TCS Daily

The Exceptional Nation

By Austin Bay - October 20, 2006 12:00 AM

If demography is destiny, then news of America's decline is (like Mark Twain's death) decidedly premature.

Statisticians tell us Oct. 17 (at 7:46 a.m. EDT, according to the Census Bureau's estimate) was the day America's population reached, then surpassed, 300 million people. That's a three followed by eight zeroes.

Unfortunately, Oct. 17 was Halloween with an extra "Boo" (B with two zeroes) for various "greens" and ecological radicals mired in Malthusian desperation and myths of looming disaster.

For decades, the doomsayers have been predicting catastrophe wrought by the "population explosion" and diminishing resources.

Author and columnist Mark Steyn notes in his new book, "America Alone" (Regnery Publishing), "The end of the world's nighness isn't something you'd want to set your watch by. "

Steyn provides a collection of the dire predictions made by "Chicken Little's eminent successors."

Steyn's list includes:

-- 1968, in "The Population Bomb," distinguished scientist Paul Ehrlich declared, "In the 1970s the world will undergo famines -- hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death."

-- 1972, in "The Limits to Growth," the Club of Rome announced that the world would run out of gold by 1981, of mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead and gas by 1993.

-- 1976, Lowell Ponte published a huge bestseller called "The Cooling: Has the New Ice Age Already Begun? Can We Survive?"

-- 1977, Jimmy Carter confidently predicted that "we could use up all of the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade."

"None of these things occurred," Steyn writes. "Contrary to the doom-mongers' predictions, millions didn't starve."

Steyn, however, isn't against gloomy prognostications, per se. In fact, "America Alone" is a doom book of a peculiar sort -- it's insistently witty and trenchantly written. Both are achievements, given the core subject matter: American demographic success and vitality (fecundity, folks) compared to the demographic decline of other democracies and modern, industrialized nations.

Steyn is an arch "Euro-pessimist," who backs his pessimism with numbers.

Europeans are reproducing below the "replacement rate" -- thus the average age of their populations is increasing sharply. If current trends continue, by 2050 one in three Germans and Italians will be over 65 years old. In the United States, only one in five will be so gray.

As a result, the Europe of the European Union (Steyn disdainfully calls it "Eutopia") faces economic decline and risks systemic change. Steyn writes: "Tax revenues that support the ever growing numbers of the elderly and retired have to be paid by equally growing numbers of the young and working. The design flaw of the radically secularist Eutopia is that it depend on a religious-society birth rate."

Japan faces the same "gray threat." Even China has a birthrate below the demographic replacement rate. Among the modern industrial nations, only the United States (and possibly India) has the knack for reproduction.

The United States also grows through immigration that includes political and cultural integration.

Europe's Muslims, however, are multiplying -- but they are not integrating culturally. Steyn argues that if European nations fail to culturally integrate Muslims, Europe faces profound political changes.

"As fertility dries up," he writes, "so do societies. Demography is the most obvious symptom of civilizational exhaustion, and the clearest indicator of where we're headed."

Islam cannot enjoy "political sovereignty" in Europe. Steyn adds: "Those lefties who bemoan what America is doing to provoke 'the Muslim world' would go bananas if any Western politician started referring to 'the Christian world.' When such sensitive guardians of the separation of church and state endorse the first formulation but not the second, they implicitly accept that Islam has a political sovereignty, too."

America remains an exception among democracies, Steyn concludes. America's population climbs at a healthy rate, and America politically and culturally integrates immigrants.

At least part of America remains an exception. "Demographic trends," Steyn observes, cheekily, "suggest that the blue state ought to apply for honorary membership in the EU; in the 2004 election, the Bush-voting states had fertility rates 12 percent higher than Kerry-voting states. Barring a sudden change in electoral fortunes, Democrats are going to be even more depressed at their 2010 and 2020 reapportionments."

Austin Bay is a syndicated columnist and TCS Daily contributing writer.



What aspect of the liberal platform could be responsible for this?
Maybe we should ask Planned Parenthood...

Actually, Carter was right, but irrelevant about using proven reserves
Proven reserves are a moving target. It's oil that you know you can pump out of the ground because the wells have been drilled and the pipes laid. That costs money so there are never more than a decade (based on current rates of consumption) or so of proven oil reserves at any one time. However the process of developing new proven reserves is ongoing. So as the past proven reserves are used up, they are continually replaced by new proven reserves.

Carter was probably correct that the amount of oil in proven reserves at the time he made the statement was consumed over the stated timespan. However, at the end of that time, there were as much or more proven reserves as when he made the statement. This sort of logic applies to all commodities. It's called inventory management.

The Exceptional Nation
Yes, indeed and exceptional Nation even as to population growth etc. Can you tell with true honesty how things would be, were it not for the millions upon millions of illegal immigrants, especially hispanics who now demand that everything also be posted in Spanish? Besides, what is so great if little by little this nation becomes a Canada, with two nations within the same borders?

Yes, while at the same time over 50 million of unborn children murdered since Roe v Wade. Yes, the tobacco companies murdering yearly over 400,000+ thousands Americans and many more millions of poor and ignorant the world over. Yes, now the ever more despicable food industry under the full control of the corrupt Washington Congress begginning to murder thousand of the ever more fatter Americans.

Yes, I repeat, an exceptional nation while condeming every other nation just about for all the ills of the world and especially the ills of Americ. Yes, thinking that its horrendous war machinery will cure it all, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., and etc. Yes, in essence America is in love with its own terrorism!

No, its called free markets
"However, at the end of that time, there were as much or more proven reserves as when he made the statement. This sort of logic applies to all commodities. It's called inventory management."

Once the price of oil increased, it is amazing how much more oil was found and how much more efficiently it was used.

How many Hondas and Toyotas were imported in 1980?

Recent events again show that as the price increases, exploraton incraease, alternatives are explored and efficiencies improved. None of this needed a government program.

If you live in the USA,
... why haven't you moved?

If you do live in the USA and haven't moved out, you have probably done so because you believe the USA is based upon a Constitution that offers hope and opportunity. Even hope that socialists can turn the USA into a socialist paradise.
You would not have that opportunity in many other countries.

Please stay in sri Lanka
No country needs your kind.

Why I have I not moved?
Simply because, I care for the thousands upon thousands that are yearly murdered in this USA and worldwide with the evil and despicable tobacco companies for the sake of money, made mostly from the poor and ignorants in other countries and I will continue to point out those evil and satanic acts.

Yes, these are interesting opportunities in the Nation under God? Yes, I can move to another country and work for the USA tobacco companies and live like a king and help America killing those ignorants, which, some of your ilk or even yourselves, might just be already enjoying a good life, doing so.

Freedom to choose
I know people in the USA and in the third world who have never smoked in their lives or have quit.

So how is it that tobacco companies force people to smoke?

Selling people stuff they want to buy is evil and satanic?????
If you move to another country, your only option for employment are the tobacco companies?

I could have sworn that I've read about other employment options out there in the big bad world.

Force can be used in many ways
Yes, the greatest force is that of telling lies and secretly increases nicotine content. However early on you wanted me to move to a third world country, if I remember correctly. Yes, when Americans get cancer than all the taxpayers are forced through taxation to pay for the freedom to smoke.

Stay in sri Lanka
Can you please be so kind and tell me when I moved there. Are you from that part of the world in as much as you seemed to be knowledgable about it?

Yoou obviously think the U.S. is evil
So I figured you lived in some area the U.S. is supposedly taking advantage of.

Perhaps Iran would be more to your liking?

How do tobacco companies force people to smoke again?
I missed that part.

Iran more to my liking?
Are you speaking of the Country that USA and Saddam once were at war with in the interest of oil for America? Saddam the darling of the USA, with Rumsfeld shaking hands with this criminal as he was already at that time to his own people?

I am not very good at Geography and since you are so knowledgable, please let me know and send me a ticket to travel there, for after all many Americans travel thre already, if my information is correct.

Let's have some Apple pie
Realy, these stories get dumber and dumberer Austine Powers.
The crazy bit is you don't think your spinning, you realy believe it.

Why do I need to pay for your ticket?
I would think you would give up all you have to leave the "Great Satan" for a wonderful life in mighty Iran. However, you renounce your American citizenship and ability to re-enter this country and I will gladly supply you with a one-way ticket.

Saddam and Rumsfelf shaking hands
Please make comments on that also? In essence America was already living there so to speak, costing to the American taxpayers around a trillion dollars. You evidently must like such behavior by the Nation under God?

When push comes to shove
"Steyn writes: 'Tax revenues that support the ever growing numbers of the elderly and retired have to be paid by equally growing numbers of the young and working. The design flaw of the radically secularist Eutopia is that it depend on a religious-society birth rate.'"

No one is gonna let Ma and Pa starve to death or die for want of an enema. If the state won't pay for these things, then people with parents will. The money comes from the same place, of course.

I've noticed that people's beliefs tend to follow convenience and flee challenge. Right now Eutopians favor living off of the wealth their Baby Boomer parents created. But once they're confronted with the challenge of replacing rather than consuming that wealth, I predict they'll jettison the state's self-serving obligations for family's more fluid and forgiving ones. And if this happens, the condoms will come off and there'll be plenty more little Eutopians than there are now.

A trillion what?
Does anyone know what in the he ll this fool is talking about? The U.S. sold about $200M worth of weapons and technology (mostly Huey helicopters & satellite surveillance data) from 1983 to 1988 (source is SIRI) during the Iran/Iraq War. The memo describing Rumsfeld's visit with Saddam was declassified several years ago (available on DoD website) and in reading it, it was quite clear that Rumsfeld was sent as an envoy of Reagan to let Saddam know that the world knew about his use of chemical weapons against Iran, but that the U.S. would continue to support him in his war against our sworn enemies, the mad mullahs of Tehran. So, a trillion dollars for what? This kind of expenditure would have required several acts of Congress. HDS26234 -- would you please cite these appropriations? Didn't think that you could -- you are full of shiite, I suspect.

It's the residential real estate...
Yes we would like to take care of our parents, if they lived with us. And those of us who work all the time would also like to have our (otherwise idle) brothers, sisters and cousins living with us to become those caregivers for our older dependents and to help raise all those new babies we would, indeed, like to have.

The problem is our residential real estate. We live in single family homes in neighborhoods next to strangers. Our houses are investments that we are likely to cash out of, especially as we ourselves get older.

Wealthy as we are and as unlikely as it is that the government will do a better job, we are all too scattered around to take care of this business ourselves and we do not have the appropriate physical plant.

We need to build residential compounds with several related families sharing common domestic spaces indoors and outdoors. These compounds need to be clustered into contiguous neighborhoods where such homes are not investments but held in trust for generations of each family and composing permanent villages.

In the Philippines we call such small neighborhoods Banrangay and these constitute the smallest unit of local government. My sense is that each Barangay might be an economic unit in addition to a social unit.

Desparate times
If Americans cut the gubmint out of their families, which in my view is a very advisable thing to do, then who knows how they'll retool their lives? But if I know Americans, individual families will do whatever works best for them.

Underlying and permeating your suggestion is the notion that somehow "we" can find sweeping and programmatic solutions to social problems. Not so, for "we" are more often at cross-purposes than we are unified and thus capable of acting with one mind and will.

That's why gubmint is so involved in our families: it's able to turn generation against generation and then convert that opposition into fear and political power. Indeed, it's a sad tribute to the American family that seniors trust the feds with their welfare more than their own kids. Something dramatic will have to happen to break that trust, and when it goes, then families will do whatever it takes to manage. But one thing they won't do is go along with another solution placing gubmint at the center of their own families.

full of "shiite"
You must be full of that, because, you know how to describe so well!

To HDS re smoking and fat
Here's some advise for you. If you are having such a problem with your smoking habit, and overeating, there are many support groups you could join to help you with your prpoblems. I've known many people who have been able to kick the bad habits.

to forest re barangays
I'd be careful about touting filipino barangays as a role model for American development. Anybody who knows about those places knows that almost every resident of them would rather have an American suburban house. I've been in those crappy slums all over the filipine islands and it seems like most people are trying desperately to get out of them. It seems like you're making an argument from perhaps 'rousseau-esque, noble savage'. Life in those slums is 'nasty, brutish and short'.

re US population stats
In one way it sounds good that compared to eurabia, the population is growing(mostly cus of illigal immigration). But it could be that all this growth is overvalued because many of these people have to real stake in amer. society. Lots are just opportunists who will run away at the slightest trouble, rather than try to build up a 'new country' as the original immigrants did. If you have dual, or triple citizenship, and the going gets tough, why not move back to Hong Kong, or wherever, rather than sharing US troubles?

American Tobacco Companies the greatest killers the world has known?
Your response sounds like that of an evil CEO of a tobacco company, while lying through your teeth? I have never smoked nor am I overweight, by the way!

A stake in society
One reason Eutopian countries and America alike dabble in utopian socialism is that their citizens overestimate their stake in society as well as how it's best invested. Does one improve one's society most by paying high taxes or by good parenting; by voting or by helping one's neighbors; by reading newspapers or by keeping an eye on one's neighborhood? Etc.

To me, it's a good thing America's immigrants haven't learned from their new countrymen how one goes about frittering away one's stake in society.

As I thought
you crumble like ash and blow away.

Like ash
Boy, you are scary indeed! I guess this typical of all ignorats!

If they had money...

I live in suburban cities near both San Francisco and Greater Manila. And have for the past twenty years. Every city in the Philippines is divided into Barangays. Rich and poor neighborhoods alike.

People who want to leave the Philippines are able to get out with a little dedicated effort. The good people who stay there make the best of their lives and provide for their families.

The economy of the Philippines is often overlooked and simply lumped in with the rest of the ASEAN countries. However long it takes us to fix things there our citizens will struggle and endure. In the meantime, everyone is completely aware of what is going on in the rest of the world and educating their children so they will be ready when the break comes.

Of course, poor people everyehere would rather not live in miserable conditions. Nevertheless, the people in the Philippines enjoy a rich and satisfying day to day existence because we are immersed in living and taking care of our own.

With a little money the barangay would be the best place in the world. Your personal experiences among Philippino poor people would not be much different if you were visiting lots of places in China, India, Africa and Latin America, etc. The barangay form of local government has nothing at all to do with poverty.

You might want to watch that "noble savage" language. Life could be remarkably "nasty, brutish and short" if you said something like that in Imus, Cavite. I mean that in a nice way. My guys are very sophisticated, intelligent and worldly. But we do have delicate sensibilities.

I know it's a term like some kinda political district, but I meant it in the manner more like 'country village', or what in many areas they call 'kampong' around asia. They're poor jungle-like groupings of houses with no discerbale roads between, borders etc. like paths leading from one to the other, some nice houses, some broaken down grass shacks like you'd see in Africa. Those with realatives overseas get to build better places of course. The phil. mostly depends on remittances from overseas. I still sick by my saying that for most life is pretty nasty, mostly because of their corrupt governments at every level, yes even to bribing the baragay 'captain'.

no smoking?
So if you're not overweight, nor smoke, what is your problem again? Or are you just a busybody who doesn't approve of other people doing things you don't approve of?
Are you also angry with the cigarete companies in other large nations like China, and Indonesia, where almost everybody smokes?

Lung cancer, etc., because of smoking
I guess you have no problem with peoples' taxes paying for lung cancer patients? Besides, don't give me that stupidity of angry? Yes, the American taxpayer is also forced to pay taxes to help sick people the world over. You seemed to have no problem with that?

to HDS re cancer
You must be mistaking me for somebody else. I don't think that any govnmt anywhere should pay for people's lung cancer, or have anything at all to do with medical care since I'm an austro-libertarian. If somebody wants to smoke or take drugs or committ suicide it's fine by me.

telling lies is not force
especially when the truth is readily available and widely known.

That getting taxes costs the American taxpayer something is the fault of badly designed medical systems, it has nothing to do with tobacco companies.

you aren't very good at any form of knowledge or intellectual excercise
The US has never been at war with Iran.
Neither phase of the Iraq war has been about oil. If it had been, we would have kept Kuwait after freeing it, instead of turning it back over to it's people.

As to the US aligning with Iraq. The politicians at the time thought that Iran was the bigger threat. And they were right. Keeping Iran in it's box was worth the price of a temporary alliance with Saddam.

Do I approve of the American military being used to topple a dictator and free millions?

My wife's grandmother was convinced that what she got back from SS was nothing more than what she and her husband put in. And that by living of SS, she was ensuring that she would not be a burden on her family.

She was absolutely positive that FDR had declared that the money you get from SS was the money they had put in. That settled it, and anyone who tried to tell her different had been taken in by Republican lies. She also voted straight Democratic ticket her entire life.

Tobacco Companies, your darlings?
Which ever term you wish to use, neverthless, the American tobacco companies are the devil's egencies of death, here in America, and more so, all over the world, with the evil intent to make money.

Iran, Iraq, oil etc., etc., etc.
I guess we all have the right to be ignorant, and you are no exception. However, all actions bare fruit eventually, and might it not be the case as the Iraq situation, is becoming the mother of all messess. Please do not repeat the joke about no oil interest?

Freeing millions
Yes, so oil can flow to America?

National Geographic...

At our Compound in Imus we have about 25 large homes, some of which are very modern and new. We also have a number of small apartments nicely built of hollow blocks and there are a fair number of nipa huts away in the back. The total compound is perhaps 50 acres and there is no access for automobiles at all. It is a hot, humid jungle with flies and mosquitos and dogs and cats and chickens! And really good beer.

Yes, the wealthy, power and educated members of the family live there with various working class non-family households mixed in. Sometimes these aliens (a favorite word for outsiders, especially if they are from someplace like the Visayas) are there because they came to work for us or because one of their relatives is the girlfriend of one of the older guys.

I like to refer to our nipa huts as "back there in the National Geographic Special". We all laugh because it is true! The beauty of Barangay life is that we do indeed all live and drink together without paying much attention to issues of rank.

You cannot bribe your Barangay Captain, Dietmar. He's your cousin!

nipa huts
I also am familiar with those 'nipa cubos' with their dirt floors and outhouses beside them. Propbably you can idiolize life in such a place because:1, your in one of the proper houses, not a nipa cubo; 2; you're a rich foreigner so don't have to worry about no work or your next meal, 3) you have 'face' and respect because as a rich foreigner you are also doling out a lot of your wealth to the whole tribe, one way or the other; 4)when you get bored you can go to a western restaurant maybe in Balibago/Angeles, and also be able to talk to other foreigners, and have some mens entertainment if you know what I mean, 5, your situation is more akin to being in the squires estate, or the lord's house surrounded by peasants at your beck and call. Yes, that's a good situation to be in, but it's not the situation for most of the 'stand-bys' in most baragays.

My parents are exactly, to a "T", the same way as your wife's grandma. But notice how all three base their SS beliefs on three more flawed beliefs, namely (1) people shouldn't burden their families, (2) politicians can be trusted, and (3) public policies are static.

Regarding (1), the thing that separates one's relationships with one's family from all others is the feeling that one can freely share one's benefits and burdens with one's family without getting repeatedly screwed over due to the commonality, closeness, trust, compassion, but most importantly, love that permeates (or should permeate) the family.

That's why I find the attitude that one musn't burden one's family so perverse: It drives a wedge between people and their families so that the state can step in and assume formerly famial roles. However, the state doesn't assume or carry out these roles on the basis of commonality, closeness, trust, compassion and love. Rather, the state hypes specious moral arguments while relying on taxation to do the actual work.

Have you ever wondered why socialist ideas naturally appeal to the touchy-feely, self-insufficient, searching souls of America? Because by scuttling the family, FDR created a void in hearts which Democrats realized cry out to be filled by utopian ideas and social programs. Keeping this strategy alive is, I suspect, at the heart of the Democrat's anti-family agenda. For what use does a strong family have for the welfare state?

The state is your family now, MarkTheGreat, and it's got the cash to prove it.

Angeles City...
Well. I do know what you mean. But I go to the PI because I live there and bring my work over there (and pay my guys a little too well) rather than to exploit the poverty stricken families whose finest young women must sometimes support their families working as GROs. Lots of that goes on just outside the front gates at Clark Field.

My situation is that I am a manufacturing industrialist and I design high end products that are brutally labor intense. My guys need the work and I need the cheap labor to make my business competitive. The upside for my production team is that now only they know how to make these expensive fashion items and soon the market will come to them.

I don't idealize or amuse myself at the expense of my cousins. We need to develop our country and get into the global economic game. When we do, however, we will indeed make lots of money and I will guarantee you that we will not live on dirt floors any more and I promise you that our women will no longer be your toys. Bet on it.

to forest re PI
OK, sorry, I thought you were just another rich american retired guy there. Instead i'll congratulate you. Indeed I even like filipinos and knew them well and had many working for me in the middle east before i retired. The only problem was that they misled me and told me the correct answer to 'komustaka', was, 'mobutiti', so when I went there and said that, the people didn't answer with their usual, 'gwapo cano', but 'bastooz'.

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