Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Complex Factors Behind Misguided Policies in Socioeconomics: From Mass Migration and Persistent Alienation to Rampant Crime and Economic Malaise

Kim, Steven (2016): Complex Factors Behind Misguided Policies in Socioeconomics: From Mass Migration and Persistent Alienation to Rampant Crime and Economic Malaise. Published in: Journal of Economic and Social Thought , Vol. 3, No. 3 (September 2016): pp. 376-399.

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Abstract

In a complex and chaotic world, people often gloss over the facts and jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, the hasty approach usually yields deficient and even harmful results. The domains affected range from migration and poverty to alienation and crime. According to the Myth of Boon, for instance, immigrants always benefit the host society. In this light, many people envisage the great migrations of the 19th century from Europe to America. However, the United States at that stage was itself a developing country; moreover the Civil War showed that clashing cultures cannot co-exist. Meanwhile the Myth of Multiculturalism asserts that a mashup of mores is always desirable; but the reality is otherwise. When immigrants in their millions pour into sparsely populated districts, they end up replicating the cultures that caused them to flee their homelands in the first place. The upshot is disruptive and distressing for all parties be they newcomers or incumbents. In addition, the Myth of Virtue declares that migrants of all backgrounds are equally upright. Yet comprehensive studies in Sweden have shown that violent crimes can be traced to immigrants at rates which are at least four times those for natives. From another angle, a drove of migrants is a godsend for criminals. For instance, a terrorist ring struck in France in 2015 and again in Belgium the following year. The perpetrators – who grew up in Belgium, France and Sweden – displayed immigrant backgrounds and included part of the cohort that traveled to the Mideast to receive training from militants then returned to Europe by posing as refugees. Since socioeconomic problems are intertwined rather than independent, a piecemeal approach will not fill the bill. Instead, a coherent grasp of the issues and their tie-ups is a prerequisite for devising a wholesome solution.

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