The Refugees as a Burden a Stimulus, and a Challenge to the by Friedrich Edding

By Friedrich Edding

The examine via Dr Friedrich Edding is, so far as i will be able to see, the 1st paper to regard the industrial aspect of the Refugee challenge in Western Germany in an neutral shape, exhibiting, at the foundation of recent figures, its confident in addition to its unfavourable element and influence. anyways it can be of a few use to underline - from the "bird's-eye view element" of Basle - a few of his conceptions and conclusions and to throw a few gentle at the sociological heritage which makes this actual challenge the challenging middle of the social and political scenario of Western Germany - and possibly of Western Europe besides. to begin with: it has to be famous that this medical research helps neither the optimists nor the pessimists. The optimists are absolute to admit that the stimulus supplied by way of new manpower and entrepreneurial initiative is greater than counterbalanced by means of loss of capital and by way of the necessity for huge relief within the type of housing, outfits and cash for hundreds of thousands of refugees who're outdated, ill or for different purposes not able to paintings. The pessimists are absolute to admit that the weight of nine million immigrants is an tremendously stimulating problem to Western Germany and that this burden is in part counterbalanced through the hot enterprises, tools and strategies which owe their starting place, program or improvement respectively to the Refugee marketers, cattle-breeders or seed-growers.

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In most cases they fail to register themselves as unemployed and looking for work. Since it is very difficult for these women to find steady, worthwhile jobs in the areas where they are now living, there is little hope of improving their condition or lightening the public burden resulting from their lack of employment. From these circumstances and from the fact that the refugee families have relatively more children than the regular population it appears unlikely that the refugees at any time in the foreseeable future will offer the same percentage of workers and workseekers as the regular population.

Because of the high mortality rate among the older people from the stresses of the expulsion and the long overland trek, and because of the comparatively small military losses among males in certain groups of expellees from non-German areas, the refugees have to-day relatively more manpower in the productive age groups than the regular population. THE WEST GERMAN ECONOMY 25 Nevertheless the total percentage of male and female persons seeking work among the refugees is lower than among the regular population.

Their efforts have been naturally well supported by the public authorities. The great economic success of these farming specialists is a clue to what the other refugee farmers might accomplish if they were given similar official preference and assistance in acquiring land, inventory and equipment. A greater flexibility in the pattern of land ownership, which has been frozen to a certain extent through legal and traditional restrictions on transfer, would tend to promote productivity. The imposition of a peracre tax under the proposed law for Equalization of Burdens and the reduction of protective tariffs should, it is to be hoped, 40 THE REFUGEES AS A STIMULUS AND A CHALLENGE encourage this flexibility, and so give many a competent refugee farmer a chance to bid for land which at present is inefficiently used.

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