Fuzzy Conservative Math: 2 plus 2 Equals 1


One thing that Americans hate about Chinese is that there are not enough of them. I have heard countless arguments from people that it is immoral and unethical and oppressive for China to control its population growth. Well, first of all the “control” of its population growth is far less severe than people here believe. It is only the ethnic majority that are limited to one child and if their child dies as an infant they can have another. And there are dozens of other exceptions that allow for more than one child. But if someone simply has another child rarely does anyone even say anything. The law simply is not enforced. But that is beside my point. I think it is funny when people here take a “for-shame” tone about China’s population control. I ask them, “Do you really wish there were ten times as many Chinese out there?” They already outnumber us 6 to 1. There is not much room left in south east Asia so most of them would have to come to wide open spaces – like here. No one ever answers. But the truth is I don’t understand why China doesn’t try to outnumber us 60 to 1. Maybe it is because they really like us. But since we seem hellbent on going to war with them before 2045 it would make sense (we’ll call that World Oil War III). They seem to think if they have, say 6 billion more people in the next 30 years it will cause massive shortages of food, water, plumbing, housing, jobs, health care, etc. Of course this is very silly of them, but strangely enough we seem to have the same delusion here (we are not so different from the Chinese after all).

We seem to live in constant fear that if more than 10 people per year cross our boarders and stay that we will lose our cars, our gameboys, our 401ks and our jobs. Why does anyone believe this nonsense? If Arabs live I am going to die. If Mexicans work I will be unemployed . If people in India have food to eat I will go hungry. If I give a homeless man a dollar soon he will live in a mansion and i will be broke. Where is the rationale behind this? If you have two children you must love one of them and hate the other because if you try to love them both the universe will implode. I don’t get it.

Let me explain why this is so simple for me and I don’t understand other people’s perspective on this one. Let’s say we open our doors to Mexico – in fact – let’s open our doors to all of Latin America. Anyone who wants in gets in – no red-tape. Yes, the Neo-Cons would go crazy but I am still looking for a downside. First of all, I can guarantee no where near as many people as you might think would take the offer. But that is not my point. At most there are about 300 million of us now. Let’s say over night the population more than triples to 1 billion. Of course this would never happen, not that many people feel like moving and the process would be very slow even if they did. But let’s pretend. “Oh no!” Everyone says, “Who will ever feed, house, clothe, and care for these 700 million new people?” – Gee, I don’t know. How about the 700 million unemployed people who just showed up? Why not give them jobs as farmers, cooks, textile workers, builders, teachers, doctors, etc. I never understand how politicians and other demigogues can stand before the country and say, “We have two grave problems to face and no solution in site: one, everything is falling apart and we don’t have the manpower to fix anything, and two, unemployment is just too high.” If you have something that needs to be done and you have someone with nothing to do you do not have 2 problems – you have one solution.

When I was young coming up in North Carolina it was a vast empty desert with a few crusty old klansmen and some inbred mountain folk, that’s how I remember it anyway. Today it is a thriving state with numerous sprawling metropolitan communities that simply didn’t exist 25 years ago. What happened? Shortly after I moved some change in political climate (I can’t remember what anymore) caused many thousands of people of Mexican heritage to migrate to North Carolina. It did not destroy the state, it made it excel.

Unfortunately in a racist society like ours it is predictable that heavy manual labor and grunt work will be delegated to Mexicans if there are any around, and Blacks othewise. If your state suddenly has millions of new farmers, cooks, maids, janitors, factory workers, construction crews, orderlies, etc. then all that will still be needed is skilled labor, teachers, restaurant owners, local news teams, small businesses, lawyers, etc. And that is what they got. Masses of unemployed college educated people from Western New York and Ohio (where there are few Mexicans) flooded to North Carolina to find work. And they are still there.

My point is simple, more people means more needs and more needs means more jobs, not less. But then again, those in power have always known this. That is why when Haitians and Mexicans and others running from oppression and poverty come here they are turned away at gunpoint while Cubans are immediately accepted and embraced as citizens. There is no fear of running out of anything here. Our immigration policies are based on geopolitical chess games and racism. But it sounds a lot better to say “there is not enough America to go around” than to say, “America doesn’t have any more use for your race but we’ll take more of someone else’s.”

Posted on August 1, 2007, in Immigration Policy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I fully understand the foolishness that you speak of when it comes to Americans and their petty fears. However, I do believe that the China question and immigration is a bit different and quite a bit more complex. The fact of the matter is, population growth will cause food and energy shortages in our lifetime if policies do not change, and maybe those types of issues can be solved or not – it is really too soon to tell. However, what I think you overlook is the domestic economic dynamic created by the ‘new’ immigrants. In he past, and I mean back to the mid 1850s, all newcomers to this country were abused by “Americans” that were already here. The doom and gloom talk you speak of has been recycled a hundred times over since the turn of the twentieth century – and I don’t believe anything has changed in that regard – but here is what has…The power elite of this country are prepared to jeopardize the the economic future and standard of living of the middle class in the name of short-term profit. What no one talks about is that 13% of this country lives in poverty and another 5% to 7% are near poverty. Lets do some quick math…that’s 18% to 20% of the total population living a relatively poor existence and the number has been rising steadily for the past 25 years. No one can afford to save anything, no one has any real disposable income and the real wage of most Americans has been stagnating for the past 10 years. Do you really think those 20% I speak of are choosing to be poor? I think if they could lift themselves up they would…anyone would. But more to the point, do you think adding more people to the mix, immigrants or not, is a viable alternative in an economy that is poised to begin shrinking in the next fifty years? I respectfully disagree with you.

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