America’s Hidden Strength: Babies, Immigration

From the Wall Street Journal:

In my Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader, there are many entries on immigration that make clear that this nation, particularly business, has benefitted from the low-to-high skilled labor of immigrants. Business knows this essential fact and supported open immigration policies since this nation began industrializing. By contrast, unions demanded immigration restriction, violently attacked those who made it to our shores, and generally resisted any one who might apply for the same job. They were “entitled” as “native-born Americans” (even if many were the sons of immigrants).

The USA is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t face the demographic time bomb of “one child” (China), no sex/no children (Japan), or tax-away-children policies (Europe). I have said for years that the next several decades will highlight how Europe (Old and New), along with Japan, will shrink geopolitically and also face a huge safety net funding problem.The only solution would be even higher taxes, thus forcing the best-and-brightest to where? The USA. I know Japan doesn’t accept immigrants willingly, and the Chinese aren’t attractive to non-Chinese for a number of reasons (language, government).That may change, of course, but there are dangers in “guest worker” programs that don’t offer the promise of citizenship (the American model).

The only wild card: Malthusians who think people are a bad thing: the fewer, the better. Mother Earth is more important. The EPA just labeled an essential component of life (carbon) a “dangerous pollutant” but, so far, they have not yet labeled PEOPLE a pollutant. After all, what is the expected “carbon footprint” of each baby that is born in the USA? Surely more than the carbon footprint left by a pair of Birkenstock sandals.

“More sandals, fewer people?!”

Beer also has a very low carbon footprint. But who will wear the sandals and drink the beer?


Jonathan Bean is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of History at Southern Illinois University, and editor of the Independent book, Race & Liberty in America: The Essential Reader.
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