An observation, just in case somebody should have forgotten…

“In 2008, employment rates were 82% and 77% for native Danish men and women respectively, compared to 63% and 50% for non-Western immigrant men and women (Statistics Denmark, 2009).”

Here’s the link.


June 10, 2011 - Posted by | Data, Demographics, immigration, Studies


  1. Til dit næste “random wikipedia-links”-indlæg;

    Comment by WilliamJansen | June 11, 2011 | Reply

    • Nej, det tror jeg ikke. Jeg er ikke en fan. For at sige det mildt.

      Comment by US | June 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. Next paragraph: “The Danish welfare state is based on universal, tax-financed social benefits and rights to free social services, health care and education for all individuals resident in Denmark (Torfing, 1999).”

    Incentives matter. It would not be easy, but I could be convinced that a very limited social net is a public good. Take it just a notch too far, and you begin to seriously destroy incentives to work. Social do-gooders always seem to under-estimate the number of people who would choose a low-status life, if it is fully paid by others, even if they could improve their status significantly by studying and working. I do not have a link handy, but have seen references to studies that show how strongly changes in the duration of unemployment benefits are related to changes in the average time spent unemployed.

    I have developed some distaste for Tyler Cowen for his squeamishness and indecision, but I give him credit for his Zero Marginal Product (ZMP) worker stance. It’s as simple as this: the western world is running out of jobs for non-educated, manual laborers. When a recession hits, those jobs lost do not come back, when the economy picks up – they get outsourced, or automated. The job of the secretary/typist – staple of female employment for about 1/2 century – is now virtually gone. So is the job of the bank teller – ATMs took care of that. At least in the US, self-checkout counters are becoming more and more popular – where you scan your own purchases, bag them, and pay, with a store employee involved only if there is a problem. Hence, the job of the sales clerk is next to vanish. Google is already testing driverless cars – so I would guess in another 20 years or so drivers will be becoming obsolete too. [Incidentally, most train conductors in the US these days do basically nothing but twiddle their thumbs – the automated system does all the work – they are there “just in case” and “because the union said so”.] Similar stories abound in agriculture, textiles, construction…

    Significant, and growing, numbers of people are becoming unemployed because they are unemployable – they have no valuable skill to contribute that a machine or a foreign worker cannot provide more cheaply. Human physical strength and hand-to-eye coordination are no longer enough to earn one a living. Yet the West depends on such people to pay the pensions of its aging cohorts of workers. These people also vote. Does not compute, to use the cliche.

    Europe and America have responded mostly by importing more ZMP workers – from the Muslim countries and Mexico, respectively, and then paying them, and the native ZMP workers ever more generous benefits to not work.

    It can be just my own blindness, but I see the ZMP worker as a challenge the world is not ready for – not without a major paradigm shift. I cringe at the thought of sounding Marxist, but “labor” in its generic form has to go, and make place for specialized labor – but it will not go without a fight. As long as 80% of Danes are willing to work to feed 50% of non-Danes (or the equivalent elsewhere), the status quo can be maintained. Good luck when Danes need to retire.

    Comment by Plamus | June 11, 2011 | Reply

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