Mark Steyn Agrees with Bryan Caplan on Immigration
By David Henderson
about one important factual claim, not about the best policies.
My fellow Canadian Mark Steyn wrote recently about what he sees as some of the harmful effects of Muslim immigration into Europe. I hasten to say that I don’t disagree with everything he says. Check this interview he does about the Muslim population in Malmo, Sweden and see if you don’t feel at least a little concerned about the “Aim and shoot at the Jews” line (at about the 3:07 point) chanted by a number of Muslim activists in Sweden.
That’s the bad news.
Here’s the good news. Steyn writes:
As I said to Tucker Carlson the other night, the demographic transformation of the western world is “the biggest story of our time”, and it will indeed determine all the others:
~Taxes? Big Government welfare programs depend on a high degree of social solidarity between givers and takers. If you think in France or Germany that young Mohammed and Ahmed will be willing to pay higher and higher taxes so that Jean-Pierre and Fritz can continue enjoying their present thirty-year retirements, you’re deluded.
~Defense spending and ISIS? More UK and Canadian Muslims have volunteered for the Islamic State than serve as soldiers of the Queen. As you can tell from their kid-glove treatment of returning jihadists, it’s unlikely that these countries will still be willing to follow America into the sands of Araby as Islam becomes a bigger and bigger domestic and electoral consideration. As for the broader international order, two of the Big Five at the UN will be semi-Islamized (and, indeed, semi-Islamic nuclear powers).
I’m not surprised that Steyn is worried about the second issue: he strikes me as someone who favors U.S. military intervention in the Middle East (see here for a quick example). But for those who oppose such intervention, having more allies–even if their intentions and motives are very different from mine–is welcome.
What does surprise me, though, is that Steyn, whom I had always thought of as a critic and opponent of the welfare state, seems genuinely upset that “young Mohammed and Ahmed” will not “be willing to pay higher and higher taxes so that Jean-Pierre and Fritz can continue enjoying their present thirty-year retirements.” Isn’t opposition to taxes, especially taxes for government-run Ponzi schemes, a good thing?
Here’s one of co-blogger Bryan Caplan’s many posts arguing that ethnic diversity undercuts support for the welfare state. The usual argument, and the one Bryan normally makes, is that the existing population that were here before the immigrants will be less supportive of the welfare state when immigrants who are not like them arrive. But Steyn is arguing that those very immigrants, who tend to be young, will not be very supportive of welfare for the elderly who were here before the immigrants. Both claims could be true. Indeed, I think both claims are likely to be true.