Coping With a Mad Tea Party

In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland after the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, and the Dormouse had used the china and soiled the linen during their Mad Tea Party, they moved down to the table to clean cups and linen. The Mad Tea Party has now reached Europe’s doors.

After castigating the Obama Administration for “chosing to do almost nothing” in Syria:

The refugees are fleeing horror shows across North Africa and the Middle East, but especially the Syrian civil war that is now into its fifth year. Committed to withdrawing from the region, President Obama chose to do almost nothing. Europe, which has a longer Middle Eastern history than America and is closer, chose not to fill the U.S. vacuum.

the editors of the Wall Street Journal turn their fire on Europeans:

Europeans who dislike an America they think is overbearing should note what happens when the world’s policeman decides to take a vacation and let the neighbors fend for themselves. In the modern world of instant communications and easy transportation, the world’s problems will wash up on the wealthy West’s shores one way or another. If Europe isn’t prepared to handle nearby crises, militarily if necessary, be prepared to accept the refugees.

The reality is that “world policeman” is a job that nobody wants any more. Under a Westphalian order there is no need for such a function. It is only under the post-Westphalian order that so many in Europe and the United States have longed for (with most of the rest of the world rejecting the premises of a Westphalian system) that we’ve been urged to take on that mantle, one that we are peculiarly unsuited for. The world’s largest economy will never be considered an uninterested party and “world policeman” demands an uninterested party.

The United Nations can’t fill that role. World government requires world consensus and if there’s a single lesson that should have been learned over the last twenty or thirty years it should be just how far from world consensus we really are. They continue with advice for Europe:

Absorbing refugees also requires a robust economy that Europe hasn’t had in years. Most refugees want to go to Germany, but even Germany is growing at a mere 1.6% annual rate. Unemployment looks low (4.7%) but the labor force participation rate is very low, about 60%, according to World Bank figures. For the rest of Europe, the ability to absorb a refugee influx is even worse.

Without economic reform to produce a growth economy, migration on the current scale is going to strain Europe’s welfare state and further encourage the rise of extreme anti-immigration parties like the National Front in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary and the Pegida movement in Germany. It will also begin to threaten such pillars of the modern European Union as its Schengen policy that allows passport-free travel and migration. Schengen has been a crucial economic safety valve that allows young people in particular to move for economic opportunity when their native country is in recession.

Where in the world would they get the idea that Germany has any interesting “absorbing” refugees? They haven’t absorbed the Turks and in some cases they’ve been in Germany for generations. The Middle Eastern and North African people who inhabit France’s banlieu’s haven’t been absorbed despite, in many cases, having been born French citizens.

And with advice for us:

All of which underscores that the migration crisis is far more than a humanitarian issue. By all means Europe needs to do more to end the immediate human suffering. So does the U.S., which could in particular accept Syrian Christians who are targeted for extinction by Islamists.

Does the United States really want more Christians? I could have sworn it was the opposite.

22 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw

    How would we know they are Christians? I dispute the assumption that we know country of origin; we know where people say they are from. “Very few of the migrants from Libya are actually Libyan nationals.” David Frum They are from places like Nigeria, Ghana, Eritrea, and Congo.

    Frum also quotes a pro-immigration writer:

    “Every boat person I’ve met has been ambitious, urban, educated, and, if not middle-class (though a surprising number are …), then far from subsistence peasantry. They are very poor by European standards, but often comfortable by African and Middle Eastern ones.”

    In other words, not refugees, but migrating workers.

  • TastyBits

    The money well is quickly running dry. The computer models are failing, and no amount of fiddling with the numbers is helping.

    In order to police the world, the US military is going to need to increase substantially, and unless the WSJ is about to endorse raising taxes on the rich, I am not sure how they intend to pay for the armaments and equipment needed. In addition, they would most probably need to reinstate the draft to provide the number of troops needed.

  • ...

    TB, your concerns are trivial.

    It will be paid for by issuing more debt, which the primary brokers will buy, and which will in turn be bought by the Fed under more QE. This will make the primary buyers richer and help inflate other financial instruments, namely stocks, making everyone [who matters] richer.

    And the bodies will come from all those wonderful MS-13 gangbangers who are adding vibrancy to the country.

    Problems fucking _solved_.

    You worry too much. Remember, I’m the guy that prophesied The Donald as President, so you know I’m right.

  • TastyBits

    @Icepick

    The problem with the money is that it is credit based, and they need it to be seen as legitimate. This requires the Fed and the banks acting as a single entity to push money into the economy without it looking like they are just pushing money into the economy. Otherwise, the government could just send checks and lower taxes.

    The Europeans are in worse shape than the US, and the Chinese will probably end up doing this anyway.

    In Europe, Greece is only a symptom of the problem. Europe makes Wall Street look like amateurs. Wall Street might have screwed a city or two, but French bankers screwed an entire country and has the rest of Europe potentially on the hook. When Europe implodes, somebody is going to pay for their mistakes, and it ain’t gonna be them.

    The big question is: What happens to the US?

    At one time, I used to say that terrorists would be getting Constitutional Rights, and then, I upped it by making it their Miranda Warnings. This was long before they actually got them. I was proposing abortion be extended until a fetus is 24 months old, and I have heard people seriously considering it. I have cut back on the crazy proposals..

    I am still proposing Nicki Minaj in 2016, and now, Kanye West has declared for 2020. Maybe, I was just early, or maybe, she will be his VP. In any case if Kim Kardashian is in the White House, I was on the right track.

  • steve

    I think we actually do want more Christians. Look at the very positive response to people who actually behaved like Christians when we had the North Carolina shooting. What we want are fewer people who try to legislate their religious preferences into the law. Or “Christians” who are really just political animals.

    Steve

  • You do realize that any Christians who migrate here are likely to be significantly more conservative than those already here, don’t you?

    We’re not likely to see a sudden influx of Latitudinarian Episcopalians.

  • steve

    They might be more socially/religiously conservative. The Mexican/latino population that comes here scores very conservative on social/religious issues. However, they largely vote for Democrats because the GOP continues to work really hard at ostracizing them. Same with the Asians who come here. I suspect that it will be the same with folks from the ME. Sooner or later, I assume, the GOP will figure this out and have a large influx of voters. Meh. I don’t really think their future conservative/liberal bias is an especially good reason to have them come (or not) here anyway.

    Steve

  • ...

    Sooner or later, I assume, the GOP will figure this out and have a large influx of voters.

    Wow. Your last name must be Rodham or Clinton.

  • ...

    What we want are fewer people who try to legislate their religious preferences into the law.

    Legislating their sexual fetishes into law, however, is perfectly fine.

  • Every group that has come here or, presumably, will come here has tried to “legislate their religious preferences into the law”. They’ve met with varying levels of success.

    Among the implications of that is that the closer the beliefs that the people who come here have when they arrive the more palatable that will be to the people who are already here. I strongly suspect that the values and preferences of the people who have come here from Mexico are much closer to American values and preferences than the values and preferences of someone who comes here from, say, Yemen.

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