Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ross Douthat's column...

...on immigration in the Times is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is this quote:

Today, almost 25 percent of working-age Americans are first-generation immigrants or their children. That figure is up sharply since the 1960s, and it’s projected to climb to 37 percent by 2050.

I'm surprised by both statistics. (I'll be 92 in 2050, by the way; that's a year younger than my mom is now.)

Also (my emphasis):

These trends mean that we’re asking low-skilled immigrants to assimilate into a working class that’s already in crisis. We’re hoping that our dysfunctional educational system can prevent millions more children from assimilating downward into what sociologists have called a “rainbow underclass.” And we’re betting that the growing incomes of second-generation Hispanics will outweigh their retreat from marriage and rising out-of-wedlock birthrates. 

So what does that mean? Are we going the way of Latin America, with a tiny upper class and a massive lower class? Or are we headed toward the old South Africa model, with a small white minority ruling over a large brown majority? Either one doesn't sound promising to me.

Good piece, though.

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