Refugees are bringing in alien cultural attitudes

In a fascinating article, The Economist reports on a study showing that “attitudes toward redistribution have a strong cultural component.” They point out:

Understanding why people hold different opinions on the topic interests economists, not least because citizens’ attitudes towards such matters are likely to influence the governments they elect…. opinions about redistribution also seem to vary from one country to another. And this has led economists to ask whether “culture” or “values” independently influence those opinions.

Surveys show that Americans are on average less favorable toward redistribution of income and wealth than Europeans.

Barack Obama got an unsolicited reminder of this on the campaign trail in 2008, when an off-the-cuff remark about the need to “spread the wealth around” provoked some shrill retorts. Such views, said Mr Obama’s detractors, went against the grain of American values. [Some might call the retorts “hearty” rather than “shrill,” but the Economist is a British magazine so they probably don’t like anyone to critize The One.]

And within Europe, citizens of countries that used to be communist are more disposed toward redistribution than western Europeans. Ideologically, those who lived under communism are anti-communist. But the idea of wealth distribution has entered their mentality as part of their culture.

Two Harvard scholars, Erzo Luttmer and Monica Singhal, studied the  attitudes of immigrants to see how the culture of their country of origin affected their views on redistribution.

Even after controlling for income, education and other relevant economic and social factors such as work history and age, views about redistribution in an immigrant’s home country are a strong predictor of his own opinions. Indeed, this measure of “cultural background” explains as much as income levels, and three-fifths as much as income and education combined. These results hold even for immigrants who moved 20 years before they were surveyed; they cannot be attributed to people not having had time to adjust their views.

And the effect lasts for a while:

Even more convincing evidence of the impact of culture comes from second-generation immigrants. The opinions of children born in the host country about the desirability of redistribution are strongly influenced by the norms that prevail in the countries their parents came from. That denotes some transmission of values and attitudes between generations. But the effect of culture is only about two-thirds as large as it is for foreign-born immigrants. Although durable, it apparently fades with time.

The article concludes:

Immigrants from pro-redistribution places, and their children too, are much more likely to vote for political parties that champion greater redistribution of wealth. That leads the authors to ask whether, over time, the composition of immigration into a country could end up having a meaningful impact on its tax policies.

Obviously it could. And matters far beyond tax policies. What about people who have lived for years in refugee camps, their needs being taken care of, however poorly? What might their attitudes be towards self-sufficiency? We’ve seen how some of the Iraqi refugees seem to expect everything to come to them without much effort on their part (while others are quite enterprising).

As for immigration in general, we used to allow in mainly people from countries that were culturally similar to ours. But now the situation is quite the opposite. Very few immigrants come from countries where entrepreneurship and individual initiative are cultural norms. Those who do tend to be successful, like Indians and Chinese.  (Funny how quickly the Chinese reverted to those norms once communism relaxed its grip.)  Every member of Congress should read this study.  But not only won’t they read it, most wouldn’t care anyway. They’re too busy redistributing the wealth.

Hat tip: Mark Krikorian.

Comment worth noting: Reader is critical of USCRI Vermont affiliate

This is a comment from a reader named John.   It was sent to us a week ago in response to this post in which I said the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) had been having various problems with its subcontractors.  This is what I said:

We have reported problems USCRI has had with other subcontractors in Albany, NY, Erie, PA, Waterbury, CT, Manchester, NH and Akron, OH.    These were problems related to those subcontractors either having too many refugees and some not adequately caring for them, or in the case of Erie there was some funny-money business going on.

John commented with the following.  I was hoping to hear more from John to get further clarification and substantiation of these serious charges.   I haven’t heard from him.   However, I have heard similar allegations elsewhere in the US for each of John’s complaints, so they do ring true. 

“Please add another USCRI site to the list of incompetent and corrupt agency offices. The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Agency – VRRP – is a USCRI satellite office. They have totally failed to engage volunteers and volunteer groups such as local, independent, non-profit, service agencies like churches, housing advocacy organizations, child care and school programs, job training opportunities, health care providers, technical and professional skills training institutes, serious English language training academies, etc. etc….

The VRRP has provided almost NO support to refugees who need and are seeking jobs. The staff at VRRP are untrained, unskilled and lack any serious professional knowledge themselves! The VRRP tries to operate in a vacumn in the community and tries to remain invisible! What are they afraid of?

One thing the VRRP is good at: They are quick and efficient at reporting and demanding bills from the refugees. They demand immediate payment from refugees that have don’t even have jobs or any English skills! How about this? >> They want payment from a family of 8 – for the $13,000 airfare it supposedly took the USCRI to fly them from Nepal to the USA! Mind you, this was in the winter when the round-trip price was only $800/each. Since the USCRI ships thousands each year from Nepal, what was their actual price for these off-season one-way tickets? Did you every refugee pays about $1600 each to the USCRI – after 6 months? USCRI gets reimbursed by the refugee for spending US tax dollars, however USCRI doesn’t return the money to the US treasury! They use these millions to fund their “slush” fund.

The VRRP has no one on staff who understands the Bhutanese culture or language. They have one Nepali speaking staff person (from northern Nepal)that is in business with the same slumlord that VRRP uses to house many refugees! This same staff person also receives loan and grant money from the VRRP to fund her family’s food and catering company! This staff person was never a refugee!!

Please either John or other of our readers help us figure out what is going on in Vermont.  We did previously post on unhappy Iraqis who had been resettled by this same agency, hereReaders we are looking for help confirming OR denying the claims presented by John.

Reminder!  We think there should be an open and vigorous debate about how many refugees come to America and from where, but once they are here those agencies contracted to care for them are responsible to the taxpayer (and one would think their own conscience) for the refugees’ (quality!) care and assimilation into American society.

Lewiston, ME article demonstrates widespread nature of home health care fraud

Yesterday the Lewiston Sun Journal published a lengthy account of the home health care fraud we reported nearly two weeks ago involving Somali businesses in that city.  Hat tip:  a friend from Maine.   Of course there is no mention of the fact that the immigrants involved are Somali.  Lewiston is home to thousands of Somali refugees who literally picked Lewiston in which to resettle (called secondary migration) in large numbers from other parts of the US.    They aspire to run the city one day.

LEWISTON — One of two Lisbon Street businesses raided by federal agents earlier this month received more than $1 million in payments from the state in 2008 to provide nonmedical services to the elderly and disabled, a Sun Journal investigation revealed.

Decent Home Care Inc., located in The Professional Building at 145 Lisbon St., was paid to deliver in-home services to 45 clients under the state’s Medicaid program, known as MaineCare, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, spending an estimated $22,222 per client that year.

State records show Decent Home Care first received state funds in 2006, the year it was incorporated, and was paid $118,909 that year. Payments to the company increased by 796 percent, to more than $1 million by 2008, and so far this year the company has received $422,731.

The agency is owned by Mohdi Ali of Strawberry Avenue in Lewiston, who also serves as the company’s president. The company’s treasurer and remaining shareholder is Abdirisak Esse of Knox Street, Lewiston. 


More than a dozen agents from various federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Offices of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Redevelopment, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were seen working for most of the day of June 4 on the fourth and fifth floors of The Professional Building where Decent Home Care and Global Health Care conduct their respective businesses.

The Sun Journal goes on to say that the same thing is happening in Minnesota, but they don’t say it is mostly Somali fraud there too.  We told you about the Minnesota problem here.

The issue has gained attention in other state legislatures, including Minnesota’s, which this year passed laws to tighten oversight of the industry, better control the flow of federal Medicaid funds to nonmedical service companies and help ensure businesses providing the services are better trained to properly account for spending.

According to a March report in the New York Times, the costs of personal care more than doubled from 2002 to 2008 in Minnesota, where the number of home care agencies more than tripled.

Then here is more fraud in Virginia—this time its Russian immigrants scamming their new country.

In a federal plea agreement in July 2008, a Russian immigrant who worked as a nurse in Virginia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, according to a report in the Richmond-Times Dispatch.

The nurse and her doctor husband, also a Russian immigrant, had been indicted after an FBI fraud investigation of their company, which provided personal-care services under that state’s Medicaid program.

In her guilty plea, Rena Zavelsky admitted she defrauded Medicaid by submitting false claims for payment, the paper reported. The couple’s company received more than $14 million in payments from Virginia’s Medicaid program, according to the federal indictment.

Immigrant fraud in America—-or just the redistribution of wealth!

I swear there must be seminars given around the world to teach immigrants how to get into the US and scam our government (and us!).  We’ve told you many times about the immigrant-run (mom and Mohammed) convenience stores and food stamp scams (one of my favorite topics here).  We’ve learned about federal grant scams, money transfer fraud,  voter fraud, truck driver licensing fraud, family reunification fraud* and now home health care/medicaid fraud.  What’s next?  And, more intriguing—-who is training the scammers?

*For new readers, the US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.

Somali Community Centers and the Stealth Jihad

I’ve had an opportunity lately to make presentations to several groups and tape a radio spot.    The main point I discuss is about the Stealth Jihad or Quiet Jihad as it is sometimes called.  This is the concept you can learn more about by going to our category on the subject, here.    Basically the idea is to build up the Muslim population of a country to the point where Islam plays a large role politically with the ultimate end—the imposition of Sharia Law.

I’ve been bringing to peoples’ attention the 2007 speech made by Imam Yahya Hendi to an audience in Saudi Arabia in which Hendi, the Muslim Chaplain at Georgetown University, said that he predicted there would be 30 Muslim mayors of American cities by the year 2015.  See my post on Hendi’s prediction here.   Overly ambitious yes, but the important point is that if Muslims are here to assimilate and accept our government and our values what difference would it make what the religion of our political leaders might be?

Somali Community Centers

So, what role do Somali Community Centers have in this political organization process?   A large one, I predict.  Who is paying for them, besides you—the taxpayer?  Who is teaching the Somalis about “community organizing”—the fine art of “community destabilization?”*    I’d like to know the answers.

We’ve told you about Nashville and last summer I noted that Somali Community Centers sprang up when meat packing plant demonstrations occurred in Greeley, CO and Grand Island, NE.  Later today I’ll tell you about a new one out West

Thanks to a concerned citizen in Lewiston, ME,  we know there is a Somali Community Center in Lewiston, ME.   And, in 2002, a Somali community organizer tells us just what Hendi did—the goal is to begin by capturing Mayors’ offices.

From an article posted at Episcopal Migration Ministries website, but apparently originally published by the Chicago Tribune.

“We need to stay in a peaceful place,” says Awil Bile, a former finance minister in Somalia and now leader of a council of seven elders who, in the traditions of the homeland, oversee and direct the activities of the Somali community in Lewiston.


Indeed, Bile says, as he sits in a sparsely furnished office in the Somali community center, down the street from the storefront mosque, “Some day, me or my kids may be elected mayor of Lewiston.”

Now, the question is, who is orchestrating the stealth jihad?

*Note to new readers:  please see our category on “community destabilization” and scroll back to earlier posts on the Alinsky strategy —-a strategy Obama understood so well.

Also, for new readers, the US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.