Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shrinkage!

And speaking of immigrants, data from the Census Bureau reveals that the current recession has contributed to a dramatic shift in immigration trends, with the number of foreign-born people actually shrinking in California by 1.6% last year:
More than three decades of rapid growth in the country's foreign-born population came to a halt last year, census data show, as surging unemployment made the U.S. economy less attractive to outsiders.

In California, which has a long history of attracting immigrants, the number of foreign-born residents actually declined, shrinking 1.6%.

"This is clearly a consequence of the economy, with the biggest impact on Mexican and low-skilled immigrants," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who analyzed the census figures, which are to be officially released today. "It shows that these immigrants respond to the economy."

Nationwide, the number of foreign-born residents fell an estimated 99,000, or 0.3%, to 37.97 million.
We've already had reports of smaller numbers of illegal aliens coming into the United States thanks to the recession, but not exactly a drop in their number, so it is interesting that we would see this trend among legal immigrants.

Other interesting facts related to Orange County are that a whopping 47% of residents of Garden Grove, home of OC's Koreatown that's not officially a Koreatown, are foreign born. Meanwhile, about one-third of Santa Ana residents are uninsured.

The data is hardly surprising for those who know about Orange County's demographics. Rates of insured are in the 90-percent range in affluent communities, places that vote Republican and tend not to support Obama's health care plans.

What they don't know is that by opposing universal coverage, they are perpetuating OC's (and California's) clogged emergency rooms, which they end up paying for in the long run when the costs of stratospheric emergency care must be recouped and which may also lead to emergency rooms at OC's major hospitals being crowded enough that even upper-class patients might die because of unavailable care.

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2 comments:

  1. I dunno...I saw what happened with Cash For Clunkers: a big run on an artificially under-priced good or service, with the flat-footed government unable to meet its financial obligation in a timely manner. I don't see why the same scenario wouldn't be much the same with government run healthcare insurance.

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  2. Though I think Cash-for-Clunkers was a good program to have at least temporarily in order to achieve other benefits that, by design, made up for the payout by the government, I don't think that's the best analogy to government-run health care insurance (I'm not sure if you mean government healthcare or government-run health insurance) when we already have, at the Federal and state levels, several examples of government-run universal health care.

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