Seriously, Why Are You Freaking Out?

My comments are teeming with racists good people who believe in the racial and cultural superiority of Americans of European descent clearly terrified by the prospect of the breakdown of Anglo-European cultural hegemony in America. The worry seems to be that with a slightly liberalized immigration regime the U.S. will swiftly devolve into some kind of squalid hell.

Like California?

Califonia Population by Ethnicity

[Click for bigger image.]

Presently, whites are well less than half the Calfornian population. Hispanics make up just more than a third. Asians at 12 percent are nearly double the black population. I'd guess it won't be long before Hispanics pass whites to become a plurality.

Now, if my fearful commenters aren't simply making things up in their paranoid dreams, wouldn't California be a complete disaster already? Of course, we all know that, were it a country, California would be the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world. The median household income in California, $54,385, ranks 11th in the U.S., and would put California right near the top of the world rankings.

No doubt the browning of California has become unpleasant for some white natives. But according to the 2007 United Van Lines internal migration study, California just had another year of decline in out-bound intra-U.S. migration rates, leaving net migration about a wash. And the out-migration that exists is probably more a result of price pressure than white flight, given that California is the most expensive state in the country in which to live. Indeed, the fact that more people don't leave due to such high costs is an indication of how desirable life in California must be. Arizona, a border state whose population is almost a third Hispanic (and that percentage is swiftly growing), is one of the favorite destinations for internal American migration, and in some recent years has been the favorite. So Arizona, which boasts a median family income right around the national median, is either doing just fine or the many thousands of Americans who move there each year are stupid.

So what gives my xenophobic friends? If the idea is that the U.S. will inevitably slide toward second-world status if the whole place comes to look a lot more like California and Arizona demographically, wouldn't you expect California and Arizona to be much poorer and much less popular? I mean, given the claims I'm getting from some of you, these places ought to be nightmares. But instead they are … really nice places to live!

Anyway, I can't say I'm looking forward to the explanation of how it is that, if suddenly cut loose from the Union, an independent California and its half-wit citizens would swiftly vote its way into conditions resembling the slums of Calcutta. But I'm pretty sure it's coming…

  • Paul O’Pinion

    That was not a knock on our northern neighbors. And I did not say that Canada has no troops deployed outside of Canada. The sheer numbers of U.S. men and women and the logistics attached to them (only the ones out of the country) do have a hefty price tag.