Day By Day Cartoon

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pick your poison

Mark Steyn, genius that he is, has some very interesting thoughts on demographics and the future of European culture. He paints a very gloomy picture for Western Europe, and I got thinking about these paragraphs in his article:

"What's the better bet? A globalization that exports cheeseburgers and pop songs or a globalization that exports the fiercest aspects of its culture? When it comes to forecasting the future, the birthrate is the nearest thing to hard numbers. If only a million babies are born in 2006, it's hard to have two million adults enter the workforce in 2026 (or 2033, or 2037, or whenever they get around to finishing their Anger Management and Queer Studies degrees). And the hard data on babies around the Western world is that they're running out a lot faster than the oil is. "Replacement" fertility rate--i.e., the number you need for merely a stable population, not getting any bigger, not getting any smaller--is 2.1 babies per woman. Some countries are well above that: the global fertility leader, Somalia, is 6.91, Niger 6.83, Afghanistan 6.78, Yemen 6.75. Notice what those nations have in common?

Scroll way down to the bottom of the Hot One Hundred top breeders and you'll eventually find the United States, hovering just at replacement rate with 2.07 births per woman. Ireland is 1.87, New Zealand 1.79, Australia 1.76. But Canada's fertility rate is down to 1.5, well below replacement rate; Germany and Austria are at 1.3, the brink of the death spiral; Russia and Italy are at 1.2; Spain 1.1, about half replacement rate. "

Go and read the whole thing, then come back here.

Ok, glad you're back.

So among developed nations, The U.S. isn't doing so bad as far as birth rate goes, and we have our growing Latino community to thank for that. The Latino community in the U.S. is bursting at the seams, and more are coming every day.

Now, at this point, a certain portion of the G.O.P. is about to undergo brain lockup. Sorry 'bout that Laura, but here's some hard facts that you're going to have to face, sooner or later.

Is this immigration a bad thing? Compare our immigrant situation with Britain's. I'm guessing that most of the Latinos coming here won't want Islamic law to be the norm, as is the case with Muslims in Britain. Latino immigrants come from a Judeo-Christian heritage and are at least familiar with the concepts of democracy, free press and a diversity of opinions, something that can't be said for 90% of the Muslim countries in the world.

For all the huff and puff about illegal immigration (and as a legal immigrant to the U.S., I am NOT a big fan of those who subvert the onerous rules my family had to abide by to get here), it's those people that are shoring up the foundations of our culture and society in the U.S.

Long after Western Civilization is gone from Western Europe, the U.S. will have a culture of diversity, tolerance and respect for religous freedom, thanks to the influence of the growing Latino community. Rather than chasitize them, we should embrace them, for they are our future.


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