Immigrants and Boomers

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Demographers rush in: USC's Dowell Myers sees a scenario for an optimistic future in California, according to publicity for his book Immigrants and Boomers, due out from Russell Sage May 1 (although their web site promised February).

"Long-established immigrants, who have lived in Calfornia for over a decade, show high levels of social mobility and use of English, and 50 percent of Latino immigrants become homeowners after 20 years," the book reports, which suggests to Myers that "they have the potential to pick up the slack from aging boomers over the next two decades." IOW, they'll take over the boomers' jobs and houses and ability to pay into social security.

Or maybe they need additional help to do so? Myers calls for "a new social contract between the older and younger generations, based on their mutual interests and the moral responsibility of each generation to provide for children and the elderly." There are some missing links here -- if that social contract, basic to all ongoing socieities, is broken, how have the immigrants managed to do so well so far? Is this another liberal argument that X is inevitable therefore we need to subsidize it more? -- so obviously I need to read the book.

You know, "children are our future." No one ever said whose children.

(If you think largely white boomers might have trouble making a collective deal with an increasingly Latino younger generation, consider the analogous situation in Europe, where the only demographic relief in sight is largely Muslim.)

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