Recently, I was trying to find non-xenophobic arguments against the US taking in Syrian immigrants. I found a potential case in National Review (assuming the numbers truly are reliable). Two writers from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) argue that it costs an estimated $12,874 per year (for the first 5 years) to resettle Middle-Eastern Refugees in the US while it may cost around $1,057 per year to move them to relative — if temporary — safety in neighboring Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. Again, if this is true, we could assist roughly twelve times the humans by helping resettle Syrians into neighboring countries with the same resource investment.
But, should we be concerned about this study’s impartiality? Maybe. The same authors published a study last year for CIS warning that immigration in general is a problem, partly because Muslims (who, incidentally, make up less than 1% of the US population) pose a significant security threat. These immigrants will, undoubtedly, “board an airliner and blow it up” according to one co-author*.
The person who said that, Steven Camarota, has remarked on another even more serious immigrant threat very concisely in the past: “[E]ach 10 percent increase in the immigrant share of the county’s population reduced the Republican vote by about six percentage points [over the last 30 years]”*.
Of course, we can’t discount this study/argument simply because the writers may be generally biased against immigration. Hopefully, PolitiFact will have a look at their figures.
Agree or not, there are still solid ways to try to help out the thousands of Syrian civilians in need. Both Charity Navigator and Charity Watch highly rate American Refugee Committee International as an effective charity. GiveWell recommends Doctors Without Borders.
I finally watched the first episode of Louis last night and, although I laughed at this bit, I was disappointed and a little disturbed that it ended with just a smirk.
Which is why I’m so pleased to find this:
Louis C.K. gives $280,000 to five charities after ‘Live at the Beacon’ sales rocket to $1 million
(The first episode of Louis premiered in June 2010* and his big donation occurred in December 2011.)
So, how could I possibly be disturbed to begin with? Well, crazy as it may sound, I don’t wish for people to suffer horrible misery when I can easily help to alleviate at least some of that misery.
Because I know that not everyone is as crazy as I am, here are some selfish reasons to give away your precious money:
Research suggests that many people think that spending money on themselves will make them happier than spending it on other people (Dunn et al., 2008). But there is evidence from various different studies that, on average, this isn’t true:
- Participants who were given $5 or $20 to spend on another person were happier than those who spent it on themselves (Dunn et al., 2008).
- People who spend greater proportions of their income on giving to others or to charity are happier than those who spend it on themselves (Dunn et al., 2008).
- Canadian and Ugandan students who thought back to times they’d been generous to others were happier than those thinking back to money they’d spent on themselves (Aknin et al., 2010).
Perhaps you’re still worried that you’re just going to be giving money to some African warlord.* That’s probably unavoidable. Perhaps you don’t want to remove anybody’s incentive to pull herself up out of the gutter. There are lots of reasons that people don’t give.
Well, if you happen to visit this site, I think most of your uneasiness will be alleviated. Perhaps (after donating) you will sleep even more neo-nascently than June 2010 Louis Szekely did.