Muslims selling out

Tariq Nelson links to Steven Sailer’s well-known Muslim “buyout plan” and invites some comment. For those that don’t know, here’s the shorter version of the plan: Sailer argues that, given the situation in Europe, it makes more sense for European nations to offer their expanding and increasingly disenfranchised Muslim minority money to repatriate themselves. In other words, paying them to leave; trading their citizenship for cash in the process.

The plan is predicated on the belief — or fact — that there are, in some countries, Muslim minorities that won’t integrate, are largely unwanted by the native population, and face a fairly bleak economic and social future.

In France, for example, the Muslim minority faces the prospect of remaining an underclass, excluded from the job market, excluded from opportunities for social and economic mobility, and kept in ghettoes for generations because the French government pursues its absurd labour market policies. The high minimum wage, over-regulation of dismissal laws, poor job turnover, and poor job creation have all conspired to keep ‘outsiders’ (Muslims) excluded from the labour market. Although French industry might wish to hire cheaper Muslim immigrants to do work currently being done by expensive French workers, they can’t readily sack these ‘native workers’ to take advantage of the situation. Even if they could sack them easily, the high minimum wage would make these migrants far less attractive employment prospects. So the French economy enjoys all the negatives of immigration without any of the benefits.

At the same time, France faces the prospect of more and more civil unrest because, as we all know, disenfranchisement is a recipe for problems. As the Austrian Economists blog noted:

The riots find their deep roots in the fact that France is one of the last experiments of Western dirigisme (code word for ‘socialism’). The French must stop deluding themselves with the idea that they are different from the rest of the world. They need to understand that the problems on their hands are the result of decades of deeply misguided social policies. The best illustration of this state of affairs is the level of youth unemployment. As much as 23% of the young below 25 years of age are unemployed. Many of them are poor and belong to ethnic minorities. For these young people, the hope of finding a stable job is almost non-existent. And this is in spite of (I should say because of) an armada of social policies: the 35-hour week, high minimum wage, restrictive firing rules, RMI (minimum income for the unemployed), high unemployment benefits, etc.

The best solution to the problems of France and Europe is to liberalise their economy and reform the labour market. However, given that this is unlikely, a good option then for the French people — and the Muslims themselves — may be to encourage these disadvantaged Muslims (or indeed any other migrant group) to return home. This means paying them enough money to compensate for leaving France plus ensuring that they can live a relatively improved lifestyle back home. This wouldn’t, as Sailor as noted, require a lot of money to achieve (in the scheme of things). As long as it is non-coercive, meaning nobody is forced or compelled to leave, I don’t see any issues with it.

As for countries such as the US, UK or Australia, I’m not sure that such measures are necessary. In Australia, with which I am most familiar, there are ample opportunities for social and economic integration and mobility, and there is an emerging middle class amongst second generation Muslims. Whilst some Muslims might find the ‘buyout plan’ an easy way to make hijra (migration for the sake of religion) to the Muslim lands, it will still send a very negative and inaccurate message into Australian society about the ability of Muslims to integrate. Therefore, I believe its harms would outweigh the potential benefits.