Exposing white Finnish privilege #79: Spreading lies at our economic peril

by , under Enrique Tessieri

What if most of the anti-immigration talking points spread by politicians like Jussi Halla-aho, Riikka Purra, and most of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party are just outright lies and urban legends? What if those false arguments put Finland in economic and social peril because they are untrue?


Source: Сato Institute

An interesting paper titled, The 14 Most Common Arguments against Immigration and Why They’re Wrong, published by the Cato Institute, dispels common myths.

Even if the Cato Institute list applies to the United States, it sits very well with Finland. The same arguments are made against immigrants in the United States are made in Finland.

Take, for instance, #2 “Immigrants abuse the welfare state,” a favorite argument of the PS. The party’s chairperson, Halla-aho, has gone as far as to state that low-income migrants come to Finland to work for a while and then live off welfare.

Like in Finland and the EU, some studies show that migrants are less likely to use social services and welfare. Migrants are a burden on state finances.

  • Read the complete list of counterarguments by the Cato Institute here

After following scores of anti-immigration groups and their arguments dating from the Nuiva Manifesto of 2010 to PS MP Sebastian Tynkkynen’s latest clown show proposal to tighten immigration policy, one argument is repeated over and over again: How to exclude and hinder the right of migrants and minorities to enjoy the same rights as white Finns.

White Finnish privilege #79

The media appears toothless in the face of these myths that are constantly recycled. The media becomes too often an uncritical rubber stamp for xenophobic politicians.

In the meantime, white Finnish privilege and denial ensure that matters will continue as today.

We could at least agree that the current hateful rhetoric and hostile environment, our immigration policy, and lies about migrants by different groups are hardly consistent with our own values.

Like Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) pointed out in his groundbreaking study of racism in the United States about eight years ago, US society lives in conflict because it does not practice what it preaches.

Do we practice the societal values we preach in Finland?

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