Friday, May 18, 2007

We Were This Close To Disappearing

Mark Krikorian at The Corner helpfully suggests that opponents of the new immigration compromise look to NumbersUSA to help organize the fight against foreigners who want to live here. NumbersUSA, in turn, offers this (apparently Christmas-themed) chart:

There is also this helpful explanation:
The green section of the graphic is the future that millions of Americans began to create in the early 1970s when they decided -- on average -- to have families at replacement size (about two children per family).

But the red shows the extra population Congress added through above-replacement-level immigration.

You can see that if Congress had allowed immigration at replacement-level numbers since 1970 to match the American people's replacement-level fertility, we would be living much less congested lives today...

But the green on this graphic is a future that has been forever destroyed by Congress through its decisions to dramatically increase immigration numbers to force mass U.S. population growth at an unprecedented level.
Let's just assume those numbers are all very accurate. And let's ignore the fact that it's pretty weird to suppose that people decide how many children to have on the basis of how big they want the U.S. population to be. (Do they all get together and decide as a group? Is one couple supposed to hold off of having kids if the neighbors have 4?)

What stands out for me is the apparent fact that the folks at NumbersUSA regret that the country's population is not on track to decline. It's not that population declines are necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think that the pro-decline view adequately appreciates the extent to which the America of today is funded by the Americans of tomorrow. It's all well and good to say that per-capita wealth goes up as population goes down, but government liabilities have to get divvied up on a per-person basis, too.

And since when did conservatives start longing for a world with fewer Americans in it?

1 comment:

Thinker said...

Paul wrote, "And since when did conservatives start longing for a world with fewer Americans in it?"

I think their point is that all of these immigrants aren't really Americans.