If you turned on Fox News or followed Donald Trump’s Twitter account, you would think hoards of immigrants are pouring into the country each day spreading disease, crime, and poverty across the fruited plains. One of the worst offenders, Tucker Carlson, recently stated immigrants made the country “poorer and dirtier and more divided.” While this anti-immigration rhetoric might be accepted as fact in the cult of Trump, it is far from the truth.
The real demographic bomb about to go off in America has nothing to do with race or national origin, but with age. The US birthrate hit 1.8 births per woman in 2018- far below the 2.1 replacement rate. According to the US Census Bureau, all baby boomers will be older than age 65 by 2030, and one in every five residents will be retirement age. Just five years after that – in 2035 – seniors will outnumber children for the first time in American history.
To get a look at where our own nation is headed, we need only gaze east to the Islands of Japan where a rapidly aging population is creating massive economic and social problems, with the IMF raising major red flags. When the old outnumber the young, economic activity slows contributing to a ballooning public debt, social spending obligations skyrocket, healthcare systems become strained, and available labor is in short supply. In Tokyo, there are twice as many job vacancies as applicants.
For much of its history, the largely-homogenous Japanese people have been suspicious of outsiders. Though some progress has been made bringing in foreign workers, it may be too little too late. Even as the government fights to save its population, Japan is expected to lose one-third of its population in the next 50 years and looks to lose about the same amount of people 40 years after that.
America does not have to suffer the same fate. In 2030, net international migration is set to become the main driver behind our population increases, provided there are no major changes in immigration policy.
White nationalists know this will cause whites to become a minority in the country. They’ve even invented a term for this demographic shift: “white genocide.” Other opponents of immigration may couch their rhetoric in softer terms, but they ultimately hold the same worldview. They see diversity as a threat to their way of life. They would trade a promising American future for a white American dystopia.
The majority of America is with us though. Polling shows more Americans actually support an increase in immigration.
Immigrants serve an important role in American society. There are a lot of educated, white-collar immigrants, but even the so-called “poor and dirty” ones Mr. Carlson likes to deride make our way of life possible. They sweat it out in our meat-packing plants and farms, build our infrastructure, clean our homes and offices, and so much more. And yes, we will really need them to start taking care of our old people in the coming years.