Economics Index and Qualifications
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

America's Secret to Integrating Muslim Immigrants, and Achieving Super High Income

Many rich industrial democracies are having difficulties integrating Muslim immigrants into their societies. The Muslims often live in their own neighborhoods which become so dangerous for non-Muslims and even the police that their neighborhoods become no go zones.

There is an exception to this rule, however. America is very successful at integrating Muslims into society. Furthermore, being the generous nation that we are, I thought America should share the secret with you.

Our secret is violent street crime. When you immigrate to America you must struggle to succeed and fit in or you will have to live in a violent, crime, and drug ridden neighborhood. As living near the bottom of American society is dangerous, the Muslims quickly adjust and move ahead in American society.

This ability to quickly integrate immigrants is one of the little recognized advantages of having the highest murder rate of any industrial society.

America's High Economic Output

It is however not the only advantage. The per person output of the American economy is generally higher than almost all other industrial democracies. Another way of saying per person economic output used by my fellow economists is per capita gross domestic product, or per capita GDP.

Many industrial democracies have caught up with America in per capita GDP measured in terms of ordinary exchange rates, but America leads almost all oil importing countries of more than a million population when differences in prices are taken into account. When you take differences in prices into account it is called purchasing power parity, often abbreviated PPP.

The secret to our greater productivity is once again our violent criminals. We have a much longer work year than most other industrial democracies because we are trying to earn enough money to stay out of the violent neighborhoods. Our productivity per hour worked is not exceptional.

Now you might think I am being generous, perhaps excessively generous, even traitorous, sharing this crucial secret with another country. But the other industrial democracies are our good friends. Democracies have peaceful relations with one another, and developed industrial democracies are very stable so we can trust that you will remain our allies and good friends.

Sharing Our Resource

Given this, I believe America should go beyond sharing its secret, we should also share our good fortune with you.

As you may know, a larger portion of the American people are behind bars than any other country in the world, rich or poor, democracy or dictatorship. This means that we are simply warehousing violent criminals, the crucial ingredient to both integrating Muslims and a hyper productive economy.

What is more as men grow older they lose their violent tenancies, so we are effectively warehousing a perishable good. By the time these violent criminals get out, if they do not die in prison, they will not be up to murdering, robbing, raping, battering, or generally creating the fear that is so crucial to integrating immigrants into society and stimulating productive hard work in the rest of the population.

So we could simply send you some of our prison population, or alternatively send you violent criminals who are not in prison, while releasing some of our prison population back into American society to maintain the proper level of fear. If we all share, and no one wastes, we will all have enough.

Practical Application

Of course you would have to be out of your minds to agree to this plan, nevertheless, there are still important implications to this.

It is widely believed that America's edge over Europe is America's large integrated market. The Euro is part of an attempt to create a similar large integrated market for Europe. But if we recognize that Americans are not particularly productive per hour worked, and we simply work longer hours to escape crime and other social pathologies, then a large part of the justification for the Euro disappears.

The world is currently suffering from an extended economic slump and high unemployment in many high income, developed economies. As austerity imposed to make the Euro work is one of the major causes of that slump, it is important to realize the advantages of the Euro are probably an illusion. Without America's violent crime Europe will probably continue to lag behind America economically simply because Europeans do not work as many hours.

Finally, do not let the fact that America can integrate Muslims more successfully or our greater economic output bother you too much. America's success is not the result of America's virtues as much as it is the product of America's faults.

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Last updated June 23, 2014

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