I have been told that I am multi-talented, however prophesy has never been a gift mentioned before. I am not looking for this burden. However, on my first post US election comment, I mused about the coming tension between the middle class and the poor. I saw the grip on the middle class slipping away like a greased hog on its way to the butcher. (My grandpa was a butcher, who I spent many summers with learning the trade). Sinking home values, reeling 401K or other retirement vehicles, and now mounting job losses will stoke the embers of nativism.
For some reason as I perused my electronic paper a few days back, the following title grabbed my eyeballs.
Americans and Europeans share deep concerns about immigration
This was from Monday’s Washington Post. Here is an executive summary:
- People on both sides of the Atlantic express sharply negative views of illegal immigration, and roughly half of respondents said they think immigration in general is “more of a problem” than an opportunity for their societies. The European nations surveyed were the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands.
- At least 80 percent of respondents in all surveyed countries called for stronger border controls.
- In all countries, only a small percentage supported temporary immigrant work programs.
- More than half of Americans say that immigrants take away jobs from U.S. citizens,
- 86 percent view them as hardworking and many also believe they create jobs by opening businesses and investing.
- Asked what criteria are most important for allowing foreigners to immigrate, more than 90 percent of both Europeans and Americans said they must respect their new country’s laws and institutions
- A strong majority also said they should speak their new country’s national language.
- Most also said immigrants should arrive with a job offer and a high level of education.
- More than two-thirds of both Americans and Europeans said legal immigrants should have full access to social benefits, including health care, nearly one-quarter of Americans and people in the United Kingdom said they “strongly oppose” granting them such benefits.
Your religious beliefs also carries significant consequences.
- 42 percent of Americans said immigrants should come from a Christian country
- less than one-third of Europeans agreed.
- Asked specifically about Muslims, 61 percent of Americans said Muslim immigrants have much to offer culturally, yet only 54 percent said Western and Muslim ways of life are reconcilable.
- In Europe, even fewer people — 47 percent — said the two cultures could be compatible.
History has verified that people facing the psychological and social pressures of downward mobility will respond negatively. There are steps we can take to minimize the impact of these sentiments. But before we explore these, let’s make these finding sink in. Share your observations.
In the coming weeks, let’s collaborate on a solution set. Remember, we are all in this together!