Monday, November 19, 2012

Don't Panic on Demography!

Every time the GOP loses--and even when it almost loses--well meaning people urge it to do outreach to minorities.

And of course the chaps that wrote The Emerging Democratic Majority, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, say that the Dems will bury the GOP with a coalition of minorities, the educated, and the young.

Maybe, but the fabulous Barack Obama won reelection by 2 percent, probably by suppressing the vote among the white working class.  And Megan McArdle wonders how well it is really working out in practice (H/T LI).
1. That majority sure isn’t emerging very fast.

2. Ethnic coalitions are inherently unstable.

3. We are heading for a showdown between public sector unions and taxpayers.

4. We’re heading for a showdown between the recipients of old-age benefits, and recipients of all the other kinds of benefits.

5. On social issues, Democrats are badly positioned for the future.

6. Mitt Romney was a uniquely bad candidate for 2012.

7. GOP tax cuts have enabled Democratic spending promises.
I'm more inclined to go with Michael Barone.  In his New Americans he compares the immigrant ethnics of a century ago with today: yesterday's Irish vs. today's blacks; yesterday's Italians vs. today's Hispanics; yesterday's Jews vs. today's Asians.  Notice that two of the three ethnics of yesteryear are moving pretty firmly into the Republican camp and the Jews are just beginning to move.

But back to McArdle.  I like to think about items 3, 4, and 5 on her list.

On public sector unions we have to remember that special interests do best when they operate below the radar.  When they get too successful they attract enemies and unwanted publicity.

On oldsters vs. young 'uns, I'd have to advise my fellow senior citizens to keep your finances in order.  At some point the average young working stiff is going to realize just how much he is paying for wealthy seniors--I don't mean the really rich but the elderly couple with a half-million dollar home and a nice income.

Then there are the social issues.  Democrats have done a bang-up job keeping the social issues at bay in the last decade.  But my prediction is that abortion will become the new slavery issue.  Why?  Well think about it.  Back in 1800 slavery was a great convenience for the textile consumers (cotton plantations) and the tea-and-coffee drinkers (sugar plantations).  Yet a century later plantation slavery had been abolished in the western world--only to stage a revival in the progressive socialist countries in the 20th century.

Abortion is all about the great convenience to a woman in controlling her fertility.  But is it?  Or is the convenience for the benefit of her casual sexual partner?  Despite all the talk of women's liberation, some of us troglodytes think that the real liberation in the sexual revolution was for unmarried young men.  Now we can argue that "if you love me" you should go to bed with me, and we often do.  What woman ever wants to deny love?

There's another, deeper reason to suspect that morality will rear its ugly head again.  The only deadly serious question for humans is to survive and reproduce.  We have seen that the modern dispensation, of prosperity, welfare state and fertility control, has occurred simultaneously with a precipitous decline in fertility among modern, educated women.  Something that can't go on forever, won't.

The scientists tell us that a universal genetic trait is always essential for survival.  Religion has been universal among humans, so it must have a survival value.  Maybe, just maybe that old doggerel is true, and the contribution of religion to humanity is to keep the human eye upon the donut, and not upon the hole.

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