What passes for policy debate in America has become so stultified that even the fundamental flaw of contemporary Republican policies has gone virtually unnoticed both by their Republican advocates and by their Democratic critics. It's easy to point out where Republican policies have failed, but the more frightening prospect might be where they've succeeded.
Consider the state of Texas, where the GOP's low-tax, low-wage, low-regulation strategy has worked roughly as intended in recent decades, creating many new jobs.
This drives Democrat economist Paul Krugman nuts. So, he's constantly on the lookout for evidence of growing dysfunction in Texas. And it's not hard to find. But if Krugman tried to be honest about the chief reason for this, his head might explode.
But just because Krugman can't be candid about what Texas portends doesn't mean that the rest of us are better off ignoring reality.
On February 27, 2011, Krugman wrote in Leaving Children Behind in the New York Times:
"Texas likes to portray itself as a model of small government, and indeed it is."
But, think of the children!
"And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3 percent, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings. Nationally, the state ranks fifth in child poverty; it leads in the percentage of children without health insurance. And only 78 percent of Texas children are in excellent or very good health, significantly below the national average."
Now, you know and I know the main reason why Texas ranks poorly in these measures: ethnic demographics. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan would have slyly implied, Texas's foremost problem is that it's a long way from the Canadian border.
Blogger Iowahawk pointed out for the benefit of people who are unfamiliar with this dynamic:
"As a son of Iowa, I'm no stranger to bragging about my home state's ranking on various standardized test. Like Wisconsin we Iowans usually rank near the top of the heap on average ACT/SAT scores. We are usually joined there by Minnesota, Nebraska, and the various Dakotas; Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire...
"... beginning to see a pattern? Perhaps because a state's 'average ACT/SAT' is, for all intents and purposes, a proxy for the percent of white people who live there. In fact, the lion's share of state-to-state variance in test scores is accounted for by differences in ethnic composition. Minority students - regardless of state residence - tend to score lower than white students on standardized test, and the higher the proportion of minority students in a state the lower its overall test scores tend to be." [Longhorns 17, Badgers 1, Iowahawk, March 2, 2011] [Links added by VDARE.com]
When it comes to the effectiveness of public schools, however, Texas appears to perform well above average. According to the federal government's National Assessment of Educational Progress exams, all three major ethnicities in Texas score well above their respective national norms.
Unfortunately, how well the schools are run doesn't really that make much of a difference in the big picture. Because non-Asian minorities make up a much larger share of Texas's population than in the rest of the country, Texas does poorly overall.
"Looking at population projections for Texas, demographer Steve Murdock concludes: 'It's basically over for Anglos.' Two of every three Texas children are now non-Anglo and the trend line will become even more pronounced in the future, said Murdock, former U.S. Census Bureau director and now director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University."[Texas demographer: 'It's basically over for Anglos', Houston Chronicle Texas Politics Blog, February 24, 2011]
Was Krugman intentionally misleading his readers? Or is the Nobel Laureate merely as ignorant as this column makes him appear?
Krugman pulled a fast one by making an obvious apples-to-oranges comparison. And he pretty much got away with it, except for IowaHawk's fisking, because Americans are intellectually enfeebled by Political Correctness.
People like to say to themselves, "You don't have to be like that horrible Sailer person and come out and mention the data out loud in public. You can still avoid being a dupe of political manipulators like Krugman by just quietly remembering the facts about race in your head and not mentioning them out loud."
And, for some people, that might even be true. But for most, if you can't say it, you can't remember it. So, a Krugman can 99% get away with this kind of self-serving distortion because the Rules of Political Correctness make it costly for Americans to learn and to remember reality.
Krugman goes on:
The Houston Chronicle explained more frankly in Texas demographer: 'It's basically over for Anglos':
"The state's future looks bleak assuming the current trend line does not change because education and income levels for Hispanics lag considerably behind Anglos, [Murdock] said."
Non-Hispanic whites fell from 43 percent of Texas's children in 2000 to 34 percent in 2010. And that's not an encouraging trend:
"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."
The last time the NAEP asked students whether they were born here or abroad was in 1992. On that test, the gap between foreign-born Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites was 114 percent as large as the notoriously deleterious white-black gap. On the other hand, the gap between whites and American-born Hispanics was 67 percent as big as the white-black difference. Hence, restricting immigration more could allow for some improvement in Hispanic performance.
Unfortunately, however, there's little evidence that the white-Hispanic gap keeps narrowing after the second generation. Indeed, it might even start widening again. The 2008 book Generations Of Exclusion by sociologists Vilma Ortiz [Email her]and Edward E. Telles [Email him ]of UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center found that fourth-generation Mexican-Americans (i.e., people whose grandparents were born in America) in San Antonio and Los Angeles averaged fewer years of schooling than second-generation Mexican-Americans.
But, the crucial point that's not well understood by anybody: these dire demographic trends in Texas represent the best-case scenario for Republican policies. Economic success, especially of the low wage, anti-union variety as in Texas, encourages massive demographic change.
On February 17, 2011, James C. McKinley reported in the New York Times in Population 'Tipping Point' in Texas, as Hispanics Get Closer to Parity With Whites:
"A phenomenal surge in Hispanics has fueled the population growth in Texas, which gained more people over the last decade than any other state, according to United States Census Bureau figures released on Thursday."
Hispanics grew 42 percent in Texas over the last decade versus only 5 percent among whites.
Conversely, on the Canadian border, purple New Hampshire grew 7 percent from 2000-2009 in total population, while blue Vermont, with all its environmental regulations and its Socialist senator (Bernie Sanders), grew just 2 percent. Ironically but inevitably, because Vermont's economy is restricted and somnolent, liberal economics help make Vermont ever more the whitest state in the country.
Immigration from foreign countries and migration from other states plays a major role in demographic trends, but it's also clear that the Hispanic birth rate (especially the illegal immigrant birthrate) within a state is much more sensitive to economic and political changes than the white or U.S. citizen birth rate. For example, the Hispanic birth rate exploded in California in the half dozen years following the 1986 amnesty.
Similarly, the blogger Audacious Epigone points out how the number of Hispanic births in Arizona over the last decade followed the contours of the Housing Bubble, rising from 34,000 in 2000 to 46,000 in 2007, then dropping back toward 34,000 again in 2010. The rise and fall in the number of births to white women in Arizona was less than half as large.
"Don't look now, but Texas is turning blue.
Not today, to be sure, nor tomorrow. But to read the newly released census data on the Lone Star State is to understand that Texas, the linchpin of any Republican electoral college majority, is turning Latino and, unless the Republicans change their spots, Democratic. "[GOP's anti-immigrant stance could turn Texas into a blue state, March 2, 2011]
As usual, the leftist Meyerson advises the GOP to open the borders. Would Harold Meyerson give intentionally bad advice to his political enemies? (See "It's Basically Over For Anglos" In Texas. Or Have They Not Yet Begun To Fight?, By Peter Brimelow, February 27, 2011). Or is he calling for naïve Republicans to throw him in the briar patch?
You'll notice that Meyerson's assumptions are the electoral analog of Krugman's self-serving ignorance on education. In truth, the parties' views on immigration have only marginal influence relative to sheer demographics— just as the effect on test scores of different levels of public school spending across states is swamped by demographic disparities.
And yet, there's one more irony: Democrats like Krugman and Meyerson will likely finally realize when they reach their extreme old age that their success in electing a new people to give the Democrats a permanent lock on power didn't work out too well.
Why? Because their "new people" don't create enough wealth to pay enough taxes or borrow enough money to pay for the liberal spending policies of their dreams. You need Iowans for that. Instead, a heavily Hispanic population may only be able to afford a limited Texas-style government.
But of course a heavily Hispanic population won't vote for limited government as long as it can be persuaded that there are other people to plunder. For that matter, how many Spanish-speaking countries have limited governments anyway?
[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]