Bill Gates Gets the Message

In a starling repudiation of the New World Order, Microsoft founder and renowned philanthropist Bill Gates told a German newspaper that the European Union’s rather permissive policies toward migrants might have a significant downside:

“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees, but the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this, which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa.

“[Germany cannot] take in the huge, massive number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”

He said instead the EU must make it “more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes” while also relieving “enormous pressure” by sending foreign aid.

This represents an about-face in Gates’s previous views on the migrant crisis, during which millions of refugees from the Middle East and Africa have poured into Western Europe, seeking escape from war and economic stagnation in their own homelands–and the generous welfare benefits offered by European nations.  Previously, Gates had expressed support for the EU welcoming migrants, telling the BBC just last year:

I think Germany and Sweden are to be congratulated for being more of an ‘open door’ approach on this thing. You know, the total number of refugees is not like world record; the political sensitivity about refugees and the tightness of the budgets is what’s making this one particularly acute.

So what changed?

Well, the facts on the ground for one thing.  Since the influx of refugees, Germany and Sweden–which Gates held up as models of generosity–have seen significant increases in the rate of violent crime. And although the authorities in those countries have been cagey about the causes of those increases, most of the citizenry are well aware that you can’t simply import that many impoverished people from a completely alien culture Without creating some serious problems.  Then there’s the issue of Islamist terrorism, which has also been on the rise since the arrival of the migrants.  While out of touch autocrats like Frau Merkel would rather pretend that one thing has nothing to do with the other, the fact that ISIS boasted that it would be sending jihadis along with the people fleeing war-torn Syria pretty much says otherwise.

Gates is also acknowledging the power of incentives, something he should recall from his career as an entrepreneur.  When you give people every reason to leave their own countries and no reason to stay, you shouldn’t be surprised when they choose the latter–particularly when leaving is also much easier.  Of course, this also means that the most industrious people–who happen to be the ones who would be most likely to change their own countries for the better–won’t be around to build, to open businesses, and to turn their homeland into a place where people actually want to live.  Talk about a lost opportunity!

That Gates seems willing to consider these inconvenient truths–and risk the wrath of his fellow elites in the process–speaks well of him.  But I would imagine he has also considered that most of the migrants, if given a choice, would much rather stay in their home homes than haul up stakes and move to a completely different place.  The culture clash, remember, cuts both ways, and assimilation can be just as hard for refugees as it is for a host country.  Wouldn’t it be better for everyone to just provide assistance to them where they actually live?  This is the kind of thinking that for some reason has gone right over the heads of the global elite, even though it’s pretty obvious to everyone else.

If Bill Gates has also gotten that message, I say welcome.  We’re happy to have you on board.

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Marc Giller

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