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February 22, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

America approaches 300 million

As I write this column, the U.S. Census Bureau’s population counter reads 299,981,518, just shy of the 300 million mark.

And more are on the way, with demographers predicting a doubling of the population to 600 million by the end of this century.

With this will come more of everything American: more Starbucks, more Wal-Marts, more cell phones, more gas-guzzling SUV’s, more hope, more despair, more creativity and more reality TV. We had better get used to it. But is this rapid population growth a bad thing?

The Center for Environment and Population certainly thinks so, as their most recent report decries the negative effects of the population boom and “Americans’ huge appetites for food, water and land which will erode the nation’s natural resources in coming years.”

The advocacy group “Carrying Capacity Network” stresses the supposed environmental impact of overpopulation on water supplies and the “nearly 700 species of plants and animals threatened by habitat loss” due to America’s growing population.

Such calamitous predictions are reminiscent of the highly influential 1968 book “Population Bomb,” which prophesied mass starvation beginning in the 1970’s resulting from global overpopulation.

In fact, by 2005, malnutrition had declined to its lowest level in human history, and most famine-related deaths occurred in war-torn African nations where political strongmen used food as a weapon, denying available stockpiles to their people.

While the globe, and the United States for that matter, may have a limited carrying capacity, we are not in danger of breaching it anytime soon, especially in the United States. Physical resources remain at high levels in this country and only 7 percent of the land has been developed.

The real reason for the nervous hand-wringing over population growth in certain circles may have more to do with the source of these new Americans and the changing ethnic makeup of the country.

So where are all these people coming from – I mean, other than traditional baby-making methods? Compared to 1915, when the U.S. population reached 100 million and the average household size was 4.5 people, modern Americans are hardly popping out kids with reckless abandon.

The size of the average household has decreased to only 2.6 people. Apparently the culprit is, once again, Mexico.

Mexican immigration accounts for almost all of current U.S. population growth as domestic birth rates are little more than enough to sustain the population. In fact, the 300 millionth baby is predicted to be of Hispanic descent, born to foreign parents, and will grow up in a bilingual household. But if the impact on the environment can be sustained by the country’s resources, what is the big deal?

In a word: white minority. Okay, that was two words, but in any case the prospect has whitey running scared all over the country.

According to the latest Census Bureau figures, within just two decades non-Hispanic whites could make up *gasp* less than half of the U.S. population. Just as many anti-immigration gas bags like Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity have long conflicted illegal immigration with the threat of terrorism, we are now witnessing attempts to associate environmental degradation with the inflow of Mexican immigrants.

Particularly in the Southwest, white Republicans like those who founded the Federation for American Immigration Reform (or FAIR, ironically) have adopted an Alamo-like mind set, preparing themselves for battle in the realm of white minority politics. It is no small feat, the contortions necessary for supporters like David Horowitz to transform whites into the racial victims.

And it’s no surprise that the prominent groups purportedly concerned with ecological degradation associated with overpopulation just happen to be staunchly against Mexican immigration.

The Web site of the Carrying Capacity Network, ostensibly aimed at promoting sustainable development in the U.S., is almost entirely devoted to opposing so-called “amnesty” measures in Congress.

Even the Sierra Club, known around the world for its humanitarian efforts, has had to suppress an internal insurgency of anti-immigration members masquerading as citizens concerned about the environmental impact of population growth.

The efforts of these groups are little more than a second tentacle of the sweaty-faced anti-immigration lobby, alongside that of the security-nistas who have managed to equate terrorism with immigration.

So what, you might ask, is the real reason to worry about America’s population topping 300 million? Old people.

By 2030, 20 percent of the population will be over 65, and in addition to the traffic jams resulting from their driving habits, they will all want a piece of the social security pie (even the rich ones).

So instead of hiding behind bogus arguments about immigrants depleting our natural resources in a last ditch effort to keep America white, I suggest we start focusing on educating these new Americans, Mexican or not.

Better education = better job, better job = more money, more money = more taxes to pay the unbelievable social security bill the old people are going to extract from our tragically under educated butts.

Send comments to Jon Bosscher at [email protected].

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