Demographics ‘n’ stuff, part 2: From Goslar to River Ridge.


As noted previously, One Southern Indiana concurs with state economic development officials in supporting measures like the Regional Cities Initiative as a means of resolving Indiana’s demographic problem.

Perhaps the easiest way for 1Si to move forward would be to let the accredited denizens of River Ridge decide which immigrants are fitting and proper, and which — well, you know.

Meanwhile in Germany, a conservative mayor (this is not a misprint) in Goslar actively seeks immigrants. Ironically, just yesterday I read an article about Bamberg, where the now entirely vacated US military base has the potential to free up housing for thousands of students, assuming the government doesn’t place Balkan immigrants there, first.

It depends on local circumstances, doesn’t it?

Get rid of the immigrants? No, we can’t get enough of them, says German mayor, by Kate Connolly (The Guardian)

Goslar is a gem of a town in central Germany, nestled in the slopes of the Harz mountains. It is popular with tourists, some of whom come to enjoy its cobbled streets and half-timbered architecture, others to ski or mountain bike, or to trace the footsteps of William Wordsworth who penned the beginnings of the Prelude here while homesick during a visit in the freezing winter of 1798.

Now it is becoming famous for another reason. Behind the rich culture is a town with huge problems. It is in one of the weakest economic areas of western Germany, and – like much of the country, which for years has had one of the lowest birthrates in the world – it is facing a demographic crisis. Goslar, a town of 50,000, has shrunk by 4,000 in the last decade and is currently losing as many as 1,500 to 2,000 people a year. In some parts of the town, which once thrived on silver mining and smelting as well as a spa, whole housing blocks stand empty while others have been torn down.

Its problems were only exacerbated by the end of the cold war, when it lost its status as a major garrison town close to the border with East Germany.

Oliver Junk is determined to reverse the trend. The mayor of Goslar has sparked a debate that has spread across Germany by saying he wants more immigrants to settle in the town. While other parts of Europe are shunning refugees, sometimes with great brutality, Junk is delivering an alternative message: bring on the immigrants. There cannot be enough of them, he says.