May 31, 2007

"You mean there's a NEW Mexico?" - C. Montgomery Burns

Michael Barone and friends like to argue that Hispanics are the new Italians, that Latinos will follow the path into the middle class blazed by Italians Real Soon Now. This might be a more persuasive argument if there hadn't been sizable Hispanic populations in America for 160 years now. While heavily Italian New Jersey continues to ascend into the highest ranks of American states on numerous measures, New Mexico, which has been the most Hispanic state in the country for the last 95 years, remains mired down with Mississippi and Louisiana, struggling to stay out of 50th place on many dimensions.

In an early VDARE.com column, I wrote in 2000:

Near Monument Valley, site of so many John Wayne westerns, the borders of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado come together at Four Corners. These adjoining states all share similar mountains and deserts. Yet the southern tier of Arizona and New Mexico displays practically Latin American levels of income inequality, while the northern tier of Utah and Colorado are almost Scandinavian in their economic egalitarianism.

The seldom-remarked links between economic equality (Liberals Like) and ethnic homogeneity (Liberals No Like) are made clear by the data displayed in a recent study by two left-of-center think tanks, the Economic Policy Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. For all 50 states, they divided the average household income of the top 20% of the population to that of the bottom 20%. Utah is the most equal state in the union, with Colorado fifth. In contrast, Arizona and New Mexico are 48th and 49th.

Distance from Mexico appears to be the determining factor. According to Census Bureau projections for the year 2000, Hispanics make up about 29% of the combined population of the two states adjoining Mexico, versus only 12% of the two northern states. (Total minorities make up about 42% of Arizona and New Mexico's population, versus only 19% of Utah and Colorado's.) ...

but to just consider the income of the lowest 20%. Personally, it's fine with me if the rich get richer, but it's the poor getting poorer part I'm not crazy about.

In the Four Corners states, the impact of ethnic diversity is obvious. The poorest poor in the country are in New Mexico, where the average income of the bottom fifth is only $8,700. The quite expensive state of Arizona, spiritual home of the $150 golf greens fee, has the eighth poorest poor people in America at $10,800. (But at least they make more than the bottom rung in immensely costly New York). In contrast, the wealthiest bottom fifth is in Colorado where they average $18,500 per year. Probably even more impressive, however, is the $18,200 average in Utah, since its cost of living is quite low.

Now, it's important to note that the Hispanics of New Mexico are by no means all recent immigrants: the conquistadors founded Santa Fe in 1609. Their descendants have been part of the U.S. since 1848. And these Hispanics have exerted more political power and for longer than Hispanics in any other state. For example, one of the two statues representing New Mexico in the Capitol Rotunda is of a Hispanic grandee who served as U.S. Senator from New Mexico for much of the first half of the 20th century.

Nonetheless, the Hispanics of New Mexico have yet to assimilate well. An Albuquerque rocket scientist asks, "Does this tell us anything about how likely Hispanics in general are to catch up academically and economically with people of North European descent? Yes, indeed. It never has to happen at all, and even if it does, it might take more than 150 years." [More]


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

12 comments:

ziel said...

Hah - "an Albuquerque rocket scientist" - boy a lot has changed since 2000, huh?

jody said...

mexico is not very similar to italy or ireland. but comparing national history of various groups to get some idea of what they might be like as americans is not part of mainstream dialog on the subject.

indeed, many people question whether it is even relevant if a particular group offers anything to america or not. lots of people think that the borders should be open to any and all immigrants, regardless of their ability or history.

ancient italians were running the main empire in europe for centuries, and modern italians developed radio, discovered fission, and won nobel prizes. they created their own fashion industry and car industry coveted by the wealthy of the world.

the irish were questionable immigrants at the time, in large numbers anyway, but it did not help that the english were keeping them down. the US would probably recognize irish immigrants as political refugees today. the english had invaded and occupied ireland. land was under english control, and millions of irish farmers were forced to live with an acre or less. ironically, the US goes to war over nations that do that to their neighbors now.

ireland is also a small island, with only a few million citizens, and immigration from there is easy to control. today ireland is moving forward at a fast rate, and has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. higher than even the US.

and of course the italians and irish never had affirmative action, never had politicians suspending law enforcement for them, never had social programs to fall back on. if they could not survive on their own in america they went back to europe.

agnostic said...

Who in the world could that Albuquerque rocket scientist be?

Mark said...

Who in the world could that Albuquerque rocket scientist be?

Is that in inside joke?

New Mexico actually is home to quite a few high tech facilities: Alamogordo, White Sands, and Sandia are the ones I recall. Kirtland AFB, whose primary mission relates to nuclear weapons, is near Albuqueque. So it wouldn't be a shock if a rocket scientist or two lived there.

Intel is also a major employer. The inventors of the first PC were from New Mexico. They founded a company called MITS. Because of that, Bill Gates and Paul Allen actually started Microsoft in New Mexico, before moving it back home to Seattle.

What should be more shocking is that, given all the high tech investment in New Mexico, it doesn't finish higher in the state rankings.

while the northern tier of Utah and Colorado are almost Scandinavian in their economic egalitarianism.

Showing just how stubborn those genes can be, Utahns actually are heavily of Scandinavian ancestry. Early Mormon missionaries had a lot of success in the Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark. People tend to think of Mormons as being people with surnames like Smith (thanks to old Joe). In fact, names like Anderson, Peterson, Christensen, and even Rasmussen are, in Utah, as common as Smith or Jones. Maybe even more common. Utah probably has, per capita, more people of Icelandic descent than any other state in the Union, and for that reason the president of Iceland made a visit a few years back.

Anonymous said...

I don't think "assimilation" is the correct word for what Hispanics in New Mexico are not doing, considering as you'd stated that they were there first and have continuously made up a significant portion of the population. If anything, newcomer Americans from out of state should be assimilating to them. Hell, when did the name change to New Mexico from Nuevo Mexico?

Mark said...

New Hampshire, New England, New York, New Caledonia, Nova Scotia, New Jersey, New London, New South Wales, New Mexico.

Of all the places in all the world that didn't need to be replicated, I imagine Mexico would be near the top of the list.

What next: New Mogadishu, Minnesota?

It has a certain ring to it...

sourcreamus said...

It would be interesting to compare how well people are doing in New Mexico based on how long their families have been in this country. Also the pasta eating savages in NJ probably have their earnings inflated by being so close to NYC.

jody said...

"What should be more shocking is that, given all the high tech investment in New Mexico, it doesn't finish higher in the state rankings."

why? because 10% of the people in new mexico are technology workers from some other state? most of the rest are low intelligence locals. the statistics for new mexico add up.

whites created labs in new mexico instead of infrastructure. mexicans aren't interested in labs. they aren't interested in any kind of technology. they like infrastructure. that creates cities. that creates an economy. that creates jobs. that's what mexicans like, and that's why border jumpers aren't going to new mexico. there are no big cities there so there are few jobs. they need lots of whites around to create an economy to pay them to do jobs.

certainly it has nothing to do with new mexicans being strongly against border jumpers. the governor is a major fan of border jumpers. whenever i've been in new mexico there were thousands of illegal aliens everywhere.

Dave said...

"Also the pasta eating savages in NJ probably have their earnings inflated by being so close to NYC."

"pasta eating savages" -- that's funny. Our Italians are high-achieving here: lots of professionals and business owners. Not a lot of poor Italians either.

Mark said...

why? because 10% of the people in new mexico are technology workers from some other state? most of the rest are low intelligence locals. the statistics for new mexico add up. - Jody

My point was that, in spite of all the investment, New Mexico ain't doing that great. It's either because of a) bad politicians, including Gubernador Lopez; or b) an unproductive population; or, c) both.

"Also the pasta eating savages in NJ probably have their earnings inflated by being so close to NYC."

I consider myself a "pasta-eating savage," yet I'm almost 100% WASP.

Anonymous said...

What next: New Mogadishu, Minnesota?

That’s funny, Mark. Some would say that New Mogadishu already exists, though under different names, in both Michigan and Louisiana.


I believe that New Baghdad is next, after 1 million Iraqi refugees are invited to join our growing mosaic as repayment for our government turning their country into a war zone.

Mark said...

That’s funny, Mark. Some would say that New Mogadishu already exists, though under different names, in both Michigan and Louisiana.

Thanks. My understanding is that it exists in Minnesota, too. All I know is that the last two major stories about Somali "refugees" came out of the Twin Cities. One about Somali cab drivers refusing to pick up passengers with alcohol in their hands; the other about Somali employees at Target refusing to scan pork products.