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A Buyout Option For Europe's Muslims?
Francis Fukuyama, a recovering neocon, continues his attempt to distance himself from neocon orthodoxy. Last week, in a Wall Street Journal essay "A Year of Living Dangerously: Remember Theo van Gogh, and shudder for the future" (November 2), Fukuyama heretically noted that immigration has proven a disaster for the Netherlands and Britain.
Further, Fukuyama's policy recommendations come straight out of Neoconism for Dummies:
"[C]ountries like Holland and Britain need to…reformulate their definitions of national identity to be more accepting of people from non-Western backgrounds… [T]he much more difficult problem remains of fashioning a national identity that will connect citizens of all religions and ethnicities in a common democratic culture, as the American creed has served to unite new immigrants to the United States."
Been there—done that! As I wrote about Europe on VDARE.com over a year ago in a piece meaningfully headed "Four Failed Immigration Approaches":
"One European country has already tried out just about the entire neocon bag of assimilative tricks—with deeply mixed results… The French have traditionally tried to do with their immigrants almost exactly what the neocons recommend here: cultural assimilation, education in civics theories, monolingualism, meritocracy, separation of church and state, and all the rest."
And today we can see the result: a week straight of immigrant rioting in Paris of such intensity that one French official likened it to a "civil war."
Bad timing, Frank!
Which brings us to the unmentionable alternative solution that Peter Brimelow has just pointed out in his Why Not (Muslim) Emigration?: A more practical approach than "fashioning a national identity that will connect" etc. etc. would be what we might call the "Sailer Scheme": have the disaffected simply leave.
A push-pull policy could be very effective in getting Muslims to go away. European countries should combine the push of a crackdown on welfare and crime with the pull of a buy-out offer. Returning to the Old Country with a sizable nest egg would be alluring to many who haven't assimilated into the European middle class.
Offer Muslim residents, say, $25,000 each to go away. Permanently.
Of course, not all Muslims would accept the buy-out, but those who stayed behind would tend to be the more satisfied and less troublesome.
A few technical caveats:
- The program could only be open to legal residents in the country as of today, to discourage both a sudden influx and a baby boom.
- To discourage illegal return immigration, the buyout would only be paid out over the course of, say, five years to ex-residents now actually living in Muslim countries.
- An immigrant who accepts the buy-out but then wishes to return to the European country for a tourist visit would have to deposit the value of the buyout as a bond. Visa over-stayers would be imprisoned.
At $25,000 each, for every million Muslims who leave, the one-time cost to the taxpayers would be $25 billion.
For the Dutch, who have about one million Muslims resident, the gross cost would be just over 5% of one year's GDP ($481 billion in 2004). (To get the net cost, you'd have to adjust for savings to the taxpayer like the cost of e.g. educating immigrant children. It might well turn out that this buy-out program is a fiscal boon).
Even if it took $50,000 each, that would still only be one percent of the Netherland's GDP per year for merely a decade.
That's a cheap price for solving the country's worst problem.
But, in private life, where people care more about effective problem-solving than competing in a holier-than-thou sweepstakes, buy-outs are a common practice.
When a business finds it hired the wrong people, it often determines that paying them to go away is better for all concerned that letting them hang around.
Not for the first time, the Israelis have the right idea. I've already noted that they've demonstrated for us that border fences work. Now it turns out they've also tried buy-outs. Payments to leave have been used at least twice in recent times: to pay off Israeli settlers to exit the Sinai in the early 1980s in the wake of the Camp David Accords; and to vacate the Gaza Strip earlier this year, successfully averting civil war within Israel.
That's all the more reason to do it.