Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji has hit back at claims Sweden would collapse without illegal migrant workers saying the notion was a “fantasy”.
Mr. Sanandaji, a noted economist who has been outspoken about the consequences of unrestricted mass migration, wrote a post on his Facebook page in response to comments made by Swedish journalist Åsa Linderborg who said Sweden could not function without illegal migrants.
“It is a fantasy that the economy would collapse without a few thousand undocumented migrants in low-wage occupations,” Sanandaji wrote. “Sweden worked demonstrably a few years ago when there were few illegal immigrants.”
According to the economist, illegal migrants have a very small impact on the overall economy because so few of them are employed. “Paperless migrants are a tiny fraction of the labour force and is in excess in professions that can easily be done by others. Low wages, no social benefit. It reflects the low productivity of the marginal service occupations that are barely required and can be easily replaced.”
Hitting out at left wing parties who are often pro-migrant, he noted: “An illegal sector distorts competition and crowds out the unemployed who are looking for the few simple jobs that remain. It is harmful and unwanted and opposed by the traditional left.”
The economist, of Kurdish-Iranian background, did not stop with his criticism of left wing parties calling them an “immigration cult”. “They romanticise … undeclared work and wage dumping and have now begun to argue that the economy ‘needs’ a low-paid subclass.”
He then accused the left of creating a new class of poor, something that Sweden has attempted to fight through social programmes for decades. “Cultural Left’s new slogan can be summarised as ‘We want what the United States has!'” he said, comparing the mantra to those in the U.S. who claim that without illegal migrants, the economy would collapse.
Mass migration and its effect on the economy has been the subject of a book by Sanandaji entitled Mass Challenge. The book became controversial in some circles in Sweden including a library which refused to stock the book claiming it was promoting racism.
Economists across Europe have spoken out against the purported economic benefits of mass migration. Economist Johan Javeus claimed that migrants were a “ticking time bomb” in Sweden which will harm the Swedish economy.
In Germany, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) wrote a report claiming that mass migration would likely harm long-term economic growth rather than improve it.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org