Wednesday 9 March 2011

Ireland, Greece their collapse and why ...

Ireland's new government take power today, and it faces a huge challenge given the near bankrupt state of that unlucky country.

How different it was just a few year ago. Remember when Ireland was known as The Celtic Tiger? a miracle economy racing ahead of the rest and acting as an inspiration to many other countries across the world. Ireland's miracle extended from 1995 until 2007, that was of course before the country suffered a catastrophic reversal in 2008.

Within a matter of months, its GDP hurtling into the abyss, Ireland became the first European country to go into recession and unemployment reached the highest level on record, remaining one of the few things in the country which is still growing.

With its economy collapsed, and languishing with Greece amongst the broken "PIIGS" of Europe the wounded and humiliated the one time tiger had no option but to hold out the begging bowl to the EU and the IMF, and now faces years of crippling austerity to repay debts which may take decades to discharge.

Economists and commentators will come up with any number of explanations how this reversal took place, however, there is one factor they can not ignore no matter how much they try to, and that is the dramatic change in the Irish demographic in the period between their emergence as the successful Celtic tiger and their sudden ruin and catastrophic fall.

The following article appeared in the Christian Science Monitor on the 5th of September 2007, exactly one year before the tiger went into recession:

Ireland steps up as immigration leader

The 2006 census, released over the summer, shows a rapid rise in immigration in the past decade.

Dublin, Ireland

As Europe wrestles with its relatively new status as an immigrant continent, an unlikely leader is emerging: Ireland.Historically known for its high emigration rates, the island nation has exploded with newcomers from 150 different countries in the past decade – and taken some innovative steps to help its new residents settle in.

In the past ten years, Ireland has experienced a greater rise in the percentage of immigrants than Britain experienced over the past half century. In 1999, fewer than 6,000 work permits were granted to non-Irish migrant workers; last year, 48,000 were handed out. According to the 2006 census, which has been gradually released over the summer, 420,000 foreign nationals, or about 10 percent of the population, now live here.

In some primary schools in Dublin, some 50 percent of the children are from non-national backgrounds. In some districts, the number of immigrants has risen by 120 percent since 2002.

A combination of low and highly skilled workers, the newcomers have fueled the Celtic Tiger economic boom (my emphasis)– as well as social upheaval. But while Ireland has struggled with racism and other tensions, it's experienced nothing like the Paris riots of 2005 or the homegrown-terrorist attacks that rocked London in 2006 and Madrid in 2004. Some newcomers credit the proactive stance of the government, which has allowed non-citizens to participate in local politics and join the police force.

"By allowing immigrants to participate in society, Ireland has accepted the first generation of immigrants," says Rotimi Adebari, a Nigerian who in June became Ireland's first immigrant mayor. "I think my election is a model that can be showcased throughout the world. What Ireland has done is very unique."

Continue reading
As you will note from the above the same claim about immigration "fueling the economy" which we keep hearing here, was being made about Ireland just before everything went pear shaped.

Let us not be deceived, it was the boom which brought about about the immigration, not the other way round. As Migration Information puts it: Ireland's economic boom during the 1990s brought unprecedented levels of prosperity and helped transform it into a "country of net immigration" by the early 2000s. For the first time in its history, Ireland experienced a significant inflow of migrants — both workers and asylum seekers — from outside the European Union.

Ireland's economic success story started in 1995, at a point when the Emerald Isle was not a primary destination for immigrants, in fact Ireland was a net exporter of immigrants. All that changed within four years when thousands up thousands of third world immigrants were crossing the Irish sea to claim their chunk of the prosperity.

Between 1999 and 2004 Ireland received almost 50,000 asylum applications

As an example of cause and effect in terms of the rise and fall of an economy Ireland makes an interesting study subject.

Ireland is not alone, and the European country in the worst state is of course Greece, the so called "back door" to Europe, and here are some news items and internet articles about that benighted nation which make interesting reading:

Greece struggles to cope as immigration tensions soar

The revolt at conditions in overflowing detention centres is causing scenes of chaos in the 'backdoor into Europe'.

Greece: A History of Migration

Countries around the globe have communities that bear witness to the waves of outward migration that once characterized Greece. Over the past 15 years, however, Greece has become a receiver of migrants and a permanent immigrant destination.

More than 100 Hunger Strikers Hospitalized in Greece
More than 100 migrants campaigning for legal status in Greece have been hospitalized after being on a hunger strike for more than 40 days.

Immigration issues still plague Greece
In the 1990s and 2000s some one million immigrants from Eastern and South Eastern Europe came to Greece after the fall of communism. Greeks didn't like it but the economy -- tourism, construction, telecom, etc. -- was booming and migrants took many of the jobs --

EU to help Greece counter clandestine immigration

"A mass influx is noted daily on the Greek land border with Turkey by third-country nationals attempting to illegally enter the country with the aim of accessing other EU countries,"
Is it just me, or is a patten starting to emerge here?

As Britain, another massive net importer of immigrants, wobbles on the lip of a double dip into the worst peacetime recession in our nations history, I ask again the question I have asked so often.

Where exactly is the evidence that immigration is such a huge benefit to the economies of Western nations, when the growing numbers of economic basket cases bear such compelling testimony to the contrary?


Anonymous said...

well i dont know if there is a benefit, but it just makes sense, if you were living somehwhere terrible and there were jobs and oppertunities and the chance of not being killed the next day you'd move to the place thats booming too

the only example i can think of is america, a country of immigrants built on immigration that in barely a few 100 years is the only super power in the world (at the moment anyway)

also we have an aging population, british people dont replace themselves, which means over time, coupled with better heathcare and people living longer, we will end up paying more and more for longer and longer for our elderly, cheap laubour from abroad means that some of the burden is shifted, bare in mind we have 60m people, 20m are in schools/uni/unemployed and 20m are retired, so we have the final 20m paying for them all, and that final 20m is adding to the retired group over time and not contributing enough to the younger group


Sarah Maid of Albion said...

America is a great nation built on immigration, that is true. I don't know to what degree that benefited the indigenous population, but that's a different argument.

For the majority of America's post Mayflower history, immigration was almost exclusively from Europe, and it was predominantly in that period that America built the wealth and greatness it benefits from today.

That changed with the immigration act of 1964, which opened up immigration to migrants from other parts of the world. Since then America's debt has grown steadily and now stands at over $14 trillion, which is 96.8% of its total GDP, the 12th highest debt to GDP ration of all countries in the world.

It may be a super power, but it is running a trade deficit of over £40 billion and owes trillions to its main rival, China, which is not a healthy or comfortable situation.

Hence it is certainly not a slam dunk that allowing immigration from outside Europe has been beneficial to America.

Anonymous said...

yes but correlation does not imply causation, you are saying everything was going fine, then we let non europeans in, and suddenly it all goes to pot

there are more employed and taxpaying non europeans in this country than unemployed, and i know some take cash in hand jobs etc, but again, thats the fault of the people who are willing to pay cash in hand, being tax cheats themselves

the running and management of a country like the uk, or the states, is such a huge and complex matter, that to blame it on one thing is absurd

10 years ago ireland also lead the world in personal helicoper sales, i think that kind of attitude contributed more to its current position than immigration



ps. you conveinently ignored my 3rd paragraph which is a reason we need immigration

Sarah Maid of Albion said...

Those are opinions, they are not ones I share

As to the third paragraph of your first posting Ben, perhaps you could enlighten us as to when immigrants discovered the secret of eternal youth, or what evidence you have that immigrants are returning to their home countries when they retire.

If not then by encouraging mass immigration our aging nations are merely importing future pensioners for "shrinking" future generations to support.

It is hardly a wise son who solves today's problem by storing up even greater ones for the future.

As to our "aging populations" you might find my series "Genocide by Stealth", the fourth part of which I hope to post this week of some interest.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article here about Texas and it's future as anglos become a minority. That is not really news as the direction has been obvious for some time. The interesting part is the conclusions that the demographer comes to:
1. Reduced standard of living.
2. Reduced educational standards.
3. More crime.
4. Decay of insfrastructure.
and so on. Of course the uniquely Anglo political concept of "public service", will be replaced by the mexican/hispanic political practices of nepotism, cronyism, bribery and outright corruption. In other words; just as importing thousands of pakistanis into Leicester turned Leicester into a pakistani shithole, so importing mexicans into Texas is going to make Texas the same as Mexico.
This result could never have been difficult to predict so why do our "leaders" support and continue to push these policies.
You mention the 1965 immigration act, pushed by Senator Edward Kennedey, a reasonable theory is that he pushed that through as revenge against the whole Anglo establishment here in the US who recognised the Kennedey clan as a moneygrubbing, criminal gang of ignorant bogmen, an accurate assessment in my opinion.
roger in florida

Anonymous said...

hi sarah

- correlation does not imply causation

- there are more employed and taxpaying non europeans in this country than unemployed

- the running and management of a country like the uk, or the states, is such a huge and complex matter

- 10 years ago ireland also lead the world in personal helicoper sales

these are facts, not opinions, but you are free to ignore them anyway

i dont think they have the secret to eternal youth, however i dont think every single one is bringing over there entire family, some are yes, and i dont think they shoud be given handouts, maybe we shoud adopt a system whereas they can only come over as well if the working relitive can support them for x amount of time, or simply not let them

either way stopping them entirely would weaken our econemy greatly in the short term


Sarah Maid of Albion said...

Ben said "either way stopping them entirely would weaken our economy greatly in the short term"

I suspect you would struggle to prove that, in Britain we have had thirteen years where levels of immigration have exceeded that of any European nation in history, and at the end of it our economy is in the worst state it has ever been in peacetime and we have been in the worst recession on record.

The government is having to make the type of cuts which will harm every man, woman and child in the country, and it is buy no means certain that will be enough.

To follow your argument to its logical conclusion, you would need to be able to demonstrate that we would have been even worse off without the immigrants.

I doubt you could do that, as I don't think its true.

Anonymous said...

once again

correlation does not imply causation

in the last 13 years we've also had more reality tv than before, and anyone claiming that has caused the resession would rightly be considered a fool

running a country is a complex business, the ressesion (which is global, not uk based, and germany are doing pretty well compared to the rest, despite also having immigration)
one issue is not the determining factor

bankers are more to blame, politicians are more to blame, the same things that cause every resession (they come about once every 15 years or so)

was the great depression cased by immigrants? what about the one in the early 90s? you know, before the 13 years you keep talking about

your view on this matter, with all due respect, doesnt make sense

(btw i dont agree with our current open door policy, i think we shoud adopt australia's approch and only bring in useful people, and people that can really prove they would be killed if they stayed back home)


Curt said...

While I cannot authoritatively speak to the immigrant situation in Britain, there are surely similarities to the situation in the US in that those people coming into the country from all these "non-Western" (read non-white) nations are not those nations doctors, lawyers, engineers and highly skilled professionals. Rather, they are the dregs of those nations populations and people that they are more than happy to be rid of (that, I assure you is certainly the case with Mexico). For us here in the US, our jails are crowded with non-white imports from Mexico, Salvador, Jamaica, and even Somalia. How is it that their percentage of our population grows so fast, you may ask? Well as an example, in the northern part of the state in which I reside, a new prison was built. This town is in a remote area. The population was previously 95% white and a nice place to live with little crime. However, the new prison now houses many Mexican and South American prisoners. Now the town nearby has a very large Hispanic population and it is no longer safe to walk the streets. This is due to the wives and extended families of all those prisoners having moved there to be near their incarcerated husbands and fathers.
It is not just my state that has this problem; in California over half the total prison population is non-white; 38% are Latino, 29% are "African-American" (black, of course) and another 6% are of another race or ethnicity. This situation is the norm for most states.
So how does this relate to your article on Ireland's situation with regard to its former boom (before unlimited immigration) and later downward economic spiral (post immigration)? The Information Technology sector has a proverb of sorts that applies not only to computer programming, but to the current assault on Western Civilization and its declining economies and culture as well : "Garbage in, Garbage out".

Curt said...

By the way Sarah, I found this comment from "ben" amusing;

"the only example i can think of is america, a country of immigrants built on immigration that in barely a few 100 years is the only super power in the world (at the moment anyway)"

It makes me wonder what constitutes a "super power" in this individual's opinion? The US is on its economic knees. Detroit has no money to repave its roads and so has converted many of those roads to gravel! Philadephia, Pennsylvania has its fire companies on "rolling blackouts"; meaning that half the fire companies are closed and not responding to fires in that city on any given day. The city of Camden New Jersey, one of the most dangerous in the US, has laid off half of its police force. Obama is considering reducing Medicare benefits for the elderly. The job situation is so bad that the US military is the largest employer of young people. And on, and on. No, we are by no means a "super power" except that we still have a large arsenal of nuclear weapons ("Nucular" to G. Bush, the younger- consider that one of our presidents was so illiterate that he could not say the word correctly).
China, on the other hand, has not only a booming economy and the lion's share of vital industrial minerals, but a 2 million man standing army. If there is still a "super power" in the world, the I opine that China is it, and certainly Russia comes in 2nd as such. The US is a "has-been" nation.

Sarah Maid of Albion said...


You are entirely correct that "correlation does not imply causation"

However, can I suggest that you read my question again, what I said was "Where exactly is the evidence that immigration is such a huge benefit to the economies of Western nations, when the growing numbers of economic basket cases bear such compelling testimony to the contrary?"

I am not seeking to prove that immigration was the sole cause of the financial crisis (even though I think there is compelling evidence that it did considerable harm)

What I believe I have demonstrated quite clearly is that it has not helped. This is important, because one of the main arguments made in favour of immigration is that it benefits our economy, and I would suggest there is absolutely no evidence to support that claim.

As to the causes of the crisis, bankers and politicians certainly played their part, but if you track the crisis right back to its cause you will find the US sub-prime mortgage fiasco, otherwise known as the "minority mortgage crisis" caused by US politicians forcing banks to lend to immigrants and other ethnic minority groups.

So mass immigration, albeit into America, certainly played its part.

Thanks for the chat, but as a mother of two, I don't have the time to respond further

Sarah Maid of Albion said...

@ Curt

Hi, yes the economic situation in America is actually very frightening, it has got to the point where you are actually surviving on what is in effect Visa Card economics, and if someone takes away the credit you are screwed.

Once great cities such as Detroit are falling apart as we watch and there seems to be a race between California, Illinois and New York as to which will go broke first.

I also find the difference between the official unemployment figures and the reality (which is more like 20%) really troubling.

roger said...

You are so right about the economic situation here in the US; we are on the edge of a catastrophe, we make almost none of our industrial goods, we are borrowing most of the world's savings and making up the shortfall with created money.
see this:
This doesn't include salaries paid to people "working" for the Federal govt.
If we lose the reserve currency status of the dollar we may not be able to purchase some basics, we will see an immediate 40% drop in standard of living. This will cause widespread civil unrest, even civil war between different ethnic groups. Many people I know are preparing to abandon their homes here in Florida and move to wherever thay think they can get a job; my advice; move somewhere white!
roger in florida

Anonymous said...

hi "curt"

im glad you felt the need to explain how america is on the brink of losing its place as the worlds sole superpower, however, i'd added "at the moment anyway" in brackets, so your rant wasn't really needed as you shoud have taken from my comment i too agree they wont be for that much longer

also, you seem to assume (or imply at least) im not really who i say i am, which again, is fine, but is it really so hard to believe someone would disagree with you? you must be aware you hold a minority view, even in the white demographic

you can say whatever you want, but im not here to troll or annoy, im here because i enjoy debate, and i think its important to know exactly what and why you hold your views

ive been polite, and if sarah wishes to ban me then thats up to her, but this is the whole point of a comments section


Curt said...

@ Ben;

"im glad you felt the need to explain how america is on the brink of losing its place as the worlds sole superpower"

Im glad that you are glad, Ben. What is amusing about your comment is that I hear it on the nightly news every day, from newscasters and others as well: "America is the world's sole remaining super power" - like people are trying to convince themselves that this is really so, or perhaps they believe that by repeating it often enough, like a mantra, will make it so.

"i too agree they wont be for that much longer"
-This proves the point I just made. You evidently still believe it is, so why not give us some evidence of our current "might"? After all, you told us that you enjoy debate.

"also, you seem to assume (or imply at least) im not really who i say i am,..."
What makes you think so, Ben? What did I say that implies you are not "who you are" (whoever that might be)?

"but is it really so hard to believe someone would disagree with you?
Not at all, Ben; disagree to your heart's content. However, reality is what it is.

" you must be aware you hold a minority view, even in the white demographic"
- Pertaining to what, exactly do I hold the "minority view"?
Would that be in relation to the US still being a "super power" or that imported trash weakens our Western Civilization? I don't have the resources to poll "the white demographic", but I really do know many whites who agree with me on both accounts, and even some blacks who are resentful of their jobs being taken by Mexicans and other foreign imports. In any case, history will eventually prove me, and the others that I know who agree with my "minority view" to have been correct on all counts.

"i think its important to know exactly what and why you hold your views"
- It seems to me that you can deduce the "what and why" from the content of my post. I suggest rereading it if it did not filter through with the first reading. I gave support to my statements with anecdotal as well as statitical evidence (on the immigrant question). Stats for the correlation between high crime rates associated with a high percentage of hispanics and other "minorities" are published by the US government and freely available - and that correlation is well known. You need only look them up for yourself. On the superpower question; a nation trillions of dollars in debt and fighting a losing war in Afghanistan and Iraq (historians refer to Afghanistan as "the graveyard of great armies") as well as having decaying infrastructure and 34 states on the verge of declaring bancruptcy cannont call itself a "superpower".

The whole tone of your post seems rather defensive in nature, Ben. I suggest that it is you who finds it "hard to believe someone would disagree with you".