“Upon Becoming an American”
I guess I am going to lose some of my writer reputation now as I look at the aspect of how certain “legal” migrants in San Antonio, Texas were treated by the governor in Florida. These people did not sneak into the US. They were granted asylum after presenting themselves to border guards, registered in the system, and released to a shelter. In turn they were scammed by a representative sent by Florida’s Governor DeSantis to go to Massachusetts where jobs, additional money etc. supposedly waited for them.
Of course, DeSantis used
Florida taxpayer funds Covid funds (illegally) to pay $600,000 for the plane trip and also fund other needs besides promises of jobs, etc.. At Martha’s Vinyard, the one who convinced them to go, Perla abandoned them. The people of Martha’s Vinyard opened up their shelter, bedding, food, etc. for them. A tale of two cities, one in Florida and another in Massachusetts. The issue of migrants coming to the US and Florida transferring them to Martha’s Vinyard may indeed help them. A sheriff’s certification of ‘unlawful criminal restraint’ would give them a path for U-visa, which usually leads to a green card.
The question still remains of whether we are overcrowded in the US.
- Twenty twenty-one is the first year since 1937 the U.S. population grew by fewer than one million people. The lowest numeric growth since at least 1900 (Census Bureau began annual population estimates).
- Apart from the last few years, when population growth slowed to historically low levels, the slowest rate of growth in the 20th century was from 1918-1919 amid the influenza pandemic and WW I.
- The U.S. Census Bureau Vintage 2021 Population Estimates released December 2021 reveals the population grew 0.1%.
- Statistical Replacement Rate in 2020 fell to 1,637.5 births per 1,000 women and down from 1.7 births per 1,000 women in 2019. Unless there is increased and younger population, the nation could have economic issues as a growing portion of the population ages out.
- Slower population growth has been a trend in the United States for several years. The trend comes from decreasing fertility and net international migration, combined with increasing mortality due to an aging population.
- Politically, larger populated states could lose representation. If immigrants were removed from the population count; Florida, Texas, and California would each lose one House Representative.
- Immigration to the United States from other countries typically results in population growth.
I believe the fear of immigrants is due to the decreasing percentage of white to people of color and ethnicity. We really do need more and younger people.
The following story after my long diatribe kind of gets to the nitty-gritty of being an American.
“Becoming American,” Digby’s Hullabaloo (digbysblog.net), Tom Sullivan
Tom Sullivan at Digby’s Hullabaloo, details the self awareness of being an American regardless of politics, opinions, and beliefs. This is so simple to realize, an awakening no one else can take from you.
A NYT cartoon addresses a still-contested question
Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
Christian nationalists accept as given that one becomes a Christian by being “saved” (infant baptism for Catholics). They are much more stingy about what it takes to become an American despite one of the defined avenues being born into it. The 14th Amendment stipulates no ideological prerequisites.
That’s a good thing, since so many of our MAGA zealots have rejected the fundamental tenets of Americanism, especially the democratic process and majority rule. They’d like to disenfranchize Americans who don’t agree with their beliefs. They want to restore the monarchy, perhaps by force. They’ve already chosen a king.
But guess what? They’re still Americans. Maybe in name only, but they are saved from expulsion by meeting the minimum requirements in the constitution for which they’ve shown they have little use unless they are allowed to subjugate the rest of the country.
Usually, the side-eye is directed at new arrivals.
Let me recall a story readers have heard before:
My mother still tells the story of her mother (2nd generation Irish with a fresh memory of when her family members were treated as Latinos are now). She sat her down before sending my mother to school for the first time and looked her square in the face.
“When they ask at school what you are, you tell them you’re an American.”
When as a child she returned to Japan after a few years in the States, RumiHara realized she was an American too. It’s more than about where you are born.
Announcement of a Looming White Minority Makes Demographers Nervous,
aside from my having trouble figuring out who wrote this, i don’t see why anyone here needs to fear losing their reputation as a writer. i know i have a lot wrong with my writing, but the best i can do is go ahead and write it and hope it provokes enough “argument” to lead to better understanding of something.
the only important issue I would have with your essay is the acceptance of the idea that a declining population will hurt the “economy.” i think the only economy it might hurt is that of those whose wealth relies on an increasing number of people to make more and more surplus wealth, of which they get the lions share. the other possibility is, of course, the fact that wars are usually won by the side with the biggest army..including the largest pool of “workers” that suport that army, and a larger pool from which, statistically, a larger number geniuses might be expected to emerge to solve more of the difficult problems that emerge in fighting a modern war.
but otherwise a smaller population has no fundamental reason to result in a per person lowering of their standard of living. eternal growth is neither possible nor healthy. in medicine it is called a cancer.
and at the risk of offending at least one person’s sensibilities here, it’s already too damn crowded. and no, that does not make me a racist.
America is aging. That means fewer and fewer workers per capita. And that means fewer and fewer people paying into Social Security, among other things.
We need to at least maintain replacement level of workers for now. Maybe sometime in the future, the jobs done by humans will be replaced by robots and AI, but for now, we need to admit more people into the US.
To make an analogy to medicine, good health absolutely requires continuous proliferation of bone marrow cells, gut lining cells and skin cells. Those are just the obvious example of healthy homeostasis. American society will benefit from admitting refugees, even if their skin color doesn’t match mine, to maintain healthy societal homeostasis.
Joel, if I may address you
People pay for their own Social Security…a growth in the economy means they get back more than they paid in. If a no-growth population can’t maintain “economic” growth, they would get less “interst” or..what is the same thing…have to pay a higher “tax” (save more because interest raes are lower…just like in the private sector). But that doesn’t mean that Social Security would stop working. The purpose of SS is to make sure people can save their own money….safe from inflation and market losses…to insure they will have enough to live on. “growth” is not essential.
the same thing applies to the private sector.. “growth” means you (might) get more as time goes on,. but you don’t need more. At least not since, oh, 1800 or so. Children grow quite fast for a few years and then stop growing. If they kept growing they would get too tall and fall over. The same is true for “the economy.” We reach a point where growth means we have less of what we need.
you can have a million dollars, but if you have to live in an air conditioned hotel in Las Vegas in a world ruined and made ugly by unrestained growth you are not better off.
This has nothing to do with skin color. all those regenrating cells will kill you if their growth is not regulated. homeostasis, you know.
oh, and it doesn’t have anything to do with admiting refugees either.
at least, not so far. and not with the way we treat refugees.
i think if you asked an american indian, he might suggest to you some problems they had with admitting refugees.
We don’t *have* positive growth.
All of the economic “growth” is being sucked up by a handful of people at the top, the rest of the country is subsisting on less and less each year.
Some redistribution would have to be in order before we had growth in the economy.
I get your point and it’s worth making. But we have enough growth to poison ourselves in our own waste. The fact that most of the “product” goes to the rich doss not change the total product.
Again, a discussion of immigration without mention of US commitments to climate change goals. It does not make an immigrant a bad person if they burn up more carbon living in Tulsa than in Tegucigalpa but it does burn more carbon.
they might have been happier in Tegucigalpa buring less carbon if they werent’ being killed by people armed by Americans to steal their land.
Often when I debate American policies with right-wingers, they reply to my criticisms with “Oh, yeah! If America is so bad, why is everyone trying to come here?” Ignoring the obvious response that a tiny percentage of the world’s population is trying to come to America, that still doesn’t address some of the major causes of illegal immigration.
As you pointed out, America has screwed over Central and South America for the past two hundred years. If we are not raping them economically, we are doing it literally or by proxy. If France were running around the Americas the way the US is and has, we would invade France and occupy it! So, yes, immigrants are escaping a hell created and maintained by America.
The original post includes a lot on population trends and political representation and fertility, which all seem accurate and do describe a situation where immigration has benefits for the United States. But the context is in social and political environments where claiming that climate change is the most urgent problem facing humanity is very common and denouncing those who disagree is prevalent. This migration would seem to put further climate change pressure on the US. Maybe it doesn’t, but it is again made apparent that climate change actually is not an overriding concern that works its way into every policy nook and cranny. John Kerry would have no political support in his party if he went down to southern Arizona and said that “this has to stop because climate”.
what’s your point,
climate change is going to kill us whether it is an overriding concern or not. or at least make the world so ugly we won’t want to live in it.
Immigration will not put further climate change pressure on America. America is responsible for putting climate change pressure on the rest of the world.
It’s not only carbon dioxide heating, it’s all the other ways we desecrate and destroy everything that is beautiful and sustains our lives in ways we are too stupid to understand.
If I understood your last sentence, you are saying that Democrats are more concerned about “racism” than climate change. Probably you are right.
But they really don’t have anything to do with one another…except that possibly when the wars for resources start, “race” may be the easiest way to tell friend from foe.
Americans use more energy, so allowing people to become Americans leads them to use more energy, so immigration is bad for the climate.
Interesting moral implications, but probably actually true.
might be true, but not true enough to be allowed to obscure the “facts” that it won’t be enough not notice in the middle of all the home grown pollution, or that the destruction of the earth is more an American project than realy anyone else’s. The Russians try, and God knows, may succeed, but mostly they can’t figure out how to produce enough be a big player. The Chinese on the other hand can’t stop themselves.
You believe people here in Arizona do not know they have environmental issues?
“Most of the migrants received humanitarian parole after entering the U.S. and plan to apply for asylum, lawyers representing the migrants told PolitiFact.” Not quite the same as “were granted asylum after presenting themselves to border guards”.
When you indicate that “the nation could have economic issues as a growing portion of the population ages out”, I think you are highlighting a failure of consumer capitalism. It’s not that we don’t have enough workers and can’t produce enough stuff. It’s that the people figuring out what to produce have little incentive to make enough for everyone. Not only that, they need a growing economy to hide how bad they are at figuring out how to make enough for people who can pay.
thank you. I couldn’t have said it better myself. if i even thought of it.
I am really not here to argue manufacturing concepts and returns on capital. The concept I understand is workers paying for their Social Security through deductions in their paychecks. In that manner people own their Social Security, not capital, not printing more money through MMT, not taxing the rich, etc. Social Security projects there will not be enough workers. So, you either increase input of money per worker to support Social Security or you cut benefits.
In 2009, Social Security recognizes this dilemma in their report. They thought at the time, SS would run out of funds in 2037. Congress also knew of this issue, ignored it, and did not take action by choice. Citizen Republicans like Eric would rather cut off their nose to spite their face than give in to the idea of an increased contribution to Social Security. It was 2034 and now it is 2035. Congress still does not recognize the issue.
The number of workers sharing the cost of supporting Social Security beneficiaries will soon plummet unless future employment patterns change dramatically. The latest Social Security Administration projections indicate that there will be 2.1 workers per Social Security beneficiary by 2040. Two-point-one is too few.
The dilemma . . .
“A way to describe the effect of the change in the aged dependency ratio and the resulting effect on the ratio of beneficiaries to workers is to consider the implied number of workers per beneficiary. For the past 35 years, there have been about 3.3 workers per beneficiary (consistent with the ratio of 30 beneficiaries per 100 workers). After 2030, the ratio will be two workers per beneficiary (consistent with 50 beneficiaries per 100 workers).
With the average worker benefit currently at about $1,000 per month, 3.3 workers would need to contribute about $300 each per month to provide a $1,000 benefit. But after the population age distribution has shifted to have just two workers per beneficiary, each worker would need to contribute $500 to provide the same $1,000 benefit.
Thus, in order to meet increased Social Security costs, substantial change will be needed. The intermediate projections of the 2009 Trustees Report indicate that if we wait to take action until the combined OASDI trust fund becomes exhausted in 2037, benefit reductions of around 25 percent or payroll tax increases of around one-third (a 4 percent increase in addition to the current 12.4 percent rate) will be required. Past legislative changes for Social Security suggest that the next reform is likely to include a combination of benefit reductions and payroll tax increases.”
Coberly’s calculation depends upon a certain number of workers per beneficiary. As Coberly describes it, everything else works.
In 2006 Joel Garreau wrote “300 Million and Counting.” If you do a search on Angry Bear you will find my version of it. The amount of labor or workers will not remain the same as it was or is today. It will decrease. If you want an example of what is occurring, look to Europe and their home population. The numbers are cited in Joel Garreau’s article. We did exchange emails. What they experienced, the US will experience.
The detail citing numbers is a clue. We are not being invaded by foreigners and we turn most away. The Hispanic population will surpass the white population some time around 2040. It is a given. The US population increased by less than 1 million, the smallest increase since Nineteen – something. The population is aging out.
Have more kids, I guess. Or????
Yes Eric, it will be all those furriners coming to America polluting the environment.
“The US Population Is Aging”
Just to be clear, coberly’s calculations use the same numbers of workers as report that Stephen Goss was using in the quote you used.
two ways of saying the same thing.
But first, I do not predict. The actuaries predict. I just point out what it means: The twenty trillion dollar unfunded actuarial deficit turns out to amount to a need to raise the payroll tax 2% of payroll each (4% combined if you insist and ignore the law). The 2% can be reached one tenth of one percent per year at a time…about a dollar per week per yer. I say per year beause it only needs to be raise once each year. Actually if it had been started when I said it needed to be started, the “per year” would quickly become avery other year, then every third year, then every fifth year then every tenth year… and then no more increases would be needed at all as far as they eye can see.
Some people like to point to the birth rate as the cause, but that is the (perhaps) the “national” cause. From the individual woker’s point of view the cause is because he is going to live longer and will need to pay more over a longer life time.
The 2 workers per retiree is the same as each worker working for 40 years and living in retirement 20 years. Really. You can do the math or take my word for it. A related cause is that workers wages are not going up as fast as they did over the past eighty years or so. This means that we can’t count on there being more dollars in the working population to allow for a lower tax rate than when there are less dollars in the total of all workers paychecks. This is the same in principal whether it is money “saved” (or invested) by the individual worker, or saved via Social Security. Less pay means less money. Less money means a larger percent of your paycheck has to be saved to cover the expected costs of retirement. note that “less money” would also mean less “interest” or profit paid as return on bonds or investments. Less money means less money. Less money while working means you need to save more of the money you have for when you can no longer work.
All these other “reasons” for the needed increase in the payroll tax just obscure the fundamental fact that living longer cost more. And declining birth rate or declining incomes mean less “growth” to pay the “interest” to savers whether through private savings and investment..or the guaranteed savings and insurance plan known as Socil Security.
Moreover, it turns out that the problem is not that bad. It only requires that you save about 2% more of your income to meet your future needs.
EVERY other way of looking at it involves fooling yourself with word games to justify some fool scheme to generate more money by magic (MMT or the stock market) or theft (making the rich pay for your retirement).
By the way, those two workers are not paying half of their income for your retirement. They would be paying 8% of their income (16% if you count the boss’s share), to pay you a pension that is 32% of your working wage. Only it’s better than that…these are “real” “adjusted” percents, because of inflation and growth in the real economy and growth in the population (there will still be some of both, just not as much as in the past) that 16% of the next generations wage will be paying you more than 32% of your generations working wage.
and the bottom line is whatever the costs turn out to be, and the returns…20 years of living IS expensive, but being able to save enough to afford it is priceless. A lot of people would rather have the time than the money.
And if the past is any indication of how the world works, you can’t count on the private sector OR the government to pay you a nickle more than you let them get away with. Work two extra years? at what level of pay? what kind of job? will anyone hire you? will you enjoy the part of your life that’s left after “working longer” or would you rather have those years doing something you’d rather do than work for the boss?
If you paid for it yourself, there is no reason anyone can stop you.
set aside an extra 2% of your wages (one tenth of a percent per year if you start now, while your wages are going up one full percent per year, so that by the time your reach the full 2% your wages will have gone up 20%)…means you will pay 8% of your paycheck for your future needs (your grand parents were lucky to save 10%)…or you can scare yourself, by calling the 8% raise your boss gives you (because the government makes him) “your” money and sulk about paying 16% so you can retire in time to enjoy it…on about half your working pay (yep that 32% becomes half due to the “magic interest” that comes automatically from pay as you go financing)…for a life expectency of 20 years…or more, with SS you get paid as long as you live… you don’t “run out of money” or watch inflation eat up your annuity.
i hate to say “think about it”…but fact is in fifteen years of reporting i have never seen anyone actually think about it. they just throw words at it.
Migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard have now settled throughout Eastern Mass.
Boston Globe – Oct 16
I believe she was a 20 years and out of the Army. Snatch her pension. I believe her actions are still governed by the military until 30 years.
I’m pleased to see, this being a country of immigrants after all, that those 49 recent arrived Venezuelans now residing in MA are doing pretty well, it seems.
also, here is what I posted at the time.
very pretty chart. It might take some of the hysteria out of the projected benefit cut. But it is vulnerable to the same objection I made to Rosser’s Equation. It’s useful to point out, but it ends up justifying “benefit cuts.” Retirees in the future will want to keep up with the rise in living standards that are enjoyed by the rest of the population, a rise partly at least created by their (the retirees) own contributions to progress while they were still working,
And of course the lower benefits will mean less spending into the economy by the retirees who won’t have the money, and “future retirees” who will be afraid they won’t have the money, so need to save more, wiping out the “benefit” they get from not having their FICA “tax” raised.
Yes. It does justify compromising.
I agree your solution is best, but you make perfect the enemy of the only thing which is actually going to work in considering our politics. A 25 percent drop in benefits would be used to destroy SS. Since not compromising is a worse disaster, not being willing to compromise is evil.
I think your personality tends toward compromise. Mine tends toward fighting the bullies. This is not meant as any kind of insult.
I can remember a time in the 50’s when people were suggesting we “compromise” with China over Qemoy and Matsu. We didn’t, and we (Taiwan) still have Qemmoy and Matsu and there has been no war.
I see no room to compromise about the truth. It would take a dollar a week to “save” Social Security. Compromising by “raising the retirement age” or cutting benefits is
compromising someone else’s welfare for no gain at all for anyone except the liars.
Before we compromise, we need to try something besides lying on our backs using their rhetoric to talk nonsense.
Your last two sentences make no sense to me. Literally, I can’t understand what you are trying to say.
Is giving greater tax breaks amounting to $trillions and skewed heavily to one class of people a compromise or is it political? This was not equally spread. We are not talking about an increase in benefit here. With Social Security we are discussing keeping things equal to what was. That is not increased benefit while a tax break is a benefit and heavily skewed. Why is that better? It is not.
Wage increases did not improve hourly workers when inflation is considered. Neither has the increase is Social Secuity kept up with true inflation which is why Biden is considering a change to how SS increases will be calculated differently. In other words, you are giving up more than 25%.
About becoming an ex-pat American…
I have ancestors from the American Revolution buried in Canada; I think about moving north, as the border is not that far away. Might I (& Mrs Fred) be welcome?
Not really. Young people who bring technical skills that are needed Up There are indeed welcome. Old folks who bring medical care needs are ‘welcome’ (only as visitors, eligible to stay for six months per visit, no more, and must bring funding for private medical care) but are not eligible for citizenship, alas.
Bearing in mind that many ‘Canucks’ depart Canada for Florida every winter, it’s worth noting that Up There it’s even colder than in New England gets this time of year.
Still, with the Looming Trump Resurgence, it might be possible to obtain political asylum up in Canada, although it might be wiser to head Down Under.
Does that mean Canadians are racists too?