Scott Sumner  

The alt-right's demographic nightmare

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There is a growing strand of conservative thought that worries about demographic change, especially changes triggered by immigration. The percentage of Americans who are non-Hispanic white is projected to fall from 62.2% in 2014 to only 43.6% in 2060. Some conservatives seem to have two worries:

1. A growing minority population, especially Hispanics, will lead to American becoming poorer, more like a third world country.

2. Non-whites are more likely to support socialist-type spending programs, partly because they are poorer, and partly because they lack the Anglo-Saxon cultural tradition of loving liberty.

I don't wish to discuss the validity of those worries, other than to say that I don't share this anxiety over demographic change. Instead I'd like to explore what America will look like in 2060. Below I provide the projections from the Census Bureau. Unfortunately there was some double counting, as Hispanic non-whites were counted twice in the data, leading to the percentages adding up to a bit more than 100%. Thus only the total Hispanic and the non-Hispanic white figures are accurate. I adjusted the other figures based on what we know today about the share of non-whites who are also Hispanic. In parentheses I've added the unadjusted figures, which as I said add up to more than 100%. Fortunately, none of my later claims will hinge on the accuracy of these adjustments:

Non-Hispanic whites 43.6%
Hispanics ----------- 28.6%
Blacks -------------- 13.3% (14.3%)
Asians -------------- 9.0% (9.3%)
Multirace ----------- 4.6% (6.2%)
Other -------------- 0.9% (1.5%)

So that's the horror story that we are all supposed to fear. Then I looked for a state that had some similar demographics right now, to get a sense of what it would be like to live in this sort of dystopian nightmare. And I found one---Texas! Indeed the Lone Star state is even "worse" from a neo-reactionary perspective:

Non Hispanic whites 43.5%
Hispanics ----------- 38.6%
Blacks -------------- 11.7%
Asians -------------- 4.4%
Multirace ----------- 1.3%
Other -------------- 0.4%

The non-Hispanic white share is almost identical to America in 2060. But the Hispanic share is actually much higher today in Texas than it will be in America in 2060. In contrast, the Asian share in Texas today is only half as large as expected in America in 2060. Why do I say this is "worse"? Because many of the people who complain about demographic change seem particularly worried about the growing Hispanic population. I even recall one "alt-right" type who referred to them as "rapists and drug dealers". In contrast, they often single out Asians as a "model minority" that has been quite successful in America.

Whatever you think of these demographic characterizations, one thing is clear; from a neo-reactionary perspective, the Texas of 2014 is even worse than the America of 2060.

I hope that by now you see the problem, or indeed the two problems:

1. Neoreactionaries seem to think the America of 2060 will be a particularly inhospitable place for white people. And yet white folks are moving to Texas in droves. Indeed the only other state that comes close (in terms of absolute population growth) is Florida, which also has lots of blacks and Hispanics (but not very many Asians). The Texas economy is also highly successful. Even during the oil bust, people continue to move to Texas and its population continues to grow rapidly, up by nearly a half million (almost 2%) in the most recent year (mid-2014 to mid-2015). The unemployment rate is only 4.2%, close to the 4.0% considered optimal by Bernie Sanders. And this was accomplished despite the hemorrhaging of oil jobs.

2. In electoral terms, Texas is a fairly conservative, small government state.

So there you have it. The alt-right's looming demographic nightmare is best represented by Texas, a state that is economically quite successful, draws in lots of white migrants from other states, and votes conservative. I wonder what their ideal state looks like? Maybe West Virginia, which is America's least Hispanic state:

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 11.44.37 AM.png
What about going further out than 2060? My response would be that no one knows what the distant future will look like. The Anglo-Saxon worries about Irish immigrants in the 1800s look ridiculous today. I'm not denying that demographics matter to some extent; I do believe that cultural differences can be important. I just think the worries about America are absurdly overdone. We'll be fine. And if we aren't, it won't be due to demographics.




COMMENTS (48 to date)
Richard writes:

Hasn't the white middle class also fled California in droves?

So for immigration to work, all we need is all American whites to vote on other matters as conservative as the most conservative whites today.

David R. Henderson writes:

Great comparison with Texas, Scott. Brilliant! I had never thought of that.

Garrett M writes:
I even recall one "alt-right" type who referred to them as "rapists and drug dealers".

Are you referring to Trump?

JK Brown writes:

I suspect that distribution of Whites will be a bigger factor as indicated by this from Charles Murray. Although, off the cuff, I'd expect Texas probably reflects the distribution as well.


More than a quarter of all white Americans live in small towns (or no town at all) and almost two-thirds live in cities smaller than Des Moines. Only 10.5% of white Americans live within the top twenty cities. So the lesson for today is that white America is still, by a substantial majority, an America of rural areas, small towns and small cities.

Since 17% of the entire American population lives in the 20 largest cities compared with less than 11% of white Americans, isn’t the implication that the residential profile for nonwhite America is radically different from the one for white America? It is indeed. Precisely how is a lesson for another day.

New York is an example of the impact on presidential, senatorial elections and state politics by the low distribution of Whites in a Top 20 metro area. North of NYC is a land that feels it has no voice and is abused by the Leftist city dweller fashion politics.

Shane L writes:

Many migrants to the United States would in time adopt an American identity and sometimes even become indistinguishable from other Americans. In ways I guess immigration could greatly increase the strength of the destination cultures by giving them new adherents, in those cases where migrants adopt the local customs and cultures. Surely the United States has been strengthened by absorbing and transforming its many immigrant peoples, turning them into Americans.

Surely there are many examples in history, however, of migrants deliberately staying aloof from the native peoples or being forced into segregation by the unfriendly natives. My guess is that a huge movement of people to a small country could potentially lead to the replacement of the native cultures by the immigrant cultures. European migration to the Americas and Australia led to replacement, not assimilation, for example.

The United States, being so large and with a broadly civic nationalist identity, probably has a good chance of being refreshed by immigrants who come to adopt American norms. Little European countries, often with traditionally exclusive ethnic nationalist identities, are perhaps more likely to face trouble with mass-immigration from other places. I'm not sure why anyone would expect millions of African or Asian migrants in little Denmark or Portugal to abandon their own cultures and adopt those of the destination country, especially if they come to be a majority. However if they move to such countries in smaller numbers I would expect a better chance that they adopt local norms and assimilate.

Hans writes:

"I don't wish to discuss the validity of those worries, other than to say that I don't share this anxiety over demographic change."

I share your view; nonetheless, I do have anxiety
over the changes in what were once considered Republican stronghold states.

Legal and illegal migration are being used to reshape the election map, to the point wherein
only a single party will ever occupy the White House. All too many of these neoAmericans, come from well established Socialist states, being with them their political traditions and customs.

America, will look like your West Virginia, Mr Sumner: as I can find vast urban tracks, of Latinos settlements, just as your picturesque photo of hinterland West Virginia.

And has not West Virginia, unfortunately, always
looked like that?

You are certainly right about the disposition of the Lone Star State but then the same was said for decades about California.

Too much Greece, will ruin any dish.

Matt H writes:

One thing the comparison to Texas misses, is that the demographics of voters is much different than the demographics of residents.

This will not be the case going forward, when those under 18 but born in the US can start voting, or when their parents are given citizenship by future President Clinton.

So how do we bet on what Texas becomes. I'd say Texas has an income Tax by 2030, would be a good bet to see if the neo-reactionary fears are correct.

The border between California and Mexico resembles the border between North and South Korea ... except it's the California side that's less developed. Maybe California needs more Mexican voters.

Scharlach writes:

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ThaomasH writes:

The demographic fears also ignore intermarriage. How many Gonzalez'es will be "Hispanic" in 2030? In the shorter term, how long will voter suppression persist in Texas and many other Red states?

The question raised here by Scott Sumner, concerning how immigration can affect the prosperity of some states relative to other states, can be understood in the framework of a theory I sketched in this 2003 paper for a libertarian audience.

The theory builds upon teachings from:

I have tried just now to write a quick one-paragraph summary of the theory — but failed. Sorry. I believe that one who reads the paper may catch the drift.

That West Virginia household does not look so poor to me. It enjoys what I lack:

  • a satellite dish. Actually two dishes.
  • a dog. Actually two.
  • a covered front porch.
  • a metal roof.
  • a woman.

Floccina writes:
What about going further out than 2060?

I find it so interestingly amusing that certain white religious minorities are projected to be big part of the population in 100 years or so.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/15/amish-ten-things-you-need-to-know/14111249/

The Amish are one of the fastest-growing population groups in America. According to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, Pa., their population has risen from about 5,000 in 1920 to almost 300,000 today. And much of that growth has occurred in the last three decades. The center estimates there were just 84,000 Amish in 1984, meaning the population has more than tripled during that time. The population explosion is due to a belief in large families, seen as a blessing from God. The large number of children also provide labor for their farming enterprises.

Add the Mennonites and the Orthodox Jewish population which double about every 20 years.

http://forward.com/news/187429/orthodox-population-grows-faster-than-first-figure/

By 2110 those 3 groups may be 1/2 of the USA population.

Don't worry be happy.

Jeffrey S. writes:

Scott,

I think Matt H makes an important point -- Texas is very different from California (see here for example:

http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/13/why-hispanics-thrive-in-texas-but-not-in-california/)

and it remains to be seen whether or not all those more recent Texas Hispanics will assimilate into small government conservatives (I'm skeptical) or will they follow the California model.

Let's also not forget, that while the demographics of Texas Hispanics are better than the California demographics, they aren't great either and third and fourth generations still struggle to do as well as prior European immigrants (not to mention Asian immigrants.)

Not everyone around the planet was created with the same skills and abilities or equal genetic endowment -- check out Greg Cochran's blog for more information and the latest science!!!

Floccina writes:

@Richard O. Hammer I got a great laugh out of your comment (thanks for that), but I do always say that you should not mistake sloppiness for poverty. You cannot tell from the picture if the residents are rich of poor.

Noah Carl writes:

Hispanic turnout in Texas is very low, but once the Democrats figure out how to galvanise Hispanic voters, Texas will probably become more leftist:

http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/13488/a-look-at-texas-voter-turnout-by-ethnicity

Kgaard writes:

It's only partly about race. It's also about single white women. They are just as socialist as minorities. We can already see the future in the Trump/Hillary polling:

* Hillary leads Trump by 26 points among women.
* Hillary leads Trump by 67 points among non-whites.
* Trump leads Hillary by 9 points among whites.

Extrapolating a bit, Trump must be leading Hillary by like 20 points among white men. And probably 30 points among white men who aren't gay and don't work either for govt or academia.

Bottom line: We don't need to go out to 2060: US politics is already a battle of private-sector non-gay white men and their wives vs. everybody else.

Why do I even want to be part of this mess?

nydwracu writes:

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Mark writes:

For economic reasons, I'm inclined to agree that gradually Hispanics will shift right just as Italians and Polish and the Irish did.

However, I'm of two minds, because economics isn't everything here. Group identity plays a big role, and organized ethnic minority caucuses have demonstrated a willingness to support policy that discriminates against whites or other ethnic minorities (i.e., affirmative action type policies) and such policies, though sold in the 60s as being temporary, are clearly here to stay and will likely only become more prominent as time goes on. Identity politics as it exists today is a fairly novel thing; you didn't often have Italians arguing for Italian preferential policies a hundred years ago or basing their entire political ideology on the alleged systemic oppression of Italians by Nordics. Joe Colombo wasn't near as popular as Al Sharpton is (though of comparable moral quality). The current batch of immigrants may not end up the same as their predecessors.

Both the Democrats' exploitation of group identity and the GOP's refusal to even compete for the minds of immigrants (and the fact that we won't likely have a big growth era like the postwar period to make us all more sanguine) or now to appeal to group identity in whites may lead to immigrant groups being more resistant to ideological realignment than their predecessors.

And much of this is of course conservatives' own fault. However, the Alt-Right can't be entirely explained as a causa sui emerging from the vacuum of white racism; it is in large part a reaction, or white people doing for themselves what identity politics has done for many ethnic minorities. And as anti-white sentiment remains or becomes more socially acceptable, more white people are going to have fewer qualms about being openly racist. That's one of the most important points I feel compelled to make when discussing white racism, especially with progressives: white people's attitudes aren't born in a vacuum any more than those of people of other races.

Daniel writes:

I think Scott has merely made an argument for more open borders, but with the condition that the migrants won't have much political power. If Hispanics and Asians start voting in equal proportion to Whites, I think you'd most likely see Texas turn purple or blue. It's a bit premature to say that we know all the consequences of the shift in demographics in Texas.

What I don't understand is the Libertarian insistence on increasing the power of statists through immigration. It's OK to complain about harmful government regulations, but why is it not ok to complain about the people who like those regulations and vote for them? The chain of causality need not stop at the government officials who create these laws.

Scott Sumner writes:

Richard, You said:

"Hasn't the white middle class also fled California in droves?"

Yes, due to high home prices and high taxes, in other words bad governance. But not (primarily) due to too many immigrants, as high income whites still love California. I plan to move there, partly because they have lots of immigrants.

Thanks David.

Garrett, Yes.

JK. I agree that upstate is abused by NYC.

Shane, I agree that the quantity of immigration matters.

Hans, In a two party system the two parties will likely always take turns. The real question is what policies will they need to adopt to be competitive?

Matt, I agree that Hispanics are less likely to vote in Texas today, but I'd guess that's roughly offset by the difference between 38% in Texas, and 28% nationally in 2060.

Thaomas, That's right. My daughter has a Chinese mom, but is for all intents and purposes considered "white".

Richard, I agree that the West Virginia family is less poor than it looks.

Floccina, Good point, and don't forget the Mormons.

Jeffrey, You said:

"Let's also not forget, that while the demographics of Texas Hispanics are better than the California demographics, they aren't great either and third and fourth generations still struggle to do as well as prior European immigrants (not to mention Asian immigrants.)"

Yes, but for immigration to be beneficial all you need is that the immigrants (and perhaps the locals) are better off. You don't need the immigrant to do as well as the locals.

I think a bigger issue is distributional, which suggests we might want to skew more toward high skilled immigrants, as the working class in America has probably been hurt the most, or helped the least, by our largely unskilled immigration from Latin America. I'd like to see both low and high skilled immigration, but for political reasons perhaps more of a balance than we currently have.

Mark, Yes, identity politics on the left may lead to identity politics among whites. I suppose my only response is two wrongs don't make a right, but I see your point. Trump was probably inevitable, at some point. (Indeed Buchanan was a precursor)

Daniel, You said:

"What I don't understand is the Libertarian insistence on increasing the power of statists through immigration. It's OK to complain about harmful government regulations, but why is it not ok to complain about the people who like those regulations and vote for them? The chain of causality need not stop at the government officials who create these laws."

I don't see it as a zero sum game. Millions more people benefit from America's far superior economic system, as compared to their home counties, even if America becomes slightly worse. This then begins to spread free market ideas. Indians who return to India tell people that the American system is better and that India should change. China is currently changing partly because it saw Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore doing much better, with people of their own ethnicity. Mexicans may pressure Mexico to improve governance.

Mr. Econotarian writes:

What I don't understand is the Libertarian insistence on increasing the power of statists through immigration.

How about anyone can move to the US if they correctly answer test questions about the importance of economic freedom? Just let in those who "get it."

On a related note, I can tell you of many hispanic immigrants I know given the chance to legally live in the US by Ronald Reagan's "amnesty" who swore by the GOP and Reagan's small-government rhetoric...until recent anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Reagan "The immigrants who have so enriched America include people from every race, creed, and ethnic background. Yet all have been drawn here by shared values and a deep love of freedom. Most brought with them few material goods. But with their hearts and minds and toil they have contributed mightily to the building of this great Nation and endowed us with the riches of their achievements. Their spirit continues to nourish our own love of freedom and opportunity."

Trump: "They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."

Kgaard writes:

Scott ... the one thing you don't seem to take into consideration is the Robert Putnam Bowling Alone sort of argument. It's been demonstrated repeatedly that multiculturalism makes people retreat into a shell. Certainly it has happened to me. I live in an 80% immigrant neighborhood with people from 100 different countries, most of whom struggle with English. Nobody can process that sort of cultural stew and remain open and jaunty with the people they meet. It's just not possible. Despair often ensues.

Rafael writes:

In 2014, 62% of Latinos voted for Democrats nationally. The only reason Texas has stayed red so far is that Latinos have very low turnout (39% in 2012). Asian turnout was similarly low (42%). Compare that to 61% of whites turning out.

Once the Democrats get the Latino and Asian turnout up, Texas will go blue forever.

Romney only took 57.2% of the vote in 2012.

Now, think about Latinos and Asians—43% of the population—having higher turnout and joining with the black population (63% turnout in 2012). Once the 56% of Texans who are non-white start turning out similarly to whites, welcome to the People's Democratic Republic of Tejas.

Richard writes:
Yes, due to high home prices and high taxes, in other words bad governance. But not (primarily) due to too many immigrants, as high income whites still love California. I plan to move there, partly because they have lots of immigrants.

Yes, and in a democracy, changing the demographics will change the policy. Texas is luckier because the whites there vote as a block, but there's no reason to believe that the policies you like will continue as the state becomes more Hispanic.

Mark writes:

Mr. Econotarian:

"How about anyone can move to the US if they correctly answer test questions about the importance of economic freedom? Just let in those who "get it."

Or, even simpler: if you can find a job capable of supporting you (instead of the taxpayers) you get citizenship.

The compromise that could've won immigrants for the right would have been the promise of amnesty and citizenship for working immigrants not dependent on the system. This would put working immigrants in the same boat as working whites in opposition to the welfare state. Democrats wouldn't have been able to make dependents out of immigrants and, if not immediately, eventually the ones who got in would have assimilated.

That ship has sailed now. The Dem party elite are ready to offering citizenship + free stuff, which beats citizenship + self-reliance any day.

Asians might have veered toward the center for economic reasons, except the right had veered so far left economically thanks to Trump, and Americanized Asians may just skip the hard-working tax-hating Republican stage and go right to the college-educated 'social justice' enthusiast neo-hippie stage that affluent whites are going into nowadays.

I'm not optimistic, suffice it to say. I think it will decade a few decades of very bad socialist policy failures to turn cultural tides in favor of classical liberalism again. A part of me thinks we should just elect Sanders and get it over with as quick as possible, instead of going there gradually or floundering between nationalism and socialism until the latter finally overtakes the former.

Kolya writes:

"Millions more people benefit from America's far superior economic system, as compared to their home counties, even if America becomes slightly worse."

I thank Scott for giving us the honest anti-Trump slogan -

"Immigration - Making America slightly* Worse!"

*we hope


"[Texas]’s future looks bleak assuming the current trend line does not change because education and income levels for Hispanics lag considerably behind Anglos, he said.

Unless the trend line changes, 30 percent of the state’s labor force will not have even a high school diploma by 2040, he said. And the average household income will be about $6,500 lower than it was in 2000. That figure is not inflation adjusted so it will be worse than what it sounds.

“It’s a terrible situation that you are in. I am worried,” Murdock said."

http://blog.chron.com/texaspolitics/2011/02/texas-demographer-its-basically-over-for-anglos/

Jardinero1 writes:

If all the axioms about minority voting habits were true, then Texas would be as blue as California or New York, right now. Yet, it is the poster child for red states.

As recently as 1996, Democrats actually did control the Texas legislature, which was also the last year that Texas was majority non-hispanic white. The state has become more minority dominated every year since then and Republicans have a firmer grip than ever before. Thus as Texas has become more dominated by minority voters, especially Hispanic voters, the state has become more reliably Republican.

Thus if the state, since 1996 has become more minority dominant and more reliably Republican what is the correct hypothesis we can infer? Hispanics and Blacks and Asians in Texas vote Republican and have been voting so for the better part of two decades. Texans veered slightly Democrat in the last two presidential elections, but the Democrats also fielded the best candidate in half a century during those two elections. It will be impossible to field a candidate like Obama again.

Some counter that Republicans dominate Texas politics because they get nearly 100 percent of the non-hispanic white vote. Untrue. Non-hispanic whites in Texas break 62-38, R vs D in Texas. It is mathematically impossible for republicans to poll 56 percent statewide unless minority voters vote republican in meaningful numbers. 62 percent of 45 percent of the non-hispanic white vote is 27.9 points out of the 56 percent vote total which the Republicans poll in Texas. Minority voters produce the other 30.1 points of the 56 percent. A majority of the Republican voters in Texas are minority voters. I did not say a majority of minority voters are Republican but rather a majority of Republican voters in Texas are minority.

Todd Kreider writes:
What about going further out than 2060? My response would be that no one knows what the distant future will look like.

Since we are still on an exponential computer power curve, I'd say you can't extrapolate beyond 2030 or 2035.

ChrisA writes:

Todd - I came to say exactly the same thing. My mental response to any of the chicken little's (demographic disasters, global warming, peak oil, etc) is if it isn't happening for sure in the next 20 years, we can safely ignore it. The only thing to really worry about is if we can control super intelligence (I have my doubts). The rest is noise and easily within the variance of human experience in the last 100 years.

John S writes:

Solid counter-move with the Texas comparison, but it's the beginning of the discussion, not the end.

I could cherry-pick New Mexico, which is 47% Hispanic, 44th in per capita GDP, and voted Democrat in 4 of the last 5 Presidential elections as a point in favor of the alt-right.

My point is not to say that you're right or wrong on this issue, just that there are lots of angles to look at. One blog post isn't enough to settle anything conclusively.

Todd Kreider writes:

ChrisA, The science-minded types should never worry about something like global warming, peak oil, demographics.

But I think Scott Sumner can be controlled or at least mostly reigned in. Oh, wait, you probably mean A.I. type super intelligence...

TG writes:

With respect, this misses the point.

It's not about 'hispanics' (who not that long ago were referred to as whites of latin american ancestry). It's about the numbers. This 'hispanic' meme is the rich playing divide and conquer.

The United States no longer has excess resources. (It's NOT living space that is needed, but fresh water and topsoil etc). Our technologies are now at a point of diminishing returns. Jamming in a billion people and more in a century or so will make this nation just another dirt-poor third-world sweatshop. Whether this be due to the immigration of 'hispanics' or swedes or increases in the native fertility rate, doesn't matter. It's all about the numbers.

Jsmitty writes:

Scott,

This piece was not terribly convincing.

First Hispanics in Texas are unlike Hispanics in the rest of the country. Many are descended from Tejanos and have been in Texas for many generations. They did not so much jump the border as the border jumped them. They often identify as white and demographically resemble whites and only recently began identifying as Hispanic again because the Federal govt. told them they were minorities. Moreover many of the Tejanos hail from Northeast Mexico which is the wealthiest and best educated part of the country and also the most European. (Miami Hispanics are unique for similar reasons).

Second, if you look at the new arrivals who demographically resemble California Latinos much more the trends are not at all encouraging. If you had done a little research before posting this you'd see that by midcentury if current trends continue, Texas will be nothing like the Texas we see today but will be a lot more like the interior of California...poor and uneducated.

Check it out:

http://blog.chron.com/texaspolitics/2011/02/texas-demographer-its-basically-over-for-anglos/

Money quote:

Unless the trend line changes, 30 percent of the state’s labor force will not have even a high school diploma by 2040, he said. And the average household income will be about $6,500 lower than it was in 2000. That figure is not inflation adjusted so it will be worse than what it sounds.


I think even one given to libertarian fantasies will see this future as dystopian!

Remember

  • Demography is destiny whether you like it or not.

    Not all "Hispanics" are the same.

    The future of Texas is not promising.

JK Brown writes:

The real threat is the education system in the US, which has been taken over by those hostile to the ancient liberties of the English-speaking people and who promote the return of the servile ideology of, the past in Europe, the pseudo-fuedal nature of many current non-Western nations.

We have a polyglot nation now, instead of one of assimilation. And Mises warned of compulsory public education in polyglot communities.

In all areas of mixed nationality, the school is a political prize of the highest importance. It cannot be deprived of its political character as long as it remains a public and compulsory institution. There is, in fact, only one solution: the state, the government, the laws must not in any way concern themselves with schooling or education. Public funds must not be used for such purposes. The rearing and instruction of youth must be left entirely to parents and to private associations and institutions. --Mises, Ludwig von . Liberalism

Earlier immigration into the US was different in several ways.
One was the imposition of compulsory education that promote the liberties and values of a free nation, eventually the teaching dropped the "ancient liberties of the Anglo-Saxon" theme for the more diffuse origin story.
Another was the nation was in dire need of new immigrants to fill lower-standing jobs as previous immigrant groups moved up the social ladder generationally. Thus the immigrant wasn't displacing citizens in work.
Third, free immigration and the social welfare state are incompatible. While city and private efforts arose to assist the immigrants in prior eras, the immigrants, indeed the native born, had not right or claim to such services, which were given as charity.

RA writes:

Texas is a bit unique because it is an extremely religious state which causes a hard right edge and its non-whites do not vote. You cannot get that advantage in the rest of the country but a good point made.

Julian Castro will probably turn Texas into a nightmare in 2024.

Kevin writes:

Great insight about Texas, but give it time. Others have made good points, and lots of other locations counter what you have said.

We don't know how things will go but why let in more uneducated people from poor countries at all? If we want immigration, we can probably get all we can handle just by letting in people with BS/BA degrees or higher?

I think the future of the US is Brazil, if we are lucky Peru as is today, if unlucky Venezuela. Immigration and a welfare state remain bad policy.

Scott also points out that in a two party system parties alternate but their principles may change to make them competitive. For example, we may have 2 life long democrats running for office. In 20 years we may have the Republicans (Christian democrats- socialists) and the Democrats (Socialists- borderline communists). Sure, both parties may alternate but both options could be awful.

Winston writes:

20106 is too far off. Right now majority of kids in public school are poor. That is the problem because US education of poor children stinks -to put it mildly. If Vietnam can outshine US, how come US is so bad? It lacks the will. But the thing to worry about is that in less than 20 years most Americans will be POOR. The white segment of the population will remain the leading segment of the poor population as it is today since more poor people are white today;and this will only increase since the 401 (k) retirees have negligible savings they can rely on in retirement.

The good thing about this is that the MIC will have to shrink to accommodate needs of America's aging and poor population, most of which is living in housing not meant for the old, will have trouble getting home health aids as suburbs provide few services and states cut aid to poor when in financial distress- which will be the case during this time of demographic pressures. More of the burden will fall on the federal government.

John S writes:

The key state in the "alt-right demographic nightmare scenario" isn't Texas -- it's Florida. Between 2000 and 2010, FL's Hispanic population grew from 17% of the population to 23%.

This Hispanic growth has shrunk the Cuban share of FL's Hispanic registered voters (which largely leaned Republican) from 46% in 1990 to 31% in 2014.

The result is that, among FL Hispanic registered voters, Democrats now outnumber Republicans 678,000 to 479,000. In 2006, Republicans led 414,000 to 370,000.

Even the Cuban bloc in FL is leaning more Democratic. If current trends in Hispanic population growth continue in FL, it could become a permanent blue state within 1-2 presidential cycles (it's gone Dem in 3 of the last 5 elections, including the last 2).

The outlook is similar for other swing states with fast-growing Hispanic populations, e.g. Nevada, Virginia, and North Carolina. If Clinton -- who supports amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens -- is elected, this process will accelerate (about 6% of FL's labor force consists of illegal aliens).

These aren't just opinion polls on how Hispanic voters lean -- this has already happened in Florida. It'll happen in other states unless Hispanic immigration is curtailed and amnesty is blocked.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/03/09/democratic-edge-in-hispanic-voter-registration-grows-in-florida/

Lorenzo from Oz writes:

I am a bit bemused by the recurring analysis I read by various American folk that presume that the two-Party system in the US is not dynamic (i.e. the Republicans are absolutely incapable of making inroads outside white voters: this seems unlikely).

Australia has a much higher rate of immigration and foreign born residents (28%) than the US. We largely avoid these debates because (1) our migrant intake (outside the British Isles and New Zealand) is sufficiently diverse that it does not include "large lumps"; (2) said migration intake is justified in public interest terms -- perhaps easier for 20m+ folk on a large island off the coast of Asia; (3) we are such good migrant cherry-pickers that the arriving migrants slightly raise the capital/labour ratio, so don't put downward pressure on labour incomes; and (4) border control -- folk do not feel they have no say and no control.

The Anglo-Celts still dominate, which may help.

Lorenzo from Oz writes:

On the dynamism of two-Party system, one could make a reasonable argument that high-migration periods (1860-1924, 1965-present) have been better for the Republicans, the relatively low-migration period in the middle, less so.

JayMan writes:
There is a growing strand of conservative thought that worries about demographic change, especially changes triggered by immigration. The percentage of Americans who are non-Hispanic white is projected to fall from 62.2% in 2014 to only 43.6% in 2060. Some conservatives seem to have two worries:

1. A growing minority population, especially Hispanics, will lead to American becoming poorer, more like a third world country.

2. Non-whites are more likely to support socialist-type spending programs, partly because they are poorer, and partly because they lack the Anglo-Saxon cultural tradition of loving liberty.

I don't wish to discuss the validity of those worries

Then why post on it? The validity of the claims seem to be central to the matter, no?

Whatever you think of these demographic characterizations, one thing is clear; from a neo-reactionary perspective, the Texas of 2014 is even worse than the America of 2060.

Yeah, I do live in Maine and not Texas. There's a reason for that. Texas is hardly the most stellar state on a variety of metrics. See:

Demography Is Destiny, American Nations Edition.

Also, let's consider that this is a whole nation we're talking about. Significantly replacing the non-Hispanic White fraction of the country with Hispanics will greatly lower the country's relative GDP per capita. There will be less money coming into government coffers and more demand for money out in terms of social services.

So there you have it. The alt-right's looming demographic nightmare is best represented by Texas, a state that is economically quite successful, draws in lots of white migrants from other states, and votes conservative. I wonder what their ideal state looks like? Maybe West Virginia, which is America's least Hispanic state

Not all Whites are created equal. See my:

American Nations Series - The Unz Review

What about going further out than 2060? My response would be that no one knows what the distant future will look like.
We can't predict population trends but I can certainly tell you something about the impact of certain potential demographic outcomes.
The Anglo-Saxon worries about Irish immigrants in the 1800s look ridiculous today.

Except that it wasn't ridiculous. They had a point. See above, particularly my first link.

The people make the nation, not the reverse.

JayMan writes:

Shane L writes:

Many migrants to the United States would in time adopt an American identity and sometimes even become indistinguishable from other Americans.

Never happened. Not unless you think Staten Island is Minnesota. Assimilation is a myth – an illusion at best.

In ways I guess immigration could greatly increase the strength of the destination cultures by giving them new adherents, in those cases where migrants adopt the local customs and cultures. Surely the United States has been strengthened by absorbing and transforming its many immigrant peoples, turning them into Americans.

Didn't happen:

https://twitter.com/JayMan471/status/729757514863157248

Sam writes:

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IA writes:
I'm not denying that demographics matter to some extent; I do believe that cultural differences can be important. I just think the worries about America are absurdly overdone. We'll be fine. And if we aren't, it won't be due to demographics.

Somehow, Scott, you aren't putting me at my ease.

Why push demographic russian roulette so hard in the first place?

Status marking goes on in Europe too. If a Frenchman objects to importing blacks and Muslims, well, he's a Nazi. But, sometimes it's just as effective to associate the foot-draggers and laggards with rednecks. It's a vicious and ugly game played by alienated elites. This technique allows them plausible deniability while destroying their own people's identity.

gda writes:

“Scott ... the one thing you don't seem to take into consideration is the Robert Putnam Bowling Alone sort of argument….”

I think Kgard has hit the nail squarely on the head and in doing so has perhaps exposed the inappropriateness of Scott’s qualification to opine on this matter.

I would suggest (subject to correction) that neither Scott, nor his family or friends are likely to be in any way inconvenienced by the vast additional numbers of Hispanics likely to subsume states like California entirely in the sort of future he envisages. Of course, things will be just fine in his neck of the woods, where the 99+% do not (can not?) venture.

Asking Scott to opine on demographic change is a bit like asking Marie Antoinette whether she was concerned about all those hungry people on the street – “why don’t they just eat cake, darling?”

It’s a wonder he doesn’t do a full Merkel and look to further enrich us with a million plus Muslims a year. Why not?

Fortunately for the rest of us, a white knight rushes to our aid. The “open borders” fallacy is about to take a jolt.

Mitchell Young writes:

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Mitchell Young writes:

I know it is de rigueur among the Left (of both 'Libertarian' and 'Progressive' stamp) to make fun of them hill billies in West Virginia. And I know it's fun to cherry pick a comparison (why not comparably non-Hispanic Vermont, for example?)

But Texas actually has a higher homicide rate and higher poverty rate than West Virginia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_poverty_rate

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state#MRord


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