While people are having a wonderful time boycotting Arizona to protest their “Ask & Tell” policy on people who look like illegal immigrants, there’s an interesting story in the June 7 Newsweek by Arian Campos-Flores.
Seems that the fertility rate in Mexico is in decline due to an aggressive government policy on family planning, increased education for women, etc. So the demographics in Mexico are changing and their “excess” young baby-bulge population will soon wane and instead of excess workers looking for work, Mexico will end up in equilibrium and if the birth rate continues to drop, will end up in the same pickle America is now: overrun with aging baby boomers.
According to Gordon Hanson, and economics professor at the University of California, San Diego, in the 1960’s “the baby boom ended in the U.S., but it continued for another two decades in Mexico. So in the 1980s and 1990s, there were fewer new U.S. workers looking for jobs but more Mexicans. On top of that, in 1982 the Mexican economy suffered a debt crisis followed by nearly two decades of sluggish growth. The American economy, on the other hand, performed far better, especially in the mid-to late 1990s, when it was humming at full throttle and hungry for foreign labor. “If you look back at the last two to three decades, it was really an exceptional period,” says Hanson.
“In the coming years, the politics of immigration could be completely scrambled: Mexican migration will taper off further just as baby boomers begin retiring, in 2012. USC’s [Dowell] Meyers predicts that the American labor force will start shrinking in some parts of the country by 2015, and that as boomers reach old age they’ll create even more demand for workers: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona starts pleading for Mexican workers who can help them in their retirement homes,” he says. “The potential here is to totally reverse our attitudes toward Mexican immigration.” It’s hard to imagine right now, but if the numbers hold up, the crisis on our borders may end up abating on its own.”
Well, isn’t that the way? You get what you wish for and suddenly it isn’t what you want or need. Dang! So instead of hollering about Mexicans, maybe all us American Baby Boomers might start re-thinking job pools and just who’s gonna mow their lawn or change their diapers in a few years.
Take a left at the huge pothole and don’t’ call me in the morning.
This story is simply too delicious to miss: Lauren Rosenberg downloaded a Google map then followed the map to a busy four-lane boulevard without any sidewalks that wasn’t safe for pedestrians but our Dear Ms. Rosenberg continued blithely onto the busy road “on a pitch black night and received multiple bone fractures that required six weeks of rehabilitation” after getting hit by a car. And now she’s suing Google. Her lawyer said that Google’s map “created a trap with walking instructions that people rely on. She relied on it and thought she should cross the street.”
A busy boulevard, in pitch dark, filled with rushing cars. And apparently she didn’t stop and say, like most people do using Google maps, “THIS MAP SUCKS! WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING? I’M GONNA FIND A BETTER ROUTE SINCE THIS CROSSING IS LIKE TOTALLY UNSAFE!”
But no. Cross the street then call the lawyer.
Google claims they have a disclaimer on their website to the effect that circumstances can change and the maps may not be up to date. And if you’ve used Google maps, you already know that the maps are often goofy and will send you the wrong way or the long way around so the people you’re visiting always ask, “Why the heck did you take that rout?” and you reply, “Google,” and they say, “Ah, yes, of course, Google.” And, of course, no Google map can’t possibly be up to date vis a vis road repairs, washed out bridges, and other such unsafe areas.
In short, maps are marks on a piece of paper. They’re abstract symbolic representations of a reality that may no longer exist. Mental constructs, really. And for most of us, they only act as a vague outline. But not to our young Ms. Rosenberg. Apparently, the map was concrete gospel and now she has a lawyer and a lawsuit.
Ya gotta laugh. And wonder how her attorney would have framed a legal case if she’d been walking down the street with her Google map clutched in front of her nose and fell into a pothole.