Michael Barone, The Immigrant Invasion, And Our Posterity

Here at VDARE.com, we`ve had some

fun
over the

years
at the

expense
of both the

Wall Street Journal
editorial page
and of

Michael Barone.

Still, Barone`s May 8th Wall Street Journal Op Ed


The Realignment of
America: The
native-born are leaving `hip` cities for the heartland

is worthy of congratulation.

From its tagline "Demographics
Is

Destiny
"
to its illuminating use of statistics
to its

frankness
about the effects of immigration—"The
economic divide in New York and Los Angeles is starting
to look like the

economic divide
in

Mexico City
and

Sao Paulo
"
—Barone`s essay reads more like a
VDARE.COM contribution than the disingenuous Open
Borders cheerleading for which both the

WSJ
and

Barone
have been notorious.

May this mark a turning point!

Our criticism over the years of Barone`s immigration
writings has been driven by the frustrating awareness
that he could do far better. Whereas, say, Main Stream
Media quotemonger

Tamar Jacoby
has

never demonstrated much sign
of being

capable
of

grasping the immigration issue
—and thus, annoying as
she is, she may actually be sincere—Barone can`t plead
invincible ignorance.

Many columnists never displayed much expertise on
anything. But Barone is

the editor
of the biennial Almanac of American Politics.
He has visited every one of the 435 Congressional
Districts. He has earned his pundit spurs through his
prodigious knowledge of local demographic and voting
patterns.

Barone`s methodology in the WSJ essay is
straightforward and insightful. He compares the top 50
metropolitan areas (home to 54 percent of America`s
population) in 2000 and 2006, and divides them into four
categories based on the causes of their population
changes.

  • Eighteen
    Static Cities

    in which not much is happening in terms of
    population changes. They include Philadelphia,
    Minneapolis, and Denver.

  • Eight
    Coastal Megalopolises
    .
    As Barone puts it: "New
    York,
    Los Angeles, San Francisco
    [and San
    Jose], San Diego,

    Chicago
    (on the coast of Lake Michigan),

    Miami
    , Washington
    [which is only marginally
    coastal] and

    Boston
    . Here is a pattern you don`t find in
    other big cities:

    Americans moving out
    and immigrants moving in,
    in very large numbers …"
    From 2000 to 2006, six
    percent of the American-born residents left and were
    replaced by an equal number of immigrants.

Barone continues:


"This is something few
would have predicted 20 years ago. Americans are now
moving out of, not into, coastal California and

South Florida,
and in very large numbers they`re
moving out of our largest metro areas. They`re fleeing
hip Boston and San Francisco, and after eight decades of
moving to Washington they`re moving out. The domestic
outflow from these metro areas is 3.9 million people,
650,000 a year. High housing costs, high taxes, a
distaste in some cases for the burgeoning immigrant
populations—these are driving many Americans elsewhere."

(Few “would have predicted” it, eh? Well, Peter
Brimelow actually

reported
this trend, based on census data, in his

much-denounced
book Alien Nation some twelve
years ago. Barone seems to have missed this, apparently
because he was

so scandalized
by its

single sentence
noting that Brimelow`s son Alexander
has blue eyes and blond hair, although it

merely illustrated the way
the interaction between
immigration and affirmative action
whipsaws Americans
who don`t belong to the
“protected classes”
.)

John Kerry easily carried the Coastal Megalopolis vote,
Barone notes:


"Both

secular top earners
and

immigrant low earners
vote heavily
Democratic…Democratic politicians like to

decry
what they describe as a widening economic gap
in the nation. But the part of the nation where it is
widening most visibly is their home turf, the place
where they win their biggest margins (these metro areas
voted 61% for John Kerry) and where, in

exquisitely decorated Park Avenue apartments
and

Beverly Hills mansions
with immigrant servants
passing the hors d`oeuvres, they raise most of their
money."

  • Sixteen
    Interior Boomtowns
    ,
    such as Las Vegas and Orlando, where housing is
    cheaper, so Americans are pouring in and having
    children. These cities voted 56 percent for George
    W. Bush in 2004.

My 2005 VDARE.com article

Affordable Family Formation–The Neglected Key To GOP`s
Future
explained the logic underlying the
political patterns Barone has now noticed. Coastal
cities have, by definition, a smaller supply of

dry land
for suburban expansion, so

housing prices
are higher. This discourages people
from getting

married
and from having

children
, which means the GOP`s


"family values"

stances strike them as irrelevant or irritating. In
contrast, in inland parts of the country where it is
economical to buy

a house with a yard
in a neighborhood with a

decent public school,
you`ll generally find more
Republicans.

Barone begins his article with this horrifying
reflection on a once-great American city

"In
1950, when I was in kindergarten in Detroit, the city
had a population of (rounded off) 1,850,000. Today the
latest census estimate for Detroit is 886,000, less than
half as many."

Now, Detroit is actually being reclaimed by the
forest—an amazing phenomenon lovingly chronicled by the
fascinating

Detroitblog
, for example

here
and

here
.

Unfortunately, by the end of piece, Barone is back to
his usual optimism about how this demographic turmoil is
good for the GOP as voters abandon the old Democratic
cities like

Detroit
and

San Francisco
for GOP-friendly new cities like
Phoenix and Dallas etc. etc.

We`ve analyzed the voting arguments before here at
VDARE.COM. Basically, they`re nonsense. The GOP is

committing suicide by immigration policy
and by
being too timid to appeal directly to

its white base
—an option we have dubbed the


“Sailer Strategy”.

So, for a change, let`s look at the quality of life
question. Are the Americans who are being driven from
the Coastal Megalopolises to the Interior Boomtowns
better off because their old cities are filling up with
immigrants who outbid them in the housing
market—typically, because the foreigners

don`t mind living
with an entire extended family

under one roof?

Many conservatives these days have tried to make a
virtue out of economic necessity. They insist that, say,

cheap Las Vegas with its endless expanses of new suburbs
,
is a better place to live than, oh, expensive Boston,
with its complicated coastline, parks,

campuses
, and restrictions on development in the
name of preserving its ancient small towns.

For some people,

no doubt
, Sin City is better. But when did it become
a betrayal of conservative values to appreciate a city
such as Boston, with its
nearly four centuries of tradition?
Which city would

Edmund Burke
have preferred?

It`s a remarkable achievement of Americans that they are
constantly building a civilization from the dirt up out
on the exurban frontier as they flee the high cost, bad
schools, congestion, and crime of their old homes.

Yet, by necessity, these are thin, poorly rooted
civilizations, better endowed with

power malls
than

symphony halls.

Maybe you don`t care about culture. But what about
weather? Coastal Megalopolises generally have milder
climates than Inland Boomtowns due to the moderating
effect of water. Even in Chicago, the lakefront is
notably warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the
inland suburbs.

America is a huge country, but the fraction of it
blessed with a

Mediterranean
climate is comparatively miniscule.
The Mediterranean zone`s advantages for human habitation
are not just the famous sunshine in winter, but also the
absence of humidity, mosquitoes, and excessive heat in
summer. It`s found only in

Southern California
(between the beach and the
mountains) and in Northern California (in the first
valley inland from the foggy coast).

So why has our government chosen to turn much of this
thin strip over to foreigners?

Barone`s article inspires the question: Where do you
want your children and grandchildren to live when they
grow up?

My answer is: "I want them to be able to afford to
live wherever they want."

Ideally, they`ll make lots of money (they sure aren`t
going to inherit it). But, you know, that might not
happen. So I`d appreciate it if our government would
help out what the

Preamble to the Constitution
calls

"our Posterity"
by protecting
affordability—which means passing good immigration
laws and enforcing them
.

Is that so much to ask?

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website

www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]