Doug Casey on the Migrant Crisis, Part II

Editor’s note: In today’s Weekend Edition, Casey Research founder Doug Casey and Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno continue their discussion on the migrant crisis taking place in Europe right now…


Nick Giambruno: Then there are the so-called economists and think tanks that say bringing in a bunch of migrants will “stimulate” the economy…

Doug Casey: There are hundreds of think tanks in the U.S. alone, most located within the Washington Beltway who appear to believe that. They’re populated by partisan academics, ex-politicos, retired generals, and others circulating through the revolving doors of the military/industrial/political/academic complex. They’re really just propaganda outlets, funded by foundations and donors who want to give an intellectual patina to their views.

Think tanks, and their cousins, the lobbyists and the NGOs, are mostly what I like to call Running Dogs, who act as a support system for the Top Dogs in the Deep State. Their product is “policy recommendations,” which influence how much tax you have to pay and how many new regulations you have to obey. Think tanks are populated almost exclusively by what have been called “useless mouths.” They’re no friends of the common man.

The migration policies they’re promoting are creating chaos.

Nick Giambruno: I just spent weeks on the ground in Italy, a frontline state in the migrant crisis. I was investigating the upcoming referendum and how it could be the first domino to fall in the collapse of the EU.

I can say for sure that the migrant issue is one of the largest on the mind of the average Italian voter.

Each day on average, a couple thousand migrants—sometimes many more—arrive in Italy. They’re mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, but also a large number are from the Indian subcontinent.

While I was in Rome I saw many. Lots of them aggressively beg and hawk trinkets. People now lock their doors to their homes when before they might not have.

I witnessed, a number of times, young male migrants sitting in the handicap spot on trams, buses, and other public transportation, refusing to give up their seats for elderly Italian women.

It’s anecdotal, but it’s hard to think of a way to wear out your welcome faster than for regular Italians to see an elderly woman have to struggle to stand on a bus while a migrant, perfectly capable of standing, comfortably sits.

While at the Milan train station I witnessed migrants shoving aside a clerk at the ticket check to forcibly board a train. I could see the look on the faces of the other Italian passengers. They were dumbfounded at how the migrants were blatantly choosing to not live by the rules of society and nobody was doing anything about it.

Then in Como—one of the swankiest places in Italy and where George Clooney maintains a residence—I saw how many hundreds of migrants have turned the train station into a filthy makeshift camp. It was a bizarre blend of extreme poverty and extreme wealth.

To say Italians are fed up is a gross understatement.

Most feel Italy has enough problems without trying to solve the problems of the world. They wonder why they are forced to subsidize the migrants—who receive over $80 a month from the state, far more than their annual income in their home countries—while they are suffering under extreme economic hardship.

Italians largely blame the EU and pro-EU politicians for this mess.

So Doug, what should be done about this mess that doesn’t, at the same time, feed the growth of the State?

Doug Casey: Immigration across political borders doesn’t have to be a problem. It’s simply a matter of maintaining the property rights of all concerned.

Let me repeat, and re-emphasize, what I said earlier. The free-market solution to the migrant situation is quite simple. If all the property of a country is privately owned, anyone can come and stay as long as he can pay for his accommodations. When even the streets and parks are privately owned, trespassers, beggars, squatters, migrants, vagrants, and the like have a problem. A country with 100% private property, and zero welfare, would only attract people who like those conditions. And they’d undoubtedly be welcome as individuals. But “migration” would be impossible.

So, again, I’m all for open borders. Anybody should be able to go anywhere if they can support themselves. In a free market society, however, nobody’s going to give you money just for existing. You have to produce goods and services in order to be able to buy food, shelter, and clothing.

This is how the migration problem could be solved. You don’t need the government. You don’t need the army. You don’t need visas or quotas. You don’t need laws. You don’t need treaties to solve the migration problem. All you need is privately owned property and the lack of welfare benefits.

Nick Giambruno: I agree, but I doubt that is going to happen anytime soon, except in our dreams. What do you think are some likely outcomes?

Doug Casey: Well, I agree; they’ll come up with some cockamamie political solution. But the good news is that it will speed up the disintegration of the EU. It never made sense from the beginning to try to get Swedes to live by the same rules as Sicilians, or Germans by the same rules as Portuguese. Not to mention that the rules are entirely arbitrary. Worse, almost all the rules result in economic transfers, with legislated winners and losers. Deals like that always lead to resentment, among both the winners and the losers.

The euro, meanwhile, will approach its intrinsic value at an accelerating rate and eventually cease to exist. The Esperanto currency was doomed from the beginning. It was not just an “IOU nothing,” like the U.S. dollar, but a “Who owes you nothing” since it’s not even backed by a specific government’s taxing power.

My prediction that the Continent will one day just be a giant petting zoo for the Chinese is intact—assuming the current wave of migrants approve.

On the bright side, the collapse of the EU will accelerate the disintegration of nation-states everywhere. There are about 200 nation-states in the world. The international “elite,” the “intelligentsia,” the members of the Deep State everywhere, and organizations like the EU in Brussels, would like to see a much smaller number of more powerful states. Orwell anticipated just three mega-states in his dystopia, 1984. But the actual trend is in the opposite direction.

It’s not just the UK seceding from the EU, but Scotland from the UK. The Basques and Catalans may eventually secede from Spain. Belgium, a totally artificial country, will eventually break up into Flemish-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. France has half a dozen secession movements. Italy was only unified into its present form from scores of principalities, duchies, and baronies in 1861. It was the same with Germany until Bismarck in 1871. The break-up of the USSR in 1990 into 13 smaller states was a good start, but Russia itself is a small empire with dozens of distinct ethnic and linguistic groups. You will rarely hear about this in the mass media, but there are dozens of secession movements throughout Europe.

There will be an exodus of capital and people from Europe to parts of Latin America, plus to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This is, obviously, bad for Europe and good for the recipient countries, since the emigrants will be educated and affluent. In recent years, I might not have included Latin America, but things have changed. Argentina and Colombia are liberalizing economically. The continent isn’t involved in any entangling alliances, isn’t on the migration highway, and has low costs. Why a wealthy European would stay in that stagnant and unstable continent when he could live better, and mostly tax-free, at a fraction of the cost in Argentina is a mystery to me. If I was a European, I would be leaving Europe at this point.


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Doug Casey

For over a quarter of a century, legendary investor and best-selling author Doug Casey and his team at Casey Research have been helping self-directed investors to earn superior returns through innovative investment research designed to take advantage of market dislocations..