Western Immigrants give profit and Non-Western cost Denmark?? (read the Rockwool Foundation research “Indvandrere og danskeres nettobidrag til de offentlige finanser” – Danish only, or the english news here)
As a matter of fact, non-western immigrants is such diversified group. Yes, there are certain non-western sub-groups which remain in needs to be assisted when it comes to immigration (and this is the government’s job to do something for these groups, by stricter law, or high commitment to improve the integration program).
….but, AVERAGING the term, “Non-Western”, in this research, is such a misleading information. Big time. It is a potential contrary for many sub-groups of non-western immigrants in Denmark.
I am a non-western immigrant, but I’VE NEVER TAKEN A SINGLE FREE KRONOR from this country until this second. Shortly after I arrived in Denmark, I work, I regularly pay tax, I bought an apartment and paid all expensive charges for it (pæntebrev, inspection, loan interest, lawyer, etc.), I volunteer, and even my danish class and healthcare access are essentially a subsidy because i and many other taxpayers, pay tax. So far, I haven’t touched the benefits such as kontanthjælp (unemployment benefits), løntilskud (salary subsidy from the government), SU (student stipend), etc. I probably will take the benefit one day, such as børnepenge (child support, if i will have a child someday), but by then I would have contributed something to the economy, which will validate this benefit as my right as a residence.
The fact that I grew up in a non-welfare state where everything is not free,had pushed me to work extra miles. When I was a kid, I could earn Rp.1000 (10 cents USD) if I could memorize sets of english words my family drilled to me per day. I would sleep at 1 or 2 AM in the morning doing homework, reviewing study materials, or preparing for the test, so that every semester, my parents could pick my school report in pride, despite them sitting among rich parents, waiting my name to be called among the TOP 10. I would sleep late to make sure I studied hard enough, so that by the end of the year, I’d secure scholarship to lessen my parents’ obligation to pay tuition, or to enter the best school due to my self capacity (while some parents had to pay higher percentage of tuition, even bribing school official). Essentially, I use to work harder because I understand that things that I want do not come instantly.
This is what my parents gave me: A bait to catch the fish, and not the fish itself. This is what my parents taught me: Hard work, including the teaching to be ashamed of taking benefits without hard work. This is their legacy, despite catching up to meet their monthly ends, with 3 children. This is all about perseverance: not to give up with the constraints that are facing the life. so that I’d have a strong mentality that will make me survive, on my own feet, wherever I go.
Surely, I had a lot of arguments with my parents. We face different values such as freedom of faith and expressions, gender equality, sense of independence, and so on, and so forth, mainly because I adopt a lot of views from the countries I had traveled to. But still, they had invested a valuable lesson which enables me to begin life as a profitable immigrant in Denmark.
And this essence is something that Marie Louise Schultz-Nielsen & Torben Tranæs, who wrote this research on behalf of the Rockwool Foundation, do not take into account. That there are non-western groups, such as groups of Asians (of course I use this term loosely as this doesn’t necessarily imply to all Asians) who brought intrinsic traits of hardship; who would dare to cross the ocean, start penniless in this country, but work day and night, bullet sweat, until they become self-sufficient. They would then raise their kids, educate, and train them harder than anyone else, investing everything they have for the future of their children, to make sure their children don’t become a liability, in whatever forms, for the society.
The research opts not to classify the cost and benefits generated from each different group. If (please note, I wrote “IF”) this research is meant to give insight for the Danish economy (which I am not sure what the state will use it for), just like investment (the future value, ROIs, break-event-point, you name it…), it also needs to be assessed base on the values of each different diversification.
I love Denmark, and also want the country receives talented immigrants who bring positive contribution, but this averaging/ generalizing term of “Non-western immigrants cost Denmark” is like taking no account to those who have given something for Denmark. What this Rockwool Foundation’s report needs to improve is to give details about the performance of various Non-western groups so that it doesn’t end as a pragmatic conclusion in the Danes’ eyes that all non-western immigrants are costly for the country, which problematically can end up as discrimination treatment in the law and society.