2007 April 28 Saturday
Middle East Population Growth Threatens Stability And Living Standards

Too many babies.

Population growth is the biggest threat to stability in the Middle East today, according to a new report from MEED released this week.

Europeans beware, unless you close your borders to Muslim immigration the pressure from growing populations and stagnant living standards will drive tens or hundreds of millions of Musims into Europe.

Whilst the last 50 years has seen the Middle East experience unprecedented growth in wealth, with record levels of investment in infrastructure, industry, technology, education and health, The 50:50 Report highlights the region’s population boom - which has seen the number of people rise to 377 million today from 162 million in 1957. By 2030 it is estimated to reach 524 million.

The oil sheikdoms in particular are going to see a further decline in per capita GDP as oil revenues must get split among more people.

Industrialized countries need to isolate themselves from growing populations in the less developed countries. The open borders advocates do not appreciate just how much our societies would be changed for the worse if billions of people from less developed countries were allowed to immigrate to the developed countries. First off, land would become very expensive. Second, crime rates would skyrocket. Third, environments would greatly deteriorate. Fourth, incompatible cultures would displace our own culture. Why inflict this upon ourselves?

Update: Also see Audacious Epigone on Muslim hostility toward the United States.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 April 28 04:12 PM  Economics Demographic

Mark said at April 28, 2007 8:55 PM:

I agree, but would add. Why do we want more people? Don't we already have enough? I see no reason what so ever to import a bunch of stupid muslims. What logical reason could possibly cause a country to want a bunch of them.

John S Bolton said at April 28, 2007 11:55 PM:

Officials who want more discretion need conflict in order to get war powers.
Damage to civilization removes obstacles to the accumulation of power in fewer hands.
Historically many power-hungry leaders have sought war by encouraging their neighbors to attack.
Islamic population growth is a very artificial excrescence, which depends utterly
on civilized nations to sustain it.
The Islamic lands are as helpless as Africa, in terms of ability to keep up with changes
in the realm of pathogens, and with advances in technology needed for additional water, food and other requirements of a fast-growing population.
There is no use for these additional moslems; they can only parasitize their betters, nationalizing resources developed by others, grabbing refugee aid, and so on.
Given the steepness of disadvantage to be expected from an influx of such people into civilized zones, what are we to make of the chances of their being honesty in the statements of those who say the more, the merrier, in regard to such potential immigration cohorts?

Vee said at April 29, 2007 12:06 AM:

This is pure xenophobia at work! Randall, I am an avid reader of futurepundit, but sorry this posting is sensationalist and I will re-evaluate your blogging. I wish you were as open-minded towards culture as your are to technology. Solving human problems and acting a little bit more "humane" has never hurt you. If you think isolation - both physical or cultural - will help you in this day and age, you are mistaken. You can lock yourself up in a fortress style house, but all that will not help if somebody steals your power cables for copper. Where I live - South Africa - this is commonplace. We have tens of thousands of refugees coming to our country precisly because of reasons you mention, and yes, those scenarios you mention exist, but they are no the norm. People come largely for a better life, and most of them are peaceful. Yes, get ready for added pressures, but please don't spread xenophobia. You Americans are xenophobic to the extreme, please remember no culture is superior. If your attitude persists, you are making yourself a target.
And I guess it's fine for you to talk and give advice to Europe, your border to Mexico is realtively small (and still porous) and you can easily ship Cubans back too. I think the Europeans will be able to deal with their own problems without your cultural myopia.

Vee said at April 29, 2007 12:12 AM:

Mr Bolton,
Africa is not helpless. We are not parasites. I would look very strongly as to what makes a great "civilisation" if I were you.
I don't think the West is any more civilised.
But I think people pushed in extremes, can become radicalised and incensed. As I said in previous posting, you are making yourself (and America) a target by this vitriole.

dchamil said at April 29, 2007 6:25 AM:

According to this, South Africa has a great deal of murder and rape directed against whites. This is quite aside from any economic crime, such as robbery. Such reports make me very skeptical of the remarks by "Vee."

Randall Parker said at April 29, 2007 10:20 AM:


It is so easy to call people xenophobes and racists. You live in a counry with an extremely high crime rate and institutionalized racism against white people. That crime and institutionalized racism is driving the white flight that has cut South Africa's white population and continues to do so.

The SAIRR's population pyramid of white South Africans show a definite loss of young people and children under the age of ten.

The figures for 2005 put the number of white South Africans in the country at 4.3 million, 841 000 fewer than the 5.2 million of 1995.

Cronjé predicts that the white population would continue to shrink, and, he said, the situation would have a far-reaching impact on the economy.

"The white population is getting older, which means the white taxpayers are only going to contribute to the economy for the next twenty years. There would have to be a huge influx of skilled workers to fill this gap. This, unfortunately, is not the case."

Due to the inequalities of the past, the education of most of the black children is still not on par to fill these gaps.

Last year, for example, only 3 000 black learners passed matric with higher grade mathematics, said Cronjé.

I know white South Africans who would like to leave but who are too old to get visas for jobs in the West and who can't afford to lose all their money (the South African government tries to prevent sending currency abroad). So the extent of the white flight would be much greater if government restrictions didn't prevent a far bigger flight.

Yes, some cultures are superior to others if we grade them according to a single value system. How about the value of freedom of speech? Or the value of not getting victimized by criminals? Or the value of not getting discriminated against for being white? By any of those measures the various nations and cultures of the world are no all equal. Or how about the value of hard work and getting to work on time? Some cultures place low value on work ethic but others place high value on work ethic. So again cultures are not all equal.

I reject the standard left-liberal multicultural pap that all cultures are equal and all equally good. That's errant obvious nonsense.

Vee said at April 29, 2007 1:01 PM:

South Africa is a deeply divided society, and has many issues it must battle with, one of which is economic inequality. We are a very open society as well, with one of the most liberal constitutions permitting a lot of things like same-sex marriages etc which many countries do not. I don't know whether that is "stupid".
We have our fair share of refugees from many African countries, some of which are more desirable than others. True, criminality has increased, incidentally so has xenophobia, black on black xenopobia with manyrefugees being killed and treated dismally. Some say they would be better of where they originally came from rather than be here.
I think one must steer clear of generalisations that all Muslims are not desirable or "stupid" however, Randall. That's what I'm getting at.
There are mounting calls from Europe and the US that our neighbour, Mr Mugabe from Zimbabwe needs to be removed from power. As our president, Thabo Mbeki, has stated, it is easy for foreign countries to advocate this, but it is Africa in this case which has to deal with the consequences i.e. refugees, not Europe or the US.
So, if you (the US) displace some Muslims in the Middle East or Africa for largely geo-political reasons, where do you think they will (really) go to. Europe? Or Syria, Iran, Jordan which is far closer?

I think ghetto-isation of the world is the problem. You seriously need to decide whether you want to create & live in a giant US ghetto and whether you just want to tolerate the Chinese to make your takeout, the Germans to supply you with luxury cars and the Latinos to tend to your garden. I for one wish you a daughter who will fall in love and marry a traditional Muslim or Indian, bear many "stupid" grandchildren. Perhaps you will then eat some of your words.
[Disclaimer: I'm neither Muslim, nor American]

John Smith said at April 29, 2007 1:06 PM:

Look to the phenomenon of market dominant minorities to understand the difficulty of keeping a free market democracy alive in South Africa.

Randall Parker said at April 29, 2007 4:15 PM:


You want to take Mbeki's analysis seriously? Why? Your President Thabo Mbeki has also stated that AIDS isn't caused by HIV:

A virus can cause a disease, and Aids is not a disease, it is a syndrome

That is a quote from Mbeki.

Also, Mbeki's claim that overthrowing the Zimbabwe government will create refugees is ridiculous. Most of the Zimbabwe workforce has already fled the country because of the current government.

I think ghetto-isation of the world is the solution. Keep the problem people out of the industrialized countries.

I have never said that every Muslim is dumb. I've said - and there is plenty of evidence to support this - that the average IQ in Muslim countries is lower than the average IQ in Western countries. I say keep out the dumbies and keep out the Muslim believers. Islam is a bad religion.

The wealth of nations is based on average IQ. World differences in intelligence map well to world differences in per capita income. La Griffe Du Lion's Smart Fraction Theory and Smart Fraction Theory II show even more powerfully that IQ is the key to affluence.

Elliott said at April 29, 2007 10:10 PM:

The Japanese elites inherently know the truth of the Smart Fraction Theory and base their disparaged 'xenophobic' immigration policy on it. The Chinese elites are beginning to embrace it. In the near future, the Japanese and Chinese will outdistance the United States and Europe in technology, wealth, and IQ since our multiculturalism nature refuses to value and grow our society's most productive members.

Smart money investors are not investing in the United States, but Asia. They know American technological productively will unravel as Mexican Americans displace European Americans.

John S Bolton said at April 30, 2007 12:04 AM:

Apparently there are no rational arguments for valuing openness of nations to whatever is out there, including even Islamic hostiles.
An indication of this can be found in the responses above, in which diagnoses of 'xenophobia'
are derived on the basis of perhaps very deficient knowledge.
Likewise the presumptive threats: one is supposedly making oneself a target,
well I'm not scared, but I do fear the targetting which is to be expected
by openness to mass immigration of hostiles.
There is much to fear from that, and rationally so.
Africa is helpless in the way I said, but this condition is concentrated in tropical Africa, and South Africa is still somewhat outside that pattern;
which is why I would normally say tropical Africa, but the steep downslide of life expectancy
in SA, the weakness of response to the resurgence of infectious disease,
the appearance of XDR TB, and more,
show a reversion to the way of all tropical Africa.

Vee said at April 30, 2007 5:19 AM:

In South Africa we had something called Apartheid.
What is being suggested (ghetto-isation as a solution) above is nothing less than a very distance-based Apartheid which stretches across countries and is based on IQ, which in turn is inferred by race. Sound vaguely familiar?
I think these attitudes (superiority) will not foster good relations at all. You had better prepare yourself for terrorism, kidnappings in foreign countries and restrict your movements to your own ghetto.

Xenophobia could be defined as an unreasonable intolerance of foreigners. "Hostile", "mass immigration of hostiles" or "problem people"... sorry, to me that sounds rather prejudiced.

What about true refugees? Would they be denied entry on account of lowering the average IQ of your country?

Kenelm Digby said at April 30, 2007 5:45 AM:

Don't worry.

They'll all be invited into Europe, post-haste, by our 'wonderful' political class.

Kenelm Digby said at April 30, 2007 5:57 AM:

Vee, What you are saying sounds suspiciously like an implicit threat, or a "protection racket" in everyday language.
ie, Do what I say or you'll suffer dire consequences.
Of course this offensive to any freedom loving person.
Wars have been fought and millions killed because of similar sentiments, in historic times.

Ted said at April 30, 2007 8:36 AM:

I don't see how wanting to keep your nation from being overrun by undesirables, especially those who have a tendency to cut throats, detonate themselves on buses and in public places and demand that we all grovel to their delicate sensibilities as dicated by their Allah cult should be welcome or wanted. Why don't the muslims help each other? Aren't they all brothers? For all the talk about ttheir suffering Palestinian brothers under the heel of the horrible jews, not too many nations are willing to accept them, like Jordan (who ran them out after they tried to overthrow the king). But many Arab nations are only to willing to fight Israel "to the last palestinian" as was stated by a Syrian gov't official. With friends like the Syrians...You get the idea.

Self preservation is just fine and dandy, except if you are white. Then it is "racism" and "xenophobia".

And Vee, I assume that you live in SA and not in the horrible US. Thank God, as I wouldn't want you to be exposed to us bigots and xenophobes in this terrible nation of hateful people. Don't visit here, as I am sure that plenty of xenophobes will be waiting with torches and pitchforks as the plane lands (you should have seen what we did to the poor slobs on the Air India flight that landed this past Saturday. All of us bigots banded together and made sure that the snack bar sold only cold nan at wildly inflated prices)! But the next time your miserable nation suffers a catastrophe that you 3rd worlders seem unable to deal with, whether it is tidal waves, famine, genocide, diease(like AIDs for you guys. But hey the president of Ghana can cure it apparently!)or whatever. We won't send any aid, as we don't want to meddle or offend anyone with our xenophobia (like when the 7th Fleet showed up with food and water for the Indonesians, Thais, and just about everyone else. Of course the wonderful UN took the credit and then some swedish asshole accused America of being "stingy". Go figure, we only sent billions in aid). How much did SA send, or was the money "lost" by Mbeki and his gang? Just please don't ask for food when the white farmers who grow it leave for New Zealand or Australia and all the brains leave for Europe. SA is already collapsing, and you know it. Have fun while you can, but keep that visa handy. Vee, if you are coloured, Indian or Asian, you might want to leave as soon as possible. In Uganda, those peace loving and welcoming Ungandans have already started to after the Indians there. I can only imagine what SA will be like. I look forward to seeing white people blamed for it in the UN.

Jasper said at April 30, 2007 12:11 PM:

This is in response to Vee:

Being from South Africa myself, I can not only NOT relate to you, but am also rather embarrassed by your comments...
I would have hoped that someone from South Africa of all places would see the importance of being able to discuss any racial issue without being branded "xenophobic."
And as for letting in refugees, I am certain that some are seeking a better life, but do not try to tell me that "most of them are peaceful". Let us look at the sheer bulk of refugees in South Africa - Nigerians. They are now the leaders of the local drug and prostitute scene and have overtaken, and frankly almost running certain of Cape Town.
Yes, the crime rate has increased. It has gotten worse over the years and illegal immigration is a huge factor. I am not basing this on statistics, I'm basing this on what I have seen and experiences of my own, family and friends.
What do we do? We might not rely entirely on American or European aid, we actually run to live in America, Europe, Australia, etc., the safer places.

The truth is, in some ways we are parasites...

Fred said at April 30, 2007 1:36 PM:

After reading Vee's comments, I at first thought to respond, then thought, "Why bother?" (shooting fish in a barrel), and finally concluded, "Why not?"

1. The presumption that no culture is superior only holds so long as there are no agreed upon criteria for evaluating cultures. However, in the absence of such agreed-upon criteria one could just as easily argue that no doctor is superior to any other (why, example, should health be preferable to disease?), that no food is superior to any other (it's all a matter of taste in the end), and so on. Rather than engaging in a long debate about such criteria, let's stick to a much more easily proven proposition. People invariably have cultural preferences, regardless of whether or not they reflect some objectively superior standard. If a majority of people in a society wish to live under Western standards of law and representation, it really dosn't matter whether these standards are "objectively" superior.

2. If no culture is really superior to any other, then a culture rich in xenophobia can't be held to be inferior to a culture based on openess. So why not give xenophobia its due. "Please remember no culture is superior."

3. "You Americans are xenophobic to the extreme." I have to wonder what awareness of or exposure to other cultures Vee has had. He admits that there is now black on black xenophobia in S. Africa (This smacks of racism, Vee. Please remember, no culture is superior.) May I be so bold as to guess that some such "xenophobia" works its way into the white S. African population as well? Are we Americans so much more xenophobic than the Chinese, the Koreans, the Russians, the Arabs, and so on? What Vee defines as 'xenophobia" seems to me to be a fairly universal human preference for one's own culture. None of those cultures I've just listed are known for going out of their way to recruit outsiders into their socieites. True, the Arab Gulf States do recruity foreing workers, but they make no bones about keeping such people at arms length culturally.

4. There is no country in the world with entirely open borders, i.e. no visa or immigration regulations whatsoever. Every nation in the world seeks to regulate the flow of immigrants into its society, and there is no reason why the US or any other nation should be branded as "xenophobic" for attempting to regulate its borders.

5. Almost everything thaty Vee says about life in S. Africa weakens, rather than strengthens, his argument. I get the impression of someone desperately trying convince himslf that, despite S. Africa's many problems, all will be well. His description of life in S. Africa, however, suggests that all will not be well.

Irish Savant said at April 30, 2007 3:07 PM:

I've just come back from South Africa. Trust me - it's another Zimbabwe in the making. All, and I mean all, the same pathologies that lead to the latter's collapse are present in SA as well. Just a matter of time....

Vee said at April 30, 2007 4:23 PM:

Perhaps I have more Ubuntu than others here.

I like Nelson Mandela's quote on this "A traveller through our country (South Africa) would stop at a village, and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him."

I'd rather live in a world where there is more Ubuntu than less. And where segregation is not advocated out of fear for "losing one's culture".

Audacious Epigone said at April 30, 2007 6:53 PM:


Or you can be like South Korea: All wireless and virtually no immigrants.

In seriousness, of course you'd like less 'segregation', just as the poor would like less 'segregation' of wealth via forced transfer. Essentially that is what most non-Western nations want from the Occident.

Why would we want to give it up? What does sub-Saharan Africa possibly offer the West, short of AIDS, cannibalism, and constant warfare?

pjgoober said at April 30, 2007 7:11 PM:

Vee, you say: "As I said in previous posting, you are making yourself (and America) a target by this vitriole."

By letting in masses of third world immigrants, the US is making it's own population a target. If we take your advice (threat?) that limiting immigration will cause a rise in terrorist attacks seriously, that would be a worthy trade. The murders that might be committed by future immigrants and their descendents that current immigration policies allow far outweigh the deaths from likely concievable terrorist acts, which in any case, will be harder to achieve without the continual influx of muslim radicals through immigration.

When Randall says "Second, crime rates would skyrocket." [In response to open borders], he is not kidding, nor spouting "vitriol", but in fact is telling the truth:
See this excerpt from the study "Debunking the Myth of Immigrant Criminality", By Rubén G. Rumbaut, Roberto G. Gonzales, et al at the University of California, Irvine:
[Second Generation
Incarceration rates increase significantly for all US-born coethnics without exception. That is most notable for Mexicans, whose incarceration rate increases more than eightfold to 5.9 percent among the US born; for Vietnamese (from 0.46 to 5.6 percent among the US born); and for the Laotians and Cambodians (from 0.92 percent to 7.26 percent, the highest of any group except for native blacks) ...[snip]

...Thus, while incarceration rates are found to be extraordinarily low among immigrants, they are also seen to rise rapidly by the second generation. Except for the Chinese and Filipinos, the rates of all US-born Latin American and Asian groups exceed that of the referent group of non-Hispanic white natives.]

Vee, leaving culture aside for a moment, crime commited by immigrant descendents is reason enough for the US to limit immigration. It is not a moral imperative for Americans to subject themselves and their descendents to a higher crime rate, putting their lives in far more danger than is needed. We don't have to take it in the chin for the world. But regardless, what you advocate will hurt the world in the end. A certain provacative scientist once said something approximating:
[A truly far-seeing world utility maximizer would see the benefit of keeping the USA seperate from the world average] on a gnxp thread. We create tons of drugs and other research innovations that help the whole world. Being subjected to crime at relatively low rates helps us do this. It will hurt you and everyone on earth if that low-crime, efficient, low-corruption safe environment continues to degrade for the USA through massve unskilled immigration.

nz conservative said at April 30, 2007 10:32 PM:

I agree with the enviornmentalist Garett Hardin, who argues that limited immigration is the only way to make countries reasponsible for their own demographic problems, otherwise rich countries will have too few children, and poor countries will have too many. From a liberal perspective this may sound inhumane, but it will actually benefit the majority of the globe's inhabitants.

When you get passed the spin, modern liberalism is just a brutish form of borderless anarchy.

John S Bolton said at April 30, 2007 11:24 PM:

Instead of saying we like what we have because its ours,
or that the world needs some places to hold themselves better and apart,
one might give the unanswerable argument of loyalty to the net taxpayer of our citizenry.
This would apply to South Africa as well;
why is their government falling below that minimum of loyalty
to the net taxpayers of their citizenry,
by practicing hospitality with other people's money?
Contrary to the statement that there are no countries without immigration control,
there are actually some, like the Congo, especially its eastern regions,
which, for lack of such 'ghetto-isation',
have been overrun in part by refugee armies of unspeakably bestial description.
When you really fail to discriminate and exclude, you really fail in the worst way.

Kenelm Digby said at May 1, 2007 5:41 AM:

Previous to the mania that has gripped the political classes of ALL Western nations in the post-war period, one simple truth governed relations between nations: 'Might is Right'.
This leitmotif is traceable from the time of the earliest hominids through classica times, when distinct polities and nation states emerged right up to World War 2, in fact it still is the domonant theme in international relations, never mind the unilateral moral disarmament displayed by Western elites.
Why do I pontificate thus?
The corollary to this proposition is historically, nation (ie ethnic) states only ever acted in the (perceived) best interests of their people, hence the conquering of territory, the enslavement of other ethnies to provide grunt labor, and the building of empires.
Using this time-honored analysis, it must be concluded that your presence and the presence of your kinfolk en masse in a profoundly ethnic disimilar state is against the interest of the indigenous population and would have been strenuously resisted by all means possible.
The crazy times that we now live in are the exception to millenia of human and pre-human history.

Bob Badour said at May 5, 2007 8:24 PM:

If the US is a ghetto, all I can say is: Let me in! I won't ever want to leave!

Abdelaziz said at July 13, 2007 12:59 PM:

Mark is asking why Europe needs Muslims and he adds don't they have enough...i have the answer for him.. European societies and all westerns need Muslims because they don't have skilled educated people and they need to import some in order to keep the balance of thier socities. That's why europe and all western counries will never close the immgration to Muslims as long as they need smart, skilled people to run their countries.

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