Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Danes legalize stealing from desperate people

When I first heard about Denmark's plan to confiscate valuables from refugees last month, I assumed it would never actually happen. But apparently, the legislation was overwhelmingly approved today and it looks like the confiscation law will go into effect.

The reason I thought the plan would never happen is not just because it reminds everyone of the Nazis seizing valuables from Jews, although that bad P.R. alone I would have thought would have been enough to kill it. I also thought it would never pass is because it just creates really perverse incentives, the kind of incentives that an anti-refugee person would not want. All this rule is going to do is discourage  better off refugees, the ones who have assets that would make them less likely to depend on the Danish welfare system to survive, from coming to Denmark, while doing nothing to discourage poorer refugees. But most anti-immigrant people want the opposite, to keep out the poorer people.