Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Fun Online Polls: Immigrants in Germany in work & competing theories of gravity

The responses to last fortnight's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

What percentage of the 1.2 million Arabs who arrived in Germany in the last two years are in gainful employment?

1 percent - 34%
3 percent - 20%
5 percent - 13%
10 percent - 16%
25 percent - 9%
50 percent - 5%
All of them - 2%

The weighted average of those guesses is 10%, the true figure, as admitted by the German government, normally obsessed with downplaying any negatives associated with the recent mass immigration, is only 13%.

So the wisdom of crowds wins yet again! (I previously referred to an article in the Daily Mail that said the figure was only 3%, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt.)

The joke is that a couple of years ago, a lot of Germans were saying that immigration will be good for their economy because it helps ameliorate the effects of an ageing population, low birth rate and a shrinking working age population. That's all fine, provided the additional working age people are actually working, which quite clearly (in contrast to the position in the UK), they are not: they are a massive drain, even if we put social and criminal issues to one side.
There was an interesting piece on BBC Radio 4 this morning about competing theories of gravity.

There's no point me trying to summarise, so please read this article before casting your vote in this week's Fun Online Poll.

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.


mombers said...

Any idea if the employment numbers are adjusted to exclude children and mothers with children under 1 year?

paulc156 said...

The poll does show that over 80% of respondents to the fun poll underestimated the proportion of refugees in work.Almost all suggested 10% or less were working.

I doubt the German gov' thought that most of these immigrants would be in work in such a short time of arriving off the boat as it were. They probably thought in time most would find work and would want to find work, since that has been the previous experience. The article linked to does explain that many of these recent immigrants are ill prepared for work. ie;don't speak German[yet], suffering from trauma, not in great health and so on. Also many are not even allowed to work so soon after coming in. They need to get permission first...shock! The polling also reveals that the vast majority of those coming in do want to find work. so in fact there is good reason to assume that in coming years most of these migrants will find work as has been the case before now.
From the same article:
"Herbert Bruecker of the IAB Institute for Employment Research said experience showed around 50 percent of migrants tended to have found employment after living in Germany for five years, at least 60 percent were in work after 10 years and 70 percent after 15 years."

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, yes of course, the Germans are anxious to downplay unemployment rates, just like any other government.

PC, we can have this conversation again in ten years.

Ed P said...

There's another interesting gravitational theory which excludes dark matter, see

Sean Vosper said...

In other news - interesting piece from Ben at the ASI:

Derek said...

Yep, Ed. The Unruh effect, that's my favourite. Extremely speculative though. But it does away with the need for dark matter AND it combines quantum with relativity. Both good in my book.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ed & Derek, thanks, if you reckon it's plausible I will have a look.

SC, the first few paragraphs are the usual lies and drivel, I couldn't be bothered reading to the end.

Bayard said...

"So the wisdom of crowds wins yet again! (I previously referred to an article in the Daily Mail that said the figure was only 3%, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt.)"

What wisdom of the crowds? As P156 points out, 84% guessed too low and only 16% too high. Also I get the weighted average to be 7.7%, close to half the true figure. (OK, if you are rounding to the nearest 10%, then 7.7 rounds up to 10 and 13 rounds down to ten, but I think that is what is meant by "lies, damned lies and statistics).

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, the weighted average is 10.258%, end of discussion.

Whether 13% is true is open to debate.

Dinero said...

The concept proposed of '' dark energy '' is non sense. Energy is not a substance , it is a description of the movement of an object.

wiggiatlarge said...

Look again in ten years and you will probably see a similarity to the employment figures for Muslim population of Tower Hamlets, and for very similar reasons.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Din, I tjink 'dark energy' is just embellishing something a bit less exciting. Can't blame him for that.

WAL, from Wikipedia entry for Somalis in UK: "Employment rates were 40.1 per cent for men and 9.6 per cent for women."

paulc156 said...

Din. Dark energy is hypothesised as a kind of repulsive gravity. Possibly a type of vacuum energy. The quantized energy of empty space. Energy is not merely a description of the 'movement of objects'. As said, it can be the energy of empty space in Q.Mechanics. It can be potential energy as in gravitational potential and in any case the energy referred to as dark energy is the energy driving that empty space. So you can think of that as a type of movement if you will. Einstein proposed just such a fix for his general relativity theory, the Cosmological constant. A scalar energy field driving space apart. Though he proposed it to keep space as it was.

Dinero said...


For example take potential energy . If you pick an object off the floor and raise it up in front of you, its potential energy increases. However it has not gained a substance called '' energy '' .
That illustrates that energy is a description of the physical position, mass and velocity of a physical object.

Mark Wadsworth said...

D, good analogy.

paulc156 said...

Agreed Din, but what about the cosmological constant of Einstein/energy of empty space,vacuum energy? You only refer to gravitational potential energy.
You could just liken that to a substance (space) moving, so satisfying 'your' preferred description...but the expansion of such space is what physicists refer to as dark energy.Something suffusing space that stretches space. In Einsteins General Theory that something is negative pressure, that results in repulsive gravity. His Cosmological constant. Under everyday conditions and in atoms etc pressure is always positive and contributes to ordinary attractive gravity, like a compressed spring for example which has more gravity than an uncompressed spring. Under special conditions though and such conditions are thought to have existed in the early universe pressure can be far more significant and can be negative and result in repulsive gravity. Every region of space pushing on every other. It can't be ordinary stuff since all protons, neutrons etc only exert positive pressure. Dark merely denotes its unfamiliar origin.