Big population or not?

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Terminal Dogma's picture
Big population or not?

As I understand economics given push for big populations with the idea more people = more income = more tax revenue = more services etc.

I think this was some motivation to allow the latest wave of migrants/refugees etc into euro.

Sounds simple given white people are below replacement value mostly in the West.

I think it was an error in that a lot of these migrants are going to prove mainly low skilled and will drain more welfare than the wealth they will generate.


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Alembé's picture
Your post could be taken as

Your post could be taken as evidence that you are a racist/bigoted troll.

Terminal Dogma's picture
Then every western Gov must

Then every western Gov must be racist trolls as it is a key debate eg;

David Killens's picture
@Terminal Dogma

@Terminal Dogma

"Then every western Gov must be racist trolls as it is a key debate eg;"

Up here in Canada we have taken in a considerable number of refugees. First and foremost, they are human beings. For us, that is very relevant.

Naturally, everyone is aware that accepting immigrants adds to the population. But our position is that we desire people who bring something positive to our nation. And even if a certain percentage may be a burden to our welfare system, we are very aware that when you sum everything up, there are more positive benefits than negative.

For every person who makes our nation their new home, they either bring something positive, or they have the potential to contribute later in time.

But I state unequivocally, we are driven by humanitarian reasons.

Terminal Dogma's picture
Has Canada accumulated enough

Has Canada. Edited, yes Canada has done a lot of work analysing the impacts of migration.

algebe's picture
As birthrates fall and

As birthrates fall and longevity increases, you also get an expanding elderly population. In Japan, for example, 27% of people are now aged 65 or older. That's more than one in four. Retirees also consume welfare dollars and healthcare dollars. At the same time, industries face shortages of workers.

Immigration is one solution, but it brings its own problems, including a loss of social cohesion. Unscrupulous politicians make this worse by using immigrants as an easy target for rabble-rousing. Immigration policy requires a lot of intelligence. I haven't seen much evidence of that in any of the countries where I've been an immigrant.

Sapporo's picture
Bryan Caplan wrote an article

Bryan Caplan wrote an article on this topic:

Terminal Dogma's picture
Wow that guy just wants more

Wow that guy just wants more people everywhere at once if he could, he is a population phile.

More = better no matter what.


algebe's picture
@Terminal Dogma: he is a

@Terminal Dogma: he is a population phile.

I don't think so. I think he's in favor of allowing economic resources (in this case, people) to flow freely to where they can be used for the greatest benefit. That's the whole point of the market system. He's arguing for the movement of population, not for its growth.

Tight immigration controls and closed borders result in human trafficking, modern slavery, illegal workers employed in poor conditions for low or no wages... Who benefits?

Terminal Dogma's picture
Good questions I have no

Good questions I have no answers. re this comment tho;

Tight immigration controls and closed borders result in human trafficking, modern slavery, illegal workers employed in poor conditions for low or no wages... Who benefits?"

I have heard the counter argument that people in countries that are exploited for cheap labour would be better off organising themselves and fight for better conditions to remove the exploitation.

Western workers did it already in their own countries.

We could support them to gain better conditions.

algebe's picture
@Terminal Dogma: I have heard

@Terminal Dogma: I have heard the counter argument that people in countries that are exploited for cheap labour would be better off organising themselves and fight for better conditions to remove the exploitation.

More important is the rule of law, including the development of good labor and environmental laws, as well as laws to protect property and investment. Workers also need to be able to move freely between employers. I don't think exploitation is possible without political cronyism and corruption.

Terminal Dogma's picture
There are valid visas to move

There are valid visas to move to do work in other countries, been so for years. From low skilled farm labour to high tech jobs.

Sushisnake's picture


Australia has either the highest immigration rates in the OECD, or close to it. Immigrants add something like 2% to GDP every year, through sheer numbers. It's money for jam for the corporations- growth handed to them on a platter, year in/year out, while per capita public spending falls, as do wages for relatively low skilled jobs, like aged care, child care, disability care, retail, hospitality. In fact, wages have stalled, if not fallen, right across the economy. The rising price of putting a roof over your head here is obscene. Australia has quite the real estate bubble.

The immigrants haven't done this. Most of them are on temporary work/study visas, comparatively few come here permanently. Immigration has been used by the government at the private sectors behest to do this. The financial, insurance, real estate and retail industries are all having a ball on their reliable corporate welfare handouts.

You said: " migrants/refugees"

Those are two very different things, TermDog. They're not interchangeable. Even the word "migrant" means different things. If you look at the statistics, here or in the US, the UK, Canada or the EU, you'll find refugees are a tiny fraction of the immigrant intake. It's common sense, really: it isn't easy to get out of a war zone or a failed state. And if you look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, you'll find refugees have every right to try to get to safety and that signatory countries to the UDHR agreed to take them in. You'll also find there's no such thing as an illegal refugee.

All the refugee bashing going on in the Western world is calculated to gain public support to achieve two ends:
1. Ignore our UDHR obligations with impunity, because refugees are "other" and the public's been taught to hate them.
2. Ensure the bombs still fall and the drones still fly etc on the countries the refugees are fleeing, because the people there are "other" and the public's been taught to hate them. War's a highly profitable business.

The governments and corporations will be chuffed to learn their strategy is working, TermDog: they thank you for your service. In Australia, we're constantly told migrant/refugees will both take all our jobs/suck up all our welfare benefits because they wouldn't work in an iron lung. They'll both take all our jobs/never get jobs because they can't even speak english ( the wogs!). Most Australians miss the contradiction. Cognitive dissonance rules. You'd make friends easily in Australia, I suspect.

I don't care who comes to Australia in search of a better life - if I were living in a war zone, I'd move heaven and earth to get my family the hell out of there- but I'd much prefer the infrastructure, housing, employment prospects and services were in place first to provide them and everyone already here with a better life. I'd rather see an actual rise in the standard of living for all Australians - old and new- than the empty, money-for-jam rise in GDP we have instead.

Terminal Dogma's picture
I actually can't tell if you

I actually can't tell if you are saying it's a good or bad thing, you do or do not like the economic growth??

Also Australia has lots of open space and is large and resource rich, do you think it should take in millions of migrants like Germany did or not.

I can't determine your position.

Sure we would all strive to leave a failed state / war zone, no argument there.

Sushisnake's picture


You said: " I can't determine your position."

You can't pick my position because I'm ambivalent. It isn't a simple let 'em in or not question - the same applies to economic growth. It's not black and white. I have no problem with immigrants, but I have a big problem with how immigration is being used. I have no problem with economic growth, but I have a big problem with empty GDP growth that only benefits the few at the expense of the many.

Incidentally, speaking of ambivalence, one of the most common reasons given for immigration is we have an ageing resident population, too old to work and pay taxes. What happens when the immigrants become too old to work and pay taxes, too? Do we send them back? And since a sovereign government issuing fiat currency isn't revenue constrained in the first place - how come we need their taxes? What do we need them for? Is it to cover up the hole in revenue corporate welfare handouts leave so the public doesn't notice, or what? Looks like rubbery figures to me. And smells like a fire at a tyre dump.

You said: " Also Australia has lots of open space and is large and resource rich, do you think it should take in millions of migrants like Germany did or not."

Most of Australia's desert- not much there, not exactly hospitable and largely owned by First Nations people. Even if we could water the desert, settling immigrants or refugees there is not our decision to make- it's up to the First Nations people. They'd probably be all for it if it finally meant some genuine infrastructure spending and investment, but they'd insist on their long overdue treaty first, so they didn't get shafted. Again.

Australia already takes in more migrants than most OECD countries- particularly temporary migrants. If I remember correctly, Germany took in refugees-not the same thing. Australia labels refugees who come by boat "illegal" and locks them up forever. They get raped, killed, die of illnesses no one under Australia's care should be dying from in this day and age - it's shameful. Australia takes very few refugees, full stop- even if they come by plane- but not taking them is terribly popular with a bigoted electorate who've been well trained to hate refugees and fear all Muslims. Australians have been trained the same way you train junk yard dogs- brutalise 'em enough and they'll attack on command.

If countries like Australia, the US, the UK etc really want to stop refugees from coming, stop bombing/droning them. We may not have started the fires, but throwing gasoline on them is fucking stupid- though very profitable. I don't have a problem WITH refugees, I have a problem with WHY there are refugees. There are more refugees now than there were during or after WW2- we exceeded that bench mark back in 2013:

Makes you swell with pride in humanity and feel like singing the national anthem, doesn't it? We should be working to end the wars and give the people fleeing them every tool they will need to rebuild their countries when it's over- healthcare, top notch education, the works - but we don't, because there's too much money to be made in destruction and pillage.

You said something in an earlier post about it being a good idea for workers in exploited countries to organise and get themselves a better deal and you're right, but labour can only do that from a position of power and stability. You can't do it when your very life is threatened, TermDog. You can't even do it in the West, if it means you can't keep a roof over your head or put food on the table and that's the position many workers in the West find themselves.

Decades of anti-union propaganda scared workers away from organising. Now they're stuck fending for themselves, paid whatever a corporation can get away with in the name of "competition". Cases come to light, the corporation gets a fine that's a drop in the bucket to them- they have no reason to stop driving wages down. And now some of the biggest ones are advocating for a Universal Basic Income to push more of the costs and more of the risk onto the public purse. Look at the GFC. The financial and real estate sectors behaved like drunken sailors in a casino and managed to dump all of their losses onto the public balance sheet. If you look at the US anď the EU, most of that public debt is actually private bank debt governments took on to bail out the banks and their investors. The shit we're allowing corporate capitalism to pull is outrageous- that's why the attacks on it are coming from both the left and the right:

And that's also why it would be a great idea for the rest of us to stop swallowing and regurgitating the left/right narratives and work together to stop it. The powers that be rejoice every time the right calls someone a Libtard and the left calls someone a fascist. Whilever we're fighting amongst ourselves, we're too busy to fight our common enemy and it's indifferent to both of us. We're all the great unwashed, as far as it's concerned. All worthless and disposable.

Terminal Dogma's picture
@sushi I don't get a lot of

@sushi I don't get a lot of that big corporate stuff, I tried once but it soon went down the rabbit hole of shape shifting reptilian Jewish Illuminati. I don't think there is a nefarious agenda or anyone controlling it, prolly more like a bunch of computer algorithms detecting and responding to shifts and trends. At the end of the day it's normal people trying to get the most out of their shares and investments.

I think you are clearly wrong about one point that we are "worthless and disposable", we are in fact valuable through our consumerism, we are our own fuel so to speak.

If we lived the life of our grandparents there would be no corporate fuckery, you gonna give up your uber , your credit card, smart phone, your 24 month noninterest loan to buy shit etc and raise chickens in your back yard and chop their heads off in time for Sunday roast, grow your own vegetables. Wear hand me downs or make your own clothes and fix your own washing machine and dig a big hole to shit in ...I think not, but that's what the average suburban dweller 50 years ago did so we are our own problem.

Sushisnake's picture


"@sushi I don't get a lot of that big corporate stuff, I tried once but it soon went down the rabbit hole of shape shifting reptilian Jewish Illuminati..."

WTF is "..shape shifting reptilian Jewish Illuminati"?

 "At the end of the day it's normal people trying to get the most out of their shares and investments..."

Oh yeah. Mom and pop investors. Right.

And I was talking about the US corporate tax cuts being used solely for share buybacks and shareholder dividends to artificially increase the asset values of very, very wealthy people, bought and paid for by YOU, dear TermDog:

But then, you did say "I don't get a lot of that big corporate stuff", didn't you?

"I think you are clearly wrong about one point that we are "worthless and disposable", we are in fact valuable through our consumerism, we are our own fuel so to speak..."

Spoken like a true liberal/libertarian! It's a level playing field. A free market. It's all about individual effort, isn't it? Well, that would explain why there's plenty of work and an adequate wage for everyone to live on in America, Australia, the UK, the EU...oh there isn't. Americans and Brits are still  fighting for a decent minimum wage, Aussies are watching their wages fall and employment become increasingly casualised and insecure, and the Europeans? Well. Did you see what went on in France on May Day over Macron's public sector labour "reforms"? Been a lot of that sort of thing go on in Europe. Lots of angry Europeans for quite some time.

"If we lived the life of our grandparents there would be no corporate fuckery... "
There was corporate fuckery then, too. Read some history. The most infamous example of it was a little thing called the Great Depression.If you don't like nonfiction, try reading the "Grapes of Wrath" or "Catch 22": Milo Minderbinder will blow your mind.

"you gonna give up your uber..."
I don't use it. I refuse to use it. I think the bastards should be regulated or banned.

"your credit card..."
Don't have one.

"your smart phone..."
Paid cash for it, I only replaced my old one because it ran out of storage and now my mum uses it. And why do people always think an attack on our current breed of crony corporate capitalism is an attack on capitalism per se?

 "your 24 month noninterest loan to buy shit etc..."
Haven't got one of them, either.

 "and raise chickens in your back yard and chop their heads off in time for Sunday roast..."
No room to do that here, but I've done it in the past. I miss chickens. I was one of those horrible people who cut the heads off and let the poor things run around until they dropped. Barbaric, hey? I stopped when I realised it was no good for the meat.

"grow your own vegetables..."
Still do that- small scale. Mainly in pots. The yard's small.

 "Wear hand me downs..."
I regularly shop at charity shops for clothes, so yeah, I wear hand me downs..

 "or make your own clothes..."
Have you seen the price of material now? Seriously? Or the other stuff you need to sew? Sewing's a rich gal's hobby, son.

 "and fix your own washing machine..."
How does one fix a computerised washing machine full of sealed parts you can't replace, TermDog?
"and dig a big hole to shit in ...I think not, but that's what the average suburban dweller 50 years ago did..."
And you finally went too far, because I'm 53 and that's absolute bullshit! You're a generation or so out, mate. Unless you were born and raised in deliverance country? My parents did not live like the Waltons. In fact, both of them worked full-time to pay off the mortgage, but my mother wants me to thank you for the good laugh she got out of it ( she nearly choked on her coffee) and to tell you her parents didn't dig latrines in the backyard either, and she had no idea the US sanitation was so far behind the rest of us 50 years ago..

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Sushi

@ Sushi

OmG are you me in drag? Except you are younger...

Sheldon's picture
Another brilliant post. I

Another brilliant post. I also find it ironic that when you criticise any aspect of capitalism you're immediately branded a communist or subversive. It's doubly ironic that people who correctly insist no ideas should be beyond criticism get so chippy when that critical thought process is pointed at the obscene wealth controlled by less than 1% of the population. Or the fact that so many people live in abject poverty in some of the richest nations on earth.

Same old excuses though, as if poverty is something we just have to accept.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Sheldon *Applauds*

@ Sheldon

Sushisnake's picture


Re: "Same old excuses though, as if poverty is something we just have to accept."
"The poor, you will always have with you"

We've been dragged so far from the international political mindset that penned the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights that we're back to kicking the poor for being poor. It's like living in a Dicken's novel. "The poor are poor because they won't better themselves. They won't (insert favourite excuse here)"

Edit: I think a lot of it's poor historical knowledge. People think the world's always been this way, it's always been this unequal in the West. They don't realise it hasn't- that for a brief three decades after the death and destruction of two world wars, the consensus was to prevent the conditions that created those wars from ever happening again, including the inequality.

LogicFTW's picture
To many Ayn Rand readers

To many Ayn Rand readers worshiping at the altar of money.

Nyarlathotep's picture
WTF is "..shape shifting

Sushisnake - WTF is "..shape shifting reptilian Jewish Illuminati"?

Warning: this might make you lose any "faith" you have left in humanity.

Sushisnake's picture


Re: Losing faith in humanity.

Nah. It just makes me lose a little faith in TermDog, to be honest. It worries me that my criticism of our current political economy pegs me as a believer in shape shifting reptilian Jewish illuminati in his eyes, because he seems to be young, and if most of the young see it his way, they're proper fucked, done and dusted.

Nyarlathotep's picture
TermDog wasn't clear but I

TermDog wasn't clear but I was hoping he was saying something to the effect of: he became disillusioned in a group when he found other members were believers in such conspiracy theories.

Sushisnake's picture


I hope you're right. I haven't come across anyone who believes in shape shifting reptilians, but I've come across plenty who believe in this:


Attach Image/Video?: 

Tin-Man's picture
@Sushi Re: "Have you seen

@Sushi Re: "Have you seen the price of material now? Seriously? Or the other stuff you need to sew? Sewing's a rich gal's hobby, son."

You ain't kiddin', sister. Materials can be freakin' EX-PEN-SIVE depending on the type you need. I've made a few things for my wife and other family and friends over the years. (Mostly costume items and a few hooded capes and such.) And we have had to buy material to cover a couple of antique chairs she had refinished. *long slow whistle....* Yeah, material can burn a hole in your pocket book with a quickness. And, yeah, then there is the thread, and all the other accessory items needed (buttons, clasps, seam glue, etc.) Oh, it is fun. And I enjoy a good challenge every now and then. But, honestly, it is considerably cheaper for my wife to just buy what she wants and let me modify it if needed.

algebe's picture
Terminal Dogma: but that's

Terminal Dogma: but that's what the average suburban dweller 50 years ago

Nope. Maybe 100 years ago it was like that. But in the 1960s and 1970s we had supermarkets, mass-produced clothing and food, telephones, and TVs. Apart from mobile phones and the Internet, life wasn't all that different. Consumerism was more rampant, and the pollution was probably worse. You couldn't fix your own washing machine because the corporations were really into planned obsolescence. Things were designed to break just out of the warranty period, and there were no spare parts. The churches were fuller.

ZeffD's picture
I'm unconvinced of the

I'm unconvinced of the economic arguments for immigration, but even if they're entirely valid it is clear that the immigration needs to be legal and the laws enforced if there isn't to be a bad reaction to it. Two of the main drivers for Brexit are believed to be immigration and 'taking back control of our democracy'.

The immigration concern was that it reached 300,000 per year nett, by official figures, about half from the EU. These figures included students where some countries figures don't. In fact, it is important to be extremely careful over the statistics as what counts as an immigrant in one country can be wildly different from another. Refugees are a different but related problem and again mustn't be confused with other immigrants.

Call me racist if you like, but people are often concerned at the culture some immigrants bring with them. For instance, note the popularity of Trump's statements about illegals bringing rape and other crime to the USA. His statements are idiotic, as his mostly are, but it is true that some illegals do commit crime and that is many people's experience of them. Assessing the scale and context of that particular problem is beside the point I'm trying to make here. In the UK, Muslim immigration from parts of Pakistan, in particular, are a cause for concern. Immigrants from what was the NWFP (now Kyber Pakhunkwa) for example were poorly educated in madrasas, if educated at all, and they appeared to bring an intolerance of western culture (such as alcohol and western dress) that is extreme. There has even been violence between themselves over some of them being the wrong sort of Muslim, or not true Muslims.

Once a culture or religion such as Islam is in a country, it naturally cannot be removed. Islam is now a part of the UK and has been for many years. The scale of it has grown. That is a concern when even moderate Muslims, such as the Mayor of London, won't say, for example, that One-Law-for-All is a principle that must supersede Sharia law. I understand that, like most western Muslims and other western religionists he sees no conflict between OLfA and Sharia. Sadiq Khan also allows religiously motivated child genital mutilation on the NHS to occur. He believes that 'puts the child first'.

Whatever one's opinion on the above, the point I am trying to make is that concerns over immigration were not debated and politically addressed. This has partly contributed to Brexit and the election of an clueless egotist as the leader of the Western world.

One thread talked of where we will be in a 100 years. Care more about the next 2 or 3. Trump is steadily unpicking a carefully constructed world order and level of cooperation and trade that have hugely reduced poverty and raised living standards. It has also forwarded technology. All that is now put at risk. So immigration and culture clashes need to be discussed and concerns taken seriously. We all now immigrants, refugees or not, are people. That does seem to need saying sometimes too.

The best way to stop unwanted economic migration is economic convergence between nations. That may ultimately be the only way.

The last point I would make regards the USA. Half the population turns a blind eye to illegal immigration because it helps them on their farms, or they are their neighbours and people identify with our neighbours. They are now innocent children, born in the USA or contributors to society. To a huge number of other USAmericans they are primarily a source of crime and a threat to the American language and culture. The USA needs an amnesty but there is no point in that before a means has been found to control immigration. NO western country has done that yet.

Another vital point is that illegal immigration cannot be controlled at borders alone. Effective means of law enforcement in every town and county is far more essential. Whatever the size of the 'wall', large numbers are bound to get in and it is clear what happens if they stay. Most illegal immigration is detected and acted upon after the illegals have entered the country.

Trump's election for me indicates a huge victory for the stocking-frame-breakers of the positive side of globalisation which has ended so much poverty and has begun to address questions like fair trade.

Racism isn't understood well either. Everyone knows who racists are and they are never "me".

I have tried to highlight just some of the complexities of the problems of immigration.

Terminal Dogma's picture
Good points, ignorant

Good points, ignorant statement like the first reply only serve to shut down intelligent debate by shaming language.

LogicFTW's picture
@topic being discussed

@topic being discussed

Immigration is almost in all aspects a net gain/positive. Read on if you want the details.



First, it always cracks me up when people are against immigration. Just about everyone, everywhere have family history if they go back far enough, where most of their family origin immigrated to the country they new live in.

Perhaps the real fear lies in, that these folks afraid of immigration on some level realize, that many people took the land they immigrated to, from someone else, and they are afraid it will happen to them in turn. What european colonization did to the rest of the world is nothing short of barbaric. Using their superior tech to take land and resources that they wanted by force.

To me the real fear of immigration is people are afraid of the "other" that they will take their jobs, that they will bring crime, that they will bring their own culture and values, that they will create a public drain on available public resources.

The reality of the situation is different, and like mentioned above, it is complicated.

1. Illegal immigration, by definition does not take jobs. Only people willing to hire folks under the table, risking major financial penalty actually "hire" illegal immigrants with no documentation. Additionally, these are jobs that pay so little, and are usually so miserable that nearly all citizens that have better job opportunities available to them will take it. No one likes to sit out in the sun all day pulling produce off the ground for a few bucks an hour. Farms across the south have always been reliant on a transitory immigrant population to quickly harvest crops that cannot be harvested by machine. Quite a few smaller mom/pop farms have had to shut down as they simply could not find workers willing to harvest their crop for almost any pay, including pay that cripples a small mom/pop farmer's profit margin. The large corporation owned farms just send out their million dollar machines that does the work of 50 people working by hand.

2. Immigrants, (legal and illegal) have always by percentage commit less crime than citizens have in the US. Most immigrants from other countries that go through the legal process are among the most vetted people in the world. I would take a plane ride with a group of freshly cleared immigrants over a plane ride full of US citizens any day of the week on a purely safety standpoint. (Not that flying is at all dangerous to begin with.)

3. Yes immigrants will bring their own culture and value system, but usually within a generation that culture will mesh quite strongly with the local culture as the new generation will adapt strongly to their surrounding culture.

4. Drain on public resources:
Just like citizens, only if we let them. If the US provides ample opportunity, which it has, immigrants end up frequently contributing more than citizens do. Even with their usually poorer "2nd class" status. If legal immigrants are shunned and not given equal job or loan opportunities then yes, they will grow desperate and have to rely on public resources more. Illegal immigrants are a net drain, (certainly not paying taxes) on public resources, but may add value doing activity (like harvesting crop) that no one else is willing to do. The immigrants tend to stay off the radar of the public so you will not find them drunk driving on our roads, or commiting crime for a vast majority of them, they know that a traffic stop, or a trip to jail is a fast track to deportation.


Building walls is among the stupidest things I ever heard. What are we? 2000 years in the past when walls actually represented a real obstacle to invading armies? The berlin wall was obscenely expensive to build and maintain, and it covered barely 66 (of actual concrete wall) miles and it still leaked like a sieve even with the tech available to the citizens/people at the time/area. US and Mexico border is 2000 miles. Much of it not near any cities, some in rugged terrain/mountains.

A vast majority of illegal immigrants simply travel to the US by plane, boat, or crossing borders legally, (for a visit they overstay.) Only a tiny fraction of illegal immigrants try to cross where the border wall is in place. Also a wall that is not heavily and very expensively surveilled, is easily defeated by a rope. Securing the entire 2000 mile Mexico/US border with a wall is beyond an incredibly stupid idea.

Additionally immigration is down, way down. Legal and illegal immigration dropped substantially around 2009 when the US financial crisis took hold, and it has not really recovered since then. People are fairly quickly figuring out it is better to be "poor" in Mexico or Central America then it is to be an immigrant and poor in the US. People worldwide are fast learning the US is no longer this paradise of opportunity where any hard worker can "make it." The US is a great place to live if you are rich, but poor? Not so much.


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