Messianic Multiculturalism Meets Reality
The European project originally was based on the idea of free-flowing capital, goods and labor in a market system. It’s post WWII founders saw fascism and communism as the problems and market economies as the solution.
But over time, it moved more towards a paradise of welfare state spending. The problem is that absolutely free migration is inconsistent with a union in which some members are desperately poor and other members are rich and provide very generous systems of transfer payments. That combo leads to ‘benefits tourism’ and eventual bankruptcy and a straining of the social fabric.
All of developed Europe is starting to feel the design flaw of the EU project.
““Immigration is the big theme of 2014 in Europe,” said Mats Persson, director of Open Europe, a regional think tank that focuses on E.U. reform. “One of the big risks is that the European Parliament becomes quite polarized after the May elections, filled with federalists who want a closer union in Europe and nationalists who want exactly the opposite.”
“Bound by treaties that consider open borders a core value, E.U. member states cannot legally block the flow of citizens from one country to another. But with the citizens of Bulgaria and Romania, two of the region’s poorest nations, recently gaining full mobility rights in the E.U., a host of European leaders are seeking ways to discourage — or block — inter-European immigration.
“British Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative, is pressing for changes that give individual nations more power to override regionwide laws. Prodded to action by the growing popularity of the anti-immigration United Kingdom Independence Party, Cameron has pledged a referendum by 2017 on whether the fiercely independent island nation should exit the E.U. once and for all.
“The British government recently rushed through legislation to restrict benefits for E.U. citizens who move to Britain from elsewhere. Under the new laws, such migrants have to wait three months after arriving before they can apply for unemployment benefits. The government also tightened up the test for migrants seeking benefits. For instance, migrants are now questioned about their English-language skills.
“In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government last week appointed a committee to look into ways to curb “benefits tourism,” or the alleged practice of poor Eastern Europeans migrating to Germany for the sole purpose of tapping its generous social benefits.”
Jerry Bowyer is a Forbes contributor, contributing editor of AffluentInvestor.com, and Senior Fellow in Business Economics at The Center for Cultural Leadership.
Jerry has compiled an impressive record as a leading thinker in finance and economics. He worked as an auditor and a tax consultant with Arthur Anderson, as Vice President of the Beechwood Company which is the family office associated with Federated Investors, and has consulted in various privatization efforts for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He founded the influential economic think tank, the Allegheny Institute, and has lectured extensively at universities, businesses and civic groups.
Jerry has been a member of three investment committees, among which is Benchmark Financial, Pittsburgh’s largest financial services firm. Jerry had been a regular commentator on Fox Business News and Fox News. He was formerly a CNBC Contributor, has guest-hosted “The Kudlow Report”, and has written for CNBC.com, National Review Online, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many other publications. He is the author of The Bush Boom and more recently The Free Market Capitalist’s Survival Guide, published by HarperCollins. Jerry is the President of Bowyer Research.
Jerry consulted extensively with the Bush White House on matters pertaining to the recent economic crisis. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, The International Herald Tribune and various local newspapers. He has been a contributing editor of National Review Online, The New York Sun and Townhall Magazine. Jerry has hosted daily radio and TV programs and was one of the founding members of WQED’s On-Q Friday Roundtable. He has guest-hosted the Bill Bennett radio program as well as radio programs in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Jerry is the former host of WorldView, a nationally syndicated Sunday-morning political talk show created on the model of Meet The Press. On WorldView, Jerry interviewed distinguished guests including the Vice President, Treasury Secretary, HUD Secretary, former Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice, former Presidential Advisor Carl Rove, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and publisher Steve Forbes.
Jerry has taught social ethics at Ottawa Theological Hall, public policy at Saint Vincent’s College, and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s graduate Heinz School of Public Policy. In 1997 Jerry gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Robert Morris University. He was the youngest speaker in the history of the school, and the school received more requests for transcripts of Jerry’s speech than at any other time in its 120-year history.
Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest three of their seven children.