The Race

There is a race, a fierce competition. Everyone wants to be popular. Everyone wants to be best at something, right? There are a lot of different surveys with different criteria and winners. The Scandinavian countries usually do well when the UN rank the best countries to live in. They also do well on the Social Progress Index, with Canada, New Zealand and Australia being the only non-Europeans on the top ten list. Read more

The U.S. News and World Report named Canada the 2nd best country together with Switzerland. These countries,  together with Scandinavia, are also favourites among stand up comedians and journalists wanting to score cheap points against what they claim are selfish countries. When the so-called Syrian refugee crisis started there was a big pressure on the Norwegian government to allow free immigration. The attitude was that this wouldn’t cost us anything because the Syrians would start working as soon as they arrived. It turned out that around 40 percent were Syrians, so there were a lot of migrants from other countries. Not that they didn’t need help, but unlimited immigration is a pretty tall order.

No one seemed to consider the fact that refugees have never changed status that quickly before, and there was no way of verifying the claim that these were highly educated people. That turned out to be vastly exaggerated. No one ever mentioned the fact that refugees may need psychiatric treatment, or that they may have problems becoming a part of a society with a strong aversion to religion (almost self-loathing our own culture), and with a strong suspicion to everything different. In fact, we only talked about them helping us, our economy.

Canada seems to have chosen the same path as Sweden, an extremely liberal immigration policy. In Canada’s case it is understandable because the country is underpopulated, but I believe it’s not just a matter of getting enough people. There are suburbs in Sweden with 90 percent immigrant population, very high unemployment, and it’s so bad in certain areas that police and ambulance are reluctant to go there. Yet, the only accepted view is that immigrants make Sweden a better society. I think the main problem is that the government decided something and left it to the people to deal with the consequences.

The Canadian government recently announced a plan for increasing immigration. The authorities will admit 310 000 permanent residents next year, followed by 330 000 in 2019 and 340 000 in 2020. The idea is that this will spur innovation and economic growth, and by importing young workers they counteract the problem with an aging population. I believe there are good chances of that happening if you get the right people, but there is a limit to how altruistic you can be and still prosper. The news release states that “the 2018-2020 multi-year immigration levels plan also fulfills our commitment to offer protection to those in need.” Read the news release.

I don’t know how many asylum seekers they intend to accept, but I believe there needs to be a balance. Statistics from Norway show that the employment rate among immigrants from Asia and Africa is a lot lower compared to any other group in Norway. The logical consequence is that these people need different types of social benefits, possibly for life. We have to help, but there is a limit to how many we can support in our own country. It might help if we don’t create more problems in their country.

There are of course refugees and migrants that will adapt quickly, but some are going to require assistance for years, possibly for the rest of their lives. We would all like to believe that racism doesn’t exist in our society, that we are far too liberal for that nonsense, but in reality Norwegians, Swedes, Swiss and Canadians are no different from people that admit to being racist. The attitude among many Norwegian employers is that it doesn’t matter how qualified the candidate is if he/she has the wrong skin colour. It may not even be about ethnicity or religion because I have heard many stories of people from the USA and other English speaking countries that suddenly get called in for job interviews when they start using their Norwegian partner’s name. Yet, the only accepted view is that immigrants have enriched the country in so many ways. I have a feeling that this is the case in many liberal countries.

This Canadian is defending the book The Inconvenient Indian, and it suggests that there is already a problem in the country that wants to accept everyone:

I am in no way out to get Canada.This is my favourite country outside my own. It’s a fantasy of course, a world that doesn’t exist, and never did, but Canada has always had a special ring to me. I grew up with excellent TV series and music from Canada, as well as writers like Margaret Atwood and :Lucy Maud Montgomery, so when I dream of moving to another country, I dream of Canada. I don’t think anything is perfect, though, but maybe it will be less so in the future.

This is still fixable. I think everyone agrees that we need immigration because of our low birth rate. The problems starts when authorities make decisions without listening to the people, and I don’t think most people want more immigration than their society can integrate. It doesn’t mean that immigrants are not welcome.


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