Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Free immigration really does undermine the welfare state.

6 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. I don’t think your graph proves what you think. There is far too much scatter to fit that regression line. Indeed, you could probably draw other morals: a quick look suggests that the EU by and large lives in the top left of your pic, and by-eye the regression line for those countries actually has positive slope.

    More likely, you are over-interpreting the graph to support what you already believe.

    > It’s quite obvious that the greatest increase in human flourishing and wealth comes from an open immigration policy rather than a large and all encompassing welfare state

    Not based on your graph it isn’t. The rich countries are typically in the upper left, of course, with limited racial fraction and large welfare state. That is, if you believe what your graph is telling you.

  2. William,

    Given that your lot think that r2=0.01 is perfectly acceptable correlation these days (see Dessler 2010) you’re on thin ice here criticising that trend line…

    Unless I missed you condemning Dessler’s paper somewhere, in which case I apologise.

  3. There are some other interpretations of this data…

    If you look at the graph the affluent european countries cluster at the top left while less developed countries are in the bottom right. The USA is the big exception to this pattern.

    One explanation for this is that welfare is considered to be a luxury. So, richer countries have more generous welfare states. This then prompts the question: why are the rich countries more ethnically homogeneous.

    Someone like Steve Sailer would say that Europeans and Asians are more intelligent than other groups. He may say that intelligence and racial purity are more likely to produce harmony, good government and economic development.

    We need not go that far though. Because one important thing here is *why* the places that are ethnically heterogeneous came to be that way. If you look at the graph most of the explanation for that isn’t immigration, it’s colonisation. Except for Thailand the places in the bottom right were all colonies of imperial powers in the 19th century.

    I think this is the right explanation for the trend… For whatever reason the european countries were able to build empires in the americas when they were discovered. They colonised lands with native peoples, and imported slaves mixing different populations. In the 19th century the industrial revolution made the european powers even more powerful and they competed to conquer the rest of the world. That created more mixing of “races” in the colonies. Then the division of colonies into countries during the period of decolonisation didn’t always respect ethnic boundaries.

    So, the countries on the top right are affluent because of the legacy of the industrial revolution reaching them first, and because they’re affluent they can afford welfare states. The countries on the poorer because the industrial revolution reached them much later and they’re more ethnically diverse because of the legacy of imperialism.

    I think that Friedman is right the immigration and welfare aren’t compatible, but I don’t think that’s the story the graph shows.

  4. Tim,

    It’s only fair to point out that ‘Uncle Milt’ made that comment in a 1997 interview with Peter Brimelow for ‘Forbes’, two years before Peter set up VDare. Two decades earlier, he had been drooling his gibberish into the ear of that murderous bastard Pinochet. He made a lot of strange choices, and he was not a young man when he made them.

    It was very interesting to read Asa Briggs’s later book on Modern European History 1789 – 1997 recently, if only because a penny dropped while reading it. This whole debate on welfare state versus immigration began as a result of Europeans’ depressing tendency to wage hugely destructive wars against each other. Our last shot round that particular block was so destructive of both manpower and resources that to all intents and purposes setting up welfare states after it was unavoidable – a return to laissez-faire would have been politically impossible – while the reconstruction required was so immense that immigrant labour was required to do it.

  5. Unimportant Quibbler

    Brazil appears twice on the graph (same fragmentation position but at two levels of social spending).

    Important not to overinterpret by-country graphs, particularly when the data are confounded by other factors (e.g. wealthy Europan countries on one end of the scale) and the data set is incomplete (it seems to be missing much of Africa, Eastern Europe etc). Incidentally these are both reasons that the pro-equality “The Spirit Level” was more-or-less total balls.

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