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Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the Future of America Paperback – July 28, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DOWELL MYERS is professor of urban planning and demography at the University of Southern California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation (July 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871546248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871546241
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Two highly regarded demographers have already proclaimed that the nations recent wave of immigration has crested."

I heard Professor Myers talk at the Huntington Library about a year ago and have been eagerly awaiting his book. Since he is a demographer at USC he looks at the immigration issue from a demographers point of view and he concludes that if the baby boomers want to have someone to buy their houses and care for them when they are 75 they had better keep letting in immigrants and spend more now to educate and acculturate them.
The book has great graphs and much new data about the wave of immigrants from Latin America. He shows how the fear of immigration is based on a flawed snapshot of the past and that there is much to be hopeful about.
"The nation needs immigrants to fill our needs, not simply in today's world, where most citizens and experts have looked for their answers, but especially in tomorrow's."
People who argue in favor of immigration and an amnesty will find that "Immigrants and Boomers" gives them some very good economic and cultural arguments to support their view. Those who oppose immigration and amnesty may be swayed by the arguments about the economic needs of the baby boomers. This is an important book because it presents new data that can reduce some of the jingoistic fear of immigrants. It would be worth the price and time just for its excellent rebuttal of Sam Huntington's argument against immigration in "Who We Are."
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Myers brings a new perspective to the immigration debate, but he doesn't involve himself in dealing with the current illegal immigrant issue per se. He writes clearly and supports his work with copious citations, charts and graphs.

I downgrade this book for its repetitiousness. He makes the same basic points chapter after chapter. And, for all of his teachings that we citizens embrace an outlook of hope for the future, in the end he despairs of working the issue through governmental processes. If you liked Obama's Audacity of Hope, you'll love Myers.

In the end, he changed my mind set about our need for infusions of immigrants and for the imperative need of a crash course to educate them.
Anyone who dislikes the pending immigration bill will likely change thier mind too if they dare to read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Dowell Myers is a professor, urban planner, and numbers cruncher as well as a good thinker and clear writer. In this book, he has used his synthesizing ability to write a cogent argument about the mutual need that the aging baby boomers and many immigrants have for each other. He states at the outset: "This book is a river of discovery formed of many tributaries, each of which began in response to different contexts and motivations, and all later merging together far down course." (p. xi). What is this mutual need? In the United States, the baby boomers are getting older. Who will support them in their old age? Who will buy their homes? Who will replenish the U.S. coffers? Most likely, they will be found among the ever-increasing number of immigrants. It is out of mutual self-interest that the boomers and the immigrants really do need each other... The need is for a financially viable work force to replace the one retiring in the coming years. Therefore, Myers suggests, "success in meeting the educational challenge of preparing the new generation is the single most important task for the future." (p. 200).

He describes two possible futures: the scenario of despair, which flows from the sense that those among the formerly dominant demographic group (white, non-Hispanic) are losing their position as the dominant group. They are afraid, because they sense that foreign cultures are taking over... However, he points toward a better future: the scenario of hope, based on mutual self-interest. Though many do not see such a possibility, in this possible future, the older (voters) would invest in the younger, school-age generation, many of whom are ethnically different or of immigrant origin.
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