Saturday, November 19, 2005

America the mediocre?

More demographic trends to worry about. In addition to the baby boomers' exodus from the workforce into retirement and Western birth rates below the replenishment level, the US is becoming dumber:
America's educational gains are poised to stall because of growing demographic trends. If these trends continue, the share of the U.S. workforce with high school and college degrees may not only fail to keep rising over the next 15 years but could actually decline slightly, warns a report released on Nov. 9 by the National Center for Public Policy & Higher Education, a nonprofit group based in San Jose, Calif. The key reason: As highly educated baby boomers retire, they'll be replaced by mounting numbers of young Hispanics and African Americans, who are far less likely to earn degrees.

This is not rocket science, although we wish more Americans would take that field up. Education correlatives positively with IQ, and IQ is linked to race. Not surprisingly then, education is influenced by race on average. This tells little about an individual of any given ethnicity, but spread over huge populations the affect is clear. There are as many as 1.5 billion people who would potentially like to come to the US--we need a merit immigration system coupled with absolute control of illegal migration that allows us to select applicants based on a set of qualifications that help insure they will succeed in the country while benefitting it at the same time.

Our economy cannot sustain internal losses while high IQ countries come online.
There are nearly as many college students in China as in the U.S. Within a decade, the Conference Board projects, students in such countries will be just as likely as those in the U.S. and Europe to get a high school education. Given their much larger populations, that should enable them to churn out far more college graduates as well. More U.S. white-collar jobs will then be likely to move offshore, warns National Center President Patrick M. Callan. "For the U.S. economy, the implication of these trends is really stark," he says.

America's incredibly high standard of living is a substantial competitive advantage in attracting high brainpower from all over the globe, but real wages are stagnating with high levels of unskilled immigration and the enormous costs that brings to the net taxpayer. Of course, this is not a tocsin for restrictionism. On the contrary, some groups of newly arrived immigrants kick the butts of the natives:
Whites aren't quitting the schools because the schools are failing academically. Quite the contrary: Many white parents say they're leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.

The two schools, put another way that parents rarely articulate so bluntly, are too Asian.

The WSJ feature details the suburbs in the Silicon Valley area and how incredibly competitive the academic world is there, with children of Asian immigrants outperforming white natives. Great! The US needs more graduates in the hard sciences, where East Asians do especially well. As a group, Asians virtually never partake in criminal activity. It appears to me thinly veiled protectionism that argues against increasing the numbers of high merit immigrants to the US. We need more intelligent, erudite immigrants to come here while it is still a desirable destination.

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