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Population Politics through Immigration

Current events in the news sees significant international movements or migration of people for various reasons, pull and push factors etc..  However, be cautious with links of ‘population growth’ with supposed ‘sustainable’ or ‘steady state’ economies, while seguing between international and national data… linking climate change with immigration etc..


From the ABC’s Saturday Extra Radio podcast 12 December 2015

Why we need immigration.  Japan’s population began falling in 2004 and is now ageing faster than any other on the planet, despite government efforts to increase the birth rate.

Germany is in a similar position except it is trying to slow population decline by taking in migrants.  Angela Merkel’s decision to take 800,000 Syrian refugees was a humanitarian action as well as an economic one.

The world is changing faster than most demographers had expected. Fertility rates are dropping in most countries, a good outcome for those arguing for sustainable population, but not so for the current model for economic growth.


Mike Seccombe’s article in The Saturday Paper Oct 17 2015

Immigration essential to replace populations in critical decline.  Precipitously declining Western populations will not support growth without greatly increasing immigration, bringing with it huge social change. Ultimately, the growth model itself will have to be reconsidered….

…Not now, though. Not in this era of sovereign borders and offshore gulags. These days we turn the tempest-tost around and send them right back where they came from. No one in the developed world believes Adam Smith anymore. Except maybe Angela Merkel.

Related issues:

  1. Paul Ehrlich may have popularised population growth in the media, but he is not a demographer. Further, it was not a population bomb but a baby boomer bomb.2. Ehrlich was in fact on the Rockefeller supported ZPG Zero Population Growth board, with the infamous John Tanton*.

    3. What is the definition of (im)migrant and/or (im)migration? The definition changed in 2006 to include temporaries through counting balance of arrivals/departures staying for 12/16+ months i.e. NOM, irrespective of visa, residency or citizenship status. In turn conflation with permanent immigrants is confusing and inflates the headline number, when ‘churnover’ is a better description. They pay education fees, insurance etc. but majority do not remain to draw pensions etc. because they cannot stay as temps, and decrease per capita state debt.

    One of the most significant drivers of population growth (1/3) is not permanent immigration, but longevity of our citizens due to prosperity, even more if temps are removed.

    4. Of course there are issues of acceptance and/or integration of immigrants, but not helped when Australian media at best offer only occasional grudging acceptance of immigration nowadays (reflecting their own biases?).

    5. Australian media have been prone to Ehrlich and Tantons influence via the systems theory cooked up at The Club of Rome, and promoted by Sustainable Population Australia. Coincidentally Mr. Seccombe cited related expressions ‘limits to growth, ‘sustainability’ etc., and Exxon Mobil.

    Same things, (former?) major shareholders of Exxon also hosted the Club of Rome at their estate, Rockefellers, who founded ZPG (following strong interest in genetics, fertility etc.).

    6. For an excellent overview of the racist politics around population New Scientist journalist Fred Pearce in ‘The Overpopulation Myth‘ and his book and ‘The Population crash…’

    *Tanton, an admirer of the white Australia policy, has along with others in the USA been highlighted by ADL and the SPLC for strong ‘white nativist’ views, ‘Tie between anti-immigration movement and eugenics

    Finally, for expert look at population growth statistics and human development Prof Hans Rosling explains in ‘The Overpopulation Myth‘.

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