European fertility. The real population problem.
People are streaming into Europe. The real question is: why did this take such a long time! American and Dutch and IS and Syrian and (since today) French bombs are part of the answer. And it might well be the case that IS is not only actively dislocating people but is also a supplier of trafficking services… Create your own market! But hey, between 1945 and 1948 12 million displaced Germans flocked to West-Germany and Austria but within ten years these countries knew labour shortages and West-Germany started to sign treaties with countries like Italy which enabled an inflow of immigrants from these countries. And the real problem may not be the inflow of people…
The real problem may be this:
The number of Germans between 0 and 5 years old is less than half the number of 50 – 55 years old…
In 1965 the German fertility rate plummeted and has never really recovered. At the moment (2013) it is 1,4, slightly higher than in the preceding years but still way below the 2,1 children per women which are needed for a stable population. At the same time, average life expectation in the entire EU is still rising with almost 3 months a year – Germany is rapidly becoming a granny state. And Germany is not the only European state heading that way (personally I welcome dwindling populations. But a fertility rate of 1,2, like in Portugal, is not consistent with ‘dwindling’ but with ‘plummeting’ – within a few decades the number of 0-5 year olds in Portugal will be much less than hafl the number of 50-55 year olds).
A case can be made that Europe should welcome young people wanting to live there. But it almost seems as if the countries with the lowest birth rates (with the exception of Germany), like the Eastern European countries, are least eager to accommodate newcomers. And it is, of course, true that a country like Portugal has sky-high unemployment. But it also knows an almost ridiculous low fertility rate of about 1,2 – close to half the replacement rate – low demographic growth does no solve unemployment. Portugal does not need less people. It needs more jobs. And, thus, more expenditure and especially more durable investments (10 million Portuguese -> 100 million square meters of solar cells). And investments in people. All these newcomers in Portugal will have to learn Portuguese. And German.
Aside – an unlimited inflow of people might lead to tens of millions of immigrants within a few years. Which will be difficult to handle. And there certainly are cultural and economic problems with second and third generation muslims in Europe. And the history of European Jews of shows that hatred is always just around the corner – surely when unemployment is high. There was a reason why, unlike today, European governments for decades pursued policies aimed at low unemployment instead of large bank balance sheets, high household debts (including study loans) and inflated asset prices. They might go for this again.