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Immigration holds key to America’s economic growth

Melvin B. Miller

To many Americans, the conflict over immigration policy is essentially a race war. Conservatives want to prevent a substantial number of Latinos and Blacks from being granted residency in the U.S., while Blacks and Latinos combat strategies to keep them out. Until recently, the consequences of population decline have been ignored. However, a major report on the harmful impact on the economy of China from its population decline has attracted public attention.

The January employment report has recorded an unexpected gain of more than 517,000 jobs. This comes at a time when the number of Americans in the workforce is declining. Older workers are retiring, and the high cost of childcare induces many women to stay at home. The Congressional Budget Office projects that by 2042, net immigration will be the sole source of population growth.

This problem is of great significance to every American. Social Security is the nation’s major retirement system. According to reports, about 40% of older Americans rely solely on Social Security income in retirement. Those who are working pay Social Security taxes that finance the Social Security fund from which retirees receive their monthly checks.

According to a report, the workforce was once abundant. There were six adult workers for every one over 65 back in 1960. Predictably, 70 years later, in 2030, there will be only 2.8 working adults for every one over 65. Without a substantially larger workforce, it will be more difficult to assess workers an amount for a significant Social Security benefit for those who have already retired.

The urgency of the decline in the U.S. workforce should induce clear-thinking, patriotic Democrats and Republicans to generate an immigration plan that will mobilize economic growth in the country.