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With the coming economic difficulties, I fully expect xenophobia to increase in all social ranks. Scarce resources in "Darwin's & Hobbes' World" will make xenophobia seem more rational. As a recently naturalized citizen, that makes me a little bit nervous. But no fear! Apparently, I don't belong to the "subprime migration" wave of Turks and Arabs [/sarcasm].

Our own experience, as well as that of other countries, demonstrates that merely being rich is no bar to a society's retreat into rigidity and intolerance once enough of its citizens lose the sense that they are getting ahead. [...]

But it would be equally foolish to ignore the effects of two decades of economic stagnation for a majority of the nation's citizens in bringing about these hanges. And it would be complacent not to be concerned now that the economy's prospects are in question once again. The history of each of the large Western democracies --the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany-- is replete with instances of just this kind of turn away from openness and tolerance, [...]

The attitude of people toward themselves, toward their fellow citizens, and toward their society as a whole is different when their living standard is rising from when it is stagnant or falling. It is likewise different when they view their prospects and their children's prospects with confidence as opposed to looking ahead with anxiety or even fear.

Friedman, Benjamin M. The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 at 08:07:38 PM EST
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