A bit too optimistic

Continuing a 12-year decline, the U.S. birth rate has dropped to the lowest level since national data have been available, according to statistics just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)…. The birth rate fell to 13.9 per 1,000 persons in 2002, down from 14.1 per 1,000 in 2001 and down a full 17 percent from the recent peak in 1990 (16.7 per 1,000).

My apologies. In last week’s posts, I was using the 14.1 per 1,000 figure. So, the decline from 1970 (18.4) is actually 24.46 percent, not 23.37 percent as I’d previously written.

Of course, this mistake only strengthens my case.

All hail the Lizard Queen

K-Lo notes on NRO:

CHENEY ’08. In the September American Enterprise, Michelle Malkin declares her support for Dick Cheney.

Still not a fan and so not a fan of either one of them. Perhaps we’ll be fortunate, they’ll fall in love and run off together to live happily ever after in the neocon’s paradise known as Iraq: the Occupation.

A few months ago, I would have said that Bill Owens just might be a Republican I could support, but that’s clearly not the case now. I know from secondhand experience that Pawlenty is a whore in conservative’s clothing. Giuliani and McCain are Democrats. Bush (Jeb) and Cheney are UN loyalists. Schwarzenegger is Austrian.

In other words, I’m pretty sure already that I won’t be voting Republican for the fifth straight time, even though IT WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION EVER! Again.

My take on this endorsement is that the Lizard Queen is nearly a sure thing now. She’d slaughter Cheney even if she announced that she was leaving Bill for Cheney’s daughter in the middle of the Democratic national convention.

It’s how many, not who, that matters

David Brooks lays out some interesting numbers:

We issue about 5,000 visas for unskilled year-round labor annually, but the economy requires hundreds of thousands of new workers to clean hotel rooms and process food. We need these workers but we force them underground with our self-delusional immigration policies. As Tamar Jacoby of the Manhattan Institute says, “It’s very hard to enforce unrealistic rules….”

That still leaves the transitional problem of what to do with the 11 million illegals who are already here. We can’t build an aboveground immigration system if we’ve still got millions living in a criminal swamp below.

I don’t think much of Brooks’ column – unsurprisingly, he recommends an amnesty with teeth program to basically maintain the status quo – but that 11 million number caught my attention. Let me just highlight two other numbers by way of comparison.

11 million: estimated illegal immigration total
21 million: legal immigration 1970-2000
34 million: women entering labor force 1970-2000

In other words, the changes in women’s preference for working have almost surely had a more depressing effect on wages than all legal and illegal immigration combined, even if one does not bother to consider the fact that working women had previously been domestic consumers, while immigrants, obviously, were not.

Of course, it’s probable that a significant part of those 32 million immigrants are part of the 34 million newly employed women, but the point remains nevertheless.