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Germany’s Immigration Problem – Local Charity Food For Locals Only

Milton Friedman, among other people, said, among other things, that you can have free immigration without a welfare state open to all, or you can have that welfare state but not free immigration. Something that the Essener Tafel has just confronted as it has insisted that it will not be offering free food from its food banks to people without a German passport.

Yes, that is unfair to the million or so refugees and economic migrants (they’ve not got the two groups sorted out as yet) that Frau Merkel invited into the country. But then so what? There are always going to be parts of life that are unfair and the lack of free food would seem to be a minor one.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the latest politician to criticise a major food bank’s decision to bar foreigners from receiving free food.

The charity Essener Tafel called it a temporary restriction necessary because the share of foreigners using the food bank had soared to 75% in recent years.

The charity says it helps about 16,000 poor people in Essen, a city in the western industrial Ruhr region.

It’s a great and good thing that the needy receive nature’s (perhaps industry’s but still) bounty. So what actually is the problem?

Sartor argued that the exclusion of foreigners was in the interests of fairness, not xenophobia. He said that a large number of foreigners—most of whom were young men—queueing for food had scared away elderly women and single mothers, who had stopped coming to Essener Tafel.

That would be those with full beards who claimed to be children then, would it?

OK, now park prejudice over there by the door. And think a little harder about this – yes, Milton Friedman was right. We can indeed have that free migration or the welfare state, we cannot have both borders and the Treasury open to all. There’s even that interesting interim arrangement. Sure, you can come right on over but you don’t get anything from the welfare system until you’ve been here 5 years. Say. Just as a time limit in order to demonstrate the principle. Or we can have that system which provides for all whenever but you can’t come right on in.

The nasty truth being that resources are limited – that’s what something being an economic good means – and thus there has to be some limit on access to said resources. Elinor Ostrom even won her Nobel for both making this point and outlining how such restrictions can be constructed within a society. “The commons” that she formally studied and the general resources of society available to immigrants and others are still economic resources and still subject to the same strictures.

And here’s where it gets harsh. The universe doesn’t allow the no restrictions on any of it answer. So you’ve got to choose, what is it that you’re willing to limit? Entry or access? Gotta be one of them.

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decnine
decnine
2 years ago

Don’t they have anti-discrimination laws in Germany?

bloke in spain
bloke in spain
2 years ago

The fundamental problem here is a matter of rights. Which don’t exist except in the strictly legal sense. There are only obligations. And one can’t really say a person owes another person obligations unless there’s parity. The second person must owe the first matching obligations.
There has to be some limit on obligations. One can’t be obliged to the entire planet so how can anti-discrimination apply top someone not a german resident?

Spike
Spike
2 years ago

Surely Germans are clever to devise a cuddly catch-all such as “Dreamers” and find a few anecdotes to argue that none of the scruffy youngsters are responsible for their own situation. Crossing a border to escape war versus crossing a border to earn more money is a minor issue if the target country has a big sign that says, “FREE EATS.” By the way, this episode highlights the difference between charity and entitlement: An authentic charity knows its resources are limited and at some point asks whether the recipient needs the charity and whether the gift is doing any good.… Read more »

Maritime Barbarian
Maritime Barbarian
2 years ago

The old Poor Law restricted welfare to people born in the parish.
There was free migration for most of the 19th C. But the migrants didn’t get the welfare.
QED.

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
2 years ago

Even if we did (and the courts allowed us to) restrict benefits, SE England would still struggle to accommodate all those who would like to come and live (and work) here. (Completely) free movement of peoples is a chimera.

Baxter Basics MP
Baxter Basics MP
2 years ago

Could there be a market solution – in Baden-Württemberg quite a few of the food banks charge. I’m thinking of the one at Ludwigsburg which I chanced upon after a visit to a FKK club nearby. The prices are low, very low in fact, but the people coming are treated like customers and the balance of locals and immigrants seems ok.
If only there was a way that the immigrants could participate more in the labour market.

Bloke in North Dorset
Bloke in North Dorset
2 years ago

Assuming they are a real charity this could be quite entertaining for us and instructive for SJWs. If the government insist that the charity open its doors to all, its donors would be quite entitled to point to Merkel and say, you invited them, that’s what our taxes are for, or words to that effect, and stop supporting the charity. I know that would be my attitude. Result, nobody wins. The next step would to be even more localised and give directly to those with a German passport who are in need and miss out the middlemen, it would be… Read more »

bloke in spain
bloke in spain
2 years ago

“If only there was a way that the immigrants could participate more in the labour market.”
What about the FKK?

jgh
jgh
2 years ago

But clearly, immigrants aren’t benefit scroungers, they’re uniformly contributors to both society and the state, so any reports of them turning up at food banks is clearly false news.

Bloke in North Dorset
Bloke in North Dorset
2 years ago

I suppose I’ll be branded a racist for even thinking this; I wonder if there’s something a bit deeper that we aren’t being told? Perhaps a secondary market selling items from the food bank?

BenS
BenS
2 years ago

I have seen German-plated vans in France (and Switzerland I believe) with swarthy blokes selling stuff directly to similarly coloured other folks out the back. So… it’s not impossible.

JerryC
JerryC
2 years ago

Beyond the rights and wrongs of the food bank dispute itself, it seems significant that this charity is willing to publicly deny benefits to migrants, and defend its reasons for doing so. The media gives you the impression that everyone is on board with Mutti Merkel’s plans for transforming Europe, but it’s obvious that there are cracks just below the surface.

NiV
NiV
2 years ago

“There’s even that interesting interim arrangement. Sure, you can come right on over but you don’t get anything from the welfare system until you’ve been here 5 years. Say. Just as a time limit in order to demonstrate the principle.” Why not replace most of the welfare system with an range of competitive insurance schemes? It’s like house insurance or medical insurance. Everyone pays in, and if your house burns down some of the money paid in is paid out to you. Everyone pays in, and if you lose your job some of the money paid in is paid out… Read more »

John Galt
2 years ago

Just a thought, but can they restrict it to Germans rather than EU citizens without falling foul of the ECJ? @BIND: Even if they were forced to make that distinction, it would still exclude the majority of those non-EU foreign nationals who are in Germany as temporary refugees or those seeking asylum which has not yet been granted as they have neither EU citizenship, German citizenship nor even a German Residence Permit. All they have is an “Ankunftsnachweis” (Arrival Certificate), which is a form of official identification issued by the German government, but little more than that. I doubt there… Read more »

HJ
HJ
2 years ago

Hold on a minute. I have read The Guardian and I am assured that the need for food banks has arisen only because of the dastardly Tory government and its policies, and that it is all different (and better) in Europe.

I didn’t realise that our Tory government was in charge in Germany.

Ljh
Ljh
2 years ago

The German tax payer is more generous towards the young able bodied migrants than it is towards its elderly, not just in cash but also kind(accommodation, medical insurance, dental care). The latter are the poorest in society.
http://gatesofvienna.net/2018/02/culture-enrichers-barred-from-food-bank-in-essen/

Tim Newman
2 years ago

I suspect the average German might not mind giving some of their supplies to a needy German. They might, though, object to giving them to a needy Afghan. This is why mulit-culturalism doesn’t work.

Southerner
2 years ago

About half of refugees are families. The other half are young single men. (I can’t find the citation so you’re welcome to bash this.) Where are the young single women? I was loftily informed that the young single men are waiting to get a job and put some money together, then they will assist their young single countrywomen to flee. Others tell me that the young single male refugees aren’t interested in their countrywomen, they want to get stuck into European chicks. Should local charity (free) f**ks be for locals only?

Felipe Grey
Felipe Grey
2 years ago

Do German food banks offer Halal food now?

jgh
jgh
2 years ago

I predict that once the Citizens’ Income is implemented, there will be screams of disgust that it’s denied to non-citizens.

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