It’s Time For the Loot Bag… Again.

    • The French daily Le Figaro reports that 1 in 3 refugee arrivals in France is non-Ukrainian.
    • It’s reminiscent of the Syrian refugee crisis, but to be fair, those numbers were much worse.
    • Western European taxpayers are generous but don’t like getting taken for a ride.

    Happy Hump Day from sunny Calbayog!

    We went to the beach yesterday, where I managed to keep my bald head from getting burned.

    The water is crystal clear in this part of the world, though they could clean up the beaches a bit.

    Micah and I splashed around in the water for a few hours, and then promptly crashed when we got home.

    To be honest, though, I’m still basking in the glow of his birthday party on Sunday.

    It was his first big kids’ party, and it was a big success.

    But the best part about it was how the kids were thrilled at the games and prizes.

    And then it got me thinking…

    Le Figaro

    I took French for four years in high school.

    It was a hoot.

    Monsieur Eggmann, my teacher, was hilariously dressed every day.

    Donning olive green suits with wild orange paisley ties, he was the epitome of the bohemian professional.

    I learned a lot about the French language, literature, and history.

    But like most American high school students of my generation, I can’t speak a word of it.

    I remember being in Paris at the Buddha Bar with my Hungarian girlfriend back in the early Naughties.

    I managed to throw out a perfect “Où sont les toilettes?

    Then the gentleman I had asked proceeded to firehose me in French where the toilets were.

    Luckily, he must’ve been ½ Italian, as I followed his finger-pointing while he was speaking.

    Merci beaucoup!” I said, as I scurried away.

    Suffice it to say, I don’t read Le Figaro every day, let alone in French.

    But I was directed to this article and had Google Translate parse it for me.

    From Le Figaro:

    Already more than 5,000 arrivals in France of migrants from Ukraine since the start of the Russian attack on February 25. A number “rapidly increasing,” says Prime Minister Jean Castex. They were “more than 500,” supervised by associations for the single day of Monday, arrived by bus, from Berlin in particular, but also by train or by plane. There are also all those who arrive by their own means in other cities, helped by their families settled in France.

    Are they all Ukrainians? In this expanding flow, around 30% are migrants who were in Ukraine when the conflict broke out, according to our information. In short: almost one in three refugees is not Ukrainian.

    The latest arrivals include more than 7.5% Algerians, 3.5% Ivorians, 3.5% Moroccans, 2.5% Indians, 2.5% Kyrgyz, 2% Congolese, 1 5% Cameroonians, 1% Pakistanis, but also Nigeriens, Chinese, Guineans, Angolans.

    Now for some context.

    The Syria situation was different, where you had hangers-on of all sorts migrate to Europe.

    As I wrote in an earlier Rude, only 29% of those migrants were Syrians.

    Then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her caretakers didn’t mind at all.

    That’s because not only was this seen as the humanitarian thing to do, but a way to big up Europe’s awful birth rate.

    And this time, the West didn’t start it (like in Libya), but the Russians did (after years of the US poking the bear).

    It seems this time public opinion may be different.

    The Loot Bag

    My first question was, “What are they doing in France?”

    But of course, France must take its “fair share” of refugees.

    And since the French government has taken the same hardline as every other Western government, their citizens will have their “fair share” taken from them to pay for this.

    And therein lies the fatigue.

    It’s the “loot bag.”

    What’s the loot bag, you ask?

    At Micah’s party, we gave prizes and bags to every child attendee.

    You should’ve seen their faces!

    The kids were glowing with happiness, especially after being locked up for two years here due to the government-induced private-sector shutdown.

    If you think those kids were all aglow, you can only imagine when a foreign government hands you a lifeline, courtesy of its own taxpayers.

    UK: Homes For Ukrainians

    Always good for a laugh, the BBChé has truly outdone itself this time.

    Let me lay the groundwork for you.

    Her Majesty’s Government has launched its Homes for Ukraine site for those wanting to host a refugee, with 100,000 signing up within the first day.

    Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove said the UK had a history of “supporting the most vulnerable during their darkest hours.”

    Here’s my favorite line from the piece:

    Each household housing a refugee will be offered £350 a month, tax-free.

    And where does the UK Government gets this £350?

    From taxes UK citizens already paid!

    So the UK Government promises not to tax money it has already given you from the money they’ve already taxed.

    Not very tax-free, is it?

    Later on in the article, the Ché writes:

    Local authorities will also receive £10,500 in extra funding per refugee for support services – with more for children of school age.

    No guesses for where that £10,500 comes from…

    Again, I’m not trying to rail against providing safety and succor to those in need, especially from the bombardment they’re suffering right now.

    But there are things all governments, not just the “I swear we’re not an empire anymore!” British, need to consider:

    What are the direct costs of these schemes, and how can we be as plain as possible that the taxpayers will pay for this?

    What indirect costs are my taxpaying population – and my poorer non-taxpaying population – already suffering?  (Such as rampant inflation.)

    How can we be sure that the refugees we’re housing are genuine?  That is, not economic migrants like during the Syrian debacle? 

    Oh, this is important: how long are they staying?

    I know this seems harsh, but I’m trying to keep my head when others – especially government ministers lavishly spending other people’s money – are losing theirs.

    All this contributes to the already out-of-control inflation the Western world is experiencing right now.

    Of course, there are other inflationary considerations, such as asinine money-printing, private sector shutdowns, and supply chain issues.

    All of those have been looked at in this newsletter.

    This is just one more consequence of what could be pathological altruism writ large.

    Wrap Up

    Sure, I’m all for good Christian charity.

    But robbing your taxpayers blind while couching it in “you’re evil if you disagree” terms is the height of lunacy.

    We need to stop confusing free goods with economic goods.

    And providing housing with no limit is certainly not free.

    The sooner this war is over, the better.

    Not just for Ukrainians.

    But also for a West paralyzed by bad policy.

    Until tomorrow.

    All the best,

    Sean

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