Monday, May 07, 2007

But let's keep treating them like animals...

...let's see how that works out for us.

With a major part of the nation's population entering its retirement years and birth rates falling domestically, the shortfall in the work force will be filled by immigrants and their offspring, experts say. How that group fares economically in the years ahead could have a big impact on everything from the kind of medical services baby boomers receive to the prices they can get for their homes.

Immigrants and baby boomers are two groups whose destinies are converging in the next 20 years," says Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California. "Baby boomers will surrender their economic role to this generation of immigrants and their children," who will evolve into a critical pool of laborers and taxpayers, he says.


Prof. Myers told congressional leaders that the current influx of immigrants, about 1.5 million annually, is softening the impact of the bulging population of seniors relative to working-age adults by about a quarter from what it would be without immigration. Boosting immigration would relieve more pressure, he and other experts say.

But given the nation's polarizing debate over illegal immigration, the U.S. is unlikely to implement policies to attract many newcomers in the near future. That suggests that one of the country's most pressing tasks may be improving the earnings prospects of its youngsters, especially Latino youth, who will have to carry much of the financial burden for the supersize boomer generation.
The immigration debate has been such a strange one over the last year, but conservatives seem to be mostly digging in with their general hatred of anyone with skin darker than Linus Van Pelt's. Biases come out more and more as time passes (which is the exact opposite of how I expected prejudices to go when I was growing up), and I have the feeling that certain people will continue their anti-brown skin crusade at their own expense.