Arnold Kling  

As the World Ages

PRINT
Quotable... Venture Capital and Loan Guara...

Phillip Longman writes,


Because of the phenomenon of hyper-aging in the developing world, another great variable is already changing as well: migration. In Mexico, for example, the population of children age 4 and under was 434,000 less in 2010 than it was in 1996. The result? The demographic momentum that fueled huge flows of Mexican migration to the United States has waned, and will wane much more in the future...By 2025, young people on both sides of the border may struggle to understand why their parents' generation built this huge fence.

There is much to chew on in the article.


Comments and Sharing





COMMENTS (11 to date)
G.L.Piggy writes:

This reminds me of the argument put forth by George Friedman of Stratfor (and others, I'm sure) in his book "The Next 100 Years". We may be arguing over whether or not to allow immigration into the country right now and how to deal with the problem, but when the population demographics "flip" the U.S. may begin inducing workers to migrate to this country.

I think that even if conservatives or some libertarians are against immigration *right now* they shouldn't discuss the issue as if immigration is bad always and forever. There's no need to employ bulky policies when what we really need is agility and adaptability.

Peter Schaeffer writes:

That's like meant to be funny...

There is no huge fence. Not even half of the border has been fenced and not very well at that.

Of course, we could read the papers.

"There were 6.1 million Latino children living in poverty in 2010, that’s 37.3 percent of all of the nation’s poor children, compared with 30.5 percent who were white and 26.2 percent who were black, according to the report. The Great Recession, which pushed increasing numbers of American children into poverty, hit Latino families especially hard, the report found."

and

"This disparity is driven mainly by high birth rates among Hispanic immigrants, the Pew Hispanic Center notes. Of the 6.1 million Latino children living in poverty, more than two-thirds (or 4.1 million) are the children of immigrant parents. The rest are the children of parents born in the U.S."

Imported poverty is a wonderful thing and we need more of it...

Peter Schaeffer writes:

@Piggy,

George Friedman of Stratfor predict was as a consequence of mass immigration into the U.S.

"These changes will lead to the final crisis of the twenty-first century. Mexico currently is the fifteenth-largest economy in the world. As the Europeans slip out, the Mexicans, like the Turks, will rise in the rankings until by the late twenty-first century they will be one of the major economic powers in the world. During the great migration north encouraged by the United States, the population balance in the old Mexican Cession (that is, the areas of the United States taken from Mexico in the nineteenth century) will shift dramatically until much of the region is predominantly Mexican.

The social reality will be viewed by the Mexican government simply as rectification of historical defeats. By 2080 I expect there to be a serious confrontation between the United States and an increasingly powerful and assertive Mexico. That confrontation may well have unforeseen consequences for the United States, and will likely not end by 2100."

Evan writes:

@Peter Schaeffer

the population balance....will shift dramatically until much of the region is predominantly Mexican.....By 2080 I expect there to be a serious confrontation between the United States and an increasingly powerful and assertive Mexico.

That's like someone in 1860 saying "By 2000 the population of the Eastern Seaboard will be predominantly Irish and Italian and the population of the Midwest will be predominantly Swedish, resulting in a huge conflict between the United States and those countries." Actually, people did say stuff like that back then.

By 2080 the people of Mexican descent in that region will think of themselves as American. Conflict between the USA and Mexico will be as unthinkable as conflict between the USA and Canada.

Imported poverty is a wonderful thing and we need more of it...
Yeah, look at all those Jewish and Asian people today who are descended from poor Jewish and Chinese immigrants who came here in the 1800s. It was definitely a huge mistake to let those two groups into our country. All it did was import poverty.

Seriously though, what is the problem with letting in poor people? It's not like they were rich in their home countries. They were poor there too. They're probably going to be less poor here than in their home country. Your attitude reminds me of the classic Garfield comic where Garfield sees Odie is locked outside in an icestorm, says that he hates seeing Odie freezing out there in the cold, so he closes the blinds so he doesn't have to see him anymore.

You might say poor people are slightly more likely to cause negative externalities than other people, but they were probably causing those back home too, and the good living here will do them and us far outweighs it. Plus, closed borders are a huge negative externality, far larger than any that poor people are likely to inflict. It's like if you dumped a truck full of toxic waste on your neighbors' yard and then complain one of their kids threw away a candy wrapper on your yard.

Shane writes:

Worth noting that many East European countries with extremely low fertility rates were still mass-exporting migrants to Britain and Ireland in the 2000s. So one can have considerable migration even without a youth bulge.

But it seems reasonable that a population explosion could exacerbate that migration, certainly.

Jay writes:
Yeah, look at all those Jewish and Asian people today who are descended from poor Jewish and Chinese immigrants who came here in the 1800s. It was definitely a huge mistake to let those two groups into our country. All it did was import poverty.

You're ignoring the evidence that Latinos (unlike Jews and Chinese) are on average half a standard deviation below native whites in IQ. Thus, in a very real sense, we are importing poverty. We're importing the social pathologies that are correlated with lower IQs. (And we're also sticking it to black Americans, who are losing the jobs that Latino immigrants are taking.)

Evan writes:
You're ignoring the evidence that Latinos (unlike Jews and Chinese) are on average half a standard deviation below native whites in IQ. Thus, in a very real sense, we are importing poverty. We're importing the social pathologies that are correlated with lower IQs.
Jews and Chinese used to score lower on IQ tests than whites as well. So did other groups that today score normally, such as Poles and Italians. Their IQs went up over time (that's probably why they aren't poor anymore), there's no reason to suspect the IQ of Latinos wouldn't too. African Americans have gone up a third of a standard deviation over the past 30 years.

The idea that races have significantly different genetic IQs has been poked full of holes in the past 15 years. The main reason it remains enduringly popular is that it gives paleoconservatives a chance to bash immigration, affirmative action, and welfare. To these people anyone who disagrees with them is motivated solely by political correctness, and therefore not worth listening to.

I usually don't talk about IQ because I doubt it's the real reason most people oppose immigration. I very much doubt that if Charles Murray came out tomorrow and announced he and Herrnstein had made huge mistakes when writing "The Bell Curve" that VDare.com would close up shop just like that. I don't like wasting my time doing research about race and IQ when I know it won't convince the people who first brought it up.

And as I pointed out later in my post, even if the people are poor, so what? They'd be even poorer in their home countries. At least here they're somewhat less poor.

It's the same with pathologies, they'd have them in their home country too, at least here they'd be less likely to have them since they're somewhat wealthier. You could argue that their pathologies hurt innocent people, but they probably hurt innocent people in their home country too. If innocent people are going to be hurt either way, the best solution is to move people to an area where external factors such as increased wealth decrease their pathologies somewhat.

(And we're also sticking it to black Americans, who are losing the jobs that Latino immigrants are taking.)
That's like saying desegregation stuck it to poor whites. If your group benefits from another group being harmed, you do not get to cry foul if people stop harming that group. Plus that assumes there are a finite number of jobs, an assertion which economics literally disproved centuries ago.
Jay writes:
The idea that races have significantly different genetic IQs has been poked full of holes in the past 15 years.

Source, please.

Peter Schaeffer writes:

Evan,

Two obvious points. First, the U.S. ended mass immigration around WWI. Any argument about prior waves of immigrants has to recognize that point. The prior waves ended and in the case of the 1900 wave, ended by force. It was widely accepted that the end of mass immigration facilitated assimilation back then.

Second, Swedes, Irish, and Italian immigrants had no irredentist claims on America. Mexicans most certainly do. They don't wave the Mexican flag and burn ours without reason. They are expressing what they honestly feel. To them (not all clearly) this is a Reconquista and they intend to make the most of it.

From "The Hispanic Challenge" By Samuel P. Huntington

"No other immigrant group in U.S. history has asserted or could assert a historical claim to U.S. territory. Mexicans and Mexican Americans can and do make that claim. Almost all of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah was part of Mexico until Mexico lost them as a result of the Texan War of Independence in 1835-1836 and the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. Mexico is the only country that the United States has invaded, occupied its capital—placing the Marines in the “halls of Montezuma”—and then annexed half its territory. Mexicans do not forget these events. Quite understandably, they feel that they have special rights in these territories. “Unlike other immigrants,” Boston College political scientist Peter Skerry notes, “Mexicans arrive here from a neighboring nation that has suffered military defeat at the hands of the United States; and they settle predominantly in a region that was once part of their homeland…. Mexican Americans enjoy a sense of being on their own turf that is not shared by other immigrants.”

At times, scholars have suggested that the Southwest could become the United States' Quebec. Both regions include Catholic people and were conquered by Anglo-Protestant peoples, but otherwise they have little in common. Quebec is 3,000 miles from France, and each year several hundred thousand Frenchmen do not attempt to enter Quebec legally or illegally. History shows that serious potential for conflict exists when people in one country begin referring to territory in a neighboring country in proprietary terms and to assert special rights and claims to that territory."

Note that the leading Hispanic organization is called, The National Council of La Raza. That means "The Race". The phrase "La Raza" is a contraction of "La Raza Cosmica". La Raza Cosmica was the invention of racial theorist by the name of José Vasconcelos. He didn't claim that La Raza Cosmica was the master race, merely the superior race. He took this race stuff seriously. He founded the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The motto of NAUM is "The spirit shall speak for my race". Later in life he worked as a Nazi propagandist.

"By 2080 the people of Mexican descent in that region will think of themselves as American. Conflict between the USA and Mexico will be as unthinkable as conflict between the USA and Canada."

If the U.S. builds a high enough fence and ends mass immigration, probably. A continuation of the status quo probably ensures the end of America.

"Yeah, look at all those Jewish and Asian people today who are descended from poor Jewish and Chinese immigrants who came here in the 1800s. It was definitely a huge mistake to let those two groups into our country. All it did was import poverty."

Did I miss the memo where the U.S. abolished the welfare state yesterday? Do provide a link.

This 2011, not 1911. We are a different (and not better) nation. Welfare is pervasive and massively utilized by immigrants. However, the more serious point is that have extensive multigenerational data about how well Hispanic immigrants do.

"The Congealing Pot Today’s - immigrants are different from waves past" by Jason Richwine

"They’re not just like the Irish — or the Italians or the Poles, for that matter. The large influx of Hispanic immigrants after 1965 represents a unique assimilation challenge for the United States. Many optimistic observers have assumed — incorrectly, it turns out — that Hispanic immigrants will follow the same economic trajectory European immigrants did in the early part of the last century. Many of those Europeans came to America with no money and few skills, but their status steadily improved. Their children outperformed them, and their children’s children were often indistinguishable from the “founding stock.” The speed of economic assimilation varied somewhat by ethnic group, but three generations were typically enough to turn “ethnics” into plain old Americans.

This would be the preferred outcome for the tens of millions of Hispanic Americans, who are significantly poorer and less educated on average than native whites. When immigration skeptics question the wisdom of importing so many unskilled people into our nation at one time, the most common response cites the remarkable progress of Europeans a century ago. “People used to say the Irish or the Poles would always be poor, but look at them today!” For Hispanics, we are led to believe, the same thing will happen.

But that claim isn’t true. Though about three-quarters of Hispanics living in the U.S. today are either immigrants or the children of immigrants, a significant number have roots here going back many generations. We have several ways to measure their intergenerational progress, and the results leave little room for optimism about their prospects for assimilation."

Of course, Jason Richwine was writing in the National Review and is presumably a conservative. However, Patricia Gandara and Frances Contrera are definitely on the left and have reached identical conclusions.

See "Honesty from the Left on Hispanic Immigration" by Heather MacDonald

"John McCain and Barack Obama have largely avoided discussing immigration during the presidential campaign. But when it comes to the legal side of the issue, they both seem to support the status quo: an official policy centered around low-skilled, predominately Hispanic immigrants. A forthcoming book shows just how misguided that policy is, especially in light of the nation’s current economic woes. The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies, by Patricia Gandara and Frances Contreras, offers an unflinching portrait of Hispanics’ educational problems and reaches a scary conclusion about those problems’ costs. The book’s analysis is all the more surprising given that its authors are liberals committed to bilingual education, affirmative action, and the usual slate of left-wing social programs. Yet Gandara and Contreras, education professors at UCLA and the University of Washington, respectively, are more honest than many conservative open-borders advocates in acknowledging the bad news about Hispanic assimilation.

Hispanics are underachieving academically at an alarming rate, the authors report. Though second- and third-generation Hispanics make some progress over their first-generation parents, that progress starts from an extremely low base and stalls out at high school completion. High school drop-out rates—around 50 percent—remain steady across generations. Latinos’ grades and test scores are at the bottom of the bell curve. The very low share of college degrees earned by Latinos has not changed for more than two decades. Currently only one in ten Latinos has a college degree."

"Seriously though, what is the problem with letting in poor people?"

Actually you answered that question rather well

"You might say poor people are slightly more likely to cause negative externalities than other people"

They are massively more likely to impose negative externalities and large ones at that. Try looking at the data on education, welfare, crime, taxes, congestion, poverty, unemployment, social coheson, nation cohestion, etc.

"but they were probably causing those back home too"

Yes, that's exactly the point. This is America and we need to keep problems out. The Taliban are a nasty lot in Afghanistan. Letting them into America would enable them to directly wage war on Americans. Not a problem for you evidently. Your fellow Americans might see it otherwise.


"Plus, closed borders are a huge negative externality"

Really? For whom? Americans? Not very likely.

"It's like if you dumped a truck full of toxic waste on your neighbors' yard and then complain one of their kids threw away a candy wrapper on your yard."

Immigration controls are equivalent to dumping toxic waste? Who knew?

Peter Schaeffer writes:

Evan,

"Jews and Chinese used to score lower on IQ tests than whites as well. So did other groups that today score normally, such as Poles and Italians. Their IQs went up over time (that's probably why they aren't poor anymore), there's no reason to suspect the IQ of Latinos wouldn't too."

Actually, they didn't. Jews and Chinese scored very high, even back then. Stephen Jay Gould just made this one up. See "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" by Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, and Henry Harpending. I quote

"This high IQ and corresponding high academic ability have been long known. In 1900 in London Jews took a disproportionate number of academic prizes and scholarships in spite of their poverty (Russell and Lewis, 1900). In the 1920s a survey of IQ scores in three London schools (Hughes, 1928) with mixed Jewish and non-Jewish student bodies showed that Jewish students had higher IQs than their schoolmates in each of three school, one prosperous, one poor, and one very poor. The differences between Jews and non-Jews were all slightly less than one standard deviation. The students at the poorest Jewish school in London had IQ scores equal to the overall city mean of non-Jewish children.

The Hughes study is important because it contradicts a widely cited misrepresentation by Kamin (Kamin, 1974) of a paper by Henry Goddard (Goddard, 1917). Goddard gave IQ tests to people suspected of being retarded, and he found that the tests identified retarded Jews as well as retarded people of other groups.

Kamin reported, instead, that Jews had low IQs, and this erroneous report was picked up by many authors including Stephen Jay Gould, who used it as evidence of the unreliability of the tests (Seligman, 1992)."

The Goddard in question believed Jews to be quite intelligent. In 1927, he supervised a Master’s thesis entitled “The Intelligence of Jews compared with Non-Jews”, which was published by Ohio State University Press. In his introduction, Goddard said that it proved that Jews are more intelligent than Gentiles and his conclusion was substantiated by the constant persecution of the Jews, “for we are seldom jealous of our inferiors.”

By 1900, Jewish kids were filling medical schools. By the 1920s, they were flooding into Ivory League universiites. No one though they were dumb. Asians were already known to have very high test scores. See "In Search of Human Nature" for some details on IQ testing of Asians in the first part of the 20th century.

"The idea that races have significantly different genetic IQs has been poked full of holes in the past 15 years. The main reason it remains enduringly popular is that it gives paleoconservatives a chance to bash immigration, affirmative action, and welfare."

Opposing immigration, welfare, and affirmative action depends on a genetic theory of IQ? That's a new one. Let me note that one of your references is to Thomas Sowell who opposes all three.

"You could argue that their pathologies hurt innocent people, but they probably hurt innocent people in their home country too."

This is too rich. They would hurt people in foreign countries so let's bring them here to hurt Americans.

Mark Bahner writes:
Seriously though, what is the problem with letting in poor people?

Comparatively, it's better to let in rich and well-educated people.

Comments for this entry have been closed
Return to top