Bonus observation from the bottom of the New York article on billionaires bemoaning Trump: billionaire Barry Sternlicht supports the thesis that the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and other local leaders are posing against the outbreaks of outsider-peddled xenophobia in South Dakota, that our economic growth depends on immigration:
As a real-estate investor, Sternlicht thinks about future demographic trends, and that’s another area where Trump worries him. The president’s immigration views will hurt growth, he said, noting that the one million refugees Angela Merkel let into Germany are revitalizing the economy there. “It’s amazing; there’s no angst,” he said. “They reworking. They own soccer teams. They are in stores. That’s why Angela Merkel let them in. She needed the labor” [Michelle Celarier, “Billionaire Republicans Privately Diss Trump,” New York Magazine, 2017.10.27].
Germany’s economy is growing fastest in the places where more of those refugees have settled. The anti-immigrant neo-fascist vote in Germany’s recent election was strongest in eastern Germany, which has the fewest refugees and the weakest economy. Dang, now I get it: neo-fascists don’t want economic growth; they want votes.
The immigration surge in Europe and in Central Asia coincides with the strongest economic growth in those regions since 2011:
Migration has played an important role in meeting demands for labor, supporting trade, and encouraging foreign direct investment in countries across Europe and Central Asia, says the report. Migration also promotes the transfer of knowledge between host countries and countries of origin – increasing exposure to flows of information that can create economic benefits [World Bank, press release, 2017.10.19].
This is the same argument Aberdeen economic development chief Mike Bockorny made about Brown County and South Dakota’s workforce needs back in February 2015 and that Minneapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari made in August this year: if we’re not going to have as many babies as we used to, we need immigrants to do our jobs and keep our economy afloat. But Donald Trump is capping the refugees America will take at the lowest level since the 1980s and hamstringing immigration and immigrant business efforts at every turn.
As I said yesterday, welcoming immigrants isn’t just a liberal lullaby (and forget lullaby: sing it loudly, to wake people up to this nation’s historical greatness). It isn’t just an expression of American compassion and universal inclusiveness. It’s practical Chamber of Commerce policy: more immigrants mean more jobs and more money for everybody.