Migration and Remittances prop up corrupt governments in poor countries

Migration, Remittances and Foreign Aid Keep Corrupt Leaders in Power

The migration game

Would-be immigrants arrive on a boat (Photo credit Mauro Seminara/AFP/Getty Images)

Many people are encouraged and sometimes paid and helped to leave their countries by their governments.  Removal of unemployed potential trouble makers is beneficial to the government in power. It is a kind of safety valve, ensuring continuation of corrupt government power that might otherwise be challenged.

Developing countries profit from emigration in two ways. First, unemployed citizens that leave the country lift the burden of providing for them and eliminate a source of civil unrest or political challenges. Secondly, the economies of poor countries benefit from remittances, i.e. money sent back to families in their home countries.  Some countries depend on these remittances to prop up their economies.  For example, in 2016 Mexico officially received $26.1 billion in remittances sent back to families by Mexican immigrants, mostly from the United States. That’s roughly 2.5 percent of Mexico’s GDP, which is a significant contribution to the country’s economy. Because this is an estimate with no way of knowing the exact amount, it may be much higher.

Remittances account for a significant part of the GDP of some developing countries in Africa.  See values from World Bank/IMF, in the table below. As expected, the neediest countries receive the most remittances as a % of GDP.  Although Nigeria is on the low side as a % of GDP, it is the most populous with comparably higher GDP, so that the actual amount is quite high.

Country Remittances as % of GDP
Liberia > 20%
Cameroon > 15%
Gambia > 15%
Lesotho > 10%
Senegal > 10%
Cape Verde > 10%
Togo > 3%
Mali > 3%
Ghana > 3%
Nigeria > 3%

Source: “Where to Invest 2018,” Rand Merchant Bank, from World Bank/ IMF data

The Foreign Aid Trap

Government to government foreign aid with little or no accountability is also a part of this picture.  Very little of the foreign aid actually gets to the people who need it, much less to infrastructure building that can encourage investment and raise standards of living and health. Leaders get rich while their people remain in poverty, sickness, ignorance and isolation.  Corrupt dictators and their regimes benefit from keeping their countries poor. As long as the people are needy, the aid keeps coming. Raising the economy and standard of living has the opposite effect. Corrupt governments are only accountable to their international donors, not the people.  Any foreign aid should be temporary emergency relief with strict accountability for its use.  Without unaccountable foreign aid, governments would be dependent on their tax base.  They would be forced to encourage investment, develop infrastructure and contribute to economic development.

Additionally, poor countries have been prevented from developing by UN, advocacy groups and their own corrupt leaders.  What these countries need are Infrastructure, (roads, reliable electricity, etc.), Investment (foreign and domestic), Employment, Education and Disease Control.

Natural and Artificial Migration

What is the reason for much of the new waves of migration flooding Europe and the United States? Are conditions getting that much worse in their home countries than previously, or is there another answer?  According to open borders believers, it is because overpopulation is getting so bad.  I have heard the refrain, “they are escaping from overpopulated countries because they have no place else to go.”  That is pure rubbish aka propaganda.  This myth is pushed by the United Nations and advocacy groups promoting a worldwide campaign for population control and open borders. The world is far from overpopulated by any definition, whether it is food scarcity or room for the people. Hunger usually has more to do with politics than anything else.

It is important to point out that there are two types of immigration, Illegal or unauthorized and legal or sanctioned by receiving countries.  Sending countries have historically been allowed by receiving countries to send people at a reasonable rate that allows for absorption with minimal cultural disruption.  Strict guidelines have always required good health, no criminal record and evidence of self-support or a sponsor.

While a trickle of unauthorized migration with no supporting documentation has always happened, the current flood of unauthorized immigrants is a fairly new phenomenon.  In many cases it is more like an invasion, complete with militant behavior, than simple migration.   The flood is composed mostly of young, able bodied men, with only a few women and children.  Poverty, overpopulation and violence, in the form of wars and civil unrest, are three of the “reasons,” aka excuses, given for the flood.  However, these causes cannot explain the huge increase in numbers because there has been little or no change in the amount of distress in the world. What could have caused this sudden onslaught?

While some migrants are fleeing from violence in war torn areas, most are not, and they certainly are not displaced by the supposed struggling hordes of overpopulation.  The image projected by pictures of overcrowded city slums is of wallowing masses of destitute people.  That is certainly not the case for most of the world.  Most of the people in poor countries are concentrated in cities for job opportunities, not because there is nowhere else to go. The remainder of each country is, if anything, under populated.  So, if not overpopulation, why do they leave their homes for a strange land?

This is being encouraged by advocacy groups for various reasons, including those who want to bring down Western civilization such as Islamists, Communists and their sympathizers.  The new flood of migrants originated, largely as a way to disrupt Western civilization and impose socialism, Communism or Islamic Sharia Law and is supported by money and propaganda from advocacy groups.  People are paid, promised jobs, given new clothing, supported on their journey with food, water and shelter, and often given ship or rail passage. Where does all this money come from? It comes from wealthy donors and other backers that seek to change the world to fit their ideologies.

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My new book, Saving Africa From Lies That Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries is now available in print and eBook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million.  Learn how you can help.

After reading the book, please remember to review it on Amazon; share it with a friend and do your part to end bad practices. l

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