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Life Log

They Say There’s No Room for Immigrants While Desperate Rural Towns Lie Empty All Across the Western World

Here’s a thing I keep noticing, and it drives me nuts.

In Italy, a ship captain is arrested for bringing immigrants to shore after rescuing from them near death at sea:

The number of migrants reaching Italy’s shores has drastically diminished – just 2,800 so far this year – and the country is now led by a right-wing populist coalition elected partly on an anti-migrant platform.

Yet, at the same *exact time* a town in Italy is offering money to people to move there.

…one town in the country is offering foreigners $10,000 to move there. Another says it will even pay newcomers more than $1,000 per child to make babies.
The deals may seem too good to be true for many who dream of escaping the rat race for the idyll of a rustic Italian village. For the destinations involved, they represent a last-ditch battle to save the souls of their dying communities.
The town in question has lost 5,500 people. That’s *twice* as many as the 2,800 that Italy is willing to let people die at sea to try and keep out.
I know racists are gonna be racist. But, I keep seeing too many supposed moderates wringing their hands and repeating talking points that make it seem like Western countries are bursting at the seams with people and are unable to handle new people unless we are careful about who comes in. And it’s a false narrative. There’s room when rural depopulation is such a big problem that countries are freaking out about the massive demographic deserts.
They say there’s no room at the inn, while whole wings of it lay empty.

2 thoughts on “They Say There’s No Room for Immigrants While Desperate Rural Towns Lie Empty All Across the Western World”

  1. There are good reasons why those towns are dying.

    While it’s slightly a circular problem, it’s mostly the brutal logic that there are jobs in the city and none in the small rural town. You move there and say “I’ll do any job, anything at all” and get offered unpaid volunteer work visiting the elderly residents to make sure they haven’t died yet. But money? They have none. Getting immigrants in then paying them unemployment benefits is going to bother even many liberals.

    Aotearoa is a classic case study of this – farmers whine every year that they can’t get seasonal workers to pick fruit, but when people suggest paying higher wages they throw up their hands and say it can’t be done. Which, again, to some extent is true. Farmers can’t just increase prices because they’re price takers thanks to global agricultural commodities markets. The “solution” is to bring in cheap guest workers with the inevitable subtext “who will work for less than minimum wage”. And it’s often not so much a subtext as an explicit requirement.

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