An editorial comment
This isn’t complicated. America has 325 million people, out of the world’s 7.4 billion, or about 4.4% of world’s population. Despite the numerical imbalance, America also has the world’s largest economy by most measures.
There are two countries, China and India, which are several times the population of the United States. China’s population is about 1.37 billion, or almost 19% of the world’s population.
India’s population is about 1.31 billion, almost 18% of the world’s population. In 2022 India is projected to become the world’s most populous nation.
To put this in perspective, China’s population is more than 4 times that of the US, while US population is 4 times that of Germany. The German economy is strong, but it is less than a forth the size of the US. Do Americans want an economy that is less than a forth of China’s or India’s?
Together China and India are over a third of the world’s population. In the battle for economic supremacy, what chance does 4.4% of the population have against more than a third?
A pretty good chance – IF we encourage the immigration of ambitious and hardworking immigrants. And a very bad chance if we don’t.
It is America’s great good fortune that China and India are not attractive to immigrants. China’s repressive government, corruption, xenophobia, and environment are big negatives. India is more attractive than China, thanks to English usage, but the infrastructure is a mess, while corruption, bureaucracy, and a creaky legal system do not inspire immigrant confidence.
America has great universities, high quality of life, clean air and water, the rule of law, relatively little corruption, welcoming and cosmopolitan metro areas, good infrastructure, and large immigrant communities that can ease the transition to our sprawling nation. That’s good, but it’s not enough: we must welcome the world’s best and brightest, the ambitious and inventive, who hunger for freedom and opportunity.
Given the numbers, America has no option but to encourage immigrants to build their lives and fortunes in America. If Donald Trump really put America first, he would embrace immigration as a tool to help keep America prosperous and growing, despite the daunting arithmetic of our tiny slice of the world’s population.
Because the road he is on leads to American decline, not growth. Our popularity with immigrants can’t be taken for granted, and shouldn’t be. It is in grave danger today, and every day, until anti-immigrant policies are ended.
Courteous comments welcome, of course. All comments are moderated.