March 05, 2015
government liabilities in the hundreds of trillions of dollars. An illegitimacy
rate that surpasses 40 percent. Metastasizing welfarism, for both individuals and
Regulatory ratcheting and a rising tax burden. An appalling incarceration rate,
fueled by an
unwinnable “war” on drugs. Hundreds of military installations that do nothing to keep
the Republic safe.
this mess? And who gets to clean it up?
of Change: The Demographic Evolution of the American Electorate, 1974–2060”
is an exhaustive exploration of a citizenry that was, is, and will be. A joint
publication of the leftish Brookings Institution, moonbat Center for American
Progress, and neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, the report is
designed to stimulate “discussion … on the implications of demographic change.”
America was 80 percent white. That world is gone. “The scale of race-ethnic
transformation in the United States,” write authors Ruy Teixeira, William H.
Frey, and Robert Griffin, “is stunning.” Latinos will be 29 percent of the
population in 2060. Blacks will maintain their share in the low teens, but
Asians/Others -- a group that includes “those identifying as both non-Hispanic
and Asian, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Alaskan Native, or
multiracial” -- will rise from 8 percent to 15 percent. In 2060, the white
portion of the population will be “less than 44 percent.”
New Mexico became the first “majority-minority”
state. California attained the status in 2000, followed by Texas in 2004. Next
up, according to “States of Change”: Nevada (2019), Maryland (2020), Arizona
(2023), Georgia (2025), and Florida (2028). Utah -- yes, Utah -- will be 42 percent minority in 2060.
metamorphosis will be as impactful as racial and ethnic shifts. The men and
women who experienced the Great Depression and World War II make up just 1
percent of the population now. Millennials grab the largest share today (27
percent), followed by Baby Boomers
(24 percent) and Gen Xers (21 percent). In 2060, the Boomers will be gone, the
Xers down to a remnant. “Post-Millennials” and “Post-Millennials 2,” most of
whom are not yet born, will comprise nearly half the population.
years from now, the average American will be older -- continuing what appears
to be an irreversible trend. In 1980, a quarter of us were over 50. Now, the
share is a third. By 2060, it will be 42 percent. (If you’re looking for
investment opportunities, think eldercare.)
nation’s unwavering commitment to matrimony dissolved in the 1970s. There are
no signs of a U-turn. “On the most basic level,” write Teixeira, Frey, and
Griffin, “we have seen a rapid decline in the married share of the electorate,”
and “continuing, albeit slowing, growth in the unmarried population” is likely.
alterations are not manifesting equally everywhere. “Melting Pot states” were
the “first to feel the effects of the nation’s new diversity to a large degree,
and they serve as models of what will occur elsewhere as new racial minorities
continue to disperse.” Examples include California, Texas, Florida, and New
Belt states” are what the authors consider “America’s new frontier.” In the
West, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho set the pace as the country’s fastest
growing laboratories of democracy between 2000 to 2010. In the Southeast, New
Sun Belt states are expanding, too, aided by “migration from other parts of the
United States.” Blacks are the dominant minority in the region, but Latinos are
catching up. Virginia, for example, will be 17 percent Hispanic in 2060.
“Heartland” sector “sprawls across the middle of the country, both North and
South, and even touches some coastal areas in the East.” Its member states “are
not highly diverse,” and they’re hardly job-creation dynamos. But in the Rust
Belt, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are becoming less white. New
England’s three lower-tier states -- Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and
Connecticut -- will be at or near majority-minority status by 2060.
Michael Savage recently boasted that “it’s permanently 1955” on his
program. It was surely a comforting thought for his listeners. But as a
long-term strategy for dealing with cultural, fiscal, and economic challenges,
nostalgia for Ike, tailfins,
and Elvis isn’t very helpful. Then again, neither are misty reminiscences of
George McGovern, bell bottoms, and Donna Summer.
make mistakes, but one projection in “States of Change” cannot be in error. The
people who drove
America into a ditch -- the “Greatest”
Silent Generation, and the Baby Boomers -- won’t be responsible for fixing
D. Dowd Muska (www.dowdmuska.com) writes about government, economics, and technology. Follow him on Twitter @dowdmuska.
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