We must fight to keep “The Shining City on a Hill”

We are blessed to be born in America. It’s tough to reach this conclusion if you live here and base your opinion on news headlines or facebook posts. I posted on my facebook this week an assumption that America is where the world’s downtrodden go when they want a better life. Shockingly, a couple people took issue with my premise that the land of unalienable rights is preferred to all other nations’ systems of questionable rights. Today I decided to confirm my hypothesis. I was correct! America is first in the world with 51 million immigrants, or 15.5% of our total population. The next is Saudi Arabia at 13 million. It’s not even close.

I appreciate the premise that some people have a harder time than others, and that we should strive to get closer to the color blind, merit-based society Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned, but any solution that includes moving away from the principles of unalienable rights and toward more government control is insane. As the old saying goes, don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater.

America is still and must remain the shining city on a hill.

Want to see how wrong the premise is that if you’re from one or the other group you can’t tap into the American Dream consider the success of first generation immigrants vs. those more attenuated from their immigrant ancestors. “The 2017 Kauffman Entrepreneurship Index shows that immigrants are more entrepreneurial than native-born Americans. Every year from 1996 to 2016, the pace at which immigrants started businesses outpaced U.S.-born individuals two-fold.” Janet Alvarez, Immigrants outperform native-born Americans on two key measures of financial success, NBC News online, June 21, 2019. Although some disparities exist between immigrant black households and the overall population, the disparity of education and income levels between immigrant black populations and native born is substantial. “U.S.-born blacks have a median household income of $33,500, a full $10,000 less than that among foreign-born black households.” Monica Anderson, Statistical Portrait of the U.S. Black Immigrant Population, Pew Research Center. I encourage you to drill down into the studies that led to these articles. It will make anyone stuck in a professional or economic rut reconsider his or her views on what it means to be an American and just how many opportunities we all miss every day in this great nation of unlimited opportunities.

Some interesting conclusions. Immigrants avoid debt. Immigrants want to be self sufficient not dependent on government–they work their tails off to get off government largess not look for new government programs to tap into. Immigrants take their ideas and dreams and turn them into reality. They do not let naysayers or depressing news reports divert them from their goals and objectives.

As for me, I grow tired of native-born Americans bashing immigrants. These studies make clear that the higher success rate and entrepreneurialism isn’t limited to any group. Blacks, Hispanics, Europeans, Asians, Indians, Lebanese, etc. are all well represented in the successful first generation immigrant population. People who come to America from lesser nations succeed. Time for native born Americans to learn from these great, fresh and untainted Americans.


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