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Morozov also writes: "the current terrorist threat does not come from the immigrant population per se, but rather from students who entered Germany for short-term studies".

Both failed terrorists moved to Germany two years ago, so they're hardly products of failed German integration but rather symptoms of a larger international problem. There have been no terror attempts from Muslim Germans directed at other Germans. I know, Morozov follows up with: "there is absolutely no guarantee that their example will not inspire thousands of alienated and radicalized youngsters, most of them German citizens, to follow the pernicious example" but that is pure guess work. I remember how people were expecting the banlieue riots to spread throughout Europe. What happened in Berlin? Nothing, because the situation in Paris is completely different. No history of colonialism between Germans and Turks, and Kreuzberg is a fashionable, hip neighboorhood, nothing like the ghettoized banlieues.

Which reminds me: what segregated neighborhoods in Berlin are you talking about? Moabit? Kreuzberg, Neukoelln? Last time I was there, those neighborhoods were completely mixed. Russians, Lebanese, Germans, Turks, Africans living next to each other. Now, the Eastern, skinhead-infested areas like Marzahn are a different story. Sure, there are ethnic neighborhoods, but how are those segregated? In Chicago, you got to Devon St for Indian food, to Bryn Mawr for Korean etc. Is that segregation? I don't think so.

Most of your other points I completely agree with, especially the pitiful underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in government and housing discrimination (although I'd like to add that I remember how my cousin's neighbors in Atlanta stopped talking to her once she and her husband dared to sell their house to an African-American couple.).

I don't want to split hairs, and I agree with you that the SPON article is not exactly a masterpiece of fair and balanced journalism.

But you it would only be honest to at least acknowledge that "overt housing discrimination" (1) is now ruled out by the Antidiskrimierungsgesetz which implements an EC directive but significantly goes beyond what was prescribed from Brussels, and (2) has been and still to a certain degree is a problem in the States as well--I am a securities lawyer, but I have done a fair share of pro bono work back when I was in New York. And I guess I don't have to spell out which political group mostly resists equal protection in all matters of private commercial interaction as unduly infringing with a citizens right to contract only with whom he pleases?

Also, yes, idiots yelling at foreigners on the subway are horrible. Again: Ever lived in New York?

Um yes Tibor - I lived in NYC - I live there right now - have lived there most of my life and ridden the subways plenty

I haven't seen any locals "yelling at foreigners" - maybe you can explain where and when you saw this take place?

Or is this more of the usual "sure this is a bad thing in Germany/Europe - but its the same in America"...when it isn't

Anyway - great article in Bloomberg on German emigration of late


Germans Leave in Record Numbers, Fleeing Unemployment

By Rainer Buergin

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Thomas Koerber, an engineering technician from Viernheim, Germany, was looking for a new job. He found it -- 4,700 miles away, in Canada.

``I looked around, found a job I liked in Canada, and left Germany within two months,'' Koerber, 39, said in a telephone interview from Calgary. ``If I can get a better job abroad, and if I'm being treated better, I'm gone.''

Koerber is one of 145,000 Germans who fled the fatherland last year amid record postwar unemployment, pushing emigration to its highest level since 1954, Federal Statistics Office figures show. Last year was also the first since the late 1960s that emigrants outnumbered Germans returning home from living abroad, the statistics office said.

Even more troubling to German officials and business leaders, many were skilled workers like Koerber. The loss of such people, they say, may threaten Germany's economic competitiveness in the future.

``Many highly qualified young people are leaving our country to seek their fortunes elsewhere, while only very few top people have been attracted to Germany in recent years,'' said Ludwig Georg Braun, president of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, which represents more than 3 million companies. ``This development is causing us growing concern.''

Sandy P already posted that article two hours ago here. I don't see how it relates in either case, or is it supposed to be a non sequitor?

Since I moved to Germany (in the early 1980s), I have personally witnessed "yelling at foreigners" on the subway exactly once. That was during the early 1990s. Obviously, I am sure it has happened since, and it is stupid and inexcusable. I am not aware of a pattern, though, nor do I know what number Ray had in mind when posting that he had witnessed it "more than once." Clearly, if it were, say, 20 times, things would look a whole lot different than if it had been twice. Again, I don't mean to make light of it, xenophobia does exist.

While I was working in NYC, I witnessed "yelling at foreigners" a number of times on the A/C train when commuting between downtown and Brooklyn. For instance, a group of Asians unfolding maps and (apparently, I am taking a guess here) discussing where to switch trains where called "chinks" and yelled at to move out of the way and get their yellow asses back to communist China. Nobody got hurt, it was not a big deal, they probably didn't even understand. But still.

I am not arguing that all the problems of the German society are the exactly same problems any other society, let alone the U.S. society has. This is clearly not the case. Also, I did agree with Ray that the SPON article is biased. That said, some of his points towards the end of his post are not really accurate (for instance his statement about the current legal situation as regards housing discrimination in Germany) or oversimplify matters by implying the specific problems he mentioned were German but somehow "not written about" (which in itself is not true, because neofascism and neo-Nazi violence are covered in extenso, even in the German MSM). That's why I wrote about housing problems in the U.S., where illegal restrictive housing covenants are de facto abided to by some people. Even today.

@ Tibor

Please be more careful with your "throw away" lines ("Ever lived in New York?")

It is absolutely absurd to imply that New Yorkers would yell at "foreigners" in any situation other than one where the "yeller" is mentally ill.

New York has the highest foreign born population in the country and has a 200 year history of welcoming immigrants. New York is one of the most "international" cities in the world, if not the most international. Foreign born people are considered a treasure to that city and to imply otherwise simply shows how little you know about New York, the United States and American society in general.

The interesting thing is that if you want to make the point that the US does not welcome foreign born peoples, New York is the LAST place you should have cited. A more probably place for bigotry would be somewhere that may not have a long tradition integrating foreign born populations. Atlanta comes to mind, although I don't here try to make the case that foreigners are not readily accepted in that city. It is just a more likely place for isolated cases to occur.

So again I say, if want to use throw away lines to make your case, at least think about them long enough so they have the smallest bit of relevance.

@ critics:

Yes, it is segregation when the landlord tells you that the apartment is "already taken" because he knows you are a foreigner yet tells Germans interested in the apartment what time they can come over to look at the same place. Until the EU stepped in, there was actually no legal recourse in Germany against open discrimination of this sort and ads in newspapers featuring housing "for Germans only." Doesn't it tell you something that the recent anti-discrimination law only came up for debate because the European Union was essentially forcing the matter? And please don't tell me that you haven't seen clearly divided ethnic neighborhoods and that you are naive enough to believe that those divisions are purely voluntary and have nothing to do with economics and discrimination.

I'm not saying the same problems don't exist in the US (but the US has had an anti-discrimination law since 1964!). I'm just saying that Mr. Moll's priorities seem a bit misplaced unless it is your priority to hammer home to readers (day for day for day) how horribly unjust a nation the United States supposedly is. This is the very same sort of biased campaign journalism that SPON has been running for years.

@ Tibor
The US has the strictest Anti-discrimination laws anywhere. I remember the German congress did not wish to duplicate this law with the remark that it would bankrupt the country if adopted.
Disability protection is maily felt in the housing area where landlords have to do many things simply because being fined would be more expensive than doing the work.
Discrimination, in my opinion is an individual problem, not a cultural one.

I know it's not your statistic but I still find this table problematic. Firstly, it does not give any info about the 80% of population that is in between the tails of this statistic. And then the table talks about income but I wonder if that measure tells us a lot, even at PPP. The lowest 10% in Finland receive benefits in other forms: free healthcare and they have access probably the best education system in the western world.

I realise that this table is more about showing that we should not believe every stereotype that the German media throws at us but I still don't know if it is really useful. I think a look at unemployment statistics is more useful.

“Yes, it is segregation when the landlord tells you that the apartment is "already taken" because he knows you are a foreigner yet tells Germans interested in the apartment what time they can come over to look at the same place.”

When I was a GI stationed in Bad Hersfeld in the early 80's, Americans had to have a “club card” to get into popular discotheques. Of course, Germans did not need a club card. This was my first ever experience with discrimination as a Caucasian. It gave me an appreciation of what some Black and Asian people experience, (On both sides of the Atlantic).

Kind of interesting, but Deutsche Bank is now a defendant in a large sexual harassment suit. Those German executives should keep their hands to themselves!


I think the bank you're refering to is Dresdner Bank...

Getting back on the topic of income distribution and the status of the poor, several realities of American poor are widely ignored within the European media that are not exposed by this study.

For one, America has a very upwardly mobile society. The poor population is not static. At any given time, it is largely represented and replaced by new emerging groups of newly employed 19-25 year olds and new immigrants. There percentage of actual chronically impoverished within the US is a pretty small.

Even the homeless poor within the US is an interesting study. My spouse works feeding the homeless poor in an average, mid-sized US city. Yes, many of the homeless poor are mentally ill and some are disabled. Many of these, are only homeless because their existing problems are compounded by addiction. Also, there is a large percentage of able-bodied addicts within the homeless population.

Of the homeless poor she services, from 30-50% receive government benefit checks. This estimate is based on the number of "guests" requiring services at the beginning of the month (when government checks are disbursed), and the number requiring services from the middle through the end of the month. Many of the homeless that receive government benefits (often more than my wife's monthly wages), spend their benefits on cheap motel rooms, drugs, and hookers.

The networked charities in my community offer many services for addiction recovery, job training, and housing for the homeless poor willing to get back on their feet, and are sucessful in permanently helping some who are willing to make a change. The unfortunate reality is that many among the homeless population elect to remain homeless poor as a lifestyle choice.

BTW, responding to Tibor, who says he witnessed denigration against foreigners in NYC, I'll not call the guy a liar, but his experience was at the very most an abberation. I lived in Plainsboro, NJ, close to Princeton, for several years. I enjoyed the diverse environment, but even there it appeared that foreign born outnumbered native born Americans. Having frequently visited NYC via the PATH, I simply can not imagine that kind of a spectacle on a NY train, or anywhere else within the region.

I've lived in this country all my life, mostly in the Southeast, and I have travelled extensively throughout this nation. I have NEVER, anywhere in this country, witnessed someone telling anyone who was foreign born to "go home", or in any way making them feel uncomfortable. The only times I've heard the words "go home" shouted in public to any stranger has been at SEC football games, by home fans to the opposing team.

"But you it would only be honest to at least acknowledge that "overt housing discrimination" (1) is now ruled out by the Antidiskrimierungsgesetz which implements an EC directive but significantly goes beyond what was prescribed from Brussels, and (2) has been and still to a certain degree is a problem in the States as well--I am a securities lawyer, but I have done a fair share of pro bono work back when I was in New York."

I can only echo some of the other commenters on this one. There's a complete disconnect between this post and the reality of housing discrimination in Germany. The last time I was in Germany, something less than three years ago, it was commonplace to see "For Germans Only" in the apartment ads. You need to talk to someone from say, Vietnam or sub-Saharan Africa who's actually tried to find an apartment in Germany, Tibor. The housing discrimination there puts anything you'll find in the US in the shade. So what if they now have an "Antidiskriminierungsgesetz?" The Soviet Union had a great constitution on paper under Stalin, too. It didn't mean a thing. Time will tell whether the law is actually enforced. I doubt it. Enforcement of such laws is unlikely if the media are asleep at the switch. Have you seen a lot of articles appearing in the German media lately about housing discrimination? Neither have I! Do you think it's because housing discrimination doesn't exist in Germany? Dream on! The German media are too busy obsessing about social injustice in the US to worry about what's going on in their own backyard.

I just remembered. I was harassed by New Yorkers in the subway. I, too, was told to go home from where I came from, even though I am a native-born American. Of course, the fact that I was wearing a Boston Red Sox hat may have had something to do with the matter!

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