Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
Prominent neoconservative and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol recently appeared with “Coming Apart” author Charles Murray for an American Enterprise Institute sponsored talk around the theme: “It Came Apart: What’s Next for a Fractured Culture?”
In it, Kristol described white working class Americans as “lazy,” “spoiled,” and “decadent,” essentially arguing for their displacement by immigrants who, unlike them, “work hard and really want to succeed.”
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To be fair, the Weekly Standard editor was involved in a congenial, back and forth discourse on the effects of immigration (along with a lot of other issues – you can listen to the whole talk here… ) with Murray, and one could argue that the context of Kristol’s statements arise out of being asked to state the case for more immigration. However, this is a case that Kristol and other neocons have made before and will continue to make, because their worldview, while acknowledging the fact that it won’t help everybody, sees immigration as a net positive.
Here are his words:
“Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in…? You can make a case that America has been great because every — I think John Adams said this — basically, if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three or four generations of hard work everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled — whatever,” Kristol said.
“Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico, who really want to work hard and really want to succeed. They really want their kids to live better lives and aren’t sort of clipping coupons or hoping that they can hang on and meanwhile grew up as spoiled kids and so forth. In that respect, I don’t know how this moment is that different from the early 20th century.”
However, while Kristol’s characterization of immigrants as “hard-working” versus the lazy native-born white population may have some anecdotal evidence (there are hard working immigrants and there are certainly lazy white people on drugs and welfare), the overall statistics don’t back that up.
According to statistics from the Center for Immigration Studies, “51 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households.” In fact, even among immigrant households that have been in America for two decades, almost half, 48 percent, use some form of welfare.
Some other interesting statistics from the report:
Immigrant households have much higher use of food programs (40 percent vs. 22 percent for natives) and Medicaid (42 percent vs. 23 percent). Immigrant use of cash programs is somewhat higher than natives (12 percent vs. 10 percent) and use of housing programs is similar to natives.
Welfare use varies among immigrant groups. Households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico (73 percent), the Caribbean (51 percent), and Africa (48 percent) have the highest overall welfare use. Those from East Asia (32 percent), Europe (26 percent), and South Asia (17 percent) have the lowest.
The beginning of the clip shows Kristol joking about what might become of his “tiny, pathetic future” should this video be shown, which should be plenty of incentive to view it and share it as far and as wide as possible.
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