birth rate

Demographics and Replacement

Demographics and Replacement

                        Robert A. Levine

Since the Buffalo shooting by a deranged and paranoid white supremacist, more attention has been focused on the “great replacement” theory promulgated by white supremacists. They claim that the Caucasian population is being purposely replaced by Jews and liberals who are helping immigrants of color enter the United States. These white nationalists affirm that these immigrants are specifically being brought in to replace whites in their jobs by paying them lower wages and to increase the votes for Democratic candidates.

Actually, America needs immigrants to maintain its economy because white women are having fewer children than in the past and not enough to replace the whites who are dying. According to UN population statistics, births per 100,000 in the US in 1950 were about twice what they were in the last five years. The most recent decline could be attributed partially to the Covid 19 epidemic, but the birth rate has been steadily declining since the 1950s. Associated Press has noted the birth rate in the U.S. as 56 per 1000 women of child bearing age last year, the lowest birth rate on record. Though the decline includes all ethnic groups, white women had the greatest decline numerically since they were the largest group. The U.S. might be able to increase the birth rates among educated women with improved and free child care, greater subsidies for children and diminished costs for education.

However, the drop in birth rate has also been present in virtually all European nations, Japan and China. China’s one child per family regulation may have contributed to their low birth rate even though the government is now encouraging families to have more children. The drop in birth rate has been noted by analysts to be correlated with a country’s development, particularly with the rate of education for women. It appears that numerous women find more satisfaction in careers than in raising children and that many educated women have smaller families, some with one or no children.

The legalization of abortion likely does not have a specific relation to decreased white birth rates compared to other racial groups, since abortion is employed to terminate births across the racial spectrum. Legal abortion, however, likely is a factor in the total decrease in birth rates.

At some point, the drop in population in every nation, including the United States, affects the economy and produces a drop in the GDP. If American women are having fewer children, immigrants are necessary to maintain the population base. With the job market currently so tight, immigrants are not taking jobs away from white men and women but are filling positions that are open, many of which are important for the economy.

H1B and educated immigrants are needed particularly for high-tech companies and the health care field. Not enough physicians are being produced to meet the needs of the population of the United States and immigrants are playing a major role in medicine, as nurses and technicians as well as physicians.

Immigrants also head some of the nation’s top technology companies. Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies have been founded by immigrants or their children. Immigrants also have a disproportionate amount of new patents that are issued and are responsible for a disproportionate number of start-up companies. People who want to come to this country appear to be often motivated by an entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, some wealthy immigrants come to America specifically to start and develop new companies. All of the companies that immigrants have founded and the ones that they run provide jobs for white Americans as well as all ethnic groups.

Sergey Brin who founded Google immigrated to America when he was 6 from the Soviet Union. Steve Jobs of Apple was the son of Syrian immigrants. Elon Musk came from South Africa. Satya Nadella from India currently runs Microsoft. Sundar Pichai is CEO of Google. There are literally thousands of other immigrants in this country who have started or run important businesses that employ Americans.

Aside from H1B immigrants, those immigrants who are less educated also are necessary for American agricultural jobs, meat packing and low end menial jobs and physical labor. They are hard working with lower rates of crime than the general population. And some of them go on to found small businesses like bodegas, restaurants, landscaping and so forth.

The ‘great replacement’ theory by white supremacists is racist and wrong. Immigrants are necessary for the American economy, particularly with American birth rates so low.

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Saving Social Programs

Saving Social Programs      

                        Robert A. Levine    2-21-23

Social Security and Medicare are destined to go broke in the future if something is not done to shore up their finances. The problem is that America is growing older and there are not enough young workers to support the programs for the aged. Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida suggested reviewing all government programs every five years to make adjustments if they were not financially viable. This produced a general uproar among the public and politicians from both parties as many Americans are dependent on Social Security and Medicare as they grow older and the programs have been seen in the past as politically untouchable.

There are a number of ways these programs could be protected from financial problems, but there are powerful political groups opposed to the various solutions. The simplest way to handle the deficits in these programs would be to raise taxes on the wealthy and devote the increased funding to Social Security and Medicare. Currently, workers pay a 12.4 percent FICA tax on their wages for Social Security benefits, the contributions split equally between the worker and the employer. However, the amount of wages taxed are capped, currently at slightly over $160,000. If the cap were raised significantly, say to $500,000 or more, Social Security would be placed on a firmer financial footing for a long period. But obviously, high earners are opposed to this measure.

Another way to help these programs financially would be to increase the worker base that supports these programs. That means more workers. With America’s birth rates going down, there are two ways to increase workers. One would be to raise the number of immigrants allowed into the country to fill jobs, with the unemployment rate hovering at low levels and jobs going unfilled. However, many Americans do not want more immigrants, making this solution a political problem. Another way to handle this would be to raise the retirement age, perhaps to seventy, to have more workers on the job longer. With life expectancies increasing (aside from the last few years), people should be working longer unless they are sick or disabled. It has been shown that working longer lowers the rate of dementia in people. Even so, there would certainly be an outcry among workers if their retirement age was suddenly raised, which means it would not be politically viable. Cutting benefits to retirees is also a solution that would not gain political support.

FICA taxes of 2.9 percent to support Medicare could also be increased and the cap raised to bring in more funding. However, America needs a more efficient system to provide health care to its citizens than Medicare, Medicaid and insurance through employers and bought privately. American health care is far more expensive than that of any other advanced nation, with no significant difference in outcomes. Americans pay more for necessary medications than any other advanced nation because no negotiations are allowed with pharmaceutical companies. With Medicare, Medicaid, and multiple insurance companies financing health care, all with different rules and benefits, providers find the system an administrative nightmare, increasing time and costs in caring for each patient.

A health care system is needed with uniform rules and benefits, like a Medicare for all, that could be supplemented by additional insurance. Medicare should also be permitted to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies, with the understanding that drug prices for America would match those of the lowest price given by the companies to any other advanced nation. More efficient care would mean less expensive care and better care for all patients. However, government action to improve health care and Social Security are unlikely given the polarization between the two political parties. In all probability, health care and Social Security funding will be handled with some stop gap measure, rather than a permanent fix.

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