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No Immigration Cure for Ageing Population and Workforce?

Recent article from Katharine Betts Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology at Swinburne University of Technology. This article is based on her recent paper ‘The ageing of the Australian population: triumph or disaster?’

Australia’s ageing population need not be a burden on taxpayers.  For over 35 years Australian politicians and economic commentators have been worrying about the ageing of the population. Their anxieties focus on labour-force participation and the dependency burden that older people (aged 65 plus) are thought to place on working taxpayers.

Is this anxiety justified? To answer this question, we need to look at our present situation and at projections based on present trends. We should also consider wider evidence from other developed nations…..

….. What this means is that a long-lived society enjoying zero population growth would do quite well.

The sentence above is the give away about what the article is really about, no immigration (often justified by neo Malthusian views).  The same and other articles from Betts are used as a reference and taken at face value by supposed progressive media like  MacroBusiness ‘Immigration no cure for population ageing’ like Fairfax, then used to demonise immigrants or dramatically reduced levels of (all) immigrants, temporary and permanent.

None are able to offer empirical evidence of the supposed negatives caused by immigrants, apart from subjective and anecdotal data, while population and immigrant definitions are not explained, i.e. most impact is from the net overseas migration NOM via temporary residents such as students, 2nd year backpackers, 457 workers etc.., not new permanent immigrants.

Betts like Birrell at Monash Universitys Centre for Population and Urban Research have form on dog whistling’about foreigners, immigrants, refugees etc., in turn informing most mainstream media and politicians in Australia.

This should come as no surprise as both Betts and Birrell (with Sustainable Population Australia) are linked to John Tanton’s Anti Immigration Network in the USA where John Tanton is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as:


John Tanton is the racist architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement. He created a network of organizations – the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA – that have profoundly shaped the immigration debate in the United States. A retired Michigan ophthalmologist, Tanton has white nationalist beliefs and has written that to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority” is required. As of 2010, Tanton served on FAIR’s board of directors.’’


Betts, Birrell et al have contributed to John Tanton’s journal The Social Contract Press described by SLPC as:


‘The Social Contract Press (TSCP) routinely publishes race-baiting articles penned by white nationalists. The press is a program of U.S. Inc, the foundation created by John Tanton, the racist founder and principal ideologue of the modern nativist movement. TSCP puts an academic veneer of legitimacy over what are essentially racist arguments about the inferiority of today’s immigrants. Recent articles in its main product, The Social Contract, have propagated the myth that Latino activists want to occupy and ‘reclaim’ the American Southwest, argued that no Muslim immigrants should be allowed into the U.S., and claimed that multiculturalists are trying to replace “successful Euro-American culture” with “dysfunctional Third World cultures.”‘


Finally, Betts for TSCP interviewed Jean Raspail authorof The Camp of the Saints described in article by The Guardian Far right or far wrong? as:


‘Illegal immigrants swamping Europe, turning churches into mosques – it’s the perfect plot for a neo-nazi bestseller.

The book currently generating the most chatter is Jean Raspail’s Camp of Saints. First published in 1973, in France, no British publisher (a gutless crew) has been brave enough to take it on. In America, publication was sponsored, in 1985, by the ultra-right (ultra-wrong), anti-immigration Laurel Foundation, under whose aegis it now sells like hot cakes.

Camp of Saints foretells an imminent “swamping” of Europe by illegals from the orient. Forget passports or border controls: they just hijack tankers and come, an armada of subcontinental sub-humanity: a brown tsunami. Europe is so enervated by liberalism and postcolonial guilt and depopulated by “family planning” that the alien tide (“with a stench of latrines”) just laps over the continent. A small resistance band (the “Saints”) is liquidated – by the French government. The immigrants come, they settle, they rape, they steal. Above all, they breed. Raspail calls it “the Calcutta solution” – genocide by stealth. Europe becomes a Dark Continent…..

….This thesis does have some crude, sub-Malthusian, demographic support. “Yes,” the last paragraph of Midnight’s Children prophesies, “they will trample me underfoot, the numbers marching one two three, four hundred million five hundred six.” The population of India, 20 years after Rushdie wrote those words, is a billion. And in 2024? Where will they go? Raspail knows – the Cote d’Azur, of course.

Jean-Marie Le Pen nowadays peppers his speeches with references to “Jean Raspail’s famous work”. ……… 

….Pipes sees “post-Christian” Europe as “hollowed out” by “anaemic birthrate”, ageing population and ineffective immigration laws. In a widely syndicated article two weeks ago, Pipes proclaimed the Camp of Saints to be true prophecy. Chartres, Westminster and Cologne cathedrals, he foresees, will, in the not too distant future, become mosques. Or possibly, he muses, a “Taliban-style regime will blow them up”. He (like Raspail) has seen the future, and it is brown.’

Someone should tell the Daily Express – the serial rights are up for grabs.


Betts, Birrell et al are at least consistent, without knowing what objective conclusions their data or research about immigration, population or society could conclude, one is safe in the knowledge that it will be either directly or indirectly negative about non Europeans……


For more articles about immigration, population growth, international education and human development click through.




One Response to “No Immigration Cure for Ageing Population and Workforce?”

  1. See the comments on this news link from MacroBusiness re. population and immigration, tasty stuff!

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