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« Alice on "Kill Bill" | Main | Denmark and Porn »

July 15, 2004

"Unguarded Gates"

Dear Vanessa --

A widely remarked-upon mystery of recent-ish politics: when did lefties stop being champions of race-blindness and take up racial bean-counting instead? A much-less-noticed similar mystery: when did lefties stop championing wariness about population growth and start advocating more-or-less open borders instead? As a former radical eco-freak still sympathetic to environmental concerns, I'm very curious about this question.

Recently, I've been learning a lot from reading Otis L. Graham Jr.'s new book Unguarded Gates: A History of America's Immigration Crisis. If it hasn't quite answered my question about changes in eco-attitudes, it's still an exhaustive and alarming work.

Some not-so-fun quotes:

Americans through their fertility behavior after the 1960s were choosing a demographic future of a stabilized population at around 250 million by 2050. That path to population stabilization was radically altered by politicians in Washington, who enacted expansionist immigration policies that proved to be population policies in disguise.

Immigration's contribution to population growth (immigrants plus births to foreign-born women), which had been 13 percent in 1970, rose to 38 percent by 1980, and to 60 to 70 percent, and rising, by the end of the 1990s. With immigration pushing the throttle forward, the American population grew by 81 million from 1970 to 2000, 33 million in the 1990s alone -- the largest single-decade population increase in U.S. history ...

[In 2000, the Census Bureau] projected U.S. population totals to 2100, and the medium assumption pointed to 571 million ... Slight increases in expected fertility along with longer life spans could push that number to 1.2 billion.

Graham may not be a sparkling prose stylist, but he's awfully good at making statistics vivid. He points out, for example, that the U.S.'s population growth in the 1990s was "the equivalent of adding the entire population of Canada," and that 96% of California's recent population growth has been due to immigration. (96%!!!!)

And how do everyday Americans think and feel about these developments? Here's a quote Graham includes from the Harvard sociologist Christopher Jencks: "Apart from some business executives, I have never met anyone who favored doubling the population." (Note to self: when stuck in a discussion with someone claiming that those concerned about immigration policies are racist/inhumane/etc, be sure to ask this person, "Are you telling me that you're in favor of doubling or tripling the country's population?")

As Steve Sailer (here), Randall Parker (here), the Center for Immigration Studies (here), and the gang at Vdare (here) often point out: Dems who want votes, Repubs who want cheap labor, and a bunch of (mostly) naive and gullible propagandists are putting a big one over on the rest of us -- the most dramatic demographic change in this country's history. It's something very few Americans want to see happen.

Topic for discussion: Why is so little discussion of these developments and of these policies taking place? Oh, and how do you feel about the States having a population of 571 million? Let alone 1.2 billion?

Graham's good and informative book is buyable here. Here's a short 1995 essay where Graham explores the impact of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, which he calls "the single most nation-changing measure of the era."

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at July 15, 2004




Comments

This seems rather alarmist. I'm basing that on all the propoganda I heard in the 1970s about the populatin explosion and the failing planet and the coming dark years where we'd be using our gold fillings as currency in the 1990s.

I would expect that we'll continue to see these kinds of pig-in-a-python bulges, and that after a period of assimilation, it will right itself. The hard part is going to be convincing everybody that assimilation is a GOOD THING. It seems to be a BAD THING today. Those lefties ain't helping with their multi-culti talk.

PS I think it's a GOOD THING because of all the brains. Yeah, it'll stretch a system, but we can adapt.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on July 15, 2004 9:10 PM



But there is no sign that the python is gonna get a rest so as to digest the latest, largest, pig!

Posted by: Davd Mercer on July 15, 2004 9:16 PM



Even if you cut the figures in half, it's still a lot of people who are under the misguided assumption that America is the land of milk and honey, or at the very least, of opportunity. Don't they listen to the news first? Wouldn't it be smarter to be a step ahead and emigrate directly to the countries where our jobs are going?

Posted by: susan on July 15, 2004 9:19 PM



And how do y'all feel about the States having a population of 571 million? Let alone 1.2 billion? Just curious.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 15, 2004 9:25 PM



Oh, like we can't tell that pretending to be worried about doubling the population isn't just a code word for racism.

That's racism, Racism, RACISM!!!!!!!

I'm not listening to any of this racist hate speech! I'm covering my ears!!!....I can't hear you!!!! La, la, la, la, la, la!!!! Not listening...!!!!

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 15, 2004 9:42 PM



well...

1) the 571 million figure doesn't account for the fact that fertility rates are dropping all over the world, including Mexico. So we aren't going to get there.

2) Overpopulation itself isn't a problem, except on the coasts. The problem is that immigrants with less than a high school education tend to be net tax recipients, even down to the 2nd and third generations. (Data floods available upon request).

3) If our immigrants had on average the profile of the immigrant Vietnamese or Chinese, I'd probably be much more pro-immigration than I am now. The "overpopulation" issue is useful when talking to environmentalist types, but it really isn't the best reason for supporting immigration reform.

Posted by: gc on July 15, 2004 10:13 PM



Friedrich:

unfortunately, pretty much *every* good argument against a sacred lefty cow is considered a code word for racism...

Posted by: gc on July 15, 2004 10:14 PM



I like population growth. The next level of population growth always sounds terrifying. How would people in the steamy and overcrowded New York City of 1900 (population 3.5 million) have felt if asked to imagine a New York metro area with population close to 22 million, much of it due to immigration? Sounds like hell on earth, stinking mounds of refuse, and so on.

I can't fathom what the number 290 million means, so twice that much isn't particularly scary. What I can tell you is that my neighborhood, which is fairly dense, could be improved a lot by adding a bunch of additional people, and if some of them -- many of them -- are immigrants, I don't see the problem with that. New immigrants are going to open cool restaurants, work important but menial jobs, and so on. There will be downsides, too, of course, but I'm (obviously) unconvinced that they'll outweigh the advantages.

Posted by: Matthew on July 15, 2004 10:20 PM



FvB -- How true. People in a country need always to remember that they should have no say whatsoever about their country's future makeup.

GC --

1) I know nothing, nothing myself. But Graham points out that the Census Bureau admits that they usually underestimate the effects of immigraton on population growth.
2) Overpopulation isn't a problem? Sez who?
3) You write, "It really isn't the best reason for supporting immigration reform." Maybe, maybe not. But it's certainly a factor, and may certainly be an important factor for many. Anyway, it seems to me that a personal preference for a less-crowded rather than more-crowded country is a perfectly good reason for favoring immigration reform. Why shouldn't it be?

Any theories from anyone about why being concerned about population growth has stopped being ... cool, or something? Especially for "progressive" sorts?

And, any other takers for a doubled or tripled American population? Remember, it's not: can you bear it? But: do you want it?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 15, 2004 10:40 PM



Well, just to add some counterpoints, (albeit as a Canadian)

(1) The current generation is not having enough kids to allow it to retire in the manner to which it would like to be able to. Most of the population growth (as you point out) is based on immigrants having children. Truimphant (North) Americans who point out low European birth rates should remember that it's first generation immigrants that are having the children that allow one to gloat. How about allow immigration, or no (or reduced) retirement?

(2) If you are concerned about population growth, it seems likely that immigrants coming to the North America will have *fewer* children than if they were living in their country of origin. So from a global "population bomb" perspective, immigration is a *good* thing.

(3) As nations such as China and India catch up to American standards of living, etc., the gap between material output of the USA and other nations closes. If production parity on a per capita basis ever happens (or even grows close), then financial might (which in the end equals world importance) starts to depend on population. Is the United States ready to become a second rate power compared to the populous might of China or India (albeit in 50+ years)?

Posted by: Tom West on July 16, 2004 12:01 AM



I can only speak for one lefty...
I define "population growth" as primarily a global issue. Where people move across arbitrary borders doesn't enter into this discussion. If Mexicans move to California there are more Californians, but population hasn't changed. Heck, if you adopt the "local" view it's a push.. it dropped in one place, grew in another.

Local population "growth" is only a problem when it starts outstripping resources. That certainly isn't the case in Cali...

As to to racial bean-counting? Completely out of hand in any instances in which it usurps the role of existing fair processes -- where it becomes the process. Academic hiring pops to mind here. There is certainly a value to it (just as there is a value to bean-counting where grades, or relationship to alumni, or charm are concerned) but it must be placed among other valuable things like performance, fit, and relationship to alumni. ;-)

Can you tell I work in education?

Posted by: cmontgom on July 16, 2004 12:27 AM



When you mention "the gang at Vdare," Michael, do you include Klan supporter Sam Francis (http://www.vdare.com/francis) and white nationalist Jared Taylor (http://www.vdare.com/taylor)?

Posted by: Tim Hulsey on July 16, 2004 2:04 AM



The undeniable fact, is that, in large measure, the immigrants ARE NOT ASSIMILATING.
We are rapidly becoming no more than a collection of populations.
Soon we will no longer be a people.
If you love America, the idea of America, it is an unmitigated tragedy.

Posted by: ricpic on July 16, 2004 7:24 AM



But how do y'all feel about America's population doubling or tripling? Looking forward to a much more crowded country?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2004 8:35 AM



I dislike the huge population increase we are facing. As John Denver once said, "more people, more scars upon the land." I would prefer population stabilization, which is what we could have if we controlled immigration. Review the so-called reasons proposed above for not worrying about the population growth and you will find only facts assumed but not in evidence and pure speculation. What has actually occurred and is occurring is unprecedented and is being pooh-poohed by many.

Posted by: P. Murgos on July 16, 2004 9:10 AM



"But how do y'all feel about America's population doubling or tripling? Looking forward to a much more crowded country?"

Well, we certainly have lots of empty space up here in Vermont, and, across the country, undeveloped land far exceeds that which has been developed. As Matthew commented, growth in the 20th Century would have, no doubt, scared the heck out of New York City residents circa 1890. I have the utmost confidence that we'll be able to keep up with the population growth.

Remember: America isn't a European nation, where space is scarce and national identity is centered around ethnicity. America is a multicultural nation: it always has been, and that's a central part of its strength. It's why Pakistani immigration to England is a "problem" but Pakistani immigration to New York isn't.

Posted by: J.W. Hastings on July 16, 2004 9:13 AM



Matthew,
are you saying New York is not "stinking mounds of refuse"? Have you ever been out of upper West Side? Gramercy Park is not the same as Sunset Park; I can arrange an excursion for your education.
Only this morning I was listening to the Mayor on channel 1 and he was welcoming slightly improved economic activities saying the time is right: financial situation in the city became "strained" as the city has to give out more financial support to low-income population at the time of diminished revenues.
Where do you think rise in "low-income" population came from?

As to your [highly moral] hope that these lowly immigrants will take menial jobs off the hands of unwilling Americans - yeah, they will, receiving triple of their wages in tax exemptions, free medical assistance, low income housing and grants for their kids education. And to the "opening cool restaurants" - try to play a businessman and calculate - just for fun- the cost of it, in subsidized crazy New York real estate market and not less crazy hired labor situation. Either you will end up a crook or the quality of your little enterprise has to give, I can assure you. 'Some are just more equal than the others', here we go again.

Agree with ricpic - assimilation is the key. There are people I personally know who after more than 15 yrs living in New York know just enough English to get by in welfare office. And increasingly, you don't need even that, since "we 'habla espagnol (sp?)'" is proudly displayed everywhere, along with dozen other languages.

Cmontgom, I believe, somewhere in @Blowhards' archives there is a discussion on exactly the issue of California NOT being able to support its overwhelming immigrants population. Pretty convincing to me. And "arbitrary borders"? Whatever you mean by that?

As to spreading population evenly throughout the country - nice idea. It was attempted before, you know, in that world social sciences lab of Soviet Union, with huge government subsidies to people willing to move to and work on Far North or Siberia. Long and painful history followed. Didn't work out at the end, strange, no? The country still populated more densely in its European part, despite smaller salaries, unemployment and housing problems there.

MB: " Any theories from anyone about why being concerned about population growth has stopped being ... cool, or something? "
Here's the theory for you: it contradicts notion of "arbitrary borders" and "multi-culti" talk about "everyone having same right to piece of pie"

Posted by: Tatyana on July 16, 2004 10:27 AM



Well, to 'fess up to my agenda here:

* The usual topics that come up when people debate immigration policies can nearly all be disputed. Is it good for the economy? For every study that says yes, there's a study that says no. Is America a country with an identity (Euro plus African-American) worth worrying about and respecting or a "proposition nation" that's obligated to open its doors to whoever wants in? (Let me get out of the way of that one!) For every voice pointing out that North Dakota has a lot of empty space, there'll be someone pointing out that the Rio Grande is already so overburdened that it no longer makes it to the sea. The immigration-policy debate can't be resolved or decided on any of these issues.

* There are two facts concerning current immigration policies, though, that can't be disputed. One is that, in every poll I've ever seen, a strong majority of Americans think current rates are too high. And two is that the country's population growth is much, much higher now than it would be otherwise.

These two things really can't be denied. You can like 'em or not like 'em, but you can't deny 'em. So why not wrestle with something solid?

* How do y'all feel about the country running immigration policies that a strong majority of the country dislikes? Do you feel good about telling them, "Tough", and overrunning their preferences?

* And how do y'all feel about the country's population growing by tens (and tens and tens) of millions of people that it wouldn't otherwise grow by? Are you lookin' forward to more sprawl, congestion, water and pollution battles, and ethnic showdowns? Or do you think that once we've got those damn SUVs under control, it'll all work out fine?

I think Matthew's nuts, for instance, but I admire and thank him for being upfront and saying forthrightly that he likes the idea of vast population growth. Are any of the rest of you up to the challenge?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2004 11:08 AM



Tim -- Good policedogging, thanks. I look forward to the day you turn your attentions to The NYTimes, the Nation, PBS, The New Republic, Film Comment, and the Advocate, all of which I can assure you have former and current Marxists on staff.

But, not to be too flippant, it's an interesting question, how sniffy to be about these things. Too sniffy and you'll never leave home. Not sniffy enough and things'll get creepy.

I'm not sure crisp and clear lines can be drawn. Do we extend such lines back in time, for instance? And if so, how far? Do we refuse to enjoy Clark Gable movies because he didn't like gays? (He had George Cukor fired from "Gone With the Wind" for not being man enough.) I'm reading a history of the Renaissance right now, and judging from it I think it's fair to say that an awful lot of immortal and great Renaissance art was created for patrons who were utter scumbags. So do we refuse to enjoy the treasures of Rome? Cellini and Caravaggio were both murderers -- do we make the sign of the cross and turn our eyes away when we run across their works at the Met Museum?

I genuinely don't know. And not knowing, I prefer to spend my time pointing out work that I think is good. I'll leave the moral watchdogging (at least 99% of the time) to others.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2004 11:16 AM



Incidentally, did y'all know that 70% of recent population growth was due to immigration? Let alone that 96% of California's recent growth is due to immigration? Did you know that the country's population increased more in the '90s than in any other decade ever?

Just curious. I'd had a dim sense of all that, but didn't know the specifics until I read the Graham book.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2004 11:23 AM



As others have mentioned, family size
tends to decline with wealth, as well
as with economic opportunities and education
for women. In Mexico, family size has dropped
from 7 kids/family to 3.2 since 1970.
http://www.hist.umn.edu/~rmccaa/AAUW/outline.htm

Extrapolations require an explicit model
for this, and the devil is in the details; the UN's estimates of future world population have been dropping as models adjust to recent changes.
In short, the recent history has been that
net growth is OVERestimated by models based
on current data, since richer people tend to
have fewer kids, and people are getting richer.

All that said, a growing population is a requirement for more than 10 years of postretirement life in a pay-as-you-go
system like social security. The traffic jams
and hideous sprawl are the price tag for
retirement below 70 and life expectancy above 80,
coupled with an expactation of low unemployment
for those of working age.
Also, countries which now have little immigration
and an aging population provide a sort of test
case for the alternative. Germany, Italy, and
Russia all fit.

Thinking about polls is not useful, since polls will rarely indicate which tradeoffs people are
willing to make-- poll results indicate that
benefits are good but costs are bad, which doesn't help to guide decisions. Water use is
badly distorted by subsidized farming and an antiquated regulatory environment. It's a soluble problem (step 1:
stop irrigating deserts to
grow soybeans and vegetables which could be imported; that would destroy rural counties'
largest political campaign donors).

Consider how much US culture and science benefitted from immigration from Germany in
the 30s. Consider also that at the turn of the
last century well-educated people in the US were
concerned about the Irish and Italian "races."
Changing populations are a mixed blessing for
original inhabitants. Better schools and a less poisonous pop culture might help to increase the rate of cultural assimilation of recent immigrants.

I may be biased, since I'm an immigrant myself.
Come to think of it, so were 2/3 of my classmates
in grad school, and half the professors under 60.
Maybe science isn't so different from manual labor; beats the hell out of working in sales
or marketing, though.

I don't see a way for the US to have stasis
for desirable aspects of society coupled with
the growth that's necessary for good work and
good retirement. Consider also that, barring disaster, in 30 years poverty may well be as rare in China and India, and maybe even in Mexico, as it is now in Korea.

Posted by: lw on July 16, 2004 12:48 PM



So, that means you're OK with tens and tens, if not hundreds, of millions in population growth? You like the idea? And you're OK with this happening despite the preferences of current Americans?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2004 1:01 PM



Tatyana..

"Arbitrary" like made up by guys with guns.. The Mexicans were her in Cali first..

I've lived here all but one year of my life and can assure you that, right-wing squalling to the contrary, California is a lovely example of an economy that adjusts quickly to everything.

And when labor (immigrants) flow to where the jobs are? That's international capitalism baby. I'd hate to be some kind of commie arguing against that.

Posted by: cmontgom on July 16, 2004 1:16 PM



Also, the scientist and engineering immigration is quite the straw man. It would be perfectly trivial to allow 5 or 10 times as many such skilled individuals to legally immigrate as do currently without the kinds of consequences that Michael is talking about. The issue is mass immigration by poorly educated people, especially when the country/culture of origin remains highly accessible to such people, and doubly especially because most of it is illegal. That is an unprecedented situation for immigration into this country, and ignoring it doesn't make it not so. Moreover, there are two factors that make all this far more irritating, emotionally. First, it's particularly irritating that our current policy, in its de facto state (i.e., merger with another country on that country's terms) has never been placed before the American people for discussion or vote. (The disconnect between the governmental elite and the bulk of the population is probably larger on this issue than on any other that comes to mind.) If open borders to the South are jim-dandy with my fellow Americans, okay; but I'd like to have an honest consultation with them. Second, what irritates me is that border states have suffered the "externalities" of this policy, while the benefits of it have flowed to the elites nationwide. As a citizen of a border state I'm irritated (as I am by any policy that says, "Here, you take the costs and I'll take the bennies.")

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 16, 2004 1:19 PM



Cmontgum:

As a fellow Californian, I'd take issue with the California can adjust to anything theory. One thing the Southern California economy, at least, hasn't adjusted to is the growing presence of a very large, low-wage, poorly educated population. The L.A. metropolitan area was the ONLY major metropolitan area in the country where average household income fell during the booming Nineties. Poverty in Los Angeles county has risen overall; concentrated poverty is worse now than in the 1980s; and more areas of the metropolitan area now have concentrated poverty-style neighborhoods. The L.A. County public health care system has effectively collapsed along with the schools. (The freeway system is also grinding to a halt.) Oh, sure, Malibu and the West Side and Pasadena and other enclaves are still pretty nice and not hurting financially, but Los Angeles' social structure is beginning to resemble that of Latin American countries more every day: i.e., nice enclaves surrounded by oceans of poverty. I'm a little unclear on the positives of all this, at least for average native-born U.S. Los Angelean.

Also, regarding the notion that Mexicans were in the American Southwest first: (1) true, although they were here in tiny numbers, a few tens of thousands amongst millions and millions of square miles; (2) modern day Mexican immigrants to the Southwestern United States aren't so much interested in the land per se as in what I would term the improvements that have been made to it: to wit, a modern economy and a less dysfunctional political system, neither of which they are responsible for in any way; (3) if "rights of conquest" and land obtained by treaties are not legitimate, then I'm sure that the current Mexican elite (being a bunch of transplanted Europeans whose dominance was achieved entirely by force) will be glad to pack up, go home, and leave Mexico to its Indian masses. Maybe I'm just a cynic, but I doubt I'll see that, somehow.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 16, 2004 1:36 PM



http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/INTERVIEWS/RICHARD.HEINBERG/index.php

No cheap oil means 2/3 less people on the planet. (yay)

No factory farming means and end to the animal holocaust and 2/3 less fat on chubby American carcasses. (double yay)

I'm glad I'll live to see the end of the industrial era.

Posted by: Rob Asumendi on July 16, 2004 1:37 PM



Unbelievable that people actually forget America became the most powerful and prosperous nation on earth without uncontrolled immigration and low population growth. Worse, some think it is not shameful to openly demand or to expect strangers to take care of them when they get old or sick; they have so little shame they will give up their culture, language, race, and religion to do so. Somehow the tongue-tying by the multicults has turned the Good Samaritan into the Good Bondman.

The ignorance on this issue is staggering even here of all places, where opposing facts actually get attention. I suspect this is the result of unanswered liberal doublethink going on for at least 50 years. The Internet is finally having an impact, and the ignorant will finally learn the truth.

Posted by: P Murgos on July 16, 2004 1:45 PM



Edit to my last post. It should read, "with low population growth." Sorry.

Posted by: P Murgos on July 16, 2004 1:51 PM



Rob: I doubt if you'd get involved in non-factory farming yourself you will have time and energy for placing comments on blogs...Have you ever try to milk a cow "natural way"? or, sorry, I forgot - cows should not be milked, it violates their animal rights...

cmontgom: show me the country whose borders are not the result of "people with guns" activities.
Besides, half of the globe should be as lucky as Mexicans: their territory was PURCHASED by winners of the war, not annexed as a trophy:
...Mexican officials and Nicholas Trist, President Polk's representative, began discussions for a peace treaty that August. On February 2, 1848 the Treaty was signed in Guadalupe Hidalgo, a city north of the capital where the Mexican government had fled as U.S. troops advanced. Its provisions called for Mexico to cede 55% of its territory (present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, and parts of Colorado, Nevada and Utah) in exchange for fifteen million dollars in compensation for war-related damage to Mexican property. ...

Besides, your international capitalism definitions are, ehm, slightly confused. Wouldn't hurt to reread your Political Economy 101 (or even Marx. Or Plekhanov). May be Teaching Company has some comprehensive courses (not lectured by Berkeley profs, since you so detest anything "commie")? Ask our host for recommendations.

Posted by: Tatyana on July 16, 2004 2:06 PM



One thing I find irritating about the debates of the economic effects of immigration is that people almost always talk about *overall* economic effects, rather than dividing out skilled from unskilled immigration. It's not as if we have to let in millions of people who are dirt poor and uneducated if we want to bring in scientists and engineers.

I mean, if someone were doing one thing that costs $100 and doing another that gives a $120 benefit, it seems silly to say "by doing both of those things, I gain $20," unless it's truly necessary to due the thing that costs $100 to get the $120 benefit. In the case of immigration it's perfectly possible to greatly slow down unskilled immigration without slowing down skilled immigration.

It seems pretty clear that unskilled immigration is a substantial economic drain (note that the overall drain estimated by this study is far smaller than both the drain caused by unskilled immigration or the benefit gained by skilled immigration):

The most comprehensive research on this subject was done by the National Research Council (NRC), which is part of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, conducted in 1997, found that more-educated immigrants tend to have higher earnings, lower rates of public service use, and as a result pay more in taxes than they use in services. In contrast, the NRC found that because of their lower incomes and resulting lower tax payments coupled with their heavy use of public services, less-educated immigrants use significantly more in services than they pay in taxes. The NRC estimates indicated that the average immigrant without a high school education imposes a net fiscal burden on public coffers of $89,000 during the course of his or her lifetime. The average immigrant with only a high school education creates a lifetime fiscal burden of $31,000. In contrast, the average immigrant with more than a high school education was found to have a positive fiscal impact of $105,000 in his or her lifetime. The NAS further estimated that the total combined fiscal impact of the average immigrant (all educational categories included) was a negative $3,000. Thus, when all immigrants are examined they are found to have a modest negative impact on public coffers. These figures are only for the original immigrant, they do not include public services used or taxes paid by their U.S.-born descendants.

Posted by: birch barlow on July 16, 2004 2:17 PM



F:

Illegal immigration is quite different,
since it's uncontrolled, and there are
barriers that add maybe decades to assimilation
time. I agree that this is a serious problem for border states. IMO, one way to quickly cut
illegal immigration would be to add a meaningful
penalty for systematically hiring illegals, so
there's wouldn't always be a lot of work for people with no papers.
Irish and Italians were by and
large uneducated, came in greater proportion
than current immigrants, and by and large assimilated within 20 years.
http://www.bergen.org/AAST/Projects/Immigration/waves_of_immigration.html

Education in a country where 60% go to college
is not the same as education in a poor country;
I'm not sure that current educational state is a good predictor.

Clearly the assimilation rate is important, and
unassimilated second-generation kids are a real
problem, since they learn just enough to get mad.
If the number of central american immigrants
is driving up assimilation time, tighter controls make sense. I don't know if this is true,
and it's a complicated question to discuss, since
barely-established immigrants are usually pretty
hostile to more recent immigrants.

I do not think science is a red herring at all.
Science and plumbing are not attracting enough
native-born workers at the wages offered.
Why is a need for programmers or quantitative chemists different from a need for plumbers or roofers? Is the concern the effect their kids
have on public schools? Like water supply, this is a contingent rather than intrinsic effect.
In my own experience, insistence on local funding,
a bureaucratic culture that does not reward good teachers or punish bad ones (which is coupled), and parent attitudes/ pop culture that do not value education are the primary US school problems.

Even without solving
these, if the concern is limited public school resources, what is the ratio public money devoted to special ed: devoted to ESL/remedial english?
Locally funded schools (a bad system) and a high local concentration of recent immigrants are a bad combination, but the difficulty is not just due to immigrants. Again, it's a soluble problem.

M:
As I wrote, I don't see a way to keep growth
without immigration. Growth makes life in the US
good now for current workers and for retirees.
Growth has costs, two of which are ESL classes
and traffic jams. Think of them as taxes if
you like, and consider how closely this year's
public opinion on cutting taxes should be monitored. I don't see much point
in reading about opinion polls since the structure of a poll always precludes thoughtful response and is often designed to present a
particular conclusion. Only think tanks or academics design "objective" polls, and they often have systematic axes to grind on any complex issue.

Inability to intelligently allocate water, structure schools, or impose costs on road use shouldn't be the factors that limit growth in the US.

Both economically and philosophically, I think
that a free and open society should accept as many people as possible. How else to export useful ideals and hope for a better future?

Posted by: lw on July 16, 2004 2:26 PM



"Tim -- Good policedogging, thanks. I look forward to the day you turn your attentions to The NYTimes, the Nation, PBS, The New Republic, Film Comment, and the Advocate, all of which I can assure you have former and current Marxists on staff."

You're welcome, Michael. I've been known to go after the "NY Times" and the "Advocate" on my own blog, from time to time. Now answer the question.

Vdare.com provides web pages for a known Ku Klux Klan supporter and the country's most prominent White nationalist.

Do you, Michael Blowhard, endorse this site and its contents?

Posted by: Tim Hulsey on July 16, 2004 2:42 PM



Tatyana,

It is true, self-sufficient farming is a huge undertaking. I am 23 and am just beginning to learn the process, starting with container crops on the balcony I'm renting. Meanwhile, I make Web sites for a living, I'm at the desk most of the day, and this marks my third or fourth post to any blog anywhere. On my spare time, I am building a Web site about better ways to build the environment that will fit nicely into the post-carbon world. Of course I realize I won't be making Web sites much longer, which is why I'm so interested in learning to grow food and build things.

As for cow's milk, it is a highly dangerous food for any creature besides a calf, especially the hormone-blood-and-pus-filled substance that passes for milk in supermarkets. (Don't take my word for it -- try http://www.milksucks.com/ for a cursory overview.) Milking a cow is no particular violation of her moral rights. Keeping her in a disease-ridden cage filled with her own excrement, hormonally enlarging her cancerous udder several times over to increase milk production, killing her calves in front of her, all causing her to die of exhaustion during her childhood, simply because you like the taste of her mother's milk -- this is another matter. Of course, you would not force this state upon your cat, dog, or yourself. The cognitive dissonance is caused by the dairy industry's marketing vehicle and a generally value-free mechanistic world view.

To keep this on-topic, no, I shudder at the prospect of our population increasing at all -- because people in America eat like Americans, which is deadly to their own health, an unspeakable burden on the world's resources, and is a deeply immoral abuse of millions upon millions of sentient creatures every day.

Posted by: Rob Asumendi on July 16, 2004 3:13 PM



cmontgom -- Hey, I seem to remember that there were Indians in the West and SW long before there were Spaniards, er, Mexicans. And -- just a thought -- California isn't just an economy, it's also a state, and a home to many people, several million of whom have moved out in the years since the border collapsed.

P Murgos, Rob -- Thanks, interesting, and like you I'm very glad the Web has opened up space where people can connect, learn and talk. I hope it'll lead to some changes in the way the country's governed.

birch -- I'm no demographer, god knows. But haven't I also read that there are potential downsides even to tons and tons of high-skill immigration too? I seem to remember articles and discussions about how full Israel is, for instance, of Russian nuclear scientists now working as assistants in butcher shops. There are only so many high-skill positions (even if the number grows, it's still finite), and what happens if you've got 'way too many PhD's?

LW -- Do I detect beyond the reluctant, sad-but-necessary shillyshallying a straightforward opinion? Ie., you're OK with going to your fellow Americans and telling them that their preferences need to be overruled? And you're OK with, say, another hundred million people filling up the country?

Tim -- Get a grip.


Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2004 3:20 PM



M Blowhard: I don't think tons and tons of any type of immigration is a good thing--but I do think a moderate amount of skilled immigration is generally good. Skilled immigrants can speed innovation and help create new jobs, though of course this must be balanced against short-term losses in high-skill salaries and possibly increased unemployment, especially if the economy is not doing well.

Posted by: birch barlow on July 16, 2004 3:45 PM



Birch wrote: "Thus, when all immigrants are examined they are found to have a modest negative impact on public coffers." The effect they have on public coffers is irrelevant, isn't it? The benefit to the economy as a whole consists of benefit to their employers and customers, not excess tax monies received. And we could easily change the effect on public coffers without banning immigration - just restrict the services we provide to immigrants instead. How about a policy of unlimited immigration with the condition that government services are only provided to the native-born? My guess is that within a generation or so under that policy the new immigrants would have better and more fiscally sound schools, insurance, and retirement programs than do the rest of us.

Michael: Yes, I want it. I want open borders, and I want the population growth that results from people voluntarily choosing to come live here and be productive, and all the benefits that policy would provide both to me and to the new immigrants. If I had to choose between two candidates and one promised open borders to trade and immigration, I'd vote for that candidate in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Glen Raphael on July 16, 2004 4:16 PM



Glen,

Can I ask upon what evidence you guess that "within a generation or so under that policy the new immigrants would have better and more fiscally sound schools, insurance, and retirmement programs than do the rest of us?" But, in any case, your argument is theoretical; the availability of benefits to non-citizens is growing. I would be in favor of restricting these benefits because it removes externalities, but it isn't going to happen.

My problem is that cultural elites benefit and enjoy immigration and they project their experiences onto immigration as a whole. As a University Professor, I can enjoy the company of people from all over the world. In fact, cultural elites of all sorts disproportionately experience the upside of immigration.

Why is it that some people don't understand about the terms "uncontrolled" and "illegal?" American culture largely endorses the idea of family planning, but yet many don't believe that the nation should do any planning at all. What is it about the ideas of "control" and "planning" that are so objectionable?

Posted by: Jane Austin on July 16, 2004 4:41 PM



Michael:

"Any theories from anyone about why being concerned about population growth has stopped being ... cool, or something?"

It's stopped being cool because population growth fears have been proven irrelevant and intellectually barren.

Alarmist predictions about population growth have been more or less continuous since the late 1700s (Malthus), and in all likelihood, since long before. Every generation believes it is somehow special, in being the final state of the human race, and cannot imagine the depravity that must logically await its future if growth continued. Yet, we continue to grow, and our lives continue to get better by nearly every measure (even many space measures, like how much indoor space we have per person).

Put another way: in 1900, the US population was 75 million, and in 2000 it was 280 million, a 273% increase (and it didn't really increase in area, either). Why wouldn't the US be able to support a 103% increase to 571 million in 2100? It's only our vanity that makes us think our case is so different.

Posted by: Paul N on July 16, 2004 5:18 PM



G. Raphael: Who said the immigration debate is governed by economics alone? If you believe in a one world economy, government, race, religion, culture, and language, you are going to need a Yugoslavian Tito to put a boot heel on the neck of every citizen and a TV monitor everywhere you go.

Moreover, Birch was writing so long before the 1965 Immigration Act that the one measly sentence offered seems of highly questionable value. One must compare apples with apples.

LW: "Science and plumbing are not attracting enough native-born workers at the wages offered." So let's drive wages down by importing cheap labor? You drive your neighbor's wages down, you drive your wages down.

Mr. Hulsey: First, I am unaware of a current supporter of the KKK writing at VDARE. Does anyone have a link?

Second, are we to denounce every media outlet, academic, university, and institution that employs present or former communists, Islamic Jihadists, Marxists, Leninists, and Stalinists? Well, maybe. But letís hear it for balanced treatment.

Posted by: P Murgos on July 16, 2004 5:19 PM



A few comments:

- The Census Bureau's median forecast of 571 million was made in 2000 _before_ the results of the 2000 census were in, which showed that the U.S. population was about 6 million higher than the government had believed (largely due to illegal immigration). The actual figures for 2000 thru 2002 were growing at a rate much closer to the Census Bureau's high estimate of 1.2 billion.

- Illegal immigrants in the U.S. have higher birth rates than Mexicans living in Mexico. One reason people sneak into America is to be able to afford larger families. So, illegal immigration doesn't just redistribute population globally, it encourages large families.

-- Mexico's birthrate is indeed falling (around 2.8 children per woman last time I checked), but it's still above the replacement rate. Further, the little known phenomenon of "demographic momentum" means that population growth continues for many decades after replacement level fertility. Mexico will probably add another 50 million people over the next half century before stabilizing. Which country they will live in is a wholly different question.

-- Currently, there are about six billion non-Americans in the world. How many of them would like to move to America? We know, according to Presidente Fox, that about 1 out of 6 Mexicans now lives in America. What would open borders bring? Well, about 1/4th of all Puerto Ricans lives in the 50 states, but the influx of Puerto Ricans was only halted by the federal government paying large amounts of welfare to Puerto Ricans who stayed home in P.R.

- Immigrants typically follow relatives. At present, there are large streams of immigrants from Mexico, some other Latin American countries, the southwest coast of China (Fujian province), and a few other places. There are large parts of the world that have not yet begun to send immigrants: Indonesia, Bangladesh, most of Africa, most of China, most of India, etc. A guest worker program like the one President Bush advocates would probably boost the American population to well over one billion within two generations.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on July 16, 2004 5:20 PM



Paul N: "Yet, we continue to grow." I am sure millions of the non-American people starving and dying of disease and earthquakes because of population-driven poverty would ask what do you mean by we?

Posted by: P Murgos on July 16, 2004 5:27 PM



All credit and thanks to Glen, who's admirably upfront about his preferences where population's concerned. Any other takers?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2004 5:55 PM



Birch wrote: "Thus, when all immigrants are examined they are found to have a modest negative impact on public coffers." The effect they have on public coffers is irrelevant, isn't it? The benefit to the economy as a whole consists of benefit to their employers and customers, not excess tax monies received.

Yeah, but a negative $89K lifetime is quite substantial--and I don't think this figure includes the major costs their children impose through their early years, such as education and healthcare, which are quite expensive. While the NRC figure does not include the lowered cost of goods (actually not that large--for example, only 10% of the cost of a head of lettuce is labor costs), the figure also doesn't include the lowered wages of current unskilled workers. Moreover, the figure doesn't cover the cost of additional social programs that immigrants are likely to support, and that current unskilled workers are more likely to support as their wages fall. Current unskilled workers will also automatically become eligible for more means-tested benefits if their wages are lower.

Not only is it politcally impossible to deny services to immigrants such as education and healthcare that are available to natives, there are also some services that it are virtually impossible to deny to anyone, including policing, courts, jails, transportation, and emergency care.

Posted by: birch barlow on July 16, 2004 6:04 PM



Paul N:

I would suggest that scale matters. Your analysis suggests that there are no limits to growth. Is there a population size of this country -- oh say, even 10 or 20 billion -- that would make you say that maybe population growth has grown too far? Or, are you just putting forth the unqualified argument that population growth is always good?

Posted by: Jane Austin on July 16, 2004 6:21 PM



Birch: As a point of comparison, if you use the same methodology to look at the net benefit/cost of US citizens, how do they compare? Are immigrants more expensive, less expensive, or do they cost "the public coffers" about the same as natives with a similar level of schooling?

If it's "politically impossible" to deny the services and thereby lower costs, why not increase revenues instead? If immigrants on average cost $3000 per, charge a flat $3000 tax on becoming a US citizen. Then there's no net impact to "the public coffers", and you'll drop all opposition to open borders, right?

(And no, I'm not willing to accept your hypothesized additional costs. Besides, the right way to account for kids is to assume they pay for schooling with /their own/ taxes paid as adults.)

Michael: Why I think they'd be better off? The government does a terrible job at providing most services, especially schooling and retirement savings, so if we exempted immigrants from forced involvement in our school system and social security I assume they would develop private alternatives that work better. Schooling in particular is a HUGE waste of money - we spend more on it every year with no evidence of increasing returns that match our increasing investment. Homeschooling works better, as do religious schools and private schools. Private schools (including religious ones) on average cost about half as much as public schools and provide a safer educational environment.

Posted by: Glen Raphael on July 16, 2004 6:49 PM



Birch: As a point of comparison, if you use the same methodology to look at the net benefit/cost of US citizens, how do they compare? Are immigrants more expensive, less expensive, or do they cost "the public coffers" about the same as natives with a similar level of schooling?

So...because unskilled/uneducated natives are likely to be as much of a drain as unskilled/uneducated immigrants, we should bring in more unskilled immigrants? That doesn't make any sense at all. Moreover, the more unskilled workers we have, the less benefit they confer and the more costs they impose (this becomes true of virtually any good or service beyond a certain point). Additionally, a good or service that is subsidized, such as unskilled labor, will also tend to be demanded even when its cost to society is greater than its benefit.

If it's "politically impossible" to deny the services and thereby lower costs, why not increase revenues instead? If immigrants on average cost $3000 per, charge a flat $3000 tax on becoming a US citizen. Then there's no net impact to "the public coffers", and you'll drop all opposition to open borders, right?

Uh, no. I'm interested in stopping *unskilled* immigration, not all immigration. Unskilled immigrants would still be a huge drain. And you are forgetting the tendency of poor immigrants, and those who are poor in general, to vote in more social programs, thus increasing the net drain of *all* unskilled workers in addition to immigrants.

(And no, I'm not willing to accept your hypothesized additional costs. Besides, the right way to account for kids is to assume they pay for schooling with /their own/ taxes paid as adults.)

Well, not necessarily. The money being spent on the education of unskilled immigrants creates an opportunity cost. Even if these children ultimately pay back the cost of their services, we could still end up losing. Say we spend $100K on services for the child of an unskilled immigrant, and ultimately he contributes $110K back (adjusted for inflation). That might be recorded as a net gain of $10K, but if we had not had to spend that $100K on educating the child of an unskilled immigrant, maybe we could have done something with the $100K that returned substantially more than $100K. For example, just think of the interest that would accrue on $100K of debt. At a 3% rate over 30 years, this debt would turn into $243K.

Posted by: birch barlow on July 16, 2004 7:19 PM



"The right way to account for kids is to assume they pay for schooling with /their own/ taxes paid as adults." More speculation; has anyone ever heard the truism promises are made to be broken; ask out venerable veterans about the VA.

Posted by: P Murgos on July 16, 2004 7:29 PM



The world population is projected to increase to 9-10 billion in 2100, then level off. That doesn't seem too bad. And there's nothing we can do about it: most of the growth is going to happen is Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Don't you think it might be worth putting up with the annoyance of a lot of jabbering, possibly swarthy immigrants, rather than having to deal with those much more crowded countries with the diminished relative economic power that we'll have if we somehow stop US population growth? And why are we talking about what we'd like the US to be like in 2100? We'll all be dead, and our kids will be dead or very old. People in 1900 would be appalled at what we've done with the place, I'm pretty sure. Besides, I *like* Mexicans. They're not the ones screwing up the country right now. What have they ever done to you?

And come on, I can't believe you're comparing the racists at Vdare to Caravaggio and Cellini. Let me know when they do something worthwhile. It's not Caravaggio's life as a teenage scumbag that we admire. And, this is rather of topic but: Renaissance art was commissioned by wicked men, for the purpose of aggrandizing their wicked selves. That's a *good* reason to be suspicious of it, IMHO. It's good stuff, but I'm not a fan of it in general for precisely that reason. What is this art trying to accomplish? Though I do like a lot of ancien regime French painting a lot. That probably says something bad about me.

Posted by: poochie on July 16, 2004 8:43 PM



Poochie -- So, you're OK with going to your fellow Americans and telling them that their preferences about the future need to be overruled? You're OK with, say, another hundred million people (at a minimum) filling up the country? And you're OK with telling your fellow citizens they need to get in line with these preferences of yours?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2004 9:39 PM



Murgos: Somebody who has a lot of kids is giving society a net blessing, not a net burden. Why? Because people, on average, produce more than they consume. "Two hands and only one mouth." Were this not the case, the human race would have died off long ago. The person who benefits most from an education is the person receiving it, not that person's parent. If you want to blame immigrants for the cost of educating their kids, you have to simultaneously credit them for the expected benefit their kids will ultimately produce in taxes and labor and intellectual effort. Otherwise you're only adding up costs and ignoring benefits.

But it's a lot simpler to treat the kids as paying for their own education. Then the whole problem goes away and you can stop worrying about the "cost to society" of large families, which is mostly a bogus concern anyway.

Birch: we don't have to spend public money educating those kids. We choose to. I don't see why you're willing to think about turning immigration on and off like a spigot but somehow getting the government out of the education business has to be kept off the table.

The main reason I want to see the same numbers for native-born is that I have a hunch the books have been cooked somehow to exaggerate costs and ignore benefits - including the cost of schooling kids but not the income from those kids' future tax payments would be one of many ways to do that - and this would be a quick way to sanity-check the results. (There was a california-based study many years ago that found immigrants to be a net drain on the government, but found native-born californians to be a much bigger net drain on the government.)

Posted by: Glen Raphael on July 16, 2004 9:48 PM



Michael: our fellow citizens are always going to be dissatisfied about something. They are never going to get exactly what they want, and often that will be a good thing, because they are ignorant about the tradeoffs involved. Why do you think it's some sort of tragedy if people's vague, ignorant, weak preference in this area continues to be unsatisfied?

Yes, many people like to say "we should cut down on immigration", no matter what the actual amount of immigration is. The same people will also often say "there's too much crime" and "we should spend more on schools" and "rich people don't pay enough taxes" and "the government wastes too much on stupid stuff and doesn't spend enough on important stuff" and "there's too much pollution" and "there are too many guns".

And every one of these is an opinion formed in ignorance.

I'm not saying there isn't a case that could be made for each opinion under some circumstances, I'm saying that the people who say things like that usually don't know any of the actual numbers and have no particular goal-state in mind, so it is impossible to quantify their goals or satisfy them. Statements like that really mean "we don't live in utopia, and utopia would be nice." Or they mean "I heard somebody say this once, and it seemed like the sort of thing concerned people say when issues come up, so I'll say it now." Mindless parroting, not concerned analysis.

If an opinion poll says that 62% of Americans want outcome X, that counts for exactly zilch with me as an indication that X ought to occur. Especially when X is a vague direction ("less immmigration") rather than a specific end-state.

Posted by: Glen Raphael on July 16, 2004 10:07 PM



From what Iíve read of the marvelously enlightening, painfully researched, non-intuitive writings of Julian Simon: Iíd say that this is one topic where he got it wrong: open borders. It doesnít appear to put the best incentives in place towards recognition of the foundation of wealth creation as he himself saw it. . .

Posted by: reader on July 16, 2004 10:45 PM



Mr. Raphael: "Somebody who has a lot of kids is giving society a net blessing, not a net burden." We do not disagree. And? The remainder is an incoherent amalgam of conclusions, not that I am free from this error. Welcome.

Posted by: P Murgos on July 17, 2004 12:04 AM



'"Somebody who has a lot of kids is giving society a net blessing, not a net burden." We do not disagree. And?'

And, this principle applies as well to immigrants as it does to the native-born. So to treat the children of immigrants as an extra cost to society in a way that is distinct from the children of the native born is nonsense.

Perhaps I misinterpreted your somewhat cryptic comment that "promises are made to be broken." In context, it sounded to me like an assertion that immigrant kids won't be a good investment. But I'd want some evidence that they would differ from native kids in that regard.

Posted by: Glen Raphael on July 17, 2004 3:31 PM



Well, Hispanics (or at least Mexican-Americans), a crude proxy for unskilled immigrants, have low levels of education through the second, third, and fourth generations. On a per capita basis, Hispanics are the poorest racial/ethnic group in the U.S., even poorer than blacks--and remember that better-off Cubans (largely descended from the Cuban elite who came to the U.S. after Castro came to power) are included as "Hispanic." Illegal aliens are poorer yet. Those legalized in the 1986 amnesty were extremely poor, with a mean income of less than $9,000 in 1992. Unskilled immigrants are *not* a good investment for the economy, especially when we have so many skilled/educated immigrants to choose from who we know do well economically in the U.S.

Posted by: birch barlow on July 17, 2004 4:04 PM



Since you asked, folks ...

Here's a link on Vdare.com columnist Sam Francis, and his ties to the White-supremacist "Conservative Citizens' Council" (derived none too subtly from White Citizens' Council, the KKK's public face during the 1950s and '60s):

http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/CCCitizens.asp?xpicked=3&item=12

Here's a column by Francis published last month on Vdare.com, in which he advocates a new "White Man's" political party:

http://www.vdare.com/francis/need_party.htm

Here's a link on Vdare.com columnist Jared Taylor and the White nationalist movement:

http://www.adl.org/learn/Ext_US/amren.asp?xpicked=4&item=amren

I've also provided a link to a 2002 issue of Jared Taylor's "American Renaissance" magazine, the contents of which you may judge for yourself:

http://www.amren.com/0209issue/0209issue.html

Finally, here's something about Vdare.com founder Peter Brimelow that might disturb fans of the site -- and certainly disturbed me:

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=152

Michael Blowhard, whether you like it or not, all these guys are part of "the gang at Vdare." Do you support them or not?

Posted by: Tim Hulsey on July 17, 2004 5:21 PM



Some of the stuff on Vdare is inappropriate, yes. But that does not mean everything on the site is automatically wrong.

I am 100% behind Steve Sailer... and I'm not white.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on July 18, 2004 5:55 AM



Let's not change to subject to VDARE (and thanks to the gentleman that provided the interesting links). A society's children, like a person's children, are different than the children of others. They are preferred. If I can't prefer my parents to anyone else, I would be inhuman, which is precisely the consequence of open-borders ideology.

Posted by: P Murgos on July 18, 2004 6:34 PM



Concerning my last post, it might be helpful to some to take a look at these articles: Anti-racism at http://www.cycad.com/cgi-bin/pinc/apr2000/articles/jk_antiracism.html and "Anti-Racism": the Mailed Fist of Multiculturalism at
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=14261.

Posted by: P Murgos on July 18, 2004 6:43 PM



Good lord. Half the reason that no open debate on immigration occurs is because of the ridiculous and unpleasant nature of what the existing debate consists of.

The continental U.S. is not in danger of overdevelopment. All existing roads & structures today could be relocated, Manhattan style with no open spaces or parks, to fit entirely in the state of Ohio. The entire population of the world could be furnished 3-story brownstone townhouses within the limits of Texas. Resources, such as food, are trickier of course, but luckily the "factory farming" bemoaned by the luddite here who is eager and enthusiastic for a naturally induced genocide, is helping prevent such a disaster. The irony of "sustainable" devotees is they generally adhere to unsustainable solutions - self-sufficient farming, for instance, which is a formula for a completely inefficient use of human resources, which will apparently consist exclusively of growing food and eating it.

The immigration system is indeed, completely broken. It is completely incomprehensible to even the most sophisticated first-world immigrants to figure out how to immigrate here legally; and meanwhile illegal immigration is completely accepted largely because of the former bureaucratic problem. Solve both these things - and make sure immigration is sufficiently diverse - and my mild reservations about immigration completely disappear.

I, for one, look forward to spending my old age with a billion new Americans.

Posted by: Jonas Cord on July 18, 2004 7:34 PM



I don't see the helpfulness of first arguing to the effect that because we can reduce the universe down to a singularity, we should have open borders, then declaring the immigration system is broken, and then saying one looks forward to the result of the broken system.

Posted by: P Murgos on July 18, 2004 9:53 PM



"Some of the stuff on Vdare is inappropriate, yes. But that does not mean everything on the site is automatically wrong."

Agreed on the second sentence, though not the first. Sam Francis and Jared Taylor aren't just inappropriate, they're indefensible.

Yet Francis and Taylor have found a cozy little home at Vdare.com. They cast long shadows, impugning the credibility of all involved with the site, and raising legitimate doubts as to their true intent. A smart fellow like Vdare co-founder Brimelow should know enough to denounce race-baiting extremists in his midst -- unless, of course, he actually agrees with them and wishes to bring their followers into the fold (as there is considerable evidence he does).

Steve Sailer may not be a Taylor or a Francis, but he seems to have no qualms over his proximity to such unsavory characters. Michael Blowhard, I suspect, would also know enough to distance himself from White-nationalist extremists. It certainly wouldn't be difficult for them to do.

Basically, all they'd have to say is that (1) they didn't know looneys like Francis were involved in Vdare, (2) they never would have written for it or praised it if they had known, and (3) they're not going to praise or write for Vdare in future unless Brimelow gives Francis and Taylor the boot.

Such a "Sista Souljah" moment would go a long way toward convincing me -- and possibly others, too -- that the anti-immigration movement is not motivated or controlled by irrational loathing of non-Whites. Otherwise, skeptics are left with the distinct (and unrepudiated) possibility that cross-burners like Francis and Taylor represent this movement's true face.

Posted by: Tim Hulsey on July 19, 2004 4:02 AM






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