Is America Too Crowded?

Scott Morefield,
Do you like crowds? When you take the kids to Disney World or Six Flags in the middle of summer, do you relish the idea of not being able to lift your arms without touching another person? Do you enjoy waiting two hours just to ride a two-minute ride? When you pull into the DMV, the doctor’s office, or your favorite restaurant, does your heart quietly skip a beat when there’s a line out the door? Does being stuck for hours in rush hour traffic in Los Angeles or any other major American city excite you? When you take your family on a picnic at the park, do you hope to see dozens or even hundreds of your fellow humans camped out by the lake, river, or woods? I mean, the more the merrier, right? Isn’t that the saying?

Sure, there are instances where crowds can be good, fun even, for a short time. A football game, a concert, a political rally, and even church are a few things that come to mind. Without a healthy number of people in a given city or town, things would dry up pretty quickly. We need each other in ways we can’t always define, and life lived alone would be a pretty dull life indeed. However, I think anyone with a lick of common sense can understand the difference between ‘enough’ people and, well, ‘too many damn people,’ and there are places in the world, and even in America, where the latter applies.

The United States, at over 330,000,000 people, has a population density of around 87 people per square mile. If that seems small, remember that the federal government actually owns about a third of this country’s land mass. Here are a few key comparisons: Mexico 166, Afghanistan 127, Brazil 64, Somalia 62, Sweden 59, Sudan 57, Russia 23, China 376, India 1,068, Bangladesh 3,015, Guatemala 420, Uganda 430, Canada 10. The world’s population density, excluding oceans and Antarctica but counting deserts, mountains, and other uninhabitable places, sits at around 142 people per square mile.

Some are higher than ours, some are lower. And yet, regardless of population density, migration patterns that would unsustainably grow nations are squarely aimed at us, and the rest of the West. In fact, a recent Gallup survey found that over 750 million people – 15 percent of the world’s adults – would like to migrate to another country if they could. Their top destination? The United States, at 158 million adults. Other would-be destinations include, in order, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Assuming just as many children as adults made the journey (it would likely be more), such a migration surge to the U.S. would almost double the size of our country.

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Do you look at the sprawling poverty on the outskirts of major cities in India, or Bangladesh, or Mexico City, and wish there were more places in the United States like that? Unlimited migration, if allowed, would generally result in unsustainable waves of Third World residents moving to First World nations. As an example, Liberia has 4.5 million people and a manageable density of 119, yet 66 percent of that country’s adults would move if they could. Other countries half or more of its residents would ditch include Sierra Leone, Haiti, Albania, El Salvador, Congo, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Armenia, Honduras, Syria, and Kosovo.

Notwithstanding illegal immigration, which by and large remains unchecked, the United States admits well over one million legal immigrants every year. That’s larger than cities like San Jose, California, Austin, Texas, or Jacksonville, Florida. At the rate we allow for legal immigration, we could add a city the size of Los Angeles every three to four years.

Not only does such immigration strain America’s already crumbling infrastructure, debt levels, and social fabric, it also deteriorates our country’s natural resources and, quite frankly, its natural beauty. Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted as much in a segment that predictably triggered the ire of Media Matters last week. “Crowded countries are never beautiful countries,” Carlson observed. “The old environmental movement understood that, and [it] was why they campaigned for lower immigration levels … But the modern left and modern environmentalists care much more about identity politics than the actual physical environment, so they’re pushing for open borders, because their donors want it.”

They want it for obvious reasons – to obtain and hold on to leftist power. They pretend to care about the environment – obviously a con game to, again, grab power – yet they want to import millions upon millions of people who currently produce a low carbon footprint into a country where they will have the means to produce an exponentially higher one. Some leftists, like Bernie Sanders, even have an uber-ironic term for it – “climate migrants.”

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“The most bizarre part of all of this is that I thought that human beings are causing climate change,” Justin Haskins told Tucker Carlson during a discussion on the topic last week. “Well if that’s true, why are we bringing people from all over the world, where they produce CO2 emissions less per person in places like Mexico and Guatemala, why are we bringing them to the United States, where we produce CO2 emissions per person at a much higher rate? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Kevin Lynn, of a group called Progressives For Immigration Reform, contended that America’s general good-heartedness makes it difficult to tell people no when we feel so fortunate to be here ourselves. “But we have to,” he said, “because a billion people would move to the United States if they could.” It’s a number higher than the Gallup poll I cited above indicates, but my gut tells me that it’s probably right. After all, when you compare the state of affairs in America with most of the rest of the world, well, there’s no comparison.

But when is enough enough? A leftist will never give you a number. They’ll just say we need to admit “more.” Always “more.” Then they rely on the almost pathological altruism shared by most of America’s good-hearted citizens to slowly but surely shift the electorate in a way that guarantees leftist power for the foreseeable future.

But shouldn’t we care about the rest of the world, much if not most of which is mired in soul-crushing poverty? Of course, but no more than a lifeboat should take in more than its capacity to stay afloat. How can we help the Third World in any meaningful way if we’re bankrupt and coming apart at the seams, if we become a Second or Third World country ourselves?