Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

China’s shortcoming

By
From page A6 | August 02, 2013 | 1 Comment

Though historians can find many similarities between the Middle Kingdom and the West, one difference stands out since Roman times. China is a mono-culture and Rome was a multicultural empire. That difference remains. America, the eventual inheritor of Greek and Roman culture, gathers its strength from immigrants, primarily those speaking Romance languages and variants of Indo-European — from India to Poland.

While Rome and China were connected by the Silk Road, neither knew about the other. In the early 15th century China began building large ocean-going ships, then abandoned their Pacific fleet after a series of canals were completed and the Song dynasty turned inward. At the end of the 15th century the Italian Columbus set sail and discovered the New World for Spain. The result was an English-speaking North America, a Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking South America and a few French-speaking enclaves.

By far the greatest English-speaking country is the USA, which has absorbed waves of immigrants — Irish, Italians, Lithuanians, Poles, Africans, Mexicans, Canadians, Germans, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Haitians, Cubans, Jamaicans, Slavs, Ukrainians, Finish and Scandinavians, Puerto Ricans, Indians, French, Dutch, Armenians, Russians, Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians.

Immigrants not only enrich our culture and cuisine, but they tend to be younger and have more children. The advantage is that there will be more paying into the Social Security system as the 75 million baby boomers retire.

China’s mono-culture, by contrast is a demographic time bomb. By 2030 — 16.5 years from now — it will have more people over the age of 65 than the U.S. has people.

According to Timothy Beardson, author of “Stumbling Giant,” when the U.S., Japan and South Korea reached similar levels of aging, “they each had per capita GDP of around $15,000; the figure for China in 2011 was $4,300.”

The book’s reviewer, Howard French, wrote, “The actuarial implications of this are staggering. China stands to become the first aspiring global power that becomes old before it can become rich.”

China’s one-child policy has reduced its fertility rate down to 1.54 babies per average woman. America’s isn’t much better at 1.6 among Caucasian college-educated women. The replacement rate is 2.1. That’s why America needs to continue inviting immigrants — though, it should be restrictive about letting immigrants in from countries with an anti-American jihadi populace. With a higher fertility rate among Hispanics, America’s total fertility rate is 1.93, according to Johnathan Last, author of “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting.”

Other countries facing shrinking populations are Germany with a fertility rate of 1.36, and Japan at 1.4.

Worse off is Russia. The U.N. predicts that by 2050 Russia’s population will lose 30 million, dropping to 114 million. Last year there were almost 24 million Russians in their 20s and in a decade’s time that figure will drop 40 percent to 14 million. Russia, with its falling life expectancy is a different case — a country self-destructing on vodka. And no one’s emigrating to Russia, except maybe Edward Snowden.

The Wall Street Journal asked Stephen Goss, Social Security’s chief actuary, about the effect of 1.08 million legal and illegal immigrants that come to the U.S. each year, if allowed to pay into the Social Security system. He pegged the benefit at a $500 billion surplus over 25 years, adding up to $4 trillion over 75 years.

“The numbers get much larger because that is when the additional children born to immigrants really help,” Goss said last month.

A totalitarian society, China doesn’t attract much in the way of immigrants, certainly not young immigrants.

We’ll close with the best reason why America attracts immigrants, pointed out by George P. Schultz as he quoted from a President Ronald Reagan statement Jan. 19, 1989: “We lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people — our strength — from every corner of the world. And by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation.

“While other countries cling to stale past, here in America we breathe life into dreams. We create the future and the world follows us tomorrow. Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, leading the world to the next frontier.

“This quality is vital to our future as a nation. If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”

The Chinese are hard workers. They’re smart. But they don’t have a Statue of Liberty. Demographically their days as a big power are a generation away from doing a slow fade.

Mountain Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

  • EvelynAugust 01, 2013 - 5:57 am

    . . . about that Statue of Liberty (given to us by the French): See THESE stunning photos of it being built in Paris.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

     
    Past due state taxes bring arrest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

     
    Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Woman, dog back from Oso

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

     
     
     
    DA candidate to remain on ballot

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

    Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

    By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

     
    CPCSD seat unfilled

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14

    Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

    By News Release | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Opinion

    Something to think about: Teach your children well

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A6

     
    Retain Bill Schultz as Recorder-Clerk

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Letters

    District 4 candidate

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

     
    Open meetings

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Volunteers and homeless camps

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Bicycle events and traffic control

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Evacuation

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 7 Comments

     
    .

    Sports

    Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    King of the West roars into Placerville

    By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

    First and goal: Bunt etiquette

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

     
    Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

    Jennings wins national title

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Roundup: April 17, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Prospecting

    Plantastic sale this Saturday

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Spring art brightens government center

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Things to do: April 18, 2014

    By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

     
    Time out: A grand time at Grand China

    By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

    By News Release | From Page: B3

     
    Student art featured for Third Saturday

    By News Release | From Page: B3

    Promenade in high style

    By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

     
    Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

    By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

    Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

     
    Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

    See what is inside the vault

    By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

     
    Eggstravaganza

    By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

    Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

    By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

     
    Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

    Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

     
    Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

    Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

    By California Stage | From Page: B8

     
    Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

    KVIE calls for artists

    By Kvie | From Page: B9

     
    A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

    By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

    America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

    By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

     
    Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

    See wildflowers on train ride

    By Railtown | From Page: B15

     
    Easter at Northstar is family friendly

    By Northstar California | From Page: B15

    .

    Essentials

    Crime Log: March 28-30

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Frederick Wilbur Heymann

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Arthur W. Cornell

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Roy Cluness Chaix

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    .

    Real Estate

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

     
    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

     
    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

     
    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

     
    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

    .

    Comics

    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Working It Out

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    .

    Home Source

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment