Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Primary Update: Democratic Leaders put an official end to further campaigning by Clinton

Primary Update: Democratic Leaders put an official end to further campaigning by Clinton

Latina Lista finally got a hold of the group spearheading the initiative to have Sen. Clinton run as an Independent. According to Robin Carlson, no one from the Clinton campaign has contacted the group nor has Sen. Clinton. Carlson says that this is all their idea which they are going forth with.
Latina Lista caught Carlson as she was waiting to be interviewed for a talk radio show — Carlson said it was her fourth one so far today.
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Regardless of Clinton’s involvement, it looks like this initiative is proceeding full steam ahead but if the following declaration released today by the leaders of the Democratic Party is any indication, it may be shortlived.

WASHINGTON, June 4 — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, DGA Chairman Joe Manchin and DNC Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement:
“We have come to the end of an exciting primary and caucus process — the voters have spoken. As the Democratic leaders of the Senate, House of Representatives, the Governors and the Democratic National Committee we commend all of the participants of the 2008 primary process, especially Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, for making this such a transformational election. Because of the enthusiasm our candidates have inspired, our party has brought record numbers of voters to the polls, gained
millions of newly registered Democrats and now has advantages in states many thought were difficult to win. We are grateful to the millions of Independents and Republicans who have crossed over to vote for a Democratic candidate for President.
“Democrats must now turn our full attention to the general election. To that end, we are urging all remaining uncommitted super delegates to make their decisions known by Friday of this week so that our party can stand united and begin our march toward reversing the eight years of failed Bush/McCain policies that have weakened our country.
“We once again congratulate all of the candidates for their leadership and dedication to providing this country with a New Direction. We look forward to working with them and with all Democrats to win the White House, congressional seats and state capitals so we can deliver the change the American people
deserve and demand.”


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  • Hecho en EastLos
    June 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    if she does run as an indy, which i doubt, she’ll forever be remembered as the ralph nader of the democratic party -08.
    i guess being an “also ran” isnt good enough for her.

  • laura
    June 4, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Obama or Clinton, the road to fair healthcare, withdrawal from Iraq, fair immigration reform – just for starters – will be hard. Because all the people that put Bush in the White House twice do not want to give up their fabulous opportunity to rip off the rest of us through no-bid contracts, tax presents by which their taxes become virtuslly non-existent, permission to freely pollute air, water, and land, and a free hand to pay workers here and around the world barely enough to live off.
    Those people are still here. They still have billions of dollars to spend on cementing their political power. They still count a human life as worth nothing. Since it can no longer be W, now McCain is their man. But if he loses, they know how to exert their power over Obama.
    Personally, I am glad Clinton is out. She sold herself to those people so fast and so blatantly that she made me nauseous. But not for one moment do I believe that we will achieve any good, unless we force the new president’s and Congress’ hand to reverse some of the disasters of the past 7 (or should I say 27)
    We should think now about how to do that.

  • The Aging Disco Diva
    June 5, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Hillary is at a crossroads and it will be interesting to see what she decides is most important: her personal goals and ambitions or what is best for her party. I agree with Hecho in EastLos–she has the power to ensure that John McCain is the next President by further polarizing the Democratic party. I guess I am that rare creature: A Latina who is completely and proudly a non-affiliated voter (though I have voted in every election since 1977) I found myself drawn to both Hillary and Obama but as time went on, became more convinced that Obama was the best candidate.

    June 5, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Obama and Clinton, a road to socialism with 60% taxation to support all their free give away programs for people too lazy to get off their asses and go to work or to those in our country illegally that can not support a family of two adults and nine children.
    This is not what our country needs. Too much government up our asses dictating how we live our lives.

  • Texano78704
    June 6, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    “Too much government up our asses dictating how we live our lives.”
    Ah, you must be talking about the current administration, the “biggest taxer in world history.”
    You must be talking about the current administration, the one that doubled discretionary spending.
    You must be talking about the current administration, the one that racked up $2.5 trillion in public debt, primarily through tax cuts for the wealthy. And let’s not mention the fact that a holy crusade into Iraq was funded on credit to the tune of another $2 trillion.
    And McCain portends to be a clone of Bush. You are right. This is not what our country needs.

  • Frank
    June 6, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I agree about this present administration but I think both McCain and Obama will be a disaster for this country. We are doomed!

  • anonymous
    June 7, 2008 at 8:42 am

    “Ah, you must be talking about the current administration, the “biggest taxer in world history.”
    You must be talking about the current administration, the one that doubled discretionary spending.
    You must be talking about the current administration, the one that racked up $2.5 trillion in public debt, primarily through tax cuts for the wealthy. And let’s not mention the fact that a holy crusade into Iraq was funded on credit to the tune of another $2 trillion.
    And McCain portends to be a clone of Bush. You are right. This is not what our country needs.”
    Well said Texano78704
    This November this country will be rid of It’s Tyrant and the dems will win and peace will finally reign!!!

  • Frank
    June 7, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I don’t want McCain in the White House but if you think that “peace will finally reign” with Obama in the White House, you are not in tune with reality and you have been hoodwinked.

  • Evelyn
    June 8, 2008 at 1:43 am

    Actually we were all going to vote for Tancrudo but…….

  • Frank
    June 8, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    But…Tancredo wanted our immigration laws and respected and enforced regardless of what any ethnocentric racists had to say.

  • Evelyn
    June 9, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Because Tancrudo had the ethnocentric racists on his side, is the reason he lost.
    Too extreme too loco for most Americans. He never polled above 1%, just about the number of extreme racists in the U.S.
    Wednesday, November 01, 2006
    Tancredo racism bombshell
    The Winter campaign has released thorough documentation of Tom Tancredo’s pervasive ties to John Tanton and various hate groups (pictured: Tancredo with Barbara Coe, who has claimed that Mexicans are “savages” and that illegal immigrants are “cutting off heads and appendages of blind, white, disabled gringos.”)
    Kudos to Bill Winter and his crew for assembling this information. The website is extremely detailed and informative; here’s the text of the more abbreviated yet still provocative press release:
    For Immediate Release
    October 31, 2006 Contact: Karen Hart
    Phone: (303) 946-3549
    Centennial, CO – Bill Winter, candidate for U.S. Congress, today called on Rep. Tom Tancredo to sever his long-standing ties to racists and white supremacist organizations. Winter is calling for Tancredo to return all of the donations he has received from a litany of well-known leaders in the White Power movement, to repudiate hate groups with whom he has associated, and to publicly denounce their support. Winter also challenged Tancredo to make a public pledge to never again accept donations or appear with groups or individuals that have known racist ties and to denounce the objectives and message of these organizations.
    Winter has sent a request to the Congressional Ethics Committee requesting a review of Tancredo’s ties to organizations whose stated goals are in opposition to the Constitution of the United States and whether he has abused his influence to promote members of these groups.
    “It is unfortunate that during his time in office, Representative Tancredo has consistently ignored the needs of his district and has chosen instead to foster relationships with people who hold values so contrary to those of the Constitution and his constituents” remarked Winter.
    Since coming into office, Tancredo has been traveling around the country soliciting donations from known racists and rallying the attendees at hate group gatherings. During his tenure in office, Tancredo has accepted significant donations from a varied group of individuals and organizations with white supremacist ties.
    Winter Campaign Manager Berrick Abramson commented, “Tancredo says that he cannot control who attends his rallies, but he can control from whom he accepts invitations and donations”, Abramson continued, “Tancredo would like for us to think that these ties do not reflect on him or his legislative choices, but as the saying goes, ‘He who pays the piper gets to call the tune.'”
    One of Tancredo’s largest donors has been John Tanton of Petoskey, Michigan. In the past seven years, Tancredo and his PAC (Team America PAC) have received $22,000 from Tanton and his US Immigration Reform PAC. Tanton has founded or funded 13 anti-immigration groups, three of which are classified as hate groups. His ubiquitous presence in the hate community has earned him the nickname of “The Puppeteer”. One of these groups is the Foundation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), whose Tennessee conference Tancredo addressed in 2002. FAIR has received over $1.2 million dollars from the pro-eugenics Pioneer Fund.
    The Pioneer Fund was started in 1937 by a consortium of doctors and businessmen seeking to continue the eugenics research begun by Nazi doctors. The stated goal of the Pioneer Fund is to encourage “racial betterment” and aid people “primarily descended from white persons.”
    In a 1986 memo, Tanton outlined his strategy to “infiltrate the Judiciary Committee” and “secure appointments for our friends.” Two staff members from Tanton’s NumbersUSA, Rosemary Jenks and Linda Purdue, have boasted that they operate out of Tancredo’s office and identify themselves as “virtual staffers” for the Congressman. Another rising figure from the FAIR organization is Cordia Strom, who was once FAIR’s legal director and is now counsel to the director and coordinator of congressional affairs for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
    “If what these women claimed is true, this is abuse of power of the highest degree and cries out for investigation by the Ethics Committee,” said Abramson, continuing that, “If Mr. Tancredo has in fact been complicit in furthering Tanton’s agenda of infiltrating offices of our government with his agents, intent on pushing his racist agenda and rolling back a half century of progress to pursue the ambitions of the Pioneer Fund and going back to one of the darkest chapters of modern history, then this is more than a gross betrayal of the voters of Colorado who elected him, this is a betrayal of everything that America stands for.”
    Another group with which Tancredo has strong ties is the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), whose website has referred to African-Americans as “a retrograde species of humanity”. One of the CCC’s most visible members is Barbara Coe of Huntington Beach, California, who has hosted a fundraiser for Tancredo and made contributions to his campaigns. Coe is the founder and head of the California Coalition of Immigration Reform (CCIR) and was recently quoted as saying “We are suffering robbery, rape and murder of law-abiding citizens at the hands of illegal barbarians… who are cutting off heads and appendages of blind, white, disabled gringos”. Coe and Tancredo have appeared together at numerous events and even embraced after the CCIR issued an award to Tancredo for his anti-immigration efforts.
    At one event, Tancredo was listed as the “Honored Guest” for a fundraiser hosted by CCIR and Save our State (SOS). In the “About us” section of its website, SOS states that “Years of inculcation by the doctrines of political correctness have left you emasculated and impotent, silenced by the thunderous chants of “racist” and “bigot.” And there you stand and watch, paralyzed by fear, as your community is ravaged by the illegal alien invasion and turned into a Third World cesspool.”
    In past interviews about Tancredo’s ties to racist organizations and white supremacists, Tancredo’s press secretary has acknowledged that the Congressman has attended events organized by Barbara Coe’s groups, but insisted that they were not fundraisers, assertions that Winter dismisses as “a blatant misrepresentation of the truth, given that Ms. Coe publicly advertised her gathering as ‘a fund-raising event to Keep Tom in Congress!'”
    Following Tancredo’s recent appearance with the League of the South, Tancredo was seen carrying the CCC publication “Citizens Informer,” which published the opinion that minorities were turning the United States into “slimy brown mass of glop”. One of the Editorial Board members of the Citizen’s Informer is Virginia Abernathy, who is regularly quoted by Tancredo as an “expert” on immigration reform. Abernathy rejects the title of “White Supremacist”, preferring instead to call herself a “White Separationist” who “prefers to be with my own kind.” Abernathy is on the editorial board of The Occidental Quarterly, a publication that the New Community has described as a “racist and anti-Semitic “scholarly” journal.” The journal’s statement of principles assert that “Immigration should be restricted to selected people of European ancestry.”
    Another Tancredo supporter is Glenn Spencer, founder of the Tanton-funded American Border Patrol and Voices of Citizens Together, which is also listed as a hate group. Tancredo’s Immigration Reform Caucus has in the past prominently displayed a link to the American Border Patrol website. On his website, Spencer has declared that “The United States has as its founders people who came here for intellectual reasons, freedom of religion. Mexico was founded by a group of people who came to plunder…” and “The Mexican culture is based on deceit. Chicanos and Mexicanos lie as a means of survival.” Spencer was a keynote speaker at American Renaissance Magazine’s 2002 conference, which was also attended by members of Stormfront, the KKK, and the Neo-Nazi group National Alliance. One of the more colorful characters in the pantheon of Tancredo supporters, in 2002 Spencer pled guilty to a class 6 felony after he went on a shooting rampage in his residential neighborhood, which ended when he struck a home with a young child inside. Spencer claimed that Mexicans were coming to attack him.
    Tancredo’s spokesperson has said that no one can be held responsible for a few “bad apples,” and that Tancredo was not aware of the radical positions taken and statements made by Coe and Spencer. Public records however show ongoing ties, appearances with and donations accepted by Tancredo from these alleged “bad apples” before and after Tancredo’s office made those statements.
    Abramson concluded, “For too long, Tancredo has been publicly distancing himself from these shameful associations and claiming ignorance of their motives while privately accepting and encouraging their support. But as the depth of this network of hate becomes evident, it is no longer acceptable to dismiss it, as the Congressman’s spokesman would have us believe, as ‘a few bad apples.'”

  • Frank
    June 10, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Oh, quite the opposite. Tancredo had the ethonocentric racists on the opposing side. I don’t see any White or Black people fighting to get rewards for breaking our laws for their own ethnic kind. Or fighting border security or fighting internal and workplace enforcement so that their own ethnic kind can benefit from it.
    There is nothing extreme or racist by enforcing our immigration laws unless you are on the ethnocentric racist side of this issue. The pro’s need to look up the word racism in the dictionary as they haven’t a clue what it really means.

  • Evelyn
    June 11, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Well than maybe you should OPEN YOUR EYES!
    I see African Americans and white people breaking the law every time I drive. They all speed!
    Go over your posts, they are an excellent sample of racism.

  • Frank
    June 11, 2008 at 10:19 am

    No citizen is perfect but that doesn’t mean that we should allow millions and millions of foreigners into our country because we aren’t perfect. How dumb is that analogy? When Americans are caught speeding they get a ticket and rightly so!
    My statement was that I don’t see most White or Black people fighting for rewards for the immigration law breakers of their own race. Or for the most part fighting border security, internal enforcement and workplace enforcement to benefit their own ethnic kind here illegally. Nice spin and twist there talking about speeding tickets! LOL!
    I don’t need to re-read my posts. I haven’t said anything racist nor am I a racist anyway. This is about our immigration laws, nothing else.

  • Evelyn
    June 12, 2008 at 4:30 am

    African Americans fought and kicked the racists A$$!
    In fact I dont know of one fight racists have ever won.
    No one is fighting for millions and millions of foreigners to come here. My you have trouble focusing!
    We are fighting for immigrants who are Americans and who are already here, who have American citizens in their families for the same right given to your ancestors (that invaded this land and killed most of the Americans already here) to stay here.
    See if you can focus and not exaggerate so much next time!

  • Frank
    June 12, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Someone has a reading comprehension problem and it sure isn’t me. Yes, the fight is to keep the millions of millions of illegals already here to be able to remain here! But I am sure if the pro’s got their way (with all that compassion and all you know), they wouldn’t be satisfied until all of their needy amigos are all here.
    Here we go again trying to justify the present with the past. A past that most of us alive today played no role in and in fact our ancestors came (legally under U.S. law at the time) way after any of the indian conflicts.
    Like I have said numerous times, if one doesn’t like our immigration policies, take it up with our government and stop beating up on Americans who just follow and respect our immigration laws and expect foreigners to do likewise.

  • Evelyn
    June 13, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Rub your nose in this!
    Hardliners try to white-wash their own immigrant pasts by redefining ‘Immigration’
    By Joshua Holland
    June 2 2008
    I’ve encountered a new argument in my travels, both in the comments here on AlterNet and around the internet. It’s perhaps best captured by the motto of the “Illegal Invasion News” blog: “IT’S NOT ‘IMMIGRATION’ AND THEY’RE NOT ‘IMMIGRANTS.'” (This claim is often articulated in that ALL CAPS style so popular with small children and lunatics who are off their meds.)
    The word “immigrant” has nothing at all to do with legal status. It means, simply, to move from one place to another for the purpose of settling down. Papers, no papers — it’s all irrelevant to the act of migrating.
    The claim can be dispatched easily enough with a little elementary etymology. The word “migration” first appears in the English language in reference to humans in 1611, some 37 years before the modern nation state, with its discrete borders, came into existence. The Latin root of the verb “to immigrate,” immigrare, predates that by more than a thousand years. Human migration is a phenomenon that dates back to before homo sapiens even existed — pre-modern humans migrated wily-nilly. So, clearly, the word “immigrant” has nothing whatsoever to do with one’s paperwork being in order; its roots predate the existence of contemporary legal systems.
    An interesting question is why they bother making the argument at all? Surely, it’s not relevant to the larger issue.
    Or so it seems. But it is relevant, in that it is a response to a major problem for real immigration hardliners: the United States is, indisputably, a nation of immigrants and our heterogeneity, contra the howls of many a right-winger, is a big part of what makes America what it is. You can gorge on Bratwursts in Michigan, drink way too much vodka and mingle with decked-out Russian gliteratti in Brighton Beach, still read local Deutsche Zeitungen in small towns in Minnesota, eat Ethiopian food with your hands in L.A., sing weepy Irish ballads over your Guinness in dozens of Boston bars, wander the docks as the Vietnamese fishermen come in for a Texas evening and get the best roast pork in Little Havana. And thank god for all of that — I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    But consider how awkward that simple reality is for a nice Irish boy like Bill O’Reilly, or someone like Tom Tancredo, whose grandparents — all four of them — immigrated to the U.S. from Italy in the first decades of the 20th century. There are a lot of immigration restrictionists of European descent — people with names like O’Malley, Kowolski or Schmitt — who are incensed about the current generation of immigrants to America, and to avoid charges of hypocrisy — or simple cognitive dissonance — they have an almost obsessive need to distinguish between their forebearers — “good immigrants” every one — and these scoundrels coming here today.
    Usually, they’re content to hang onto the fact that their great-grandparents immigrated legally, but I guess some need to go a step further and deny that those who bypass the system are immigrants at all.
    Even the former distinction is weak. Consider the similarities between, say, the wave of European immigration that arrived in the 1880s and 1890s and those who have come over the past decade, and they dwarf the differences. Descendants of the huge waves of European immigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries make much of the fact that their great grandparents came here “legally,” but they rest their case on a technicality: the only reason they were legal was that there was no law in effect restricting European immigration until the 1920s. In fact, European immigrants didn’t even need to identify themselves to get in — the derogatory word for Italians, “WOP,” was an acronym stamped on entry documents that meant the person was arriving “With Out Papers.”
    It’s true those earlier immigrants hadn’t violated any law, but they never asked American citizens for permission to come and, while they contributed much to the growth of the American economy they, like their modern counterparts today, were not embraced with open arms by all of American society. In the mid-19th century, gangs would pepper arriving German immigrants with stones; walk into any Irish bar in New York City and you’ll find the ubiquitous sign reading, “Irish Need Not Apply.” Now those signs are a kitschy testament to Irish integration into American society, but back then they were anything but.
    When one listens to the arguments put forth by people like Lou Dobbs today, they’re virtually indistinguishable from what was said of those earlier European immigrants: they’re invading in huge numbers; they won’t assimilate like earlier immigrants have; they won’t learn the language like earlier immigrants did; they vote in mindless blocs; they’re unclean; their religions are backwards, and etc. Consider Benjamin Franklin’s concerns expressed in a letter written in 1753:
    Measures of great Temper are necessary with the Germans … Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation … I remember when they modestly declined intermeddling in our Elections, but now they come in droves, and carry all before them, except in one or two Counties; Few of their children in the Country learn English; they import many Books from Germany; and of the six printing houses in the Province, two are entirely German, two half German half English, and but two entirely English; They have one German News-paper, and one half German. Advertisements intended to be general are now printed in Dutch and English; the Signs in our Streets have inscriptions in both languages, and in some places only German … In short unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies … they will soon so out number us, that all the advantages we have will not in My Opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our Government will become precarious.
    That hearty German stock that had Ben Franklin so concerned would produce such esteemed Americans as Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, author of the infamous “Sensenbrenner Bill” that would have made it a felony to even offer humanitarian aid to an undocumented immigrant, among other provisions. Sensenbrenner is just as concerned with the large numbers of Latin Americans coming in to the country today, and his rhetoric is very similar to old Ben Franklin’s. One of the key differences is that in Franklin’s era — and through the middle of the 20th century — immigration restrictionists spoke of the innate inferiority of other human “races”; in modern times, that’s impolitic, so Sensenbrenner and his contemporaries make a big show of distinguishing between “legal” and “illegal” immigration.
    In every generation, the gloom and doom predictions about how those newer immigrants would ultimately lead to the nation’s destruction have proven overwrought and inaccurate. By the third generation, the Irish, Poles, Italians and all the rest of Europe’s immigrants had all become Americans. And so it will be with today’s new immigrants. According to a recent study cited in The Washington Post, immigrants today are no different; in fact, the study noted that “immigrants of the past quarter-century have been assimilating in the United States at a notably faster rate than did previous generations.”
    The similarities don’t end with the consistent hostility some Americans have for newer arrivals. Individuals have all sorts of reasons for emigrating, but throughout our history, when large numbers migrate from a single country or region, it’s always been in response to some kind of shock in their country of origin, be it civil strife or pestilence or drought or war or economic collapse or natural disaster. Today we have a large number of immigrants from Mexico — slightly more than half of all new migrants — which followed the peso crisis, which was aggravated by job displacement resulting from NAFTA’s liberalization of agriculture. Again, this is consistent, whether we’re talking about the Irish fleeing the Great Potato Famine, Russian Jews fleeing the pogroms or Vietnamese boat people fleeing war in South-East Asia. The Wikipedia entry for Swedish emigration to America explains that their numbers peaked just after the Civil War:
    There was widespread resentment against the religious repression practiced by the Swedish Lutheran State Church and the social conservatism and class snobbery of the Swedish monarchy. Population growth and crop failures made conditions in the Swedish countryside increasingly bleak.
    Aside from the obvious demographic differences between today’s immigrants and those of earlier eras, there was another difference. Relative to the native population, the wave of elevated immigration hitting our shores today is nothing compared to previous ones. During the 1980s and 1990s, about 16.4 million immigrants came to America — a number equaling 7.1 percent of the 1981 population; during the period between 1901and 1920, about 14.5 million new arrivals came to America, but that number represented 18.9 percent of the population in 1901.
    Those who like to throw around rhetoric about some huge “invasion” would do well to read some history — what we’re seeing now is a drop in the bucket compared to earlier periods of American history.

  • Frank
    June 13, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    What a stupid leftist piece of lying garbage!

  • Evelyn
    June 16, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    YOU, can call it wherever YOU want. But it is the TRUTH! That is what infuriates you. LOL!

  • Frank
    June 17, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    All I got was a good laugh at how the pro-illegals try to blur the lines between legal and illegal even when discussing past immigration and today’s immigration. Or how stupid they are to think that a country of 300 million today shouldn’t alter the number of immigrants taken in today compared to the vast, open frontier it was a hundred years ago. Stupid is as stupid does!

  • Horace
    June 17, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    “Those who like to throw around rhetoric about some huge “invasion” would do well to read some history — what we’re seeing now is a drop in the bucket compared to earlier periods of American history.”
    One major difference is the fact that we didn’t have the expensive social support system called welfare at that time, so there was no threat that we’d receive millions of people who would become eligible to be supported by the taxpayers. Another is that it wasn’t necessary to have a high school education to succeed, as we were an agrarian economy. Adopting illegal aliens from Latin America will add up to a disaster of fantastic proportions only a few years down the road. The poor pay no income taxes, as they generally fall below the poverty level and receive all their contributions back, plus food stamps, free health care, etc. Anyone who believes that we can import millions of uneducated poor living on subsistance level wages and the nation not suffer a huge welfare bill is deceiving himself.

  • Evelyn
    June 19, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    “throw around rhetoric” Gee, that would be you guys. It is the same ignorance that breeds your racism that makes you guys conjure up all kinds of delusional ills to blame on immigrants!!!
    Add a
    Comment300 Million Americans — and Counting
    by Joseph A. D’Agostino
    Posted: 09/13/2006
    Sometime next month, the U.S. Census Bureau will announce that the population of the United States has reached 300 million. The USA has the world’s third-largest population, trailing far behind China (1.3 billion) and India (1.1 billion). Accompanying the 300 million milestone will be numerous complaints about the supposed overpopulation and overcrowding of America, yet the United States, on a list of the world’s 193 nations arranged by population density, ranks only 143 and has one of the world’s richest sets of natural resources to boot. Despite suburban sprawl and rapid population growth in some metropolitan regions, the United States as a whole is far from overpopulated.
    The world’s population density is 43 people per square kilometer. That includes the vast areas of land — the Sahara desert, the Australian interior, Greenland — where almost no one lives. The USA’s population density is 30.
    One of the paramount complaints made about America’s population expansion will be environmental: Population growth is making our environment unsustainable. Yet many nations with environmental records equal to or superior to our own, in most environmentalists’ eyes, have far greater population densities: Austria, 97; France, 110; Denmark, 126; Switzerland, 181; Italy, 192; Germany, 230; Britain, 243; Belgium, 339; the Netherlands, 395. These countries, with their powerful green lobbies, typically have environmental laws more stringent than our own. And Russia, with a tiny population density of 8, has a very poor environmental record.
    Some prosperous countries, with healthy populations, have population densities that make the Netherlands’ look small, though admittedly these countries typically must import most of their natural resources — unlike the United States. Singapore has a density of 6,400, Hong Kong almost as high, and Taiwan, a mere 636. South Korea’s is 491. Monaco’s is 16,620.
    Yet, in a typical piece fond of the word “alarm,” the Boston Globe said August 31, “The United States, now at nearly 300 million people, is the only industrialized country that has experienced strong population growth in the last decade, creating concerns that the boom and Americans’ huge appetites for food, water, and land will sharply erode the nation’s natural resources in coming years, according to a report released yesterday. . . . While some researchers focus on alarming fertility rates in poor countries, which grew by 16.3% from 1995 to 2005, the U.S. population grew by 10.6% in that period, or 29 million people, the report noted. Europe during that time grew by 504,000 people, or less than 1%.
    The U.S. population boom was attributed to high birth rates, immigration, and increased longevity.”
    What the Globe failed to note is that other industrialized nations are committing suicide. With birthrates averaging around 1.5 children per woman, well below the replacement rate of 2.1, Western European nations are on their way out. Despite high rates of immigration and a relatively healthy birthrate of 2.0, the United States faces bankruptcy of her Social Security and Medicare plans due to the baby boomers’ failure to have proportionally enough children. European countries, both Western and Eastern, and Japan face the same problem in spades.
    “What about the huge growth I’ve seen in my area?” you may be thinking.
    The continued land development and increased traffic congestion in most metropolitan areas from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta to Los Angeles seems proof enough to many that the United States’ population growth is out of control. Yet people forget that small towns and rural areas across America continue to wither as more and more people move to major cities and their suburbs. An astonishing 80% of Americans now live in metropolitan areas. For all of human history until the 20th Century, the great majority of people lived in small cities, towns, and rural areas.
    Most Americans live within 50 miles of a coast. What we have is a failure to manage and distribute land development properly.
    In addition, much of suburban sprawl isn’t driven by population growth at all. The average home size of Americans is at a record high. More and more Americans can afford, and buy, second homes. And the divorce revolution has created millions of double households where just 35 years ago there would have been one, as spouses split up and live separately.
    An ever-growing proportion of Americans live alone, each one taking his own apartment, condominium, or house.
    America’s population grows by about 0.9% a year. Without a sufficient number of young people to work, America’s aging problem — projected to worsen for decades to come — will make our country economically unviable.
    Over the next month, we will explain that, whatever the problems inherent in our high immigration levels and improper development patterns, America’s overall population growth is a boon, not a concern

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