Monday, June 04, 2012

Barone predicts America's demographic future

Michael Barone on U.S. demographic trends:
Since 1990, Americans have been moving out of California to other states in large numbers. The Golden State's population growth in the last two decades has reached the national average only because of Latin and Asian immigration.

That immigration, to California and elsewhere, is one of the two big demographic trends that have reshaped the country over the last 40 years. The other is the movement of vast numbers of people from high-tax states in the Northeast and industrial Midwest to lower-tax and more economically vibrant states elsewhere.

Both these movements have halted, at least temporarily. American mobility is near an all-time low. As in the Depression of the 1930s, people tend to stay put in hard times. You don't want to sell your house if you're underwater on your mortgage.

And immigration has plunged. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that from 2005 to 2010, more people have moved from the United States to Mexico than the other way around. I suspect that reverse migration is still going on.

The question is whether those trends will resume when -- if? -- good times return.

My prediction is that we won't ever again see the heavy Latin immigration we saw between 1983 and 2007, which averaged 300,000 legal immigrants and perhaps as many illegals annually.

Mexican and other Latin birthrates fell more than two decades ago. And Mexico, source of 60 percent of Latin immigrants, is now a majority-middle-class country.

Asian immigration may continue, primarily from China and India, especially if we have the good sense to change our laws to let in more high-skill immigrants.

But the next big immigration source, I think, will be sub-Saharan Africa. We may end up with prominent politicians who actually were born in Kenya.

Continued domestic out-migration from high-tax states? Certainly from California, where Gov. Jerry Brown wants to raise taxes even higher. With foreign immigration down, California is likely to grow more slowly than the nation, for the first time in history, and could even start losing population.

Fortunately, governors of some other high-tax states are itching to cut taxes. The shale oil and natural gas boom has job-seekers streaming to hitherto unlikely spots like North Dakota and northeast Ohio. Great Plains cities like Omaha and Des Moines are looking pretty healthy, too.

It's not clear whether Atlanta and its smaller kin -- Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville, Jacksonville -- will resume their robust growth. They've suffered high unemployment lately.

But Texas has been doing very well. If you draw a triangle whose points are Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, enclosing Austin, you've just drawn a map of the economic and jobs engine of North America.

Texas prospers not just because of oil and gas, but thanks to a diversified and sophisticated economy. It has attracted large numbers of both immigrants and domestic migrants for a quarter century. One in 12 Americans lives there.

America is getting to look a lot more like Texas, and that's one trend that I hope continues.

18 comments:

Mirco Romanato said...

If you change "US" with Western Europe and Mexico/Latin America with Middle East and North Africa the same prediction could be done for Europe.

With the economic meltdown here, the immigrants without roots will leave to greener pasture. And when/if things will improve, the demographics of their home countries will not be able to produce the same level of migrants. They will be under replacement level.

Jim Bowery said...

How magnanimous of this baron to offer my country's land to overpopulated nations.

Anonymous said...

Barone is a liberal hack.


America is getting to look a lot more like Texas


A minority white state with a hard socialist political future just a couple of decades away? Yes, America is getting to look a lot more like Texas. Alas.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, governors of some other high-tax states are itching to cut taxes. The shale oil and natural gas boom has job-seekers streaming to hitherto unlikely spots like North Dakota and northeast Ohio.



And when North Dakota and Ohio are populated by Hispanics and sub-Saharan Africans, will these people vote for governors who want to cut taxes?

Anonymous said...

How magnanimous of this baron to offer my country's land to overpopulated nations.

Funny thing is, "Barone" is actually literally "baron" in Italian.

He may be descended from Italian barons.

DR said...

Most people in the comments seem to identify the problem as the immigrants themselves. The problem isn't the immigrants themselves, the problem is that the immigrants can vote.

The US's future political woes would be entirely removed if we got rid of this archaic political system. The fact that we let people with sub 100 IQs exercise as much political power as the doctor, engineer or CEO is a recipe for disaster.

There's a reason that the most economically dynamic economies of the 21st century are all autocracies. Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, even mainland China are all rising while the West crumbles. These countries can reap the economic benefits of hordes of third world cheap labor. But they don't have to worry about these same peasants dragging their thuggish political culture with them. A win-win.

This 300 year old experiment in people's rule is has failed ridiculously. We don't let the common man vote on aircraft wing design, internet communication protocols or liver transplant procedures. So why is it such a good idea to let every uneducated brute have a say on trade law, international diplomacy or tax policy?

Anonymous said...

This 300 year old experiment in people's rule is has failed ridiculously.


It has not. The experiment in open borders is what is the problem. The experiment in open borders is aimed explicitly at destroying self-rule.


These countries can reap the economic benefits of hordes of third world cheap labor. But they don't have to worry about these same peasants dragging their thuggish political culture with them. A win-win.


In the final analysis libertarianism is a thuggish and totalitarian political ideology, as you have so kindly illustrated.

Anonymous said...

Most people in the comments seem to identify the problem as the immigrants themselves. The problem isn't the immigrants themselves, the problem is that the immigrants can vote.

The main problem is the people that brought in the immigrants i.e. the elites. Ordinary people have never supported immigration, and if they had been allowed to vote on it, they would have voted against it.

Anonymous said...

The US's future political woes would be entirely removed if we got rid of this archaic political system. The fact that we let people with sub 100 IQs exercise as much political power as the doctor, engineer or CEO is a recipe for disaster.

Are you stupid? Even if imported slaves, labor, immigrants, etc. have no rights whatsoever, they can be terrible for the ordinary natives. They take up space, and they allow minorities to take up huge shares of land, political power, etc. with their large armies of slaves. In the South for example, ordinary people were crowded out by relatively small numbers of large plantation owners and their hordes of slaves, and would have to flee West or to the mountains.

Anonymous said...

This 300 year old experiment in people's rule is has failed ridiculously. We don't let the common man vote on aircraft wing design, internet communication protocols or liver transplant procedures. So why is it such a good idea to let every uneducated brute have a say on trade law, international diplomacy or tax policy?

Why is it such a good idea for your personal preference for authoritarianism and slavery to be forced on the entire United States?

Why don't you get the hell out of the US or let people who don't agree with your preferences to have their own political arrangement?

bleach said...

Seconding Bowery's and first anon's comments. One of Barone's previous articles on immigration:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/263738/demographic-death-gop-michael-barone

Facile and mendacious beyond belief, and of course entirely typical of Republican thinking

DR said...

For all the people defending the US political system compared to Singapore, consider two questions.

1) Would the overall quality of governance in the US improve or degrade if the franchise was restricted say gainfully employed literate property owners? How about to people with IQs above 130?

If answering in the negative please justify why increasing the voting base to include people who are objectively worse at pretty much any cognitive pursuit should be better at choosing government policy?

If answering in the affirmative, then you are saying that democracy is not always an unconditional good. If sometimes too much democracy can be a bad thing, then how can you be so aghast at my proposal to limit democracy even further?


2) Are people significantly less free in Singapore than the United States, despite the lack of a true democratic system? Consider the freedom you lack in the US not because of direct state power, but because of the incompetence of state power.

E.g. are you free to walk around any area of Philadelphia or Oakland at any time of night? Because you're certainly free to walk around Singapore at any time of day without fear of being violently attacked by paramilitary gangmembers.

Anonymous said...

Would the overall quality of governance in the US improve or degrade if the franchise was restricted say gainfully employed literate property owners? How about to people with IQs above 130?


That depends - the quality of governance for who? I'm pretty sure that that quality of governance in Abu Dhabi is not very high, from the perspective of their "guest workers" - there's a reason why they keep them prisoner in the country.

Anonymous said...

Are people significantly less free in Singapore than the United States, despite the lack of a true democratic system?


Yes, yes, yes. This is the standard libertarian position - we have to deprive people of civic freedom for their own good.


you're certainly free to walk around Singapore at any time of day without fear of being violently attacked by paramilitary gangmembers


Singapore does not have open borders, you mewling fuckwit. There's not a lot of black people there in consequence. Abu Dhabi does not have open borders. China does not have open borders. None of the dictatorships you have a hard-on for believe in open borders.

Anonymous said...

The US's future political woes would be entirely removed if we got rid of this archaic political system. The fact that we let people with sub 100 IQs exercise as much political power as the doctor, engineer or CEO is a recipe for disaster.

What about the US system makes you think that this is at all the case?

Politcal power is exerted by lobbyists and elected representatives in the US system: the fact that these people have to jump through some minimal (not even effectual) hoops intended to ensure that they are acting in the best interests of all the people - including those unfortunate enough to be through accident sub 100 IQ - is not laying an onerous burden on your political system.

These countries can reap the economic benefits of hordes of third world cheap labor.

lol. Who do you mean when you say "countries" here? You fucking trash.

pat said...

Once again there are too many people commenting as Anonymous.

These things are called Threaded Discussions. A thread is supposed to be a line so you can follow a line of argument. If everyone posts as anonymous you just get a blizzard of disconnected remarks.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"Ordinary people have never supported immigration, and if they had been allowed to vote on it, they would have voted against it."


Sums it up nicely.

Anonymous said...

Ordinary people have never supported immigration, and if they had been allowed to vote on it, they would have voted against it.

Grass roots Californians put together and passed prop 187, only to have it erased by elites.