working class person will experience pain at the grocery store when seeing a relaxed-from-not-working customer pay for a huge cart of groceries via EBT card, for example.

How about a move to a state where people who work have a higher spending power than people who don’t work? “The Work versus Welfare Trade‐​Off: 2013” (CATO) is filled with pre-Biden dollar figures that are absurdly out of date, but the percentages and rankings are still relevant. Here are the states where a working class American is going to feel the dumbest for not having gone on the welfare career track starting at age 16:

Here are the states where a median worker might enjoy twice the spending power of someone who chooses the relaxed non-working lifestyle:

We then probably want to look at these states to figure out which ones have the best opportunities for free recreation, the best schools for kids so that they can move up, and the best weather. In the report covered by “Surprise: Florida and Texas Excel in Math and Reading Scores” (NYT 2015), Texas, Florida, and Colorado had the best schools among the above states. Florida and Colorado have great weather and free recreation. Florida is ranked #8 for happiness by WalletHub and Colorado is down at #31. So maybe the answer for a working class person feeling like a chump is to move to Florida! (Maybe not to Palm Beach County, though, if envy is an issue!)

The same advice applies to people who are rich, incidentally, if the rich person wants to be in an environment where anyone with a job can thrive and not suffer despair. Inequality isn’t a terrible thing, from a rich person’s point of view, but for those who adhere to the now-obsolete Protestant work ethic, there is value to being in a place where the working people one interacts with are cheerful.


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A free preloaded debit card is not “free money”

“New York City mayor defends migrant debit card program as cost efficient and fraud resistant” (Politico):

The prepaid cards are intended to be used for groceries, diapers, baby formula and other necessities at local businesses. They’ve invited the condemnation by right-wing news media as simply another benefit for people who entered the country illegally and for the hefty contract involved in the rollout.

“There is no free money. These are not ATM cards. You can’t take cash out,” Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy said at the news conference.

For confused seniors who fall prey to all manner of online scams it would be great to have a credit or debit card that could be used only for certain categories of purchases. Last I checked, though, this capability was not available to individual consumers. How did the NYC migrantcrats manage to accomplish it? It seems that a “card program” can be designed in which the cards are limited by merchant category code (MCC, as explained by Stripe). What if a migrant goes to Walmart or 2SLGBTQQIA+-friendly Target and a wide range of products are available? NY1:

The city said the debit cards for new arrivals can only be used at supermarkets, bodegas and at grocery stores, with migrants being required to sign an affidavit that it would only be used for food and baby supplies.

So… the taxpayer-funded cards are “free”, but they’re not “free money.”

Happy April Fools’ Day, especially if you’re a taxpayer!

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How are things in mostly peaceful Haiti?

The 12 million people who live in Haiti are reportedly going through a rough patch. 100 percent of them should be entitled to asylum in the U.S. due to a reasonable fear of violence, yet the U.S. won’t simply run around-the-clock evacuation flights and ships. We insist that they somehow find their way to the U.S. border before they can claim the asylum to which they are entitled (see also Are we in Year 14 of Temporary Protected Status for Haitian migrants? from a year ago). I can’t figure out how it is moral to make asylum contingent on being young, healthy, and wealthy enough to undertake an arduous journey. If it is a human right then all Haitians should get it. If it is not a human right then why does any Haitian get it?

Back in 2018, the righteous said that Haiti was an example of greatness (see below). Maybe not as great as Gaza under Hamas rule, but still pretty great. Yet none of them advocated revoking the temporary protected status for Haitians who were purportedly “temporarily” in the U.S. Haiti was great, in other words, “great” but not so great that anyone could be safe who traveled back to Haiti.

Here’s another conundrum… we are informed that immigrants, especially the undocumented, are entirely peaceful. Yet “security guards at [New York City] migrant shelters are being paid upwards of $117 an hour” (New York Post). Why are security guards needed if there are no criminal migrants? They’re protecting the peaceful migrants from the unpeaceful native-born Americans from which our criminal population arises?

Is there a point at which the challenges faced by 12 million people in Haiti could actually become worthy of United Nations attention (currently 99% focused on the 2.3 million Gazans who remain alive after the “genocide” perpetrated by Israel against 2.3 million Gazans)?



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Maskachusetts spends 6.5X to feed the undocumented compared to what the native-born receive

A little Migrithmetic today…

A Maskachusetts resident with no W-2 or 1099 income gets $291 per month in SNAP/EBT (“food stamps”). Someone who walked across the border recently gets $1920/month in taxpayer-funded meals ($64/day). “How much is Massachusetts spending to shelter and feed migrants and homeless? I-Team obtains vendor contracts” (CBS):

Massachusetts has not been shy about how much money the shelter and migrant crisis is costing taxpayers. The I-Team looked into where some of the money is being spent, obtaining vendor contracts for services and hotels, including a no-bid contract for $10 million for a company providing meals.

WBZ first reported finding dozens of migrant families sleeping at Logan Airport, and the state is housing hundreds of others in overflow shelters like the one at Melnea Cass Recreation Complex.

But these locations do not include the thousands of homeless and migrants living in hotels and motels. So just how much money is the state paying for lodging?

Records obtained by the I-Team show the state has 17 contracts for housing totaling more than $116 million. Those contracts are only for fiscal year 2024 and end in June.

In some cases, the hotels are collecting money from the state for three meals a day, $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $31 for dinner. That means $64 dollars a day per person.

Also covered by the Deplorables at the Daily Mail under the headline “Boston’s migrant shelter luxury: State pays $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $31 for dinner as they live in hotels for free after entering the US illegally”. (A headline that will brighten any hotel owner’s day! You can choose 100 percent occupancy with migrants or raise your rates as former competitor hotels remove their inventory from and similar.)

Meanwhile, state-sponsored media says that Texas has unwisely spent $1,450 per migrant to send them to Democrat-run cities and that it is “inhumane” to send a human to where he/she/ze/they can get weekly abortion care and gender affirming surgery. (If an all-Democrat state or city is a model society, second in virtue only to Hamas-run Gaza, why is helping someone to relocate there “inhumane”?)

It is tough to get an all-in number for what Massachusetts spends on migrants’ housing, health care, and food, but the estimated cost is $400 per day per migrant in New York City (source). In other words, after four days, taxpayers in NYC have spent more on each of their new neighbors than Texas spent to send them to NYC. (We are informed that migrants reduce crime and enrich host cities and countries economically and culturally, so NYC will ultimately come out ahead on its $146,000/year investment in each migrant.) Presumably the costs are similar in the Boston area.

A friend who likes to take full advantage of the McDonald’s app and refuses to spend more than about $5 per meal showed me a typical receipt:

In other words, a Migrant family of three could have enjoyed a delicious lunch for less than $1.50 per person had they been willing to walk through the miserable Boston weather to the nearest Scottish restaurant.

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How was the immigration of Jose Antonio Ibarra supposed to make Laken Riley better off?

“Migrant suspect in Laken Riley murder accused of ‘seriously disfiguring’ nursing student as affidavit reveals grim details in case” (New York Post):

The Venezuelan migrant charged with murdering Laken Riley allegedly beat her so brutally with an unidentified object that he disfigured her skull, according to new affidavits.

Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, who faces multiple murder and assault charges, is not thought to have known the 22-year-old nursing student when he allegedly kidnapped and killed her as she went for a run on the University of Georgia campus Thursday.

Ibarra entered the US illegally in El Paso, Texas, on Sept. 8, 2022, with his wife and her son seeking asylum, and was later released “for further processing,” ICE said.

Laken Riley will not be alive to see the full benefits of the Biden administration’s transformation of the United States via immigration, but for those of us who haven’t been killed by a migrant… what is the rationale for the current system? How was Jose Antonio Ibarra’s immigration supposed to improve the lives of Americans overall? In an ideal world where he didn’t kill anyone, what would he have done that would have made Laken Riley better off?

(If the answer is “his immigration wasn’t supposed to make Laken Riley better off” then in what sense is the U.S. government working on behalf of U.S. citizens?)

Separately, what’s happening with crime statistics in Venezuela? If their career criminals and gang members have all accepted Joe Biden’s invitation to move to the U.S., shouldn’t Venezuela soon be as safe as El Salvador? Or is Venezuela breeding new criminals even faster than it is exporting them?


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