Immigration into Germany: Myths vs. Facts

The following video begins with a typical German propaganda clip in which the virtues of mass immigration are extolled — all those doctors and engineers (and their wives, children, uncles, and cousins) who will enrich Germany.

An economics professor then takes a look at the facts of immigration. He doesn’t discuss the social and law-enforcement disadvantages of migrants, but concentrates solely on the financial downside — and that’s bad enough.

Here’s some background on the professor and his data:

Hans-Werner Sinn, a professor of economics at the IFO Institute (Leibniz Institute for Economic Research) at the University of Munich.

He mentions a study by Ludger Wößmann, who is a professor of economics at the University of Munich and Director of the IFO Center for the Economics of Education. His main research interests are the determinants of long-run prosperity, and of student achievement. He uses micro-econometric methods to answer applied policy-relevant questions on the empirical economics of education, often using international student achievement tests. His special focuses is to address the importance of education for economic prosperity — individual and societal, historical and modern — and the importance of educational institutions for efficiency and equity. Further research topics cover aspects of economic history, the economics of religion, and the Internet.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   I come from Syria —I come from Syria. —All of them are highly motivated.
00:04   They want to take advantage of the chance
00:07   that life has given them. —I want to be a banker. —And you? —Engineer.
00:15   I want to be a journalist or a scientist. I like that.
00:19   We recognise that many of the refugees that come to Germany
00:24   are exceptionally highly qualified, academically as well as
00:29   professionally trained. They are urgently needed. Aside from that,
00:35   many of them want better living conditions and
00:41   to work as soon as possible. Germany will profit greatly from that.
00:45   Germany is heading towards a shortage of skilled labor.
00:50   Experts forecast that the lack of skilled labor will reach 2.4 million by 2030
00:54   with lower immigration. However, if net immigration
00:58   were to increase to 400,000 per year, then the shortage could be reduced by half.
01:02   The Facts. Economics Professor Hans-Werner Sinn. —Allow me to come to the facts.
01:06   What is the real picture regarding the qualifications of the migrants coming to Germany?
01:10   Thanks to a study done by Ludger Wößmann from the IFO Institute, we have
01:15   clear information concerning the education level in Syria.
01:19   Two-thirds of Syrian graduates qualify below
01:23   the Pisa 1 standard. This is normally the threshold of literacy, the ability to read and write.
01:33   For the study, evaluations were done in mathematics.
01:36   Scoring below the PISA 1 standard means those tested
01:39   could not multiply, divide and the like. This is despite being educated.
01:43   Those tested were 15-year-olds who quit
01:46   secondary school and weren’t able to this math. Two-thirds.
01:54   Those who make it to Germany are in a better range.
02:00   First they usually go through Turkey and stay in refugee camps there.
02:08   Studies were conducted there by Felbermayr and Battisti, who are also from
02:13   the IFO Institute. Then an overview article was published.
02:19   The results were that 46% of Syrians in Turkish refugee camps tested below the PISA 1 standard.
02:27   An additional damning assessment comes from
02:31   the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Munich and Upper Bavaria.
02:36   70% of the immigrants coming from crisis-stricken countries
02:40   who began vocational training in Bavaria two years ago
02:45   have already abandoned their studies. The average drop-out rate of native residents including
02:52   those with migration background is 25%. This shows the nature of the problem.
02:57   This is the fundamental problem of migration, if we are discussing
03:01   the economic advantages vs. disadvantages.
03:05   Are the right people coming to us? Are those people who come to us
03:08   the ones that our complex industrialized society needs?
03:11   Or do those people who come to us need considerable
03:15   training and education? Which is very expensive,
03:18   even if it leads to a successful outcome. What are the chances
03:21   of success in real terms, when you take
03:24   a 25- or 30-year old and try to teach him basic Latin that would normally be taught at school age?
03:34   Former migrants, those who came before the newest arrivals
03:40   within the last two years ago, have better qualifications.
03:46   Older figures show that 8% of them began work after 1 year’s residence, 50% after 5 years’ residence,
03:50   and 70% after 15 years. So what did Bernd Raffelhueschen say? He said that one million refugees
04:00   would cost €450,000 (€450,000 per person) per generation. In his calculations, it was assumed
04:10   that the present refugees will be just as integrated
04:15   after six years as were the former migrants on average.
04:20   The amount is so high, because the former migrants
04:24   continue to create costs in addition to the new migrants.
04:28   He also made an alternative calculation, in which refugees were
04:35   as well-educated and as young as they say they are, which
04:43   would be positive. He came to a net fiscal sum amounting to +€300 billion
04:47   This show in all clarity how important it is
04:50   which qualifications refugees possess. It also shows that Germany needs
04:55   the immigration of well-qualified people.
05:01   Keyword: Canadian scoring system. For economic reasons.
05:06   It costs money when immigrants who aren’t well-qualified
05:12   are accepted. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take them in,
05:15   and I would like to emphasise that once again. We can
05:18   certainly accept people for humanitarian reasons, but the claim
05:23   that this will create an income boost for Germany cannot
05:28   be alleged. This cannot be the case especially when
05:32   you consider that Germany is a social welfare nation.
05:36   What does a social welfare nation do? It takes resources from above-average earners and gives them
05:39   to the below-average earners. How does that work?
05:42   We have a tax system where we pay taxes proportionally
05:45   as well as progressively. For that, everyone receives
05:49   the same public services. If I am an above-average earner,
05:53   I pay more to the government than I receive through public services.
05:57   This obviously excludes welfare benefits. If I’m
06:00   a below-average earner, that makes me a net receiver of state resources.
06:04   That’s how it is supposed to work. In that respect,
06:07   it is absolutely impossible to say that immigration gives Germany
06:11   an income boost when most of the migrants have below-average
06:15   qualifications. There is still the “pension effect”
06:20   if they are young enough, but this is the overall net result.
06:25   We shouldn’t tweak the figures cosmetically, but just accept them as they are.
06:30   The social welfare system is already very burdened
06:36   by previous generations of migrants. By looking at who receives social benefits
06:40   from the German government, this is clearly shown.
06:43   Those foreigners without a German passport and
06:51   who were not born in Germany make up 7.3% of the total population.
07:04   From the total amount of welfare recipients, 25.2% are non-German citizens. Remember they are only
07:14   7.3% of the total population. This means it is many times higher than the population as a whole.
07:22   Of the Hartz 4 receivers [low-income support], 18% of all Hartz 4 receivers
07:28   are foreigners. Once again, the total number of
07:34   foreigners is 7.3%. Those foreigners receiving unemployment benefits
07:40   make up 12% versus the 7.3% of the total population.
07:46   This shows the exact problem. Even if they were all working,
07:51   the problem still wouldn’t be solved, because they wouldn’t
07:57   have above-average incomes. For that reason,
08:00   they are unable to contribute to financing the state budget.

20 thoughts on “Immigration into Germany: Myths vs. Facts

  1. In the end he says that it is the above average earners who pay for the socialist utopia, and implies that they need more of those above average earners to keep the socialist utopia going…

    I would like to add that you get what you pay for: You pay poor people for being poor – you will get more poor people.

    And the above average earners will eventually say – Why o why should I work so hard, when I can just buy a garden and get the rest paid for from government welfare? Or at least that is in a nutshell how communism destroyed eastern economies – it simply wasn’t worth it to work hard. It was, in fact, stupid to work hard…

    • Yes, communism eventually ruined economies because it went into the absurd, but it didn’t necessarily take from the wealthy to give to the poor in the sense you’re proposing, it simply prohibited anyone from having more than others (unless you were a high ranking official) and through well-built propaganda made people feel like that’s the way to go.

      That’s why the lazy bunch is so nostalgic about it, because they didn’t need to do much to make a living, as opposed to now, where they actually have to work while at work. Same reason why it’s so popular with students in useless majors like gender studies – deep down they know that studying an easy subject with little to no qualification for anything in the working process isn’t going to get them very far in life (as opposed to comparatively difficult subjects like engineering, medicine or even language studies) and that’s why they wanna put communism in place, because then the state would take care of them and maybe, just maybe, they would even get a nice warm spot somewhere higher because they helped to change the regime. The danger about this is the fact that young people are getting lazier with each year and so more and more of them might find communism appealing.

      As long as schools don’t teach children that only hard work can get you anywhere, this danger is going to loom.

      • Which is why we should all support Mike Rowe’s platform. He argues that we should encourage young people to develop a passion for what they’re good at or what’s out there, rather than encouraging them to blindly follow their passion (into potential unemployment.) And in America, people who work with their hands in manufacturing have a HIGH potential for being significant earners. This doesn’t mean that people should eschew education, but perhaps they shouldn’t look at it as the only route to a good living.

      • I was not proposing that they took from the wealthy to give to the poor, but that they made it “stupid” to work hard because there was no incentive to make “above average economic output”, since the wages would get redistributed anyway. Like MiG-15 pilots in the 1950’s, for example – had gotten the same wage as the cleaning ladies at the airport. But at least they had fun machines to play with.

  2. The real figures if Third World migrants on welfare is 80% from what I have been told by contacts I have in British DWP. A total of 9,500,000 (UK) was admitted by the Guardian ten or more years ago. That awful rag politely referred to them as “economically inactive”. Just like the term “economic migrants” it is meant to soften our attitudes to the real facts that our welfare systems are utterly bankrupt across the West but especially in Europe and UK. For the Bolsheviks in control this is our punishment for being successful Europeans with a higher IQ than the parasites they import in their millions, soon to become billions.

    I hear the Left talk about the “holocaust of western imperialism” and oppressive white rule.Even when these scroungers are here,we are told their pig ignorance and unemployability through their own illiteracy is our fault.Did you know that Lichtenstein and Switzerland had a wicked imperial and oppressive past.-Sweden too, yet both are swamped by millions of illiterate welfare scroungers?

    It is time Europeans realised that we are in a Marxist Hell and this is just the start of the Socialist “Paradise”, with a billion more sub-Saharan Africans on their way thank to the evil Marrakesh “Agreement”. In South Africa they are taking the farms without compensation for the European farmers, often left to survive in the new white shanty towns growing up there with appalling poverty and no water. Whites are now the under class.

    Those “liberated” farms will go to seed within six months and maybe sooner. And don’t think it is not going to happen in Europe and the USA because that too is our future- to be dispossessed by our Leftist leaders because of our past “crimes”.

    Look at the wild fires in the USA. The property asset strippers are already moving in and refusing the former owners to rebuild their burned out dwellings, soon to be declared spaces of nature and human free under Agenda 30.

    There is also reports of the use of high power laser weapons that are used to strike the dry woods and cause raging infernos. In the UK recently I was refused entry to a public park as such, now apparently a newly designated area too. This park was in use for centuries as a public space. I was asked to sign a covenant to abide by the new rule and to be accompanied at all times and visits by appointed park authorities. This was in St Albans UK.

    This is the way of the future. Even our history is being rewritten to remove Europeans from its own past. The local authorities are establishing soviets across the UK and US. These are the new contractual “covenants” brought into being by Agenda 21 and 30. This like South Africa is plain theft to you and me but claimed as “saving the planet” by the Bolshevist thieves. Soon it will be your houses. We have seen nothing yet.

  3. “An economics professor then takes a look at the facts of immigration. He doesn’t discuss the social and law-enforcement disadvantages of migrants, but concentrates solely on the financial downside — and that’s bad enough.”

    Why ignore the financial downside of ‘social and law-enforcement disadvantages of migrants.’

  4. What a fine noble sentiment it is to take useful qualified engineers and doctors away from less developed nations. Their own nations are thus deprived of their services. What could be more socialist?

  5. This man must be silenced! Discredit and or defame him; shout him down, deplatform him; or ignore him (are the MSM doing this last already?). If all else fails, “kill” him professionally and socially. What a racist!

  6. They want to be bankers and scientists or journalists.! Good grief,what do they know? Even with my english, I would have to serve as an errand boy at the NY Times or the MIT. I would rather see them digging ditches instead of learning latin ( J.Adams) , some manual activity in the fresh winter air will serve them right. Problem: you need two no- nonsense supervisors for one enricher.
    This week, the Aachen newspaper headed a photograph of a syrian family of Aleppo living in a demolished house, there were three women and six children to see, three of them toddlers. In civilized countries, people stop procreating in wartimes. Not so them. Another family sob story next page: the man just opened a small shop … for what? Hadn’t he better raised a building contractors shop? There is enough to do in Aleppo.

  7. He’s wary of opposing the regime too much, but I’m afraid he’s still going to loose his job for telling the truth.

    • no worries here, he is retired and someone who raised a critical voice before. He is a top economist and never denied his modest family background.

    • Hans-Werner Sinn is about the only qualified economist offering a studied crititique of the Eurozone, ECB, and Target2, bringing to public and academic attention the true liabilities being generated for nations, especially for Germany. He is neutral in his approach as far as can be made out, that is to say he is not blaming “lazy southerners” but instead points out how the framework is faulty and the errors financiers of his own country are purposefully submitting to, and who will pay the cost (the average citizen) if the existing framework fails, as well as who is actually currently paying the true cost for the existing financial system failures (that’s right, the average citizen again, but right across europe).

  8. In short – mass immigration cost far more than it contributes.
    Or to put it another way – ‘enrichment’ is expensive, extortionate even.
    Instead of solving the so-called ‘pension problem’ replacement migration is more likely to suck the life out of European welfare systems…’s already starting; services for the elderly have been trimmed, retirement ages raised, health and transport systems creaking at the seams, while police lose control of the streets, in several European nations.
    In 2016 in Germany thousands more millionaires than usual left the country, many citing ‘deteriorating security’ – That’s essentially what being a globalist is – having the resources to escape the consequences of globalism.

    • “That’s essentially what being a globalist is – having the resources to escape the consequences of globalism.”


  9. Captain Obvious–again and very eloquently re-stating (AGAIN) the clear economic “benefits” (or lack thereof) of all this continuing immigration from the moslem Mideast.
    Repeating for us all how those “immigrants” are actually declining in quality when compared to those who came in earlier. When two-thirds of your base is functionally illiterate, I doubt there is any sort of ‘foundation’ on which to build.

    Let’s just disregard for the moment that the invader’s religion demands that the native host be destroyed.

    I’m reminded of the old joke: “Why are you hitting yourself over the head with that hammer?”
    Answer: “Because it feels SO good when I stop”.

    So then, MY question: “Well–when will that be?”

  10. Immigration is supposed to be a net good for prosperity. So why is it that people are not being encouraged to immigrate to places that truly need prosperity such as countries in Africa. But that is considered colonialism. Why?

    I can truly never understand Leftist logic.

  11. What is a “shortage of skilled labor”? If there’s less labor, then there are fewer customers too. That is: either the population has shrunk, industries have over-expanded and/or there are some technological issues. We all know industries in Germany do have a tendency to over-expand, as usual, and generate wars. But the professor believes society and politics should be manipulated to cover over-expansion of industries. Everyone in this world should pay for over-expansion of German industries one more time.

    I understand, governments tend to become tax-collecting machines. Their success is internally evaluated by collected taxes. Culture, art, leisure, religion, race, children, safety, law, etc means nothing to a government. Only tax is the countable index of success. If economists pay attention to Healthcare, that’s because it’s closely related to tax generation, not that they care for slaves.

    It’s time to say goodbye to this Marxist pseudo-scientific Economy and that sort of professor. Ironically even this person understands importing illiterates will not produce taxes. But one doesn’t need a PhD to understand these simple things. This is no new finding.

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