The Economist Weighs In With More Misinformation about America’s "Double Bind": Too Few Births and Not Enough Immigrants

Published on December 20th, 2012

For decades, when immigration is the subject, The Economist has been Europe’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal and the now defunct, in print at least, Newsweek.   According to The Economist, more immigration, preferably in unlimited numbers, is always better than less. And even though England, where The Economist is based, has a multitude of immigration-related problems, the magazine doesn’t hesitate to take pot shots at the United States for what it perceives as America’s folly on the few occasions that Washington tries to reduce the 1 million annual legal immigrants or meaningfully control the border with Mexico.

Established in 1843, The Economist has a curious policy of not attributing authorship to any single journalist on its stories and articles. They are called “collective efforts” that represent The Economist’s philosophy.

Readers don’t have to go further than the title, America’s Demographic Squeeze: Double Bind, A Falling Birth Rate and Much Lower Immigration Presage Long-Term Trouble Ahead, to understand how misguided the article’s content will be. Summarized, The Economist rehashed the popular but wrong-headed thinking in the U.S. mainstream media—that fewer births especially among immigrant women and declining immigration (at least temporarily) mean that America’s future as a thriving economic power is at risk.

According to The Economist, immigration is important to America’s population growth, thanks both to the numbers of new immigrant arrivals and their eventual larger than native-born families.  The Economist notes with alarm the Pew Research Center’s report on the falling birth rate in the U. S. among immigrant women and the Census Bureau’s estimate of 2011 net migration at 700,000, “down 28 percent from 2006 and the lowest for at least a decade.”

The Economist doesn’t believe in stabilized population, even though fewer people serve both the individual and community’s well being. Instead, The Economist trusts in markets: more people translate into more consumers which in turn results in higher profits that benefit corporations and therefore stockholders.  But higher population also creates a larger labor pool that puts downward pressure on wages. Although lower income is bad for workers, it’s good for employers whose backs The Economist have.

In the article’s final paragraph, The Economist poses its solution for America: “allow more immigration.”  The Economist describes its staff and readers, half of which are in the U. S., as having “better than average minds.” If so, one could never tell by reading the latest twisted population logic in this piece.

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