More Misinformation from the Media:
Donald Trump’s appeal in northern industrial states was an economic message of bringing growth to stagnant communities. He also won in part with a tough line on immigration. Newly released Census data indicate that when it comes to making policy, he’ll have to choose between those agendas. . . . The Midwest will never have California’s weather, but at this juncture the only solution to the region’s demographic hole would be a California-like attitude toward immigrants. . . . – Immigration is the Only Hope for States That Helped Trump, Connor Sen, Bloomberg.com, 12/28/16.
Fact Check: The thrust of this article is that the industrial states that voted for Trump will not prosper unless we have mass immigration to boost the growth of their populations. This notion of prosperity always requiring population growth is common among immigration enthusiasts—even though there are significant reasons to doubt it. The enthusiasts also claim that immigrants are better than native-born Americans when it comes to creating a prosperous economy, another dubious proposition.
The solution proposed by the Bloomberg article is following the example of California. And indeed that state is the state to follow if what the enthusiasts say is true. When mass immigration started to take off in 1970, California’s population was 20 million. Today it has doubled to approximately forty million, with much of the increase coming from immigrants and their descendants. California, among all the states, has both the highest number of immigrants and the highest percentage of immigrants out of its total population.
That being the case—once again if the enthusiasts are right—we would expect California to be the leader of national prosperity. Well, that’s not exactly how it worked out. Before mass immigration California was indeed at the head of the pack. Its vibrant economy offered abundant middle-class jobs, and the state and local governments were fiscally sound. California then had lots of open spaces a pleasant “laid back” lifestyle.
All that has changed with mass immigration, and certainly not for the better. With the exception of Silicon Valley, California is no longer a land of opportunity, at least not for Americans. More and more it is taking on the characteristics of Third World societies—where most immigrants came from. The salient characteristic of the Third World is a sharp division between a small economic elite at the top and masses of poor and near-poor at the bottom. This is precisely what is happening in California, as Californians accustomed to a middle-class lifestyle have fled the state in droves. Also they left to escape the stress brought on by multiculturalism and hyper-diversity as well as the stress of crowding and congestion brought about by bourgeoning population growth.
If the industrial states need more population for workers, employers can raise wages to attract them from other parts of the country. And probably many jobs can be filled by automation, which promises in the near future to replace a large share of human workers. In the meantime, the last option the industrial states need to consider is “California-like” immigration.