I saw Camarota on C-SPAN with a discussion panel including Ben Wattenberg and Mark Krikorian. Camarota commented that the average age of immigrants is so high that immigrants do little to increase the ratio of workers to retirees. His study results bear this out:
We have too many people already. This is showing up in all sorts of ways. Population increases have caused high housing prices which, in turn, have caused a migration into the center of the country away from the expensive coasts. Not just California but also formerly cheap areas in the southeast have seen substantial increases in housing prices that look long lasting even after the adjustments for the recent housing bubble work their way through the market.
We do not need more people. They do not serve some useful purpose. Low transportation and communications costs combined with lower tariffs have enabled global manufacturing which brings a scale of production needed for maximal efficiency. The only people who make living standards rise are the smart fraction (especially the verbally smart). We could cut down immigration by an order of magnitude, let in only the smartest, and make immigration a big net benefit rather than a big net detriment as it is today.
In today's economy the most highly skilled workers produce a growing portion of new economic value. Masses of manual laborers face stagnating or declining wages - a clear sign that growing legions of manual workers are not essential for wealth creation.
Population expansion puts home ownership and use of wilderness lands out of the price range of working class people. For example, the expansion of urban areas has caused the number of hunters to dwindle even as the population has grown.
New figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that the number of hunters 16 and older declined by 10% between 1996 and 2006 ó from 14 million to about 12.5 million. The drop was most acute in New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific states, which lost 400,000 hunters in that span.
The primary reasons, experts say, are the loss of hunting land to urbanization plus a perception by many families that they can't afford the time or costs that hunting entails.
Some people who oppose hunting might find this news exciting. But those areas where hunters used to track down pheasant and other animals are now cities, highways, and suburban tracts. The animals in the developed lands had a better chance of survival when hunters had places to hunt than they do now.
I do not buy the libertarian Benthamite arguments for open borders. They ignore external costs and other problems associated with open borders. A more densely populated society will inevitably become a more regulated and restricted society. This is especially the case when immigrants bring higher crime rates and less belief in individual rights.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 September 02 05:27 PM Immigration Demographics|