Technology and Immigration: A Toxic Combination?

The main ostensible reason for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s acceptance of a million Muslim migrants in 2015 was the low birthrate in Germany.   Germany has a fertility rate (number of children per female) of 1.6, which is also the EU average.  The theoretical number required for population replacement is 2.2 (over 2 because of childhood deaths).   NO country in the EU has a value near this, France has 1.9 and the UK, 1.8,  Spain and Italy are down to 1.3.  Hungary was down to 1.1, but has now risen over the past decade to 1.5.  The reasons for these low birthrate statistics are complex but include economic and social factors, such as women marrying later and more having careers.  The net result is that the manpower of these EU countries, especially in unskilled areas, is decreasing, hence the ostensible need for immigration.

But, at the same time that this immigration is happening, technology is developing very rapidly, including the development and use of robots.  Robots are now replacing workers in many industrial plants, such as in auto production.  Robots are ideal for assembly line production where they carry out repetitive tasks with great accuracy and without any need for breaks.  In other words, they are more cost effective than humans.  In addition, robots with AI are now making inroads into repetitive clerical processes, such as archival searches and collating documents as often required in law firms.  Eventually they will also be able to prepare (draft) briefs.  As the technology improves and robots become more common in all menial and repetitive processes there will be fewer jobs available.

The net effect of parallel increased immigration and increased robotics will be a large unemployed class of disaffected unintegrated foreign elements, that in most EU countries will be Muslims.  It doesn’t always have to be Muslims, for example, when the EU came into effect in the UK and borders were opened, the estimate was that ca. 300,000 Poles would move to the UK for work.  This caused great apprehension among British workers, but the government at the time said not to worry, it will never be as large as that.  They were wrong, buses came day and night from Poland delivering ca. 1 million Poles to Britain.  This is one under-reported reason for Brexit.  Many British workers resent and fear the migration into Britain of workers from poorer members of the EU. In this respect they are at odds with the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, that in general wants to protect the rights of migrant workers.  However, in most EU countries the migrant groups are predominantly Muslims.

How will France, Germany and Sweden react if or when there are major riots by disaffected migrant workers who have no jobs?  Will this be another example of  Luddites, but perhaps using the Arabic equivalent term?  Meanwhile those countries that refused to accept mass immigration, such as Hungary and Poland will be able to utilize the fruits of robotics and AI without concern.

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