Friday, February 22, 2008

Ben Wattenberg Whistles Past The National Graveyard

Much as I have respected the correct projections of demographer Ben Wattenberg (and along with the late great Julian Simon, their debunkings of Barry Commoner, Paul Ehrlich and other doomsday leftists are legendary), sometimes he is way too chipper for his own good:

I have worked more than 40 years examining and interpreting American and international social and economic data. To me the evidence seems clear. There is no collapse in sight. The United States will become vastly more powerful in the decades to come.
My primary reason concerns demographics. The first U.S. Census counted 3.9 million Americans. The Census of 2000 counted roughly 300 million Americans, an increase of 7,500 percent. Just over the course of the 20th century, the population grew by 400 percent. Careful projections by both the U.S. Census Bureau and the United Nations Population Division now show a growth path to 400 million by 2050 and 500 million by 2100. But that is an increase of 67 percent — not close to 7,500 percent or 400 percent. Relatively, growth is slowing down — but a half a billion people is a big number. Population yields influence.
Gee Ben, what happens when that growth is almost entirely due to an undereducated underclass, one that due to the poison of multiculturalism may not be friendly to the United States? Here, Ben is still sanguine:
In America, too, there is some resistance to immigration, particularly to illegals. But the United States has thrived on assimilating newcomers — after hating them. Benjamin Franklin denounced German immigrants. The Irish were hated, so were Jews, Italians and Poles. There were immigration laws against certain groups — as in the "Asian Exclusion Acts." But most of the descendants of those immigrants not only became productive citizens, but presidents, corporate innovators and Nobel Prize winners. Today many and grandchildren of the haters now celebrate the American mosaic. The hate du jour has shifted to Mexicans.
Big difference Ben! In days of yore, we did not have an academic, media, and entertainment elite running America down. Prior waves of immigrants also had a big ocean to cross, which had a way of diminishing ties to, and claims from, the Old Country. Not so with just South Of The Border.

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