Archive for February 27th, 2013

Emigration to Mexico

February 27, 2013

One of the more contentious issues of our time is immigration, particularly illegal immigration from Mexico. Many conservatives fear an ever growing tide of immigrants who refuse to assimilate or become productive citizens and so become reliable Democratic voters. Many liberals hope for an ever growing tide of immigrants who refuse to assimilate or become productive citizens and so become reliable Democratic voters. Yet, there are signs that this debate is starting to become somewhat anachronistic as Mexico begins to develop economically and its birthrates decline. It may well be that in the not too distant future that Mexico will become the sort of country that people want to move to rather than leave. Walter Russell Mead writes about this in a couple of posts.

Mexicans don’t want to leave their native country any more than Americans do theirs, according to a new Gallup Poll. Only 11 percent of Mexicans said they would emigrate if given the chance, down from 21 percent in 2007 and equal to the 11 percent of Americans who would do the same.

Fears that America will be overrun by a mass of poor workers from Latin America are looking more and more like yesterday’s news. Birthrates in Mexico are falling, and the economic situation continues to improve. At 5 percent, Mexico’s unemployment rate is nearly three points below ours. In 2012, its GDP grew by nearly 4 percent, and foreign investors, encouraged by the turnaround, poured $57 billion into stocks and bonds in the first nine months. Forthcoming reforms in the telecommunications and energy sectors may also help those industries to boom. The country’s economic forecasts are so promising that the Financial Times has dubbed it the “Aztec tiger.”

This is good news. As the Mexican economy improves, immigration pressures will continue to abate. Who knows? If the trends continue, maybe we’ll even see southbound migrants outnumbering northbound ones.

Another four years of Obama may well turn America into the sort of third world sewer that people risk their lives trying to escape. What of the Mexicans already in this country? Will they fail to assimilate, remain trapped in low paying jobs or government relief and so become Democratic voters forever? Maybe, but maybe not. Mead talks about some interesting changes.

There’s a lotof talk these days that the GOP has lost American Hispanics “forever.” A recent poll by Gallup suggests the picture may be a litte more complex. After the November Presidential election, some Dems hoped and Gopers fretted that the Republican Party face imminent death unless it attracted more Hispanic voters by changing it’s immigration position. But if Gallup is right, some other factors might be at work.

The poll doesn’t look all that political on its face. The survey found that 60 percent of Hispanic Protestants are very religious—measured by weekly service attendance and how important the respondents said religion was to them—compared to only 43 percent of Hispanic Catholics. In addition, the number of Hispanic Catholics has declined over time, while the number of Hispanic Protestants has stayed steady:

Overall, the finding that younger Hispanics are proportionately more Protestant and that all Hispanics are becoming proportionately more Protestant over time suggest that the percentage of Hispanics who are Catholic may continue to slip in the years to come…This will be particularly true if today’s young Hispanics maintain their proportionally higher Protestant identification.

Mead discusses the possible future of the Catholic Church in America, and the institutional changes which have made it less helpful to new immigrants, and so less likely to command their long term loyalty. I am more interested in the political implications.

But the most startling implications of the trends reported by the survey are political. Being religiously observant in any faith correlates strongly with voting Republican; this goes double for evangelical Protestantism. There are exceptions to this trend, of course. Many Black Christians who theologically and culturally fit in the evangelical tradition are reliable Democratic voters. But overall the correlation holds: evangelical Protestants who spend a lot of time in church are among the most reliably Republican voters in the country.

If a lot of Hispanics are picking up their Bibles and heading off to church, this suggests that over time the GOP share of the Hispanic vote will grow.  Over the decades, another trend will likely reinforce that one: as immigrant groups become better established in the United States, their economic interests and their issue priorities often change in ways that benefit the GOP.

Take immigration. This is a burning issue with serious personal stakes in many Hispanic households in America today. But Polish-American and Italian-American households don’t necessarily feel the same way. On the one hand, each succeeding American generation is a little farther from the homeland and the family ties are a little more attenuated; on the other, as other countries develop and their demography changes, there is less interest in the old country in coming to the new.

We will have to see what happens. I would caution anyone who is predicting the long term dominance of either political party not to be too certain. I seriously doubt that we will see again a forty year period of time in which one party is in complete, or near complete control of the government, predictions of demographic changes notwithstanding.

The Republicans really ought to do more to peel away some African-American voters from the Democrats. The fact that 90% of the Black vote Democrat these days has been an absolute disaster for them, witness Detroit.

 

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ThereThey Go Again

February 27, 2013

Obama and the Democrats continue to use demagoguery and fear mongering over the upcoming budget cuts, which are not really cuts at all but minute cuts in the rate of increase. Here are the latest emails they have sent me.

David —

If Republicans in Congress don’t act by Friday to stop the so-called sequester, there will be far-reaching consequences on our economy.

These disastrous consequences are completely avoidable, and the President has a balanced plan to stop the sequester.

Share the graphic below to make sure your friends know we need to stop the sequester — the more people who spread this information, the better chance we have of convincing Republicans in Congress to avoid these harmful spending cuts:

Here is the graphic.

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First point; as I have explained before, it does not matter in the slightest how many people support what plan. Just because 70% or 19% or 99% support a stupid plan, it does not change the fact that the plan is stupid. Also, it is all too easy for pollsters to get the desired results by manipulating the wording of the questions asked. Second point: President Obama has never shown the slightest interest in cutting spending in any department. He has increased spending more than any other president and seems determined to raise taxes on the undeserving rich, no matter what the consequences to the faltering economy. Third point: Head Start has been shown to be ineffective over and over. If we cannot cut Head Start,or PBS, or cowboy poetry festivals, what can we cut? Fourth point; what can we cut, if according to the president the slightest cut in the rate of spending will have devestating results. At some point we are going to have to cut spending somewhere. Where?

Actually, if we just rolled spending back to 2005 we wouldn’t balance the budget, but at least the problem would be more managable. I do not think that the need for government programs has increased all that much in the last eight years, despite the continuing recessionary economy, and a decrease in the yearly deficit might serve to restore confidence in the economy and spur more investment.

We could also repeal Obamacare and reform entitlements such as Social Security before we are overwhelmed by an aging population. We could encourage the production of oil and natural gas on public lands and have the government benefit through taxes from the US becoming a net exporter of energy. All of this would require leadership and hard work. It is much easier just to frighten people.

David —

Prepare yourself for job layoffs, reduced access to early education, slower emergency response, slashed health care, and more people living on the street.

This Friday is the final deadline for congressional Republicans to stop disastrous automatic spending cuts (known as the “sequester”) that will hurt everyday Americans — including you.

These budget cuts will take a sledgehammer to the budget, and indiscriminately cut critical programs vital to economic growth and middle class families.

If Congress fails to act, we’d see budget cuts pretty much across the board to critical services that teachers, first responders, seniors, children, and our men and women in uniform rely on every day.

It sounds bad because it is. And with all these cuts on the line, why are congressional Republicans refusing to budge?

Because to do so, they’d have to close tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, oil companies, vacation homes, and private jet owners. I’m not kidding.

It’s on each of us to speak up. Share what these budget cuts could mean to you — or someone you know — today. Congress needs to hear it.

President Obama has offered a balanced plan to reduce our deficit, asking the wealthy to pay their fair share so that we can protect programs that are incredibly important for working and middle-class Americans.

But congressional Republicans so far are refusing to compromise.

Here are some of the consequences if Congress fails to act by Friday:

— 10,000 teachers would be laid off, $400 million would be cut from Head Start, the program that makes sure at-risk preschoolers are ready for kindergarten, and 70,000 kids would be kicked out of the early-education program completely.

— The budget for firemen and other first responders to react when natural disasters strike would be cut by $35 million.

— Nutrition programs that help make sure seniors don’t go hungry would be cut by $43 million.

— A program that helps provide housing for the formerly homeless, including many veterans, would be shuttered, putting them at risk of going back on the street.

— A number of programs that help the most vulnerable families and children would be slashed — including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children dropping 600,000 women alone.

Right now, each of us has a responsibility to step up and make sure Congress hears our voices.

Whether you’d be directly affected by these sequester cuts, or whether they’d affect a senior, veteran, or teacher you know, please share what they mean to you:

Again, all of these thing are going to have to be cut anyway. We cannot keep spending a trillion dollars more

English: This is just like File:US Federal Out...

This can’t continue forever.      (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

than we have every single year. It is simply not sustainable. We can either begin the process of cutting

spending responsibly, or we can go right off the cliff. What is going to happen to all of those people who rely on the federal government when the money is simply no longer there and no one is willing or able to lend it to us? Does the person who wrote this email really believe that even if we closed every single loophole that it would even begin to offset the increased spending of the Obama administration? Well, there is no sign that

anyone in the White House knows or cares about the budget.


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