"The Next America" - Two Dramas In Slow Motion

Tyler Durden's picture

That America has - or perhaps more accurately that the administration is desperate to create - a wealth divide, gender divide, and certainly ethnic divide, is hardly a secret. Yet all of those may pale in comparison to the transformation that the US is undergoing currently, according to the most recent Pew research study, one which finds that the world's one time superpower, is in the midst of two slow-motion dramas right now.

"Our population is becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era. The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion.

Let’s start with what demographers call an “age pyramid.” Each bar represents a five year age cohort; with those ages 0-4 on the bottom and those ages 85 and older on the top. In every society since the start of history, whenever you broke down any population this way, you’d always get a pyramid.

But from 1960 to 2060, our pyramid will turn into a rectangle. We'll have almost as many Americans over age 85 as under age 5. This is the result of longer life spans and lower birthrates. It’s uncharted territory, not just for us, but for all of humanity. And while it’s certainly good news over the long haul for the sustainability of the earth’s resources, it will create political and economic stress in the shorter term, as smaller cohorts of working age adults will be hard-pressed to finance the retirements of larger cohorts of older ones."


But it is not just young vs old: it is the dramatically shifting ethnic composition of America that may have an even greater role in shaping social, immigration and economic policies in the decades ahead. In fact, as the Pew projection below shows, some time around 2040, whites will become a minority to all other ethnic groups residing in the US:

From Pew:

At the same time our population is going gray, we’re also becoming multi-colored. In 1960, the population of the United States was 85% white; by 2060, it will be only 43% white. We were once a black and white country. Now, we’re a rainbow.


Our intricate new racial tapestry is being woven by the more than 40 million immigrants who have arrived since 1965, about half of them Hispanics and nearly three-in-ten Asians.


Because these tranformations happen tick by tock, without anyone announcing them with a drum roll or press conference, they are sometimes hard to perceive.


But every so often societies experience “aha” moments, when the change is right there in plain sight. We had several such moments in early 2014, as three iconic American brands, Coke, Chevy and Cheerios, rolled out ads during the Super Bowl and Olympics that were aimed at what one voice-over called "the new us."


Product advertisers aren’t in the business of making political statements. They’re certainly not in the business of making enemies. They must have known some of their images – interracial families, same-sex parents, “America the Beautiful” sung in several languages – would disturb some of their customers. But they also do their market research and look at their numbers. They know how fast the country is changing.

Where is the bulk of the shifting ethnic landscape coming from? Not surprisingly, from what is a very hot political topic these days: immigration.

Our modern immigrants are different from the big waves of newcomers who came in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Back then, about nine-in-ten immigrants were from Europe. Today only about 12% are from Europe.


But some things don't change. No matter where they come from, immigrants are strivers. They’re optimists. And they tend to have a lot of kids. Our immigrant stock – that’s immigrants and their children – is projected to make up about 37% of our population by mid-century, the highest share in our history.


But understand: this isn’t new. We’ve always been a nation of settlers and immigrants. In this regard, the middle of the 20th century wasn’t the norm, it was the outlier.

Nowhere is the culmination of these two tectonic slow-motion "dramas" more evident than in the choice of America's president.

In the past few elections, the young/old partisan voting gap has been the biggest since the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1972. As recently as the year 2000, there had been no difference in the way young and old in America voted. Now, there's a chasm.


Six-in-ten young voters supported Barack Obama in his re-election bid in 2012, compared with just 47% of those in the age ranges of their parents (45 to 64) and 44% of their grandparents (65 and older). By race, six-in-ten white voters supported Republican candidate Mitt Romney, whereas more than nine-in-ten black voters supported Obama. Obama also captured more than 70% of the Asian-American and Hispanic vote.

When it comes to the age divide, the political split is clear: the youth are liberal, the elders conservative.

Millennials have voted more Democratic than older voters in the past five national elections. They came of age in the Bush and Obama eras and hold liberal attitudes on most social and governmental issues, as well as America’s approach to foreign policy.


Just as members of the Silent Generation are long-term backers of smaller government, Millennials, at least so far, are strong supporters of a more activist government.


In some social issues, such as legalizing marijuana and same-sex marriage, Millennials particularly stand out for their favorable views compared with other generations. Nearly seven-in-ten (68%) Millennials favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry, compared with just 48% of Baby Boomers and just 38% of the Silent Generation.

Yet while the youth may like its pot and gay marriage, the one place where it is most likely to opine on these topics is FaceBook.

Then there’s the technology revolution. Today’s young are history’s first generation of digital natives. The online world isn’t something they’ve had to adapt to — it’s all they’ve ever known, and it’s their indispensable platform for social interactions and information acquisition.


Today’s old have been playing catch-up online, some more enthusiastically than others, but they have a long way to go. The typical Millennial who uses social media has 250 Facebook friends — making them five times “friendlier” than the smaller number of Silents who use social media.

But the most concerning aspect in the age divide is the number of working individuals required to support every safety net beneficiary: from 16 workers supporting every retirees in 1950, this number is now down to just 3.

But the status quo is unsustainable. Some 10,000 Baby Boomers will be going on Social Security and Medicare every single day between now and 2030. By the time everyone in this big pig-in-the-python generation is drawing benefits, we’ll have just two workers per beneficiary – down from three-to-one now, five-to-one in 1960 and more than forty-to-one in 1945, shortly after Social Security first started supporting beneficiaries.


The math of the 20th century simply won’t work in the 21st. Today's young are paying taxes to support a level of benefits for today's old that they have no realistic chance of receiving when they become old. And they know it – just 6% of Millennials say they expect to receive full benefits from Social Security when they retire. Fully half believe they’ll get nothing.

In light of all this "math", is it any wonder there is an increasing gap in the perceptions of not only the young versus old, but of America's diverse ethnic groups - each with their specific needs, and wants - all thrown into a boiling cauldron of record debt insolvency, in which the economic growth of the 20th century - that one distraction that masked the social unsustainability of social trends in the US for decades - is simply no longer possible?

There is much more in the full Pew study, however perhaps the one party whose input would be most germane here is the group of economist central planners who believe they know how to do everything to fix this country. We are talking of course about the largely cluless economists and other people who have never encountered the real world, who inhabit the Federal Reserve's Marriner Eccles building. Because if they too are as confused about how this all play out as the rest of us, then a crashing stock market is the least of our worries.

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Stinko da Munk's picture

As long as those three immigrant, dusky skinneworkers keep busy earning my social security, I don't care. My long term strategy is to be dead by the time this hits criticality.

RockyRacoon's picture

Everyone should have a plan, and yours is not all that uncommon.  Yeah, sure, take the easy way out: die.  Least amount of work involved in that one.  Mine is about the same at the ripe old age of 65, but I plan to cause a ruckus toward the end.

fockuyu's picture

Amelika is become the one bigga Chinatown, I peel so welcome here. And Carifonia...It's Mexi-Chinafonia now!

I rub it!

Free Leland Yee!

0b1knob's picture

"Hispanic" is a language group, not a "race".

Ahmeexnal's picture

The "Welfare State" hoax unwinding in real time.

CH1's picture

"Hispanic" is a language group, not a "race".

Doesn't make any difference. As long as they're different in some way, they're a good target for stupid people to hate.

0b1knob's picture

I know a lot of Hispanics who talk about la Raza and the the Reconquista and other such nonsense.   The first time the actually go to Mexico they get their eyes openned big time once they are given away by their accent and poor Spanish skills.   Ever heard the word pocho?

Hispanics THINK they are not being assimiulated.  But the US is like the Borg collective. 

maskone909's picture

Thats the difference between chicanos(raiders fans, dodgers, dallas cowboys,) and "paisas"

Funny when they have heavy chicano accent and butcher the English language yet know zero spanish

0b1knob's picture

I used to watch the old George Lopez show.   One of the strange things about it was that Lopez (Mexican Hispanic) disliked Cuban and Puerto Rican Hispanics and had all sorts of stereotypical attitudes about them.     I could never figure out if the show was being ironic or not. 

Keyser's picture

It is the same as region stereotypes in North America. All forms of latins dislike each other, much like Americans. 

HardAssets's picture

I have friends who are Americans of Mexican heritage, and they don't like illegals coming into the country one bit. (Several of them spent time in the US Army & Marine Corps overseas where they got shot at).  Their grandparents came to this country legally, like milllions of other Americans.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Au contraire, mon frere!  "Hispanic" is a racial group. 

"Latin" is a language group (French, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansch, Spanish).  A Latino/Latina is a person of predominantly Hispanic ancestry, who speaks a Latin language.  Christ, don't they teach anything at school any more!?

p.s. Bet you $20 you didn't even know what "Romansch" is, till you looked it up just now.

newworldorder's picture

Congratulations on your fine education and or your ability to search the net.

For practical purposes however, - The US Govt has diclared all Hispanics as minorities, soon to be the largest minority group in the US and in 30 to 40 years as the majority population in the US.

I wonder if the US Government at that time will revoke their preferrential minority status?

HardAssets's picture

"Hispanic' is a fake category, as far as 'race' is concerned. Its applied broadly to those speaking Spanish, except Spaniards. (Crazy, yeah.) Usually it refers to those with origins in Latin America. Those who would think people from Peru are the same as those from Mexico don't have a clue. Its about history/culture not 'race'. 

'Hispanic' is no more a 'racial category' than "Italian American" or "Irish American" are racial categories. These are all 'ethnic', that is, cultural/historical classifications.

Under the strategy of 'Divide & Conquer' they love to focus on differences rather than common values and interests. They know about human tribalism and use it against the fools who fall for it.

TrollHurter's picture

Actualy the term "Hispanic" Was coined by Richard Nixon when he was President. Racial group, no.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Actually, I've known about Romansch since grade school.  And I thought it was just a 'regular' school, where natural curiosity and a thirst for knowledge was almost a religion.

It wasn't in the US, though.  Not that this matters either, IMO.  What did matter, I think, is that we had a diverse mix of kids from different economic and cultural backgrounds -- who all shared a love for education or a 'good debate'.  When we weren't pulling (mostly) harmless pranks on each other, or oggling at the girls.  Or stealth-throwing paper airplanes at the effeminite priest in Religion, and pointing at each other as the culprits.  When he got mad, we'd draw the symbol of the Holy Spirit on them, to give him a face-saving "out" (Holy Spirit Airlines).

laboratorymike's picture

The goal with protected groups is to get to a place where anyone can sue anyone else as soon as someone is offended, because that's what happens in a government made up of lawyers. Not sure how the "make everyone a dependent" is going to work out when there are no/not enough productive people to leech.

Wait, no, I do know. Exactly the same thing that happened to my Chinese relatives when Mao tried making everyone depend on the CPC over there.

illyia's picture

That was so informative that I had to log in just to rec you.


Totentänzerlied's picture


Latin was a language, of the Latino-Faliscan group, of the Italic subfamily, of the Indo-European family. So you're wrong on all counts. Languages predominantly influenced by Latin (French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, etc.) are called Romance languages, conveniently emphasizing the Roman and not the Latin connection.

"Hispanic" and "latino" mean effectively nothing. They're terms used by ignorant and/or biased South Americans and Mesoamericans who wish to bolster their self-serving claims to Spanish ancestry (because Spaniards, in this bizarre context, are considered "white" ... because apparently Hispano-Romans [circa 2000-1000 years ago] were "white" even, magically, after mixing with Carthaginians and, magically, remained "white" even after mixing with all manner of North Africans [Moors, Berbers, etc.], just like Sicilians are "white" despite being invaded from all directions for it's entire history up until about 1200 AD...), as opposed to indigenous and mestizo - South and Mesoamerican indigenous people sure as hell aren't Hispanic or Latino. And virtually no one from South or Mesoamerica is not mestizo today, so the "Hispanic" claim is in fact bullshit insofar as it purposely downplays this fact. While "Hispanic" is etymologically a product of the Spanish toponym "Hispaniola" (the portions of the New World discovered by those in the service of the Spanish Crown - the Caribbean, Mexico, South America), this demonymic usage is never seen - that is what we use "South American" and "Mesoamerican" for. It is no less absurd than calling the Russians a "race", despite the fact that by the word "Russians" are designated some five dozen or ethnic groups, even the so-called "ethnic Russians" are of course in fact just a branch of east slavs - a mixture of peoples from the far west of present Russia plus Ukraine, Belarus, and neighboring areas, combined with Scandinavians, mainly Swedes. It is nothing but a convenient shorthand for a convenient fiction for use by and with the ignorant and credulous, usually deployed with a political agenda in mind.

Calling someone "latino" is like calling someone North American. How do you know that your gardener has "predominantly Hispanic ancestry"? How do you know he's more than 50% Spaniard by descent? What does that even mean? His "Spaniard" is more than likely partly Moorish, partly Hispano-Roman, and partly Visigothic - who had migrated from parts of what are today eastern Europe and the Balkans (Dacia). Gee I guess this is a bit more complicated than Americans like to assume.

None of this is taught in any school I've ever heard of, mostly because it eviscerates the (bullshit) nationalist narratives of every modern nation.

And I'll take my $20 in gold, please.

illyia's picture

Okay, okay, I will rec you too...


P.S. About the gold... I just can't do it. They made this thing called the internet where you can find out all sorts of things they didn't teach in skool. Nice try tho...

Tom_333's picture

Rape - wether enforced or voluntary reall complicates things. The majority of blacks in the USA do not really even look like black africans and genetic show them to have a lot of Irish and such ancestry.

Mobius Poop's picture

The majority of black people in america... are Irish?


Tom_333's picture

A lot of them have Irish genes. Easily detectable. with modern technique.

TheRedScourge's picture

"voluntary rape"


Never heard of that one before.

Tom_333's picture

It´s just me trying to be politically correct. You know - this is a sensitive area.

StupidEarthlings's picture

Hispanic is also not white..so the point still remains.

Just because its pointed out as fact, doesnt mean somebody is being racist.


Just like a time magazine article I read in the 90's titled " yo whitey, get to the back of the bus."


Personally,  I DO think its a shame that whites are becoming extinct. Especially natural blondes with blue eyes.

But maybe thats just me. Because I am one. How would you feel if you saw your "type of people" being deluded or extinct? ..probably not very good. 

I dont necessarily have a problem with any one type of person..but when they deliberately try to exterminate / dilute your race..it kinda hurts a little. Gone. No ore. Not until its over and hopefully more aliens will try a little harder this time. ;)

Pool Shark's picture



Funny how liberals/progressives are always worried about preserving, recognizing and respecting everyone's culture;... except our own...



Tom_333's picture

Then you have this other strange misnomer "caucasian". I am one of those but have 0 links in any aspect to the caucasian region. I have a daughter who has the same northern European ancestry. We were recently to London and she got two different proposals for trying out modelling with a view to a contract, just standing outside a retailer on Tottenham Court Road and doing nothing in particular.

Later the same afternoon I socially met an Israeli and I am told that you can´t really never ever beat Nordic genes. He didn´t look to pleased. ...However everythings is not work. You gotta have some fun sometimes. And sometimes a fact is just a fact.

AnAnonymous's picture

Nordic european genes?

Apart from some Welsh people, the irish that were called black by Indo europeans, where should they come from?

Most people populating Europe are Indo Europeans, coming from Asia. With them, their genes.

Tom_333's picture

Yes nordic european genes. Go have a look in northern Germany , Denmark, Norway, Sweden , Iceland and places like these. Even the british isles have a strong admixture of those gene sets since those lands were ruled by Danes. The other population of those isles are said to be Anglo-Saxon (essentially nordic - german stock) and also of Celtic origin.

Black hair but very milky skin complexion and sometimes blue eyes are a trait you find in Celtic heritage. As for the IndoEuropeans...they are they folks that spread out of a supposed area in the vicinity of the Black Sea and the Caucasus and populated Europe as well as Iran and India - hence indoeuropean. In fact a lof of mummified bodies of European likeness have been found in Chinese deserts. The are 6 feet tall , reddish hair and distinct non-asian facial and body structure.

The Indians get very angry when you discuss the possibility that Europe westwards as well as Iran and india eastwards were colonized by the same people, Indo-Europeans. The Indiansfeel this is yet another attempt on colonialism and imperialism and are adament that everything started in India and came out of there. However genetical and lingustic findings point towards invasion of India from the north-west. The original peoples of India slowly moved to the south and are likely to be those of dravidian heritage.

Antifaschistische's picture

understood.....but here's the reality.   For some reason, the politically correct people from south of the US border have collectively decided they do not want to be called Mexicans.  In some organizations using the term "Mexican" is very offensive.   I have no clue why.

So, to avoid such an offensive term, they prefer to be called Hispanics and in fact, most fortune 500 companies today have as "ethnicity or race", "Hispanic" rather than "Mexican".

The odd thing to me, is that there's not really anything offensive about being called a Mexican.  But they'd rather be identified with their conquerors and pillagers and those who stole all their gold and silver and slaughtered masses in the process.  The Spainards. 

Oh well....that's the way the world turns.  Happy Cinco De Mayo.

laboratorymike's picture

The reason is easy. A lot of Hispanics are Guatemalan, Costa Rican, etc. and therefore not Mexican. I learned it when I worked with said Guatemalans and Costa Ricans at my first job. Actual Mexicans are less offended about it.

TheRedScourge's picture

Conquerors and pillagers? Looks like someone's been buying into the progressive propaganda fraudulently passed off as "American History".

Look at how many people clearly of Native North American descent remain today. Not many. Now look at how many people of native central american descent remain today. Tons. Your claim that the Spanish came in and raped and pillaged is grossly exaggerated. The Spanish destroyed the Azteks, who were absolutely brutal to the tribes of their surrounding region, and the silver was not particularly highly valued by these folks since it was so much more common.

Lastly, the idea that the Europeans intentionally wiped out the Native Americans with smallpox-infested blankets is also false, as those days predate the modern understanding of germs.

Skateboarder's picture

I was watching a futbol game with the owner of a falafel joint while waiting for my takeout last night. Fool's English was somewhere beteween marginally discernable and totally incomprehensible. Yet he's got a great business with favorable reviews. Go figure.

Skateboarder's picture

Good, but bland. No zest, kick.

stacking12321's picture

which one?

i enjoy falafel, and people who speak incomprehensible english

CH1's picture

Yet he's got a great business with favorable reviews.

Providing a service that people like tends to do that.

Skateboarder's picture

No shit. I was writing to inform that not all immigrants are up to no good.

BooMushroom's picture

Even racists know a few immigrants who are hard-working and intelligent.

Keyser's picture

How do you know? Speaking from 1s person experience?

HardAssets's picture

I am strongly against illegal immigration.

But, just for kicks, go back and read early opinion pieces on Italian and Irish immigrants coming into the USA.

Its quite amusing some of the nasty things said about those people.


stacking12321's picture

i, on the other hand, am strongly against armed gangs of thugs (government types) pushing people around, drawing arbitrary lines in the dirt, and telling peaceful, decent people where they can or cannot go.

clearly, what you refer to as illegal immigration, plus a welfare state, doesn't work, as it brings in moochers who want to live off the labors of others.

however, i contend it's the welfare state part of the equation that's the problem, rather than people moving freely about the earth as they choose.

Pool Shark's picture




I would have no problem with immigration, if anyone coming here was forced to make a go of it on their own; like it was a century ago.

The problem is when the incentives are such as to encourage single women with no interest in assimilating into American culture to get here any way they can; birth their children (who magically become citizens) and then apply for TANF, Food Stamps, Section-8, WIC, Medi-Care,....

This is why the FSA will ultimately win; some people work for a living; some people vote for a living...


MrPalladium's picture

My, what a fine moral sentiment.

Problem is we do have a welfare state and we do have wide open immigration even with falling wages and falling workforce participation.

So what are you going to do to end the welfare state? What is your moral duty and what percentage of your time and money will you devote to that cause?

stacking12321's picture

when you say "we" have a welfare state, and "we" have open immigration, are you attempting to include me in the statist scam / scheme that is going on around us?

i don't participate in state scams, i don't support the state, it has no legitimacy, no moral basis.

when a group of armed thugs attempt to control others through violence and coercion, they reveal themselves to be enemies of the people, and enemies of human liberty.

it is not my moral duty, as you put it, to put a stop to the evils committed by others. i won't support them, i'll speak out against them, and i will work outside their systems as much as possible and support alternate systems. but you're mistaken if you think i have some obligation to fight them head-on. their system will collapse of its own accord, anyhow; a welfare state is its own undoing, it just takes time.

Bill Shockley's picture

Wrong dramas.


I tried to buy some small Chinese women at Walmart but they were all out. I am hoping they get some more in cause I'm tired of looking at fat  amerikan asses.

Say what you will, the Commie women have the best shapes.

The problem isn't color, it's fat.

Let's export fat people.

They waddle around and are mostly useless from what I can tell.

That or incarceration on a fat farm gulag.

I'm an RN and just out of other ideas.



Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

I have trouble with these numbers. First, the population in 1950 was around 150 million people with 85 % being white. If 40 million new immigrants moved to the US over the last few decades, where did all of the white people go? The numbers are BS.

ZerOhead's picture

"where did all of the white people go?"

To tanning beds mostly. Tough to get a government job otherwise...