Tuesday, March 17, 2009

To Michael Halila, part 4

Michael's latest answer is here.

"Unfortunately this conversation is threatening to become disingenuous to the point of sophistry."

Disingineous? I think you are quite sincere, and I know I am.

" Unless, of course, you are intending to correct those factors. Are you?

Yes. That is the entire point of my objection. Did you miss it?"

I don't think "our integration policies don't work right and we should correct them so that refugees are integrated better" is the same point as "we can and will correct everything that makes them unemployed and/or criminal in disproportionate numbers".

For example: the integration system can be corrected in such a way that all or almost all people who had some proper (as in "usable in Finland") profession in Somalia would find jobs like everyone else. It would be much harder to change the integration system in such a way that people who came as illiterate adults would find jobs. Any efficient "correction" for that factor would in all probability mean keeping the illiterate out. I don't, however, think that this is what you meant.

"To sum up, there are problems with the integration of refugees into Finnish society. The way I see it, there are two possible approaches to resolving these problems:

1) stop or limit the immigration of refugees because they cause problems. Crudely speaking, blame the refugees and stop them from coming to Finland.

2) try to fix the political and socioeconomic causes of the problems. Crudely speaking, blame Finnish society and the state, and try to fix them.

I don't know when you missed that I've been constantly trying to argue for option 2, or if you're just trying to score rhetorical points."

I haven't missed that. I am just trying to point out that there are also combinations of the two options, just as first fix the problems and then raise the quota, which is what I have been arguing for.

My original point, however, was that a need for some kind of a quota is inherent in the whole process of refugee admissions, and that there is no point in pretending otherwise. If or when the problems really are fixed this quota can well be much higher than the current numbers.

"In my opinion, the problems associated with refugees are not a "refugee problem" as such but one manifestation of wider problems in Finnish society and politics."

In my opinion they are both. A refugee who really wants to integrate can do it quite well with the current system, and on the other hand a system that really pressures refugees to integrate can integrate even those who are not particularly interested. It's when refugees are not interested in integrating (or, in some cases, are not integrable) *and* the system in not really trying to integrate them that we get 60% unemployment rates.

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