Germany, United States and mass migration
Last week W&D ventured into the delicate world of mass-migration. And some readers asked for more insights. As responsive as always, W&D presents two streams of thought.
If demographics is destiny, then Germany has a problem. Its population is declining. And, as noted by respected demographic analysis company, Global Demographics, given current trends in births, deaths and historic migration rates, it is expected to continue to decline. In the last decade Germany's population declined from 82.5 million to 80.1 million, and the forecast is to 77.8 million by 2025 and 72.7 million by 2035.
Germans are well known to be extremely productive. But they are not very reproductive. Germany has the lowest birth rate in the world. And with more deaths than births each year, it is estimated that 59% of the population is over 40 years of age.
The outcome? Germany has an impending problem of not enough workers to support the older population. Help W&D out here, where can Germany get more young workers?
Bingo: refugees. Was this fact the real heart of Angela Merkel's decision to partially open the door to Syrian refugees? W&D is not suggesting an absence of altruism in the Chancellor's decision, just an undertone of Teutonic pragmatism.
US presidential wannabee Donald Trump has touched a chord with some Americans with his vow to build a 3,100 km wall on the border of the US and Mexico. Why? To stop the mass migration of Mexicans into the US.
However, W&D has some sympathy with the Mexicans. Mexicans can assert a claim to much of the United States: all of Texas, all of California, and much of New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nevada and Utah were part of Mexico until the 1835-6 Texan War of Independence and the 1846-8 Mexican American War (and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo).
In fact, Mexico is the only country that the US has invaded, occupied its capital and annexed a lot of its territory.
So perhaps it is not a mass migration of Mexicans into the US. But rather a return of Mexicans to their own land.
And Mr Trump perhaps hasn't the cojones, or is it intellect, to give a view on that possibility.