Which presidents benefited which races?

US fertility rates 1980-2013

The only meaningful long-term criteria for success of any category of people, especially in a democracy, is their numbers.  They can always vote themselves more economic opportunity.  So which groups really benefit from various presidents?

From the above figure, not the ones you might guess by a long shot:

  • Regan gave blacks a huge boost.  No one did especially poorly.
  • GHW Bush was bad for everyone.  American Indians went into a long slide.
  • Clinton was good for whites.  Everyone else went down, especially blacks and Hispanics.  Though most stabilized in the middle of his period, so maybe he was just fixing problems caused by the first Bush.  American Indian slide was not arrested though.
  • GW Bush was uneven.  But his apparent favorites, the Hispanics, took a big dive late in his administration, along with everyone else, just bigger.  No data in this chart on Muslim immigrants from the Middle East, which appeared in large numbers for the first time.
  • Obama was not able to arrest any of the slides, though they moderated.  However, blacks and Hispanics lost the most.

For a STABLE democracy, birth rates should be nearly the same.  Over time they have to be exactly the same, or races start going extinct.  During this period, not counting the American Indians, the spread in birth rates declined from 1.2 to .47, on a base (lowest) of 1.68 which was whites.  Oddly, whites were the only ones increasing since 1980, contrary to what you might thing.

If birth rates were frozen at 2013 rates blacks and Hispanics have about a 20% relative advantage.  If a generation is 30 years, and the total population growth of the USA is around 2%/generation, then in 150 years the black-Hispanic population will achieve an absolute majority:

US demographic trends extrapolated

Of course the birth rates won’t be the same, generational time may vary, blacks and Hispanics may neither share a political agenda or be able to maintain an integrated policy approach if this happens, and other immigrants are moving in with very high birth rates initially, so this is a hypothetical exercise.  But it shows the power of relative reproductive advantage.

Under this simple projection (which does not account for trends up or down, some of which are quite strong at the moment), there will be absolutely zero whites in the USA in 4500 years.

Trends do not remain over that kind of time frame.  However, in the remote past, human population trends were relatively stable over 1.2 million years, and a very, very small relative advantage of one group or another would have completely wiped out all other groups.  Given a typical population during that time of 26,000 only a relative advantage of 0.035% would have promoted a single new human to exclusive domination as of 20,000 or so years ago, and extincted all others:

human evolution 1.2M years

The surprising thing is, no great or even small conflict is implied by this, which is quite a slow rate of change.  In the middle period of fastest change about 6 million years ago, the population changes would be about 2 people per generation (the chart assumes 20 year generations, which is probably long … if 15 years, the relative advantage may have been much lower).

Humans like drama and imagine their past full of it.  But it simply may not have been so.  Even the asteroid that supposedly killed the dinosaurs took at least 33,000 years to do so, more than 6 times longer than recorded human history.

 

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