August 10, 2012

ENOUGH TO OFFSET THE NATIVIST DISADVANTAGE:

Immigrants and 'Comparative Advantage' : They help vitalize the American economy and maintain our traditions of hard work and patriotism. (BEN J. WATTENBERG, 8/09/12, WSJ)

Modern nations that have expanding domestic markets are more likely to be economically healthy. For the most part, European nations do not have that advantage, and it hurts them.

When birth and fertility rates are low, over the decades population shrinks, sometimes rapidly in places such as in Italy, Germany, Spain and Greece. In Japan and South Korea, birth and fertility rates are also perilously low. The result: All of their socialized pension plans and programs to provide health care for the aged are dreadfully underfunded. The only serious remedies are higher deficits, reduced benefits or higher taxes--none of them pleasant.

In the U.S., on the other hand, total fertility rates are higher and population continues to grow. While the numbers are down somewhat due to the recession, immigration remains relatively high--an estimated 1.1 million, legal and illegal, in 2010, according to the Census Bureau. This immigration will lead the country on a path of healthy long-term population growth from (roughly) 300 million people in 2000, up to 400 million in 2050 and to half a billion in 2100. This is good news for the growth of the domestic market.

Moreover, America's immigrant population (median age of roughly 29) is younger than that of the native-born (about a decade older). That means they will have many more years of working life, paying into and helping support our old-age pension and health-care systems for years before they take out a dime.

Survey after survey shows that Americans are the most patriotic people on the planet, and that immigrants to the U.S. are among the most patriotic of all Americans

Posted by at August 10, 2012 4:51 AM
  

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