Yes It’s always welcome when someone approaches the immigration issue from the viewpoint of America’s needs, rather than the Third Worlders’ incessant demands to be admitted. Michael Anton got some attention for asking that question a few days ago: Why do we need more people in this country, anyway?
Immigration-fueled overpopulation must be recognized as a very unwise policy choice, particularly in low-rain areas like the western half of the United States. California notably had a close call with its extreme five-year drought that ended with a record winter rainy season in 2016-17. Cape Town, South Africa, came very close to running out of water this spring, but has fortunately had good rainfall recently, although the drought has not gone away.
Below, the drought-stricken Lake Oroville (which is also a reservoir) was nearly empty in September 2014.
So the environment dictates that there are Limits To Growth, something that should never be forgotten.
Another topic that calls for immigration reduction is automation, when experts in the technology world continue to warn us that millions of workers will be replaced by smart machines in the near future. Oxford researchers forecast in 2013 that nearly half of American jobs were vulnerable to machine or software replacement within 20 years. Rice University computer scientist Moshe Vardi believes that in 30 years humans will become largely obsolete, and world joblessness will reach 50 percent. The Gartner tech advising company believes that one-third of jobs will be done by machines by 2025. The consultancy firm PwC published a report last year that forecast robots could take 38 percent of US jobs by 2030. Last November the McKinsey Global Institute reported that automation “could displace up to 800 million workers — 30 percent of the global workforce — by 2030.” Forrester Research estimates that robots and artificial intelligence could eliminate nearly 25 million jobs in the United States over the next decade, but it should create nearly 15 million positions, resulting in a loss of 10 million US jobs.
There are so many reasons to limit immigration that an opinion piece cannot begin to list them all.
Tucker Carlson noticed the Michael Anton opinion piece and interviewed the author after first remarking:
TUCKER CARLSON: Without much real public debate or even discussion, the elite left has reached a conclusion on the question, and it’s that American needs more immigration, much more immigration without limit. And we shouldn’t worry about whether the people coming here have skills that we need, whether they’re educated, whether they can speak English even, or even whether they’re violent criminals. In fact we shouldn’t even try to accurately count how many are coming here or how many live within our borders. Do you disagree with that? Well then in the words of one MSNBC commentator, “You’re pure evil.”
The military website Stripes.com reprinted the Michael Anton opinion piece, so you don’t have to click on the Washington Post:
Why do we need more people in this country, anyway?, Stripes.com, By Michael Anton, Special To The Washington Post, June 22, 2018
As Capitol Hill Republicans attempt for — what, the eighth? ninth? — time in the past two decades to jam through an amnesty that their voters have explicitly, loudly and repeatedly said they do not want, it’s worth asking a question that is rarely raised:
Does the United States — population 320 million and rising — need more people? If so, why?
To most ears, the question sounds blasphemous, which illustrates the rottenness of our immigration debate. Actually, “debate” is far too generous. One side has made sure that there is no debate. Good people want more immigration, and bad people object or raise questions. An inherently political issue has been effectively rendered religious, with the righteous on one side, sinners on the other.
The basic question remains. The pat answer over the past 20 years — “to do the jobs Americans just won’t do” — may seem to have some salience with a 3.9 percent unemployment rate. But that only further begs the question. After at least two decades of wage stagnation and even decline, now that we’ve finally reached the nirvana of full employment (and who knows how long it will last), why not take advantage of this tight labor market to raise wages across the board? Especially for the working and middle classes that got nowhere or even lost ground during the housing, finance and tech booms of recent years?
Just about everyone knows the answer: because the business community does not like tight labor markets and the concomitant necessity to raise wages. That’s bad for the bottom line. The solution? More workers! And so the Chamber of Commerce Annex — aka Capitol Hill Republicans — dutifully attempt to do their donors’ bidding at the expense of their voters’ interests.
Economists in league with big business got good at torturing data to “show” that immigration benefits the economy. But as demonstrated by Harvard University’s George Borjas, one of the nation’s leading economists on the topic, immigration is a net economic benefit to immigrants and to their employers. To workers already here, not so much.
No matter, because the Democrats are no longer the party of labor. Back when they were — in the prelapsarian Clinton years — they sought tight labor markets precisely for their efficacy in boosting lower-end wages. But today’s Democrats are the party of high class, high tech and high capital.
This glamour coalition is not big enough by itself to win elections. So the left has hoodwinked some (but, as the 2016 election shows, by no means all) low-income voters into thinking that their interests align with those of Wall Street and Silicon Valley oligarchs.
It’s clear what the oligarchs get out of an endless influx of cheap labor. What the Democratic Party gets is also clear: more voters, and with them the tantalizing possibility of turning the country as irreversibly blue as Democratic policies have already done to New York, California and many other states.
Democrats used to be coy about this. The 2002 blockbuster “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” by John Judis, presented demographic change as an inevitability, not a deliberate plot to rig elections. But now, for the first time facing real pushback from those whose interests more immigration does not serve, the left is more open in exhorting their side and demonizing the other. Hence this year’s “How Democracies Die,” by Steven Levitsky, states openly that immigration favors Democrats, so the more the better. It also construes any opposition as (of course) racist.
Another argument for more people is to point to falling birthrates among the native-born. In fact, the United States remains near the top of birthrates in the developed world. Regardless, consider that immigration not only lowers wages but also raises housing prices by increasing demand and stresses public schools by adding non-English-speaking students. And as such factors worsen, research suggests that people are putting off marriage — which reduces birthrates.