Every ten years, since 1790, the US government takes what is called the Census. The length and extent of the questions have changed repeatedly over the years, but the principle is all the same throughout, which is to try and get an estimate of how many people live in the country, who they are, and from this, project based on local, state, and national estimates the makeup of the country and where it is heading.
The Census is one of those things that, while not inherently able to be executed with perfect accuracy, does attempt to give a realistic perspective on society about as best as one is able to get, since its answers are pulled from people who live in your local communities and compiled with other data. It is obvious why the government would have an interest in this for many reasons (and not necessarily for bad ones).
The American political ‘right wing’ often likes to use the phrase “Demography is destiny”, and I must agree, this is true in so far as societies are made up of people, and who those people are and what they value determines how society changes. This is the same reason why one sees laws enshrining anti-Christian practices (such as homosexuality) while also tendencies towards the long-term removal of firearms in spite of talk about the Second Amendment. This is not because “liberals have taken over”- as though they were aliens from another planet and not fully human, or some strange creature from the deep -but they are people, and if they grow in number and influence, the laws will change to reflect their beliefs because, unlike as how many would have it, man is not made for laws, but laws are made by men for men to help them understand their place in the world and how to relate to it in so far as the corpus of society is concerned, and these laws are not necessarily moral, but are intended to (when used properly) to meet the needs of the people they address. This is why a law against alcohol, while popular at one time in the US so much as to make a constitutional amendment banning the sale of the substance, was eventually repealed by force and why such laws are easily enforced in Islamic nations, because for better or worse, there are different groups of people who have different needs.
Over a year ago, I applied to be a US Census taker as a job in order to get a feel for my local community and those areas surrounding me. I did this because demographics is a part of my research here at Shoebat.com, and in contributing to the greater understanding of society at a national level with official data, I would also be able to get a direct, personal sense of what is happening around me and be able to relay it to you.
By law, there is certain information I cannot reveal. As an added measure, I also will take my own precautions and note that I will not say the communities or states in which I worked. However, I can say that I spanned both urban and rural communities throughout a region of the southeastern US, and my experiences are based upon this.
They were not always pretty experiences either. From having doors slammed shut in my face, to verbal threats, to being attacked by dogs, to having drug dealers sic their pitbulls at me, to having guns pulled on me twice, to being shot at once by a crazed man who looked like Timothy McVeigh (not an exaggeration either), I experienced some of the best and worst of American society.
These are my findings. I will try to keep them brief. Also, you will find that I do not cite any sources for this. Why do I not do this? Because my research as a part of the Census Bureau was itself the primary source for data obtained by way of speaking with the people first-hand. After all, what is a better measure of what people think than by directly asking them?
Some of these observations may sound controversial. They are not intended to, and nothing is meant or implied by them to promote division. Rather, I am looking to give a sound analysis to what I saw in the most charitable way possible, discussing the good, bad, and ugly, and what it means.
Here is a list of twelve observations as to what I found.
1) The Hispanic Demographic is growing by a lot and by not as much as you would think.
To give an impression of what I was working with, there were three main racial groups- White, Black, and “Hispanic”, the latter of which is not classified as a “race”, but an “ethnicity” that spans multiple races (there were other races, but I would say they were such a minority presence they were not statistically relevant for our discussion). Thus one could be “White and Hispanic” versus “White, Non-hispanic”, and the same for Black or Asian. When I speak of “Hispanic”, for my purposes, I am referring to people primarily from Mexico and Guatemala, as these were the main demographics in my region.
The Hispanic families were interesting because, for all the talk about women who just “drop anchor babies” and have “multiple fathers”, this was not at all my experience. There were some families with three and four children, but most had two, and there was either a mom and a dad at home, or a mom living with her family. The support systems were clear and visible, even though many of them lived in visible poverty and worked at low-end jobs.
What I found looking at the Hispanic bloc that took me a minute to fully process was that the Hispanics were not special at all. In fact, they were so ‘normal’ in their appearance and life and the answers they gave that they were essentially what many ‘working class Whites’ seems to have reported (based on my experience of reading past Census reports) even just as recently as a few decades ago. The fact that they had two and sometimes three children was not at all special- it was what the White and Black blocs used to do until the past few decades.
The current Census statistics show that the Hispanic bloc has a fertility rate of about 2 to 2.1 children per woman, or just at or slightly below replacement rate. This number would seem to make sense with what I saw. This is why I say the demographic seems to be growing by ‘a lot’ and ‘not much’ at the same time, since they are not spectacular in their having children or family life, but rather, that the world has become so abnormal around the rest of society, that this bloc still has many of the characteristics of what ‘normal life’ used to look like and still does for many parts of the world and certainly the larger historical picture, but that it has been forgotten by so many amid the legitimization of the ridiculous as normal.
As I noted, many were clearly poor, but there were some in up-and-coming jobs, and even lived in ‘nice’ homes in ‘nice’ areas. Likewise, among the younger people in the bloc, there seems to be a not large but clearly visible presence of interracial relationships between Hispanics and Whites, with a slight favor in relationships between White men and Hispanic Women than the reverse.
2) White fertility rates are in serious decline and the bloc is aging fast
This is something that has been written about for a while, and as I noted before, nothing here is made in a racialized context, but rather an examination of reality.
The fact is that the White bloc has the lowest TFR of all the blocs, and it is not really improving. However, what I saw was even more concerning, in that the bloc is skewed seemingly higher than it should be simply because it includes Generation X, which still (the youngest of the generational division) can and may have children. They do not have a lot- maybe two -but the fact is they seem to be ‘skewing’ the fertility ranges upwards, as noted by my visits to their homes.
The younger Whites are not having children, and if a child is born, it seems like it will be an only child. This was the impression I received from many. There are many couples living together without children and without a desire to have children, and there are some single moms, but largely there is nothing among Millennials. LIkewise, when there are a few families, they again have only one (maybe two) children, and they live alone, isolated from their families and support networks.
As I have said before, demographics is not racist or supremacist, but simple mathematics. Either one grows, maintains, or contracts one’s numbers.
Over a decade ago, the White nationalist singer Saga from Sweden put out a song called “Ode to a dying people”, about the disappearance of the White bloc from Europe. I must say that for the purpose of this examination she is correct in so far as the idea that ‘white people are disappearing,’ but to accept such a conclusion at this point is not merely to support racialism, but would be a half truth, and thus a lie. What I saw was not dying, but rather the seeds of death being planted by means of suicidal behaviors that bring short-term pacification but the abolishment of oneself in the long term. Thus by the choice of people to not reproduce, they chose to create a social and economic vacuum that they wanted to fill with other people to do work they refuse to do (as it would mean to assume a lower standard of living than what they had become accustomed to), and since those people are having families while they are continuing not to have families, they are naturally being replaced by virtue of mathematics, since population is a zero-sum matter.
One can see how this problem can be easily exploited for political gain. However, the reality is that one cannot blame any bloc other than oneself because it was not the Black bloc, Hispanic bloc, or any other bloc that made people stop having children. Rather, it was the decisions of people who chose idleness and the pursuit of material gain instead of their own families, and instead lost the latter because of the passage of time and will lose the former because one cannot take the world with oneself on death.
The trends I saw suggest a continual decline of the White bloc- a completely reversible decline, but one that likely will continue because people would rather seem to complain and not have families than to do this. In the words of one woman in the bloc that I spoke with, lamenting the fact that her son is in his mid-thirties with no children, no fiancee, no girlfriend, and no plans for a family, that ‘I wish I had more children’ was her chief regret.
3) The Liberals are winning the political war
This issue again is tied to demographics, but when talking to people in what one may call “Trump country”, people under 40 were generally inclined to the political left more so than what one would expect, and the inclinations increased as the age decreased. The support of political ideas did not seem to change much between the Black and Hispanic blocs from their current and decidedly Democrat-favored views, but this trend seemed more prevalent among the whites.
4) There is a major shift from the rural regions to the cities
There is a small real estate boom happening right now because of COVID and people leaving the cities, but I do not expect this to last. The Census seems to indicate this, as people are continuing to move to the cities since there are jobs that pay in these places, and the few jobs in rural areas are very low paying and do not offer much in the way of a long-term hope. Indeed, it seemed that for many, the goal upon growing up was to leave the country and never return, no matter what the bloc in question was.
One will have to wonder that, as all the above blocs are below replacement rate, that with a migration to the cities that seems to continue for the foreseeable future, if large rural areas will experience depopulation and possibly the dissolution of some small towns and their absorption into other ones with larger populations.
5) Poverty is becoming a lot worse
The area I was in was already poor, but what I saw was a continued and growing trend of the poor becoming poorer. This has been happening for a while around the country, but that the jobs available are decreasing in number, the salaries are stagnant or declining, the debt is growing, and the personal frustration with life is also increasing. There was a consistent desire to either ‘move up’ or ‘get out’ of the various areas to urban regions where there was more hope for higher incomes and a better life in general.
6) The number of illegal residents is grossly underestimated
People talk about how there are a lot of uncounted people from the Spanish-speaking countries here illegally, and this is very true. My experience was from a single location, there were probably dozens of them under multiple names. I could not get an accurate estimate because there were so many, and one also notes that when asking about such people (not saying “are you illegal”, of course), one could almost see the fear in them, perhaps of an ICE raid.
When people talk about how there could be 30 million illegal residents not officially counted in the Census, those numbers are likely not an exaggeration. It is also reasonable to see why a sort of expedited ‘path to citizenship’ may be a good idea, since it is true there is a ‘border problem’ that was created and enabled over decades for political reasons, but this also has created a social problem that, as many of such people work in low-paying jobs that support the economy, should be resolved for the sake of the mercy and justice of both the people here ‘outside of the law’ and those who are “native born/permanent citizens”.
7) The success of the Hispanic bloc seems to be due to intercommunal assistance
I alluded to this before, but something that I noticed in my interviews and conversations was the interconnected nature of the Hispanic bloc at large as opposed to the White bloc, and even the Black bloc. I will note, there are signs that this may be changing, but for now, there are still generally visible community support networks among the Hispanic bloc that does not exist among the White bloc. It also seems to me that with multiple generations living under one home, contributing income to each other, sharing in the division of labor, they are able to propel their children faster toward better things. The White bloc, by contrast, seems to be very isolated between families with little inter-family support, and as such while some can ‘get by’, they are forced to do more work with less division of labor and because of this lack the networks of support I saw and may not be able to advance as efficiently in the longer term.
8) The “rugged individualism” mindset among whites is destroying them
Some refer to it as the accursed mantra of the Boomers to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” but what I saw was people who in the process of trying to pull themselves up end up hanging themselves in the process.
It is known that the finances are skewed by generation, with the Boomers having the largest hold (about 57%), Generation X the second (16%), and Millennials at 3%. I cannot recall a single Millennial who owned a home save for two families- a single mother and her daughter, and a man with his pregnant wife -and both lived in poorer areas. There was not a single member of the White bloc I talked to who was not suffering from some form of isolation from family and community, and I cannot recall one without notable debts.
I cannot say that people called themselves ‘rugged individualists’, but for all of the good and noble attempts that one can make at working by oneself for one’s own needs, there seemed to be a combination of isolation, poverty, and even a lack of place or support among the White bloc that stretched from the rich to the poor that was not found in the Black or Hispanic blocs in the same intensity. I can best describe it as a sort of individualism that cuts oneself off from one’s neighbors, and while generally speaking better economically, were isolated to the point of creating ‘bubbles’ in society and in which they lived. This attitude also seems to be related to the growing poverty and debt that was among them.
As a trend for the future to watch, it may be a notable thing to return to the old ‘immigrant model’ and have multiple families either living close to or under the same roof, as the collective labor in a case like this allows more to be accomplished and arguably also appreciated than when one lives in stand-alone homes as isolated from communities are the buildings they live in.
9) People who live in trailers or ‘questionable’ housing really are more dangerous
People joke about the idea of “trailer trash” in the US, but I can tell you that it is real. All of the very serious problems I had save for one incident came from trailers, from being shot at to attacked by dogs, to having what appeared to be people out of a movie talk to me (in one notable case, I saw a man with a balding head crowned with a scraggly bunch of long hair and a cigarette ask for “Momma” (his mother), who I spoke with, while the other man (both were in their forties or fifties) wearing a baseball cap with what seemed to be a NASCAR logo on it ask “What’s he doing ma?”). Trailer parks are better, but isolated trailers in the woods or off of the road are, from my experience, scary, dangerous things filled with people better left alone and that pose a real safety risk.
Without exaggerating, I may have witnessed where Jeff Foxworthy gets some of his comedy inspiration from.
As a comparison, it was of interest to note that two trailer parks I stopped at were half-Hispanic and half-White, and the other one all Hispanic, and in neither one did I ever experience any serious concerns.
10) There is an ‘East German’ level of treatment among many people to each other
It was said that in East Germany, the internal security services, known as the Stasi, encouraged people to report their neighbors, and this was met with mixed success. What I can say is that working among the three blocs- White, Black, and Hispanic -it was the White bloc that gave me the most trouble with police.
Now as a Census worker, you are allowed to legally ‘trespass’ on anybody’s land because you are on official government business, and this is clearly explained, and you are easily identifiable as a Census worker. While it is understandable that people would be suspicious, one would think to ask people first before drawing guns, shooting at somebody, or just calling the police and saying there is a prowler looking to scope out houses.
The irony of this was when I was stopped by police, they laughed it off because they not only saw what I was doing, but that people called so many times the local county sheriff in one area noted that I was to be left alone and calls made about me ignored.
The last time I was stopped, I was at a house taking care of business when a woman pulled up and began yelling at me. She was White, and was angrily asking what I was doing and making threats to call the police, even after I explained. My response to her, after becoming short on patience, was to tell her to call the police and I will wait, because they will just tell her to leave me alone. She eventually went her own way.
The sense I took from this, as a general trend, was that among many of the White bloc, there was no sense of community like seen in the Black or Hispanic Blocs. I do not speak about “White solidarity” or nonsense like that (in the same that I would treat Black or Hispanic concepts of the like), but in that people in the latter two conducted themselves in a way that was, I must say, more human. Certainly not all liked me and I had rude people, but with the White bloc, there was a pervasive sense of individualism combined with an unhealthy distrust of people and an unwillingness to listen outside of what one already assumed one was going to hear one say. This was certainly not for all, but was noticeable among the bloc.
11) Meth is scary
Seeing the effects of what appeared to be long-term methamphetamine use up close is a scary thing. Combine that with poverty, misery, and a lack of meaning or community, and it is a dangerous combination.
12) The Hispanic bloc could suffer the same fate as the White bloc
I have spoken overall in a very positive way about the Hispanic bloc. However, the future is not necessarily all ‘roses’ for them. Rather, what I saw among them was a crossing between ‘immigrant’ and ‘native’ attitudes, with the division between those who recently arrived versus those who were born here or have been fully ‘Americanized’.
It was clear by speaking with and looking at the younger members, that they at large had fully adopted the ideas, attitudes, and practices of their ‘American’ peers, and were on their way to becoming the same versions of them except with Hispanic instead of European faces. This is not a ‘racial’ difference for either group, but a philosophical and attitude difference. One may say this has happened with all immigrant groups, but what surprised me about the Hispanic bloc was that the process of Americanization seemed to be very fast and more complete than what it was for the previous groups of European immigrants, and that there is a possibility that they would become more disconnected faster and with a ‘harder break’ than those who came before. This is going to be a trend to watch for, since it will have social, economic, and political consequences in the future.
If I had to summarize the trends for the future, all of them seem to be what I have noted at Shoebat.com, except that this time, I saw for myself, with my own eyes, what was taking place on the ground and participated in gathering the data to make such conclusions.
There are many things that one cannot change in life. However, the future is always tied to you- your decisions, your beliefs, your attitudes -and how you express them in your local community. What I speak of here is not my wish, or my desire, but my observations. Likewise, I should note that things can change, and very fast, but only if people want it. That is the real problem, because one cannot make a man do something he truly does not want to do.
Demographics truly is destiny because it is the decisions that you choose now as a person that affect the future, and ultimately extend beyong you to those around you. The question is, it seems, who do you live for- God and family and something greater, or for yourself in the moment?