April 28, 2021


The racist 'replacement theory' has it all backward (Ronald Brownstein, Apr. 23rd, 2021, CNN)

With or without immigration, the White share of the population will decline in the coming decades, census projections show. But if immigration is reduced or eliminated, America will grow older, with many fewer working-age adults available to support an exploding number of retirees. And that would not only slow overall economic growth, multiple projections have found, but also would increase pressure for cuts in the Social Security and Medicare benefits that provide a lifeline to the older Whites most drawn to the right's anti-immigrant arguments.

"The projections show we are going to be dealing with lower population growth and an aging population, and the only way we are going to be able to keep our labor force growing and vital is through immigration," says William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program. "It's a matter of math. I never understood why people who are anti-immigration can't understand the math of the whole thing, because it's quite simple."

Already, in nearly half the states, the number of working-age adults -- defined as those aged 18 to 64 -- declined from 2010 through 2019, according to a recent analysis by Frey. Without immigration, that squeeze will only tighten in the years ahead, forcing Washington to either cut benefits for retirees or to raise the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare to an unprecedented level on the shrinking number of workers.

If the nation severely restricts immigration, the fiscal impact would be to "double the load on working-age people of all these seniors," warns Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California's Sol Price School of Public Policy.

"Replacement theory," sometimes called the "great replacement," gestated in the swampy waters of far-right White supremacist groups. But in the Donald Trump era it has migrated closer to the GOP mainstream. Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson, who often spreads xenophobic arguments, has ardently embraced the charge that Democrats are "trying to replace the current electorate -- the voters now casting ballots -- with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World." Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, both Republicans, have echoed him in recent public statements. The far-right Republican House members, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who floated plans for a Trump-like "America First Caucus" before scrapping them, declared in a recruiting document disclosed last week by the Punchbowl website that large-scale immigration threatens "the long-term existential future of America as a unique country with a unique culture and a unique identity."

The problem with making a rational argument is that the Trumpists/tea Partiers believe the government will divert their own welfare checks--SS/Medicare--to people of color. 

Posted by at April 28, 2021 10:35 AM