Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal of a fundamental disconnect between what she refers to as “elites” (I despise this term, many, if not most people in power I have met are not what I would call “elite.”) and their indifference to the pressures which come from massive immigration. She makes an important point. A giant increase in immigration flows isn’t going to really impact the circle Angela Merkle runs in, except that perhaps the people in this circle will be able to pay their gardeners even less. But for the many unskilled and low-skilled workers in the West it has a very real impact. These people also, unlike Merkle and Company are not part of the deeply entrenched crony system. They are on the outside in their own countries. Now many of these people, in Europe and in the USA, see new immigrants pushing them even further to the economic margins.
As we have said many times we are generally for immigration, but just opening the gates completely is not a solution. We recognize that this puts us at odds with some of the people we consider intellectual brethren, but to deny that unrestricted immigration won’t have a serious (and likely negative) impacts on the US and Europe is to deny that one can have too much of a good thing.
To dismiss the immigration concerns of many middle and working class Americans and Europeans as simple-minded and bigoted is wrong. Policy makers need to listen more closely and must find a humane answer to the current challenges in Europe and the US.
It should also be noted that much of the chaos we see in the Middle East wouldn’t be happening had we not gone into Iraq 12 years ago. So much of this is of the West’s making. Lots of people won’t like us saying that either.
(From The Wall Street Journal)
Rules on immigration and refugees are made by safe people. These are the people who help run countries, who have nice homes in nice neighborhoods and are protected by their status. Those who live with the effects of immigration and asylum law are those who are less safe, who see a less beautiful face in it because they are daily confronted with a less beautiful reality—normal human roughness, human tensions. Decision-makers fear things like harsh words from the writers of editorials; normal human beings fear things like street crime. Decision-makers have the luxury of seeing life in the abstract. Normal people feel the implications of their decisions in the particular.
The decision-makers feel disdain for the anxieties of normal people, and ascribe them to small-minded bigotries, often religious and racial, and ignorant antagonisms. But normal people prize order because they can’t buy their way out of disorder.