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Immigrant Assimilation—Or Blind Growth Mania?
I love reading my Wall Street Journal Monday through Saturday. It’s the best newspaper still going in America.
However, while the WSJ presents stories which are often not reported well in other papers, it—like rest of the MSM—is hopeless on the key trend affecting our country: immigration.
Latest example: Immigrants Are Still Fitting In, [Subscriber link, or PDF here.]by its notorious immigration enthusiast Miriam Jordan, (November 14th) boosting a report from the open border wing of New York’s Manhattan Institute and from the liberal Center for American Progress (which doesn’t have an immigration patriot wing):
“The stalemate in Congress over fixing the nation's broken immigration system and a spate of state laws to curb illegal immigration might suggest the U.S. is doing a poor job of integrating newcomers.
“New studies by scholars from both liberal and conservative think tanks conclude that members of the great wave of contemporary immigration, who flocked here in the 1990s, are integrating into U.S. society at a healthy clip and are more assimilated than their brethren in other countries.
“The U.S. today is home to 40 million foreign-born residents, the most ever, a number that includes people here illegally after sneaking across the border and those with legal status, who hold a green card or are citizens.”
Whoa. Stop! This assumes that the present overload of people in the US (and in the world) is okay.
But anyone not intimidated by the unrelenting calls for more “growth” must feel queasy watching the dazzling array of construction projects springing up like mushrooms, clogging our roads, deforesting our environment and making everyday life in the USA more complex, expensive and unlivable.
At least the title of Jordan’s piece implies a growing tightness–“Still Fitting In”–as if what matters is squeezing in the last poor soul who has not yet gotten here yet!
What on earth are we thinking? Of course, I am pleased that many immigrants are adapting to America, although long experience with immigration enthusiasts makes me skeptical. Thus the California authors conclude that that decade's arrivals, who hail mainly from Latin America and Asia, made consistent progress toward social and economic integration—until the recent recession.
“In a study to be released this week, titled ‘Assimilation Tomorrow,’ demographers Dowell Myers and John Pitkin of the University of Southern California track advances made by immigrants 20 years of age and older who arrived in the 1990s, based on the patterns of earlier waves who had been here a comparable amount of time and factoring in the recession.
"‘After 2006, they were bumped down a little bit but not back to the level of 2000,’ says Mr. Myers, whose research was conducted in partnership with the liberal Center for American Progress and funded by the MacArthur Foundation. ‘We assume they will resume the upward trajectory when the recession comes to an end.’
That’s some assumption. And just read the rest of this paean to peon infiltration:
“Messrs. Myers and Pitkin, analyzing data from the Census Bureau, found homeownership is achieved by most immigrants within a couple of decades in the U.S. Just 24% of all immigrants who arrived in the 1990s owned a home in 2000. That figure will reach 72% by 2030, according to the authors' projections.
‘Homeownership reflects the value immigrants place on achieving the American dream and the fact that they pool money and buy lower-priced real estate to achieve that dream,’ says Mr. Myers….Homeownership rate among immigrants in the U.S. dwarfs that of immigrants in Italy by 20 percentage points.”
No awareness that, as VDARE.com’s Steve Sailer has repeatedly demonstrated, immigrant home ownership is an artifact, a product of bipartisan federal pressure on mortgage lenders to lower their credit standards for minorities—resulting in the Minority Mortgage Meltdown and the Diversity Depression.
But Thanksgiving is near at hand, so let’s talk turkey. These studies, and this article, are not asking the key question: how is this immigrant inflow benefiting—not the immigrants—but Americans?
What this article and our leaders from every walk of life are saying about the solution to any problem: MORE GROWTH. If you are not for growth, you are anti everything!
In this same issue of the WSJ, on page one, Culture Built on Family Firms Tests Italy’s Plan for Growth argues that
“The lack of growth at family businesses is a huge obstacle to making Italy more dynamic—especially at a time when it urgently needs higher growth to pay down its debt.”[ By Stacy Meichtry And Deborah Ball, November 14, 2011]
It really behooves us, and the entire planet, to understand that basic physics are involved here. If one defines growth in terms of improved technology, medical services, leisure time to enjoy the fruits of human progress, fine. But if growth means sales of more consumer goods, more fatty foods, more mindless unneeded objects to pad our storage closets, then I join those who see this debt crisis in Europe (grow out of it by issuing more debt, Italy!) as a sure ticket to disaster.
We can’t do it either—and we better understand that we are on a one-way track to bankruptcy and a disruption of our lives as never before in our history.
There are many wise voices taking this point of view. In September, Prince Charles was quoted in the London Daily Telegraph warning of human extinction “unless humans transform our lifestyles to stop mass consumption, run away climate change and destruction of wildlife”.[Prince Charles warns of 'sixth extinction event' , September 8, 2011]
Final tip: Go to Growthbusters.org and you will encounter a humorous but absorbing documentary describing why this mindless idea of endless growth has captured the fealty of most of our leaders. All the Republican Presidential candidates and President Obama are constantly calling for growth—apparently not willing to note that our planet has limited capacity and can only be ravaged by continuing on this disastrous track.
Unmasking this stupid endless growth charade could be a redeeming role for the moribund MSM. But don’t hold your breath!
Donald A. Collins [email him], a free lance writer living in Washington, DC. , is a long-time board member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR). However, his views are his own.