Reproduction and Its Substitute

When the ‘baby boom’ peaked in the early 1960s and began to decline, Western governments around the world began looking for substitute citizens to address the enormous change in reproductive behavior among the native stock.

Because the entire Western world was going through a similar fertility pattern, particularly with the invention and promotion of the birth control pill in 1957 (along with other contraceptives), it was not entirely possible to maintain the older national origins quota system. By 1968, the Immigration and Nationality Act went into effect, which abolished most of the old quota system, opening the US to substantial immigration from Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

West Germany and other similar states handled the problem with a guest-worker program inviting people from Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, and Turkey.

When President Johnson signed the American version of the legislation in 1965, he said:

This bill says simply that from this day forth those wishing to immigrate to America shall be admitted on the basis of their skills and their close relationship to those already here.

This is a simple test, and it is a fair test. Those who can contribute most to this country–to its growth, to its strength, to its spirit–will be the first that are admitted to this land.

The fairness of this standard is so self-evident that we may well wonder that it has not always been applied. Yet the fact is that for over four decades the immigration policy of the United States has been twisted and has been distorted by the harsh injustice of the national origins quota system.

Under that system the ability of new immigrants to come to America depended upon the country of their birth. Only 3 countries were allowed to supply 70 percent of all the immigrants.

Families were kept apart because a husband or a wife or a child had been born in the wrong place.

Men of needed skill and talent were denied entrance because they came from southern or eastern Europe or from one of the developing continents.

This system violated the basic principle of American democracy–the principle that values and rewards each man on the basis of his merit as a man.

It has been un-American in the highest sense, because it has been untrue to the faith that brought thousands to these shores even before we were a country.

Today, with my signature, this system is abolished.

It wasn’t through an economic argument that he passed the law (although it certainly had that as one of its primary motivations), but by harkening back to the abolition of slavery and the previous legal expansions of immigration.

Let’s look at historic total fertility rates in the US:

Chart of historic US fertility rates

While there is a lot of starry-eyed prognostication about the replacement of people by machines, fundamentally, economics is about trade between humans for their subjective satisfaction. When a culture produces fewer humans, and demands more of those younger humans in the form of taxes to support the older ones, some people need to be imported to make up the deficit.

However, the people that can be imported are not like those that would have reproduced under different conditions. Rather than reproducing the society that existed before, mass immigration instead produces a mutant amalgam that isn’t entirely recognizable to the native stock. The people have different values, different productivity levels, different behavioral propensities, different religions, and different genetics.

The public policy pretense is that millions of people must be imported to make good on the political promises made in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s to the native stock that their social security and medicare checks would continue to clear. Because a full 43.7% of the White American population is over 45 (and 29% over 60) according to the most recent census, we must consider that the replacement has already happened: the old have imported substitute children to take care of them through the mechanism of the welfare-entitlement state.

In 1950, the United States was about 89% White, even though within that there was a fair degree of European diversity. Within the younger demographic slices of the US in the late 2010s, it’s about half White, and will eventually be less than half, even though fertility rates across different racial groups tends to converge when they cease being recent immigrants. The current proportion of people all ages is 77.7% White.

Seeing as, even in the US, White fertility rates have fallen significantly below the replacement level, with preliminary data since the last census showing more and more precipitous drops.

What has happened is, that given the crude egalitarian ideology shared by most of the country, one person is held to be as good as any other, with no differences that can’t be melted away by education and television.

This is not true: a people can’t reproduce itself by importing some other people from some other place. They think that they’re getting reproduction, but are actually getting replacement. Not all of the replacements get along with one another, either — crude racial categories like ‘Hispanic’ can include different strains of humanity that have hated each other for centuries, speak a different dialect, and don’t particularly cooperate well.

What an American is, what American identity is, becomes more and more of an open question given this change. To older people, who still live within a demographic slice in which European America is still a majority, they live in a cultural space that is almost entirely different from the younger slices, who live within a demographic that is balkanized on lines of race and class.

Will those younger, diverse demographics be willing to support the older European demographics who are heading towards retirement? Certainly, the law obliges them to. But will they obey those laws? Will they accept higher taxes to pay for these aliens from the past, these European Americans who grew up around 1950, when the character of the people was entirely different?

Come one, come all, and pay for the retirements of these old men and women from the past? Be you Muslim or Jew, Catholic or Protestant, Black, White, Yellow, Red, Blue, or Green: pay up for the hated, resented, stale, pale, and aged ones!

Given that even the category ‘White’ contains dozens of groups of mutually antagonistic peoples who have warred over religion, ideology, and nation both on this continent and on the mother continent, what hope does a rainbow mixture have of maintaining peace under a single state? Vicious wars have been fought over far smaller differences than modern America faces.

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2 Comments

  1. West Germany and other similar states handled the problem with a guest-worker program inviting people from Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, and Turkey.

    Germany was pressured by the US government to take guest workers for training after WWII from Italy and Turkey. The goal was to reverse the inroads that Communists were making in those countries and boost the numbers of skilled working class Western-oriented tradesmen.

    The Italians left and returned home. The Turks not so much.

  2. The USA used to have a very successful Bracero program under Eisenhower. People from the south, mostly Mexicans, would be recruited for seasonal work with a specific employer, and when that work ended, they had to leave the country. If they overstayed they lost eligibility for the program in the future. They were not on a path to citizenship, and I think it was understood or felt that these were not only people in a different legal category, but maybe also a different sort of people. In any case it worked well for Americans.

    I am not sure if Kennedy abolished it, probably so because I don’t remember it from the days of LBJ, but it it were still around, he surely would have gotten rid of it. He wanted to import Democrat voters, so he needed to create new citizens that would join the lower classes and therefore vote for the Democrat party.

    Knowing that he was trying to import future Democrat voters, who tend to consume welfare as much as they pay taxes, he could not have believed those new immigrants would pay for old white people’s Social Security as promised.

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