The Economic Impacts of Mass Immigration Into European Countries

The immigration of millions of people to Europe from the conflict-laden countries such as Syria and Afghanistan has raised an alarm in the political, economic and social spheres. On their part, the immigrants have narrated shocking stories of their journey to Europe and the painful experiences in their native countries. Accordingly, their need to get relief and better lives is echoed from the immigrants and the civil rights groups. Nevertheless, most of the European countries have been hesitant to accommodate them because of related the economic burden. In this light, it is important to go into the depths of economic impact of the immigration issue in Europe with the aim of coming up with the relevant policies.

To start with, the immigration of the desperate individuals into Europe can have negative effects on the native worker’s wages. Some of the immigrants may be more skilled than the native workers, which means that they can find good job opportunities in the European block. On the contrary, they are likely to settle for less payment than the native workers. In this light, lowering of wages in an economy can affect the productivity of workers and their standards of living. For such fears, nations have been less accepting of the immigrants and have therefore confined them within the refugee camps. On the other hand, immigrant can be good for a nation in the sense that it can create a new demand for good and services. The economists refer to the concept as immigration surplus. To meet the demand, employers are likely to hire more workers for mass production of goods. Creation of job opportunities for native workers raises their standards of living and at the same time minimizes the rates of dependency to the government agencies in an economy.

Notably, there is a likelihood that the immigrants may come in handy in consideration to the aging population in Europe. The birth rate in nations such as Italy is relatively low, which may affect the labor market in the future. Therefore, allowing the immigrants to learn and work in the economy can be beneficial in the long-run. Even so, in the short-term, the governments may have to increase its budgetary considerations to public goods and services. Economies such as Greece and Italy that have been struggling with the issue of debt crisis may be more affected in such courses. A good example of the economic burden is demonstrated in Germany ,where in 2015, the economy may spend close to 10 billion Euros on the refugees- the amount may be higher by 2016. Besides, the net fiscal contributions of migrants tend to be lower than that of the native workers because of their lower levels of employment.

Indeed, there are pros and cons that come with the influx of immigrants into the European zone. Policy makers should evaluate how well they can take advantage of the possible opportunities. This may mean coming up with better employment policies that assure native workers of their jobs as well absorbing the qualified immigrants into the work force. Further still, proper budgetary allocations should be made so that development aspect in the economies is not halted due to a concentrated effort on dealing with the immigration issue.

 

The Political Economy of Land Acquisition in China

China’s rapid economic growth is a popular topic in many economic forums and debates. Some people argue that China’s growth in GDP is superficial while some expect China to be the leading economy in the coming years. Behind this boom in economic growth is increased urbanization. In the past, China introduced land reforms where large tracks of privately owned land were redistributed to peasants and farmers. Peasant communities collectively owned part of the land and used it for agricultural activities. The country then introduced decollectivization where collectivized farming was abolished. Collective land was redistributed to farmers amid controversies. Today, the government is buying land from peasant farmers and leasing it to investors. This repossessed land has turned into urban areas, which act as political, cultural and economic hubs.

The rate of urbanization in China has fueled the country’s economic boom. However, the international community has questioned the authenticity of the urbanization process. China’s laws allow the state to repossess land from agricultural communities and use it for economic development. This allows the government to earn revenues by leasing the land to private investors and increase production. Private investors have been using the leased land to set up industries, which are more profitable than agriculture. The major concern with China’s land politics is that more and more peasant farmers are becoming landless as the country’s economy grows. The compensation that the government offers to these farmers is insufficient for them to start long-term income-generating activities. In addition, the government has not offered alternative locations to some of the farmers.

While the international community raises concerns about the process, most peasant farmers welcome the move by their government. Many are comfortable with the compensation and alternatives that the government offers. Some move to the newly created urban centers and find jobs in industries. The income from industrial wages is higher than income from peasant farming for some farmers. One of the concerns about the political economy of China’s urbanization process is that the government does not allow farmers to sell land directly to private investors. The state acts as the middleman in all land transactions. While this move protects farmers from greedy buyers, it deprives farmers of possible high returns from reselling their land. Farmers could also earn high amounts of income from leasing the land directly to investors.

Another aspect in China’s land politics is the current campaign to transform all cities into global hubs. Urban planners have ambitious plans to transform all Chinese cities into political and economic centers. They aim at creating an urban environment that attracts domestic and foreign investors. This plan has also fueled the rate of urbanization in rural areas. Local governments in China have been developing plans and relocating some of the industries in their cities. The urbanization process has also involved residential estates, which have been transformed into economic centers. However, some local governments do not have such elaborate plans for their cities. Some urban planning projects have stalled while some are out of control. The local governments have failed to keep proper records and establish economic centers as planned.

The Iran’s Nuclear Talks

In the middle of war with Iraq in 1984 and under the leadership of Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran began walking on a journey to make nuclear arms. The main drive for such a move was the fear that the then president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, may have been developing a nuclear weapon. Thus, Iran decided to come up with a weapon that would deter Iraq and other enemies. In the pursuit, in 1992, China signed an agreement with Iran so that the nuclear engineers from Iran could be trained in China’s soil. In the same year, Israel received the reports that Iran was making such a progress and warned the United States government. Though Israel’s fear that the project was military was dismissed, various sources in 2003 started indicating that there was some truth is the assertion. From hence, the United States government, as well as other nations, has been trying to resolve some of the issues through dialogue. Most of the negotiations have aimed at convincing the Iranians to abort their program.

From the onset, the Iranian government has been involved in a game of deception with the west. It has denied that the nuclear program is military but rather a project to supplement its energy reserves. In 2003, for instance, the then Iran’s president Khatami stated that their facility was meant to produce uranium fuel for nuclear energy plants. The United Nations watchdog, International Atomic Energy sent a team to visit one of the site-Natanz. Though Iran agreed with the idea, they were not ready to allow the group to take a sample.  As a result, the IAEA group indicated that Iran had failed to meet its obligations. Following the release of the report,   the United Kingdom, France and Germany tried to hold talks with the Iranian government on the matter. The talks yielded results in that Iran was ready to abandon their nuclear power pursuit.

In 2005, a new Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  was elected into power and started pursuing the nuclear deal once more. The talks with the European nations collapsed. The United Nations summoned Iran and continued to urge the leadership to abandon the nuclear power project.  From 2006 to 2010, the United Nations came up with resolutions and sanctions on Iran with the hope that the country would hinder to its urges. The country, however did not give up on the project, sparking some sharp debates from the Israel’s and the United States government. The light on the success Iranian nuclear talks was shed in 2013 when Hassan Rouhani was elected the president of the country. He was ready to negotiate about the deal and thus, the sanctions against the country were partially lifted. From hence, negotiations have been taking place, and in 2nd April 2015, world powers as well as Iran announced that they had come up with a framework deal. In July 2015, history was made when a deal was made in Vienna.  Indeed, the Iranian nuclear talks have taken different twists and turns but yet have yielded some amazing results.