|The World Bank president prescribes migration to cure a slowing world economy.|
Kim cites the example of OECD member Turkey as a net beneficiary of migration
Today, on average, a refugee can expect to remain a refugee for 17 years. So we need to move beyond humanitarian assistance to development solutions. If host countries can create a path for refugees to participate in their economies — as Turkey is doing — everybody benefits. These benefits are even greater when rich countries, especially those with declining populations, take in refugees. Most of the evidence suggests that refugees, like economic migrants in general, work hard and contribute more in taxes than they consume in social services.That said, there remain societal differences--he gives the example of his native South Korea--that restrain the acceptability of migration:
I was recently in South Korea, where I raised the issue of accepting immigrants, whether they are from neighboring Asian countries or anywhere else. I asked whether a person from Indonesia, or Tanzania or Syria, could ever become a “hyphenated Korean,” as I’ve become a Korean-American . The answers I received made it clear that, despite the great benefits that Koreans have derived from being able to move to all corners of the earth, “Syrian-Koreans” probably will not be accepted as full members of Korean society anytime soon.Ultimately, though, necessity will likely win out in the migration debate:
But South Korea, like many wealthier countries, has an aging population, and it needs an influx of younger workers to continue on its remarkable path of economic growth. The great challenge for many advanced economies is to manage such changes and welcome migrants and refugees with a plan to help them settle and perhaps eventually become citizens, just as I became a citizen of the United States at the age of 12.Would-be Trump voters and assorted bigots aside, who's to argue with such logic? If only things were so simple in cultural terms as they were in economic ones, though.
This is a smart strategy, especially during these times of low global economic growth. Countries that welcome refugees, and help other countries to productively host them, will be doing the right thing — both for our fellow human beings who are suffering and for the global economy.