Yesterday conservative writer and columnist Pat Buchanan summarized our growing national predicament in a piece for Townhall.com titled: “The Coming Age of Austerity.” With sobering certainty Mr. Buchanan advises America to take pause and consider a “rarely discussed” social development; the changing diversity and educational/social deficiencies of our future workforce and its effect on our nation’s ability to sustain a healthy U.S. economy.
In the past, some have labeled Mr. Buchanan a racist because of his honest analysis. Nothing could be further from the truth and it would behoove Americans to heed his warnings. Today American minorities make up almost a third of our population and without a solid social foundation many will never be able to advance educationally and become productive contributors to our economy. Without U.S. minority populations earning more income and making positive contributions to tax revenue, our nation’s budget will continue to run deficits , our national debt will grow, and the nation’s social safety net will dissolve.
What kind of economic contribution can we expect from a generation of American minority workers whose social decline has made them more suited for entitlement dependency than executive management? One example of minority social decline is high school dropout rates. According to Mr. Buchanan “minorities have high school dropout rates of up to 50% in many cities, and many who do graduate have math, reading, and science scores at seventh-, eight- and ninth-grade levels.” Another notable and expensive failure of our social system is our high school graduation statistics. In 2010, less than 64 % of the minority students (excluding dropouts) received a High School diploma in 4 years or less. Many argue that the U.S. doesn’t spend enough on education. Yet our education spending increases annually while our American student performance deteriorates. I would argue American social standards are to blame.
Some of you may be asking yourselves why I referred to poor graduation rates as a social rather than an educational system failure. The reason is that I believe that most kids who drop out of High School do so as a result of the failure of their families to support or provide the disciplined home environment necessary for educational success. As a result, many minorities are pushed through our education system without the benefit of learning. In this way they become burdens on our society, rather than valued members of our much-needed future workforce. In other words strong families make for a strong workforce and weak dependent families can destroy an economy.
In America, minority and working poor families are disintegrating. Illegitimacy rates today among African Americans are 73%, Hispanics 53% and Whites 40%. That is almost double what it was in 1965. Statistics prove that kids with both a mom and a dad in the home are less likely to fall victim to poor social choices that lead to low paying careers and entitlement dependency. So why isn’t our government supporting social policies that protect marriage and families? Why do we spend precious time debating “gay marriage” when core American families are in decline?
Our world is an ever increasing competitive economic environment. Now more than ever America needs to build a well-educated and moral workforce in order to replace the seemingly endless line of retiring baby boomers that have already paid their fair share. They must do this, not only to supply U.S. labor markets, but to keep the tax paying pipeline full so that government revenue can meet (hopefully reduced) spending requirements and long term debt obligations like Social Security and Medicare. Remember that even austere budgets should be funded through reasonable tax revenue rather than debt.
So what of the economic implications of our nation’s failure to enforce both moral and educational standards to provide for a reliable workforce? Will we wait until the country is half minority before we address the social problems that have led to failed public education, entitlement dependency, and fiscal insanity?
The U.S. has created a very real social crisis that may be decades away never the less it needs to be addressed. I, like Mr. Buchanan, wonder if Americans will face the reality that our nation can no longer support the social programs of the past (as designed) and continue to provide for our future recovery and economic growth. If we don’t do something soon our creditors will, and there is nothing racist about that.
For those of you who have forgotten, after 10 years with MSNBC, conservative writer Pat Buchanan was dismissed from his position as political commentator over his controversial book “Suicide of a Superpower” which contained a chapter entitled “The End of White America.” MSNBC felt that Mr. Buchanan’s book didn’t belong in public discourse.