Sunday, April 23, 2006

We need each other

Firstly I would like to begin by saying my ancestors came here in 1660 to Virginia. I am therefore as American as any other immigrant has has come before or since then. My ancestors would have helped to run the Native Americans off their land and just like every other group that has come since Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Jews, Chinese, African, Italians, Pols,Russians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican and every other nationality they all came in search of a better life.

We clearly have an immigration problem that needs to be fixed and a border that needs to be secured. We have an equal if not bigger problem than this one and the former may very well be the solution to the latter.

The fastest growing part of the American population is baby boomers retiring at the moment 13.6% of the population, about 37 million retired workers and accelerating so fast that by the year 2030 it will be over 71 million people. As of now there are 4.3 people paying into Social Security funds, Medicare and the likes for every person over 65 and these figures will drop to 2.1 by the year 2030. Social security and Medicare are the two greatest needs of elderly people and that is only fair they are after all the ones who paid in their whole working life. However the cost will rise 2.5% to 6.9% of the nations gross domestic product so even with the benefits about 10% of the elderly will fall below the official poverty line. Due to the rising cost of fuel, housing and basic needs those who have paid into private pensions will still need to get some social security and medicade. It is any wonder the government wants to get rid of both and after all we can just blame the illegal immigrants.

If we grant visas to all undocumented here now that are working we can immediately start to boost the funds. We would also need to bring in another 15 to 20 million workers over the next 15 years just to keep us ticking over. Elderly people in general do not have as much money to spend on everyday things and activities so we need the immigrants for example buses, trains, airplanes, cars, deli's and gas stations all making a living from working people using them daily. We should have the immigrants fill the gap, pay the taxes and not look a gift horse in the mouth. Just like Pocahontas's father said "I don't like those strangers send them back" four hundred years and millions of immigrants later we still hear the same old stupid argument. Your benefits will come out of the same fund immigrants will pay into and I think that is good for America.
A native immigrant Nathaniel James.


yankee doodle said...


I guess you should clarify that the "baby boomers" as a group are not growing per se, because there are no more baby boomers being born. What is increasing, however, are the number of people over 65, or the number of people entering retirement age. But you have to realize that this is happening in almost every country on the planet because life expectancy is increasing worldwide, despite the HIV, and the wars, and the tsunamis.

We, who have paid into social security, can certainly withdraw our money even if the money has been spent on other government projects. It's like a bank - you give the bank your money, and when you make a withdrawal, you don't get the same bills you deposited. Unlike state governments and unlike a bank, the federal government can run a deficit in order to maintain social security payments. So social security is safe as it is. (As long as the government is not overthrown)

To meet future labor needs, we surely can grant visas to the undocumented, but we don't have to because there is still a high supply of foreign labor willing to come and work in the US - legally. By using immigrant labor to "fill the gap", we need to remember that these are human beings who need housing, education, healthcare, entertainment, etc and who will compete with the US elderly for these services. These immigrants will also want to bring their own elderly into the country, and will have children with needs.

Automation, in the form of robots and androids, etc, certainly can and will help "fill the gap".

One must consider impact of immigration on US population growth. The US, at 300 million, is now 3rd most populous nation, after China and India. In addition, at 1.1% (Europe is .1%) the US has the highest rate of population growth of the industrialized nations, and the 5th highest rate of population growth overall. Higher than Mexico, even though Mexico has the higher birth rate. In addition the US has the highest immigration rates of any nation. At current rates of about 3 million annually, US population will exceed 1 billion at century's end. These are the numbers, and they can be easily verified with UN statistics, etc. An America of one billion will be a shabby, poor, horrible country. It is therefore in our childrens' best interests to prevent this from happening.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel here,

just responding to your comments and might I add some of your information is misleading please let me correct you. The era we know as the babyboomer years are people born between 1946 and 1964. Firstly after World War 2 more woman began to join the workforce for the first time so when homes had two wage earners quality of life became better for them but juggling a job and children is hard work. So for economic and quality of life reasons Americans began to have less children. While most countries had an average family of two adults and four chldren, Americas families dropped to two children and this is what has caused the great shortage in the workplace and dwindling funds in social security but the immigrants can help with this problem as they have bigger families.

I know you feel that your social security is safe but here is just one law already in place because of the money shortage forecasted if you are born after 1960 the retirement age has moved to 67 years old and do not think that the payments will rise with inflation. Most immigrants who come are young single people who are very hard working they add to the creation of jobs, housing, schools, food every day things and more working people more money being spent so a better economy and more money for social security. Give them visa's and they pay taxes and everybodies life is better. They do not stay in menial jobs for generations they move up the ladder like everyone else classic example Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez now he is not from the Mayflower.

As for the robots that is one factory owner, no wages to pay so one house to build, one loaf of bread, one car exctra not good for the economy more employees more money spent more people paying into social security.

My final point is if the US had let in three million annally we would not be facing this problem the real number is three hundred thosand that is why we have the problem it would have taken 33 years to legalize the estimated 11 million members of the workforce here now illegally never mind the new workers we will need in the future to sustain economic success. So the reason they should be legalized is because we need them, if the last four hundred years has proved anything it is that it works it keeps America great.
A native immigrant son Nathaniel James.

wounded knee said...

I think Nathan articulates it nicely. Here are the point he presents: 1) Americans began having fewer children because they couldn't afford them. 2) Immigrants have bigger families. 3) Most immigrants come here young and single. 4) Immigrants generally have menial jobs and earn less money.
So I ask, how are immigrants going to have large families if they obviously can not afford them either? Asking the taxpayers to pony up is not going to work in this country. You are virtually guarenteeing mulit-generational poverty. I see a socio-environmental disaster in the making, right here in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Wounded Knee,
Nathaniele here please read the article you are referring to again and again and then have someone read it to you. Americans have been having fewer children because they have more money large families are associated with poverty because then there are more children to help you when you are older this is an anthropoligical sociological fact look at the third world countries in comparison to the west. We have fewer children because we do not need them, we can get them a car for their 18 birthday and a higher education where they will work with their brain and not their hands. Ask yourself this question why are the advertisements on the outsides of buses and trains in english because two generation immigrants drive to work and are fluent in english but on the inside of the bus or subway train it is in spainish because the new immigrants are the ones who use these services and help keep the public transport going. They are minimum wage earners so a car is a bit out of reach for the moment. Americans can afford more children but choose cars, clothes, eating out, higher education and homes instead. Most of the immigrants are religious and large family structures is a very important part of their scial and cultural conditioning. The family helps them survive and working on minimum wage they use the buses and trains, buy food in our supermarkets, buy clothes in wallmart, a bicycle is used for transport to work not a recreational toy and when clothes do not fit they are passed down to the next child not thrown out. They have brothers and sisters we have designer hand bags and clothes a three hundred dollar watch and a five bedroom house with two children in it.

They tend to live in the rougher part of town because it is the only place they can afford. But their children speak english get the education their parents were not afforded, drive cars, read advertisements on the outside of the bus. This is nothing new did'nt you read "A tree grows in Broklyn". It is social stratification in a democratic capitalistic society. We get workers to keep the economy chugging along they get out of the poverty of their native land and in two generations we are all Americans. So the only environmental disaster would be to not let them in. They are America we are America.

wounded knee said...

I'm not referring to any article. I wrote "articulate" not "article" in my last posting. i don't need someone to read to me because I have you, Nathan. You do the job quite spiritedly.

Regardless of whether Americans are having fewer children because they cannot afford them or because they do not need them, or because they have other things to do with their time, the important fact remains that they are indeed having fewer children

I don't think religion has much to do with it. Look at how high the church attendance is in the US. as well as the influence and proliferation of religious organizations. I don't think you can make a blanket statement that most immigrants are religious and produce large families as a cultural practice. That could be said for all humans. Large family size is economic as well as culture.

Here is the rub, when an immigrant couple tries to transplant the practice of having large families in their native culture where many hands are needed to work the farm, where the infant mortality rate is high, etc. to the more affluent conditions in the US, where children are more of an expense - for daycare, for healthcare, for schooling, for clothing, and keeping supplied with the latest fashions and fads. (Yes, immigrant kids want the same toys as American kids) - they fall behind and can't make it and need help from the American taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I live in Los Angeles and the schools, hospitals and welfare offices are filled with large immigrant families. The billboards are in Spanish because most of the population has not changed but has continued in the same lifestyle as their grandparents, who may or may not have immigrated. None of our public services are adequate and public funds have been drained dry.

My family immigrated legally and I feel that those who are here illegally have stolen something that is not theirs and there is not enough left for those of us who are legit.

Anonymous said...

Hello Wounded knee,
Nathanielle here I feel that once again you are not looking clearly at the problem with smaller families you are inevitabily going to have a smaller population so the knock on is smaller everything attendance in church, schools, theatre, sports, so less money spent effecting the overall economy. New immigrants boost everything. Every religious leader of every denomination in this country is supporting comprehensive immigration reform because of the decline in church attendence as welll as human rights issues for their immigrant parishioners.
Here is the real rub an immigrant family for example has six children the father works hard and passes on a great work ethic the older children help to take care of the younger ones and everyone helps each other. The family appreciates the chance at an education to better their lifestyle, a lot of immigrants children enter into third level education they understand that is the ticket to improving their lives a good example of this is the CUNY system. They have traveled very dangerous journeys to get here do you really think they would mess up the chance when they get here by not working it is the work ethic that is good for America.

To the other annomous blog the billboard is in Spainish because of capitalism and free trade, they are working and spending money so the big industries do not want to miss out on their cash so they advertise in Spainish, they pay into all aspects of the economy and therefore greatly contribute to keeping it going. American citizens are the only ones entitled to welfare payments section 8 housing and food stamps made in America is stamped on their passport. Do not confuse them with immigrants who come to work, yes if they are sick they can recieve medical attention but 48 million Americans are on medicare with an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants you do the math.

wounded knee said...

Yes, I am admittedly a population stabilizationist. I want a smaller US population. Human population growth is a pressing global environment crisis which must be solved. I have nothing against immigrants personally, I am simply concerned about the numbers. Solutions that worked in the past, don't necessarily apply to the present or future.
I believe the US needs to reduce immigration, and stabilize population growth - for our children's sake.