This morning, the San Francisco Chronicle has a heartbreaking story about the thousands of immigrant children seeking asylum in our country. It’s been a contentious issue all summer, with angry protestors blocking buses carrying the children to holding centers.
I cringe when I see this kind of hatred directed at kids–and not just because I think it’s immoral for the richest country in the world to turn its back on people seeking a better life. There’s a much more practical, economic reason for my revulsion. Immigration is one of the main reasons, if not the main reason we became the richest country in the world–and continuing to welcome honest, hard working immigrants is the key to us staying that way.
The core problem with America’s immigration system is not that we let too many people in. It’s that we let too few in.
Despite the unendingly grim economic news out of the euro zone, most major European stock markets have shown robust growth over the last year. The German DAX is up over 32 percent since June of 2012. The Swiss Exchange is close behind at almost 30 percent growth over the same time period, and the Euronext 100 and CAC 40 have both risen by almost 25 percent. Heck, even the Athens Stock Exchange seems to have temporarily risen from the dead. It’s up more than 77 percent in the last twelve months.
So is it time to put aside our fears and jump into this rally? I have three answers: no, hell no, and don’t you dare.
Europe is a dead-continent-walking. These short term gains notwithstanding, European stocks may very well be the biggest value trap in the history of capitalism–though the reasons why might surprise you. It’s not just because of the region’s low-to-no economic growth, crushingly high debt levels, and disastrous austerity policies. Europe is “going to zero” in a different, more fundamental area, as well.