The shifting human tide
We’re hyper-aware of the shifting mass of humans pouring over our border and finding their way into our lands. Immigration from below the border has swelled over the last 60 years, more than half of it legal. It’s not the first time, nor the first group, but rather a perpetual flow into the promised land by the have-nots who don’t seem capable of creating their own thriving societies, despite their potential to do so.
Over the centuries, we’ve had such influxes on repeat, from all quarters; most of us can be numbered among them. The Irish, over 8 million by 1860. Jews have perpetually found sanctuary in this country, starting in the 18th century, with an upswing after WWII. The Vietnamese after their war. We have always been a nation of immigrants including those unwillingly brought by the slave trade. Just about all of us know we’re better off here than wherever our ancestors originated.
Yet the “here” we have is changing in new ways. I’d like, for a moment, to veer from the incessant race preoccupation we’ve been bludgeoned with of late. I will however state that we are not an inherently racist society, despite the left’s unwavering dedication to that evil concept. Just looking at intermarriage statistics is a good antidote to such thinking.
Consider, instead, the shifting population within our country. We are, as a people, moving away from city life in droves. Houses in my suburban enclave sell as soon as they are brought to market, often for absurd amounts above the asking price.
I had a conversation with my doctor last week, as she’s leaving the practice. She told me I should quickly pick a new provider before all their slots are filled. That unlike here in the burbs, the city offices of their practice are practically empty. This is because workers who chose the convenience of having their health care provider near the office are no longer going to that office. Instead, they are opting for care nearer home.
Commuter-oriented mass transit is suffering, as well, a huge drop in revenue. City populations are also falling, for all the same reasons.
The other primary reason for an exodus from the cities, especially the blue-run ones, is that they have become hideous and unsafe. Mobs that loot, homeless that live and defecate and shoot drugs on the street, violent gangs…who needs that? Schools stay closed, and when they’re open, are more dedicated to “equity” than learning.
Being a city resident is as dangerous as I’d imagine riding into Tombstone must have been, in the mid-1800s. Our cities have become the wild west but without any handsome cowboys. They are failing, and on their way to becoming unsustainable as business taxes fall, the real estate loses value, and the sales tax revenues dwindle.
This population shift has mostly come about because of the pandemic forcing us to change our patterns of living. But as these patterns changed, so did the former norms of our lives. How we purchase goods shifted. Small businesses were destroyed by forced closure due to COVID restrictions, by looting, and by the ease of buying from the behemoth.
Only grocery shopping remains local, although “hero pay” has caused many grocery stores to close, further fueling the city exodus. I went into a department store a few weeks ago and was appalled by two things: First, the quality of goods was awful and clearly mass-produced in Chinese sweatshops. Second, the stock. In the women’s department, there were only XS and XL or XXL sizes. I’m told there are countless shipping containers awaiting offloading at ports that have been partially shut down by COVID. So instead, you buy online and get goods delivered to your doorstep.
The other day I watched three Amazon delivery trucks at once, try to navigate past one another on our narrow street, their progress further impeded by a garbage truck and the mail truck. Delivery cars were double-parked everywhere. Everything one could want is available for delivery. They’ve even made returning things that don’t fit easier. Since little that you want can be found on the store shelves, what choice do you have?
The shifts we’ve seen seem as permanent as the end of harness shops and horse stables were. We won’t go back to how things were. Not for workers, who have proven off-site productivity is possible, and far prefer it. Not for employers, who are downsizing their office space accordingly. Not for residents, who are running the other way rapidly.
I wonder if we’re simply leaving the cities to the homeless and the migrants, to turn into endless slums where nobody is safe to walk. Soon, the proud leftist mayors will find they have nothing left to ruin. They’ll have succeeded in turning their cities into the kind of slums the migrants just escaped. Perhaps the new guys can show our own homeless how to live well in shantytown.
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