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When Everyone Is a Minority

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Non-Hispanic white children born in America today will be members of a minority by the time they reach their fifteenth birthdays, according to Census Bureau projections released today. The report projects that present-day minorities will exceed 50% of the child population by 2023. Said Dave Waddington, chief of the Census Bureau's population projection branch, in an interview with CNN, "Part of it is a higher fertility rate for some of the minority groups, Hispanics in particular. Those groups also tend to be more of the childbearing age. Non-Hispanic white people tend to be a little bit older."

The Census Bureau also forecasts that by 2042, every racial/ethnic group in the country, including non-Hispanic whites, will be a minority. With an expected total population of 439 million, minorities will comprise 54%, and Hispanics, whose population is expected to triple by then, from 47 million today to 133 million in 2042, will account for 30% of the total, compared to 15% today. “Majority minority” populations already exist in four states and the District of Columbia. In descending order, they are: Hawaii, D.C., New Mexico, California, and Texas. None of these could really be considered a surprise, but what is interesting are the states right behind these: Maryland, Mississippi, and Georgia, all of which are now 40% minority.

While non-Hispanic whites are expected to remain the largest single group, their growth rate over the next three decades will essentially  be flat, going from 199.8 million today to 203.3 million (46%, down from 66%) in 2050. This group is actually expected to decline during the 2030s and 2040s.

The most significant demographic change forecast by the Census in its report is the projection regarding the aging of the population. By 2030, all Baby Boomers will have reached age 65, and people older than 65 will constitute 20% of the total. By 2050, the current senior cohort will more than double, from 38.7 million today, going to a projected 88.5 million. In the same time frame, those over 85 are expected to triple: from 5.4 million, to 19 million in 2050.

According to Waddington, all Census Bureau projections include the undocumented population; Census data includes all residents, regardless of legal status.

All of these shifts in the makeup of America's population have significant implications for our society in the future. It is already past time for policy makers and legislators at all levels to be taking these projections into account in their planning. Shifts in population makeup and overall size of this magnitude are certain to affect all aspects of American society; from the economy to health care and education. From urban planning to waste disposal, to energy, water supply, and taxation; all are certain to be impacted by these projections.

Demographers and educators, for example, agree that planning for the classroom of the future should begin now.

It's a different kind of student body than we've known during the '50s and '60s and '70s, when a lot of our education policies were shaped,'' said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington research center.

''If we don't invest in educating and training African-American kids, immigrants and Latino kids, we won't have a middle class,'' said Mark Sawyer, the director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics at the University of California at Los Angeles. "We'll have a very, very poor disposable class that's largely black or brown."

Some estimates foresee the need for up to 36,000 more schools nationwide, to accommodate the increase in the population of school age children.

Our infrastructure, already crumbling in some areas, will require significant investment, not only to renew existing facilities, but also for expansion to accommodate the additional 135 million citizens who will be living here. We will need 52 million new housing units, and additional roads sufficient to accommodate up to 106 million additional vehicles.

Such a massive increase in the total population (the increase will equal the combined total populations of Great Britain and France today) is certain to increase pollution, congestion, and urban/suburban sprawl, as well as negatively impact availability of open space.

If the Census Bureau's projections are even close to accurate (and they do have an excellent track record), even the implications of the current oil crisis, which will constitute only part of the overall picture painted by the Census, pale by comparison.

We must begin now to prioritize and start planning to deal with the coming changes in our population. That we will eventually deal with the effects wrought by these changes is inevitable. Delay in taking action will only exacerbate the negatives and make the entire process much more expensive.

And perhaps all individual Americans should start regarding The Other as US.

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About Clavos

Raised in Mexico by American parents, Clavos is proudly bi-cultural, and considers both Spanish and English as his native languages. A lifelong boating enthusiast, Clavos lives aboard his ancient trawler, Second Act, in Coconut Grove, Florida and enjoys cruising the Bahamas and Florida Keys from that base. When not dealing with the never-ending maintenance issues inherent in ancient trawlers, Clavos sells yachts to finance his boat habit, but his real love (after boating, of course) is writing and editing; a craft he has practiced at Blogcritics since 2006.
  • j

    everyone is a minority, just because white is the dominant skin color in the US doesnt mean anyone “not white” is a minority. If any white person travels to mexico they are now the minority. Liberals are idiots… they want to help people who really just need to learn to help themselves.

  • I couldn’t agree more-The Other is US! As someone from an “Other’ family, with an an “Other” daughter I find the story especially compelling. We have to start teaching ALL of our children that they are of one generation and one nation.

  • Clavos, whilst in Spain I was told that the word Hispania pre-dates the Romans and was derived from some ancient Phoenician word that meant land of rabbits. Not sure how accurate that is, but it conjures up a sweet picture of ancient Phoenicians exploring the Med and coming across this new land they found full of bunnies.

  • Mate, the tentacles ARE nice, but the tubes (the body) are the best bit … but they have to be cooked just right or they turn into f…ing pieces of tyre rubber.

    LOL. The first time I ever had squid my mother bought it at the Comissary in Moscow, where they only got what was seasonal or managed to get trucked there in one of the very few refrigirated trucks. She’d never cooked squid before, so based on the appearance she cooked the bodies as if they were pieces of beef liver. The inevitable result was that they weren’t just tough, it was actually impossible to cut them with a knife.

    A few years later in Greece I went to a cookout where they were frying whole baby squids in a cauldron over an open fire. They were amazing. The only bad part was the eyeballs, which they left on and you had to spit out – they turned hard as little marbles when cooked. But overall that meal redeemed squid for me.

    Still like the tentacles best, though.


  • STM

    Dave: “I particularly like the tentacles.”

    Someone crueller than me might find something in that to reply to esoterically, but I’ll just focus on the squid 🙂

    Mate, the tentacles ARE nice, but the tubes (the body) are the best bit … but they have to be cooked just right or they turn into f…ing pieces of tyre rubber.

    Beyond that major aspect, salt and pepper squid is all in the seasoning. It has to be just spicy enough, but not over the top. Luckily, the woman who does the cooking in our canteen on the weekends is Chinese, a genius on the wok and knows exactly how to dish ’em up.

    She does a mean sweet and sour pork, too. Not my favourite Chinese dish, as it always reminds me of something out of a can, but she fries the pork cubes in a light batter just right. And of course, her rice is always light and fluffy.

    Because of her wok skills, the fact that she has also seen an alien spaceship land in her backyard (Quote: “I never tell my husband, he think I’m mad … you like a Coke with that?”) is taken, literally in this case, with a grain of salt.

  • Clavos


    Don’t need to. Already got ’em from the (unbiased) horse’s mouth: The US Census Bureau.

  • Clavos

    Wasn’t it Nixon who first used the Hispanic term in a speech?

    I was incorrect in #53. According to Wikipedia, the word dates back to an earlier form, Hispania, which was the Roman name for what we now call the Iberian Peninsula:

    Etymologically, the term “Hispanic” is derived from Hispania,[1] the name given by the ancient Romans to the Iberian Peninsula (present-day Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar).

    Hispanus was the Latin name given to the people of Hispania, the Hispano-Romans. The Hispano-Romans were composed of people from many different tribes of Hispania.[2] Some famous Hispani (plural of Hispanus) were Seneca the Elder, Seneca the Younger, Lucan, Martial, Prudentius, the Roman Emperor Trajan, the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, and also Magnus Maximus and Maximus of Hispania. The etymology of the words Hispanic, Spanish, and Hispano-Roman has the same Latin root name, Hispania, but the connotation of the original meaning of the root word has slightly different meanings in the multiple derived modern English words…

    Wikipedia also says:

    During the 1970s, the United States Government defined the term “Hispanic” to identify Latin American individuals, and their descendants, living in the U.S. regardless of race.

    So, I was right about its modern usage having been imposed by the US government…

  • Condor

    Wasn’t it Nixon who first used the Hispanic term in a speech? Or did he use Latino? I forget, that was many moons ago.

  • Clavos

    It’s a nonsense term even when used to denote Spaniards. They live on the Iberian peninsula, not the Hispanian peninsula.

    Hispanic best suits Dominicans and Haitians; their island is named Hispaniola.

    It (Hispanic) is however, the term the Census Bureau uses for peoples whose native language is Spanish.

    These days, most of us prefer the term Latino/a.

  • Hispanic is a made up term and needs to be done away with. To illustrate, imagine if there was a term for all the people who lived in countries colonized by the British Empire. It is a nonsense concept.

  • Clav,

    Never adverse to admitting my mistakes, I stand corrected.

    You are right, Sir. Mea Culpa :>)

    And the same back at you, Sir. As you correctly observe, I am a grammar Nazi. I do have aspirations to become a grammatical one as well, and appreciate your assistance.


  • Clavos


    Never adverse to admitting my mistakes, I stand corrected.

    You are right, Sir. Mea Culpa :>)

    Allow me also point out a small discrepancy on your part:

    While I agree with you, based on the evidence found in your articles and comments, that you are indeed a grammatical Nazi. However, I believe that, while performing the duties required of your self-appointment, you are better described as a grammar Nazi.

  • Condor

    Point taken. Looking inwardly decreases our strategic outlook and dependance on global production and could bring us back as a country of production rather than consumerism. By doing that we might be able to break the $800 billion annual trade deficit which currently exists.

    Andrew Bachevich stated in his book THE LIMITS OF POWER….

    “The pursuit of freedom, as defined in an age of consumerism, has induced a condition of dependence on imported goods, on imported oil, and on credit. The chief desire of the American people…is that nothing should disrupt their access to these goods, that oil, and that credit. The chief aim of the U.S. government is to satisfy that desire, which it does in part of through the distribution of largesse here at home, and in part through the pursuit of imperial ambitions abroad.”

    In other words, Bachevich maintains that our foreign policy is the result of a dependence on consumer goods and credit.

    Inword consumerism might not be a bad idea to return to and flies in the face of the U.S. pressing its determination on other global governments. Thus the fall of our current imperialistic trends. During the 18th century when America was a production based economy the country was agast at the European imperialist model. Are we in fact, heading down that path and more importantly are we correct in doing so?

  • Clav,

    As self-appointed deputy assistant grammatical Nazi, permit me to suggest a very small modification to one of your sentences, as follows: But that does not preclude the possibility that, in areas where one culture becomes dominant (as has already happened in Miami), there won’t will be widespread bilingualism; there inevitably will, and I see this as a good phenomenon.



  • Clavos


    As I noted above, I did not address language in the article, mostly because I don’t see it as an issue; no one has ever made a serious attempt to change the “official” (actually, we don’t officially have an “official” language) language of the USA to something other than English (although several attempts have been made to legally designate English as the Official language – a mistake, IMO, but another discussion). However, since language appears to be a particular concern of yours, here goes.

    As noted in the article, the growth in what are today “minorities,” especially Latinos, is explosive, to the point that whole cities (Miami perhaps more than most), are becoming, or have already become majority minority. As a natural consequence of this demographic shift. Miami is probably the nation’s first truly bilingual city.

    I believe this trend will only accelerate as we move forward into the future, but I do not think that the USA will ever reach the point where Spanish (or any other language) deposes English as the Lingua Franca of the USA. Why? Because no one (including the immigrants – of whatever ethnic or national origin) wants that to happen. Everyone (even new citizens) recognizes the value (indeed the necessity) for a language we ALL speak.

    But that does not preclude the possibility that, in areas where one culture becomes dominant (as has already happened in Miami), there won’t be widespread bilingualism; there inevitably will, and I see this as a good phenomenon. As I noted upthread, the traditional monolingualism of Americans not only casts us in a provincial light, it often actually works very strongly against us. A very relevant and contemporary case in point: we are engaged in a struggle centered on several Middle eastern nations, most of whom speak Arabic. Our intelligence services have had great difficulty in finding Arabic-speaking Americans to fill positions, which in the current world situation, are vital to our national security.

    Another: How many nations send an ambassador to the USA who cannot speak English? Few, or even none. Yet we have been forced to send ambassadors to other countries who are unable to communicate in the host country’s tongue. This not only reflects poorly on US, it again puts us at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with that country.

    English will always be the unifying language in this country. In fact, It’s likely to fulfill that function for the entire world one day.

    I think the appearance of other languages in the weave of our national fabric is a very positive trend; one that will benefit us and enhance our standing in the world.

    And perhaps one day, con el favor de Diós, we will get smart enough to actually start requiring the study of other languages in grade school, as most of the world already does.

  • Condor

    I get assaulted for straying off course and you all are talking about hardening of the arteries?

    What gives?

    How can we all be minorities? When that happens there are no minorities. Rather than Balkinizing the landscape, at least get on the program with a common tongue. Am I still off course?

    Speaking the same language is fundemental to keep our society flourishing. If you’re talking about the browning of America, then I’m already several generations beyond that, I’m a heinz 57 and that’s the way it is, no if’s ands or buts, I could care less about that too. That’s not important.

    What’s important (concerns me) is this:

    We are complacent about the outside world. We are unconcerned for the most part about the welfare of our armed forces. The American people are great at giving lip service, especially since World War II, but we stop far short when it comes to sacrifice. Our Presidents )from JFK forward, have committed so many men and women to danger.

    The hope of our time (in current parlance), the Democratic congress has sold out to the select few who own the nation’s future and use it for their own retirement program.

    Until we get to a point in our countries economic and political situation when we are severly impacted and therefore stunned into facing the facts that government has to start functioning as it was ment to, (i.e. protecting its citizens). Until then we are assaulted with lies and deceit and are insulted by the daily dosage of unpalatable political pabulum. We as country will fail well before 2050 and this article is moot.

    Americans lust for entitlement and our political system for many decades is out to grow an empire, to force our will on other countries.

    On top of that the U.S. citizens complicity in the current economic, political, and military crisis is sickening, we are in total domestic chaos, with leaders advancing misguided strategies and hazarding the nation into a global war of no fully comprehended strategies. This not solely Bushs fault. We (the voters) are culpable; with our appetite for un restricted access to resources, have allowed of military service from a defensive status into an economic enterprise.

    Thats raw fact.

    Without one language, one understanding, one ability to ensure that our government starts functioning properly, we’re doomed.

    Now, go eat your corn fed beef… and remember, that corn fed beef can only be raised for 90 days before heavy doses of antibiotics are required to sustain the animal until it gets to the slaughterhouse (90 percent of all antibiotics used in America are used by the meat industry). At least eat grass fed beef. Cows were made to eat grass, not corn, steriods, hormones and antibiotice. Mmmmm, what’s for dinner America? It’s beef that’ll kill with with all the unnatural diet we consumers demand in order to get the fatted steer to the market. Consume that.

    (did I just get off-subject again… darn!)

  • Rodney

    I don’t see how this is an issue or even much of a change. half of hispanics consider themselves white hispanics, In 2000 about 75% of hispanics spoke spanish in the home. So between non spanish speaking Hispanics and white people marrying spanish speaking hispanics I think the USA will end up with a lot of self defined white hispanics that can’t speak spanish.

  • Franco

    Ruvy, thanks for correcting my dress making spelling on Hamline.

    “They have always manage to produce some strange law profs there.”

    Strange or not, they are interesting accounts.

  • Franco, your 21 million figure is pretty debatable. It’s more likely barely half that.

    As for taxes, they are ALL paying sales taxes and if they are working most of them are paying social security and medicare and getting not a cent of it back, so the people as a whole are making a substantial profit on them.

    It might take nothing more complex than to prove that they’ve been working steadily since they’ve been here. Let those ones stay. Let the rest leave.


  • Franco


    “Illegal immigrants are NOT actually likely to become part of the problem you describe.”

    I agree not all will, but if we have a government pushing gift programs on them, are they not going to take advantage of them, thus becoming government addicts? That is equally the point of my post.

    “What we need to do is make sure we let the ‘good’ immigrants in and keep out the violent and non-productive ones.”

    That is the trillion-dollar statement of all.

    With twenty one million illegal immigrants right now living in the US (that’s 5 million more people then live in the entire country of Chile), seeing that they were not “let in” as you say as if we had the control, but they illegally came in and this proves the system is out of control.

    Now, who in government today has the balls to go about weeding out the wheat from the chaff? Give me a break! That is way I made special reference to illegal immigrants.

    What is the conseptural magnitude of twenty one million people illegally living in the US?

    Look at the 20 Largest Urban Centers in the World

    Mexico City, Mexico 19,907,000
    New York City, U.S. 18,981,000
    Mumbai (Bombay), India 18,905,000
    São Paulo, Brazil 18,820,000
    Delhi, India 15,785,000
    Shanghai, China 15,000,000
    Kolkata (Calcutta), India 14,769,000
    Jakarta, Indonesia 13,968,000
    Dhaka, Bangladesh 13,251,000
    Buenos Aires, Argentina 12,754,000
    Los Angeles, U.S. 12,471,000
    Karachi, Pakistan 12,231,000
    Lagos, Nigeria 11,915,000
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 11,744,000
    Cairo, Egypt 11,482,000
    Osaka, Japan 11,284,000
    Manila, Philippines 11,113,000
    Beijing, China 11,113,000
    Moscow, Russia 10,778,000

    There are as many illegal immigrants in the US as there are citizens of Beijing, China and Moscow, Russia combined.

    How many of the US illegal immagrants are not paying taxes? How many childran are they having?

    Until we get this under control, how do we even start to deal with all the further growth and immigration Clavos takes about while our liberal elected officials are babbling non-stop about ever increasing entitlements?

    My post truly applies to all of the people in the US, as complacency and apathy and dependence knows no ethnicity. It is the enemy of us all, and we have a government leading us right into it.

    Bottom line, i hope your right Dave.

  • troll,

    Nah, cooking shouldn’t be a pissing contest. Let’s make both of them and enjoy.


  • Ruvy

    That was supposed to be a school founded by members of the Hamline Church….

  • Ruvy


    Having lived in St. Paul, Minn. for over two decades, I can state with authority that there is no Hemline University of any kind there. There may be a Hemline University for Dressmakers somewhere else, but don’t ask me where.

    Professor Olson is from the Hamline (pronounced ham‘lin) University School of Law located on Snelling Avenue, which is part of Hamline University, a school founded founded members of the Hamline Church (I forget what denomination) in the 1850’s when Minnesota was still a territory.

    They have always manage to produce some strange law profs there….

  • Some fascinating points, Franco, but I think you’re dead wrong on one of them. Illegal immigrants are NOT actually likely to become part of the problem you describe. Historically they have become fairly conservative adn highly productive members of society. Now I’m not talking about Salvadoran gang members, but about good, hard working Mexicans who come here for the opportunity. What we need to do is make sure we let the ‘good’ immigrants in and keep out the violent and non-productive ones.


  • Franco

    Excellent piece Clavos.

    The question that stands out for me in this is if this also means that the concept of citizens feelings of entitlements from government gifts will change and grow larger with the coming changes you have pointed out.

    I have always heard about this thing called democracy countdown. It is interesting to see it in print.

    This is the most interesting thing I’ve read in a long time. The sad thing about it, you can see it coming.

    Democracy Countdown: How Long Do We Have?

    About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

    ”A democracy is always temporary in nature. It will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.’

    ‘From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by authoritarian rule.’

    ‘The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years’

    ‘During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    1. From bondage to spiritual faith.
    2. From spiritual faith to great courage.
    3. From courage to liberty.
    4. From liberty to abundance.
    5. From abundance to complacency.
    6. From complacency to apathy.
    7. From apathy to dependence.
    8. From dependence back into bondage.

    Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 Presidential election.

    Number of States won by: Democrats: 19 Republicans: 29

    Square miles of land won by Democrats: 580,000 Republicans: 2,427,000

    Population of counties won by Democrats: 127 million Republicans: 143 million

    Murders per 100,000 residents in counties won by Democrats: 13.2 Republicans: 2.1

    Professor Olson adds: ‘In total, the territory Republicans won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country.

    Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare.

    Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the ‘complacency and apathy’ phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the ‘governmental dependency’ phase.

    If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million illegal immigrants entitlement seekers and they vote, and this trend were to continue well into the changes Clavos points to, then we can say goodbye to democracy as we have known it in the not too distant future.

    There is a lot at stake knowing that an ever-increasing number of citizens in this country are demanding more entitlement to generous gifts from the public treasury.

    The threat of government dependency is increasing with ever-liberal gift giving handout program coming to the forefront by our currently elected representatives in both the House and Senate.



    Not military bravery, but bravery not to become dependant and complacent. It has been this bravery that has lend the United States on to become the greatest story on nations in history.

    If we are not responsible to this bravery, and we choose to elect leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Read who are willfully leading a nations people into wallowing in government entitlements, thus cowardice, that leads to apathy and then dependence thus into bondage then we will learn it the hard way.

    I believe it is more of a threat to the United States of American then anything else we face.

  • Stan, there’s plenty of fine Calamari coming out of the gulf of Mexico and being deep fried here in Texas.

    I particularly like the tentacles.


  • troll

    hot damn – a cook off…I’ll put my bullshit stew up against your turkey chili any day

  • Yep. Turkey Chili. It’s good stuff.


  • STM

    Turkey chilli, eh Baritone?

    That COULD be a reason to move to the states. They don’t have such a thing here, sadly.

  • STM

    Speaking of salt … I’m at work, and the restaurant in here had fresh deep-fried salt-and-pepper squid (calamari) on the lunch menu.

    Mmm … a bit of lemon aioli, chips (fries) with heaps of salt, a nice bottle of lime soda, and some pineapple. Total cost: $8.

    Truly, if this country’s not paradise and there’s somewhere better, I must find out where it is.

  • Sorry Bar, my fingers went nuts on me.


  • Dan, Baroniuse, etal,

    I know canned soup is generally verboten. There are a few that aren’t awful, but most just shouldn’t be served to anyone with taste buds.

    I am a soup nut. Almost nothing IMO beats a great bowl of soup. I’ve had a few over the years, but sadly, they are hard to find. I’ve managed to put together a few good ones myself (I was a cook in the army, so I learned how to create magic in the kitchen.)

    A trip we made to Vienna a few years back turned out to be a soup wonderland. Landtmann’s Restaurant across from the Vienna Rathaus served a killer cream beat borscht. Another small cafe, just outside the Belvedere Palace (the Klimt museum,) there served an astounding carrot soup. There were others. I’ve had some great soups in Germany as well.

    Here in the states a couple of Chicago eateries provided some wonderful soups; the best being an asparagus soup at a little place which is now out of business. (Surprisingly, the Bravo chain of Italian restaurants serves a rather good asparagus soup.)

    Of course I love a good lobster bisque and any number of mushroom soups. (Did I mention that I’m fat?) I once had a wonderful minestrone in a little place called The West Bank in the Village in NYC. Sadly, that place is also long gone.

    My wife makes a fabulous gumbo and a turkey chili that is IMO better than any other chili I’ve ever had.

    There used to be a great web site called (I think) soupcon.com maintained by a woman who traveled the world looking for soups, then publishing the best recipes on her site. Alas, I can’t seem to find the site now. Either she may have given it up, or, perhaps I have the site name wrong.

    Hmmm. It seems I have degreased, or I mean, digressed. Sorry Clav.


  • Being multi-lingual here in this country becomes more important everyday. Fast food managers are sought by the industry owing to the greater number of hispanics working in their stores. Roofing and other construction crews here in Indy are heavily hispanic.

    On another level, college grads with real multi-lingual skills find far more doors open for them in the work place. Virtually any language can provide opportunities. Think of how important skill in any of the middle eastern languages could be. Chinese, Japanese, Russian. These languages probably head the list, but again, skill in most any language can be useful.

    As I noted, my son is fluent in German and is living and working in the country. A friend of my younger son is fluent in French. She worked with what I was told is the largest law firm in the country as a liaison with their French clientele. She has worked for the UN in Switzerland. I’m sure there are many more dramatic examples.

    As to the importance of the immigrant population becoming functionally literate in English; I do believe it is important for as many of them as possible to do so. Similarly, many urban blacks who have taken on local “Ebonics” (a dated reference, I suppose,) as their primary verbal mode of communication often find that it doesn’t play well in the larger world or the workplace. Rather, it works against them often causing even more alienation.

    When it comes down to it, the name of the game is communication. Over the years I think we have seen a certain amount of linguistic blending. Given enough time perhaps that will continue. But ultimately, as generations pass, I would guess that language differences will become less of a problem. The next 10 to 30 or 40 years may be the most difficult and crucial.


  • Clavos

    Clavos, if language isn’t an issue, how do you see the minority aspect of the population growth to have an impact?

    Chiefly (and this is how I interpreted the quote regarding educating the minorities), our record until now in regard to the education of minority children is dismally neglectful; in most jurisdictions, they still don’t receive as good an education as non-minority kids.

    The author of the quote (and I) is concerned that, when we are all minorities, no one will receive a good education in this country; which come to think of it, is already happening – the evidence is right here on these threads, on a daily basis.

    Language really is not an issue. Many who visit Miami come away thinking it is, because they hear Spanish spoken everywhere, and assume therefore that no one in Miami can speak English. This is not the case; with the exception of those very recently arrived, pretty much everyone can speak English, and cheerfully does so when they encounter a monolingual American.

    Virtually 100% of immigrant children born here speak English, and sadly, often refuse to speak their parents’ native language, even when addressed in it; out of childlike embarrassment of being thought “different.”

    The monolingualism of most Americans is provincial and reflects poorly on us, especially as the world increasingly shrinks and its nations become more interactive.

  • Baritone,

    Years ago I happened to find a can of “no salt” soup at a grocery in Bloomington, IN. I thought, what the hell, how bad could it be?

    Great Zeus! Canned soup is bad enough. I can’t even imagine canned soup without salt.

    I am the soup cook in our family, and although it is never the same, I will in all modesty say that it is consistently damn good. In addition to chicken, beef or pork, lots of veggies, some lentils, and other good stuff, I always add a healthy dollop of heavy, dark soy sauce (which probably contains a bit of salt); occasionally, I add a can of condensed mushroom soup. Other than that, canned soup — never.



  • STM

    I fail to see how anyone can eat a dirty great juicy steak without putting salt on it.

    It’s sacrilege. People have suggested in the past that I use lemon instead. I tried, but it was crap on its own, so now I do both 🙂

  • Baronius

    I think that the latest studies show that too much salt can contribute to high blood pressure if you’re prone to it genetically. If you’re not, then reasonable salt intake is safe.

    If you’re trying to cut your sodium intake, just give up on soup altogether. Baritone’s right, it’s unimaginable how bad low-salt or no-salt soup tastes. Soup never struck me as salty, but there’s a lot of salt in it, and it’s terrible without salt. Just terrible.

    Back to the topic: Clavos, if language isn’t an issue, how do you see the minority aspect of the population growth to have an impact?

  • I have long been a salt nut. I don’t have any serious problems. My BP is somewhat elevated, but not all that bad.

    I’m one of those people who automatically puts salt on food without tasting it. People watch me and shake their heads (whilst I shake the salt :])
    But, hell, I’ve eaten a lot over the years, pretty much all my life. (ha,ha) I am overweight and that exacerbates my knee problems. I’ve joined a gym (LA Fitness) and actually intend to go sometime.

    Years ago I happened to find a can of “no salt” soup at a grocery in Bloomington, IN. I thought, what the hell, how bad could it be?

    Pretty damn bad! Frankly, if it comes to not being able to eat salted food, I’d just as soon forget the whole thing.


  • Clavos

    If the reason you’re eating low sodium is your doctor, get a second opinion. They’re pretty split on the “salt hardens your arteries” story these days.

    I have eaten heavily salted food all my life (I LOVE the stuff!); my cardiovascular system is just about the only system in my body that’s NOT flawed.

    That said, I’m not a doctor; I just play one on TV :-), don’t take my advice.

  • That reminds me. I’ve been eating more “low sodium” food of late. The only problem I have with it is that it all invariably seems to need salt. 🙂


  • Clavos

    invest in desalination

    Got one. On my boat. 400 GPD, by RO.

  • troll

    …the projections beg the question of sustainability

    invest in desalination

  • Ruvy


    Great article, even if it is 100 years too late.

    All I gotta say is;

    mashiaH! mashiaH! mashiaH! Oy oy oy oy oyyyyy……!!! mashiaH! mashiaH! mashiaH! Oy oy oy oy oy, oyyyyy……!!!!!

    Have a good Sabbath, dudes.

  • Clav,

    Yes, our system gives lip service to language and far too few college students become even modestly fluent in any other language. Far too few of them major in math or the sciences either. I did take a couple of years of French in college, but not having used it since leaves me little better off than if I’d never studied it at all.

    My son double majored in vocal performance and German in college. Now, having lived in Germany for around 5 years or so, he is truly fluent in the language. He says he still has an accent, but most Germans cannot figure out where he’s from unless he tells them.

    By the way, he’s performing the lead in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” somewhere in Holland on the 22nd. Anyone who happens to be in the neighborhood at that time should check it out.


  • Interesting idea… We could make ’em play the American version… and then start a soccer team up north called Chivas Minneapolis.

  • STM

    Descended from Clavos Longsword and his mates, Patricio Skullsplitter and Ernesto the Bloodbeard.

    Hey, guys what do you reckon? The Guadalajara Vikings … great name for a footy team?

  • Clavos

    Thanks for the kind words, B’tone.

    You are dead on in re the complexity of the problem. The very thought that our population will increase by 40% in a single generation; 135 million new Americans, with huge cohorts of elderly and child non-workers, will put an unprecedented strain on all of US.

    As to the language: English is rapidly becoming the lingua franca of the entire world; it’s not about to disappear here. My feeling is that many of those who raise the specter of English losing its place as the dominant language in America, are really camouflaging their own xenophobia.

    I definitely think that Americans are behind the curve in the teaching of languages; the lack of mandatory foreign language studies in elementary school is a huge handicap, not only to the children, but to the nation as well. We are the laggard among First World, industrialized nations in that regard, and that’s a shame.

  • Zedd


    #11 sounds more like Cuban Spanglish. You’ve been in Florida too long. All I could imagine was Tony Montana. Don’t sell out Bro. You have to represent for our region.

  • Clav,

    The constant pressure on government at all levels to minimize spending makes planning, or more importantly, building for the future very problematic. Much of our infrastructure – roads and highways, bridges, mass transportation, water systems, sewers and especially, schools, all need significant attention. In many cases, just maintaining the status quo has proven to be beyond the capabilities of some communities.

    Inner city schools are generally those furthest off the pace. The problem is not only the schools themselves, but the supply and quality of teachers and administrators, the ability of school corporations to provide a full range of class offerings including state of the art science and math programs as well as exposure to art, music, literature, dance, theatre and other disciplines.

    Frankly, I don’t know what the best answer is regarding language. While I don’t buy into the idea that English should be the one and only language owing to some patriotic notions, but, I do agree that the grasp of a common language does help people gain success in both school and the workplace.

    I have no firm idea who between McCain and Obama is better equipped to handle this issue – or these many issues – on the federal level. I would tend to give Obama an edge in this department owing to his relative youth and his experience with the inner city. But it is obviously a very complex, multi-faceted problem which no one president, nor one administration will be able to make significant advances, but we need to take more than just baby steps in the coming years.

    By the way, I agree with Lee. Good article Clav.


  • …joo gringos haf…

    Sounds like Eenglish spoken with a Mexican accent by someone who has a Viking accent in Spanish…!

  • Clavos

    ¡Hijole! ¿Joo see wat ay meen?

    Fonny langwich, joo gringos haf…

  • Fifteen what, Clav?

  • Clavos

    Sorry Señor, we no speeka da Englitch, but we trying to learn and, how you say? Feet een?

    ¡Ay, caramba! ¡Es dificil!

  • STM

    What do the authors of the report say about Vikings of Irish descent whose longboat took a wrong turn at Puerto Vallarta and somehow ended up in downtown Guadalajara?

  • Clavos

    The issue of language is not even raised in the article; the point of the article was that, by 2050, there will be no dominant ethnic group, which begs the question:

    Did Cassandra and Condor even read it?

  • Condor

    I’m in agreement with Cassandra. Americans agreed a couple of centuries ago that English was the language of the multicultural country. German lost out by a vote or two.

    So, that was established. It should continue. And it usually does in a generation or two.

    Once, the language is set, everyone is on better footing to integrate into the society.

    And, I might add, like it or not… one is better equipped in the workforce (i.e. to make a living and support a family) if the language difficulties are overcome.

    Dual signs, books, tv, etc… only delays the process and keeps those who could productive, at a lower level in the workforce.

    It’s a shame that this issue is being attacked on many fronts. It’s a nonissue, learn the language and thrive in this society.

  • Clavos


    That’s a good question, and one worth pondering. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find specific data on the proportion of projected growth attributable to immigration vs. native births in each ethnic group; only current data; some of which is in the article.

    I did find comments related to the Census projections indicating that the immigration rate will slow, and that the bulk of the growth, particularly in the Latino and Asian ethnic groups, will be due to ethnic births on US soil.

    One can infer this phenomenon from some of the elements in the Census projections themselves. For example, the projection that “In 2050, the nation’s population of children is expected to be 62 percent minority, up from 44 percent today,” can be taken as an indicator, since few children arrive as immigrants; nearly all are born here.

    Given the number of imponderables implicit in your question (e.g. how strong is the reverse migration, how long will the economic contraction last, how deep will it be, etc.), I’m not sure one could come up with an accurate number.

  • Clav,

    Good points all. I do have a question, however.

    With the perceived decline in the U.S. economy, there seems to be a bit of reverse migration. Although I don’t expect the perceived decline in the economy to persist for very long, to what extent should it impact on the projections cited in your article?


  • Baronius

    “If we don’t invest in educating and training…kids, we won’t have a middle class. We’ll have a very, very poor disposable class.” I don’t see where race plays into that. I get a lot of grief around here for insisting that racism is essentially dead in America, but I don’t see how anyone outside the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics can look at the population forecasts and ask, “what color?”.

  • Cassandra

    How do you ‘deal’ with these projections? Just make sure everyone learns English and becomes part of the dominant shared culture. Skin color and nation of origin don’t matter if they are all Americans.

  • Lee Richards

    Good article, Clavos.

    It’s doubtful that either Barack(“You’re So Vain”)Obama or John(“Gee, Our Old LaSalle Ran Great”)McCain are ready to grasp these projections and their implications and begin to deal with them in a proactive way any time soon.

    But the future has a way of happening anyhow, while we’re making plans.