Are Hispanics moving up or down the social scale?


April 24, 2012

By Wayne Lusvardi

The ongoing economic malaise of the past half decade has slammed most social and economic groups in California. How are Hispanics doing here, especially in light of the bursting of the Housing Bubble?

For example, consider Riverside County, which according to the 2010 U.S. Census is 46 percent Hispanic. Housing prices there have dropped 30 percent. Worse, construction work, a mainstay of Hispanic family income, has crashed 70 percent.

This matter was considered recently in the City Journal by Heather Mac Donald in her article, “California’s Demographic Revolution.” She wrote that, “unless Hispanics’ upward mobility improves, the state risks becoming more polarized economically and more reliant on a large government safety net.”

But she is mistaken that California is beset by a lack of upward social mobility for most Hispanics solely caused by social and economic pathologies.  If the Housing Bubble demonstrated anything, it was that Hispanics have suffered not from too little, but too much, upward mobility by government-induced home ownership for Hispanics.

Moreover, the percentage of young Hispanic gang members is less than 5 percent of the total population of Hispanics age 15 to 24 in Los Angeles County.  While Mac Donald’s concern about lack of social mobility for Hispanic gang members is warranted, it lacks a sense of proportion.

Unfortunately, the evidence Mac Donald offers is based on selective casual interviews and observations from those at the very top and bottom of the social class spectrum, rather than from upwardly mobile suburban Hispanics themselves.

Mac Donald drew her conclusions largely from highly selected interviews with members of the Crazy Little Stoners gang in the city of Santa Ana; an anti-gang intervention cop; educators from UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley; California’s largest Spanish-language newspaper, “La Opinion”; a San Jose State University political science professor; and a publisher of a Spanish-language classified advertising newspaper. Mac Donald bases most of her observations on the City of Santa Ana, which is comprised of 78 percent Hispanics.

Gathering the views of gang members from dysfunctional families in ethnic enclaves, ethnic newspaper publishers and university faculty club members isn’t likely to shed much light on Hispanic upward or downward social mobility.  To do that one would have to interview first, second and third generation Hispanics who have immigrated to California.

Where upwardly mobile Hispanics would be found in the Los Angeles area would be in suburban San Gabriel Valley, where, contrary to many stereotypes, Hispanics are a near majority.  There are 1.5 million people in the San Gabriel Valley and 45 percent, or 675,000 people, are Hispanic.

Downwardly mobile Hispanics would likely be found in the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Fresno and Visalia, where home loan defaults and foreclosures are some of the highest in the United States.

But Mac Donald didn’t interview Hispanics in suburban San Gabriel Valley or California’s Central Valley.  If she had, she might have found that economic inequality is not the same as lack of social mobility.

Inequality Not Same as Social Immobility

Sociologist Peter L. Berger once observed, “Thus one may have a society with very unequal distribution of income and wealth in which there is, nevertheless, a high degree of social mobility; conversely a society with egalitarian distribution may have little social mobility.”

Mac Donald seems to confuse economic inequality with lack of social mobility. She accurately reports:

“Hispanics made up 60 percent of California’s poor in 2010, despite being 38 percent of the population. Nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics in California are poor, compared with a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nationally, the poverty rate of Hispanic adults drops from 25.5 percent in the first generation — the immigrant generation, that is – to 17 percent in the second but rises to 19 percent in the third.”

But this trend of third generation downward economic mobility is typical of nearly all income and ethnic groups in American history and proves the openness of the social class system.  Sociologists even have a term for it: the “circulation of the elites.”

There’s also an old saying in America, “from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” We’ve all seen a go-getter rise above the socio-economic level of his parents (who often were immigrants), then witness his children not perform as well. Perhaps the kids had it too easy and became lazy. In any case, it happens all the time.

As Berger explains:

“Put simply: the son of the truck driver has a reasonable chance of making it into the world of professional or business privilege; but individuals in the latter world have a high chance of failing to prevent their sons from ending up as truck drivers.”

Both upward and downward movements along the social class spectrum don’t invalidate but support the egalitarian dynamics of American society. It is less of an advantage to start out at the top and less of a handicap to start out at the bottom. Historically, mobility rates from manual to white-collar occupations have been higher in American than in other industrialized countries, capitalist or socialist.

Mac Donald’s Thesis Similar to Upton Sinclair’s

Mac Donald’s thesis that most Hispanics are trapped in an underclass of dysfunctional families in an oppressive economy sounds similar to famous California socialist and novelist Upton Sinclair.  In his 1906 book, “The Jungle,” Sinclair portrayed the plight of a Lithuanian character named Jurgis Rudkus, who believed in the Horatio Alger dream that through hard work he could realize the American Dream.

Sinclair wrote that the fictional character Rudkus found “the whole country…was nothing but one gigantic lie.”  But as The Economist magazine points out, we would find it ridiculous today to be troubled about poverty of Lithuanian-Americans. Arguably, Hispanic immigrants have more opportunities today than Lithuanian immigrants had in 1906. For many Hispanic economic migrants from rural Mexico, just moving to California is upward mobility.  Social mobility is relative.

In 1934, Upton Sinclair ran as a Democrat for governor of California on a platform of “End Poverty in California — EPIC.”

California’s Hispanic Housing Bubble and Bust

Arguably, Hispanics received the most benefit and the most harm from subprime lending during the Housing Bubble.

A 2005 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of 75,744 minority subprime loan borrowers found the largest percentage was Hispanic (15,647 loans or 20.7 percent).  This study found no evidence of adverse pricing of subprime loans by race or ethnicity and minority borrowers paid lower rates.

A 2008 study by the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. found Southern California was the hot spot for the most subprime loans in all of the United States in 2005.  And out of the top 10 cities with the most subprime loans, six were in California (percent of Hispanic population in parentheses): Riverside (45 percent), Bakersfield (45.5 percent), Stockton (37.6 percent), Modesto (35.5 percent), Fresno (50.3 percent) and Visalia (46.0 percent).  Where Hispanics got into trouble had more to do with home equity loans than primary home purchase loans.

Hispanics were hit hardest with foreclosures after the Housing Bubble popped.

If the Housing Bubble demonstrated anything, it is that Hispanics suffered not from too little, but too much, upward mobility by government-induced home ownership policies.

Hispanic Family Dysfunction and Crime Have Declined

As to Mac Donald’s dysfunctional family hypothesis, the California Hispanic teen birth rate has dropped 33 percent since 1991, according to U.S. Vital Statistics Reports.  The overall teen birth rate has also dropped. But apparently the absolute number of Hispanic teen births has risen because the total Hispanic population has increased.  Hispanic teen birth rates are relative.

Year Out of Wedlock Birth Rate per 1,000   Hispanic Women
2009 70
2007 82
2005 82
1991 105
Source: National   Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 60, No. 1, November 4, 2011.

Hispanics are 48.7 percent of all arrestees in the state and victims of 44.5 percent of all homicides. Nevertheless, the Hispanic homicide rate has dropped 7.9 percent since 2009. The proportion of Hispanic crime remains high in California. But the percentage made up of young males is highest in California and non-Hispanic crime has declined.

CA Hispanics Are Diverse

All California Hispanics cannot be pigeonholed as being held back from upward social mobility by dysfunctional families and an oppressive economy.

According to the website Los Angeles Community Policing, there are 85,298 gang members in Los Angeles County.  Of this, 53,121 are Hispanic gang members.  This would be the size of a small city in Los Angeles County.  No one has better data than the Los Angeles Community Policing website.

But this needs to be put into broader perspective:  53,121 Hispanic gang members reflect only 3.5 percent of the 1,483,827 young people in Los Angeles County age 15 to 24 (Source: American Community Survey 2010).  In other words, 96.5 percent of youth in Los Angeles County are not members of gangs. California’s future is not as bleak as Mac Donald would have us believe.

There are rural Hispanics described by Victor Davis Hanson who live in “relative poverty.” They have cell phones, big screen TVs and brand new trucks. But they some are involved in the underground economy of copper and other metal theft.

Then there are the Hispanics represented by the Latino Water Coalition in California’s Central Valley.  They formed the coalition after a bogus environmental lawsuit shut down water to Central Valley farms from 2007 to 2010 to protect the Sacramento Delta Smelt fish.  Many of these Hispanics enjoy the relative upward mobility of escaping poverty in Northern Mexico for work in California’s agricultural industry.  It is their children that will be more likely to have upward social mobility.

There are those Hispanics caught up in a system of trying to obtain educational credentials or licenses to work their way up California’s state-controlled occupational ladder.

And there are upwardly mobile Hispanics such as those living in the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California, mentioned above.

Hispanics are diverse and most are not trapped living in dysfunctional gang families who lack a “bourgeoisie” work ethic.

Government can do little to increase upward mobility for those Hispanic families beset by family dysfunction and hard crime.  Hispanics caught in such situations can be salvaged.  But it is mainly up to the civil society of mediating institutions, such as extended families, churches and private organizations to do so.

Hispanics in California benefitted from hyper-social mobility during the Housing Bubble. And Hispanics have disproportionately suffered from the aftermath of that abnormally rapid burst in upward mobility.  Thus, the much-ballyhooed decline of Hispanic social mobility due to social and economic pathologies really isn’t happening.  It is too much government-induced social mobility, not too little, that most Hispanics continue to suffer from.

The apparent social policy underneath the Housing Bubble was an attempt to prop up the decline in formations of intact families that form the basis of the economy.  Without enough young intact families at the base of the demographic pyramid to take out home and business loans, the elderly are unable to get a decent return on their savings and investments.  The result of this demographic imbalance has been an economic depression.

To Get Social Mobility Working Normally Again, Increase Interest Rates

To restart the normal cycle of social mobility for Hispanics and everyone else, interest rates have to rise.  That would mean ending the current Federal Reserve policy of “interest rate repression,” as described by economist Carmen M. Reinhart. Presently, interest rates are below 1 percent for 82 percent of Treasury Bills.

For the intergenerational life cycle of the economy to revive and upward social mobility to resume, interest rates must rise at least 2 percentage points over the current inflation rate of about 3 percent. The current interest rate policy of the U.S. Federal Reserve, unfortunately, is slated to continue for two more years of very low interest rates.

California is presently caught in a pincers between keeping government bond rates low and squelching any economic recovery in the process. This is why current proposals by the governor and the teachers’ unions to raise taxes are being designed to be a “millionaires’ tax” that doesn’t adversely affect most Hispanics or others in the working and middle classes.  But a tax increase will mostly preserve lucrative pensions for upward mobility for government technocrats. A tax increase will do nothing to restore the normal process of social mobility for Hispanics, or restore the economy and prosperity for all Californians.

Heather Mac Donald has good reason to be concerned about the social mobility of young Hispanics in California.  But the problems can be solved with more sensible economic policies.


Write a comment
  1. queeg
    queeg 23 April, 2012, 21:05

    We are all Americans….the land of liberty for all.

    Reply this comment
  2. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 23 April, 2012, 21:17

    You nibble around the edges but you refuse to debate straight up the huge illegal alien problem we have in California, Wayne. It’s an incredibly destructive and costly problem for all California citizens, to include hispanic citizens. And it just happens that the large majority of illegal aliens in California happen to be of hispanic origin. I have crossed paths with many hispanic citizens who despise illegal hispanics. But I don’t expect you to blog on that sensitive topic since you would leave yourself wide open. Wouldn’t you? This is not about whether hispanic citizens are moving up or down the social scale. It’s about whether the illegal aliens are dragging all of us down the social scale? A question that I would answer with a resounding YES! Be brave, Wayne. Take a risk.

    Reply this comment
  3. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 23 April, 2012, 21:49

    Mexican Living in U.S. Illegally Drops for First Time: Study (Drops by 900,000)

    Reply this comment
  4. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 23 April, 2012, 22:18

    “Mexican Living in U.S. Illegally Drops for First Time: Study (Drops by 900,000)”

    Non responsive. Come on, Wayne. You’re better than that. 😉

    Reply this comment
  5. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 23 April, 2012, 22:46

    BTW, who funded the study? La Raza?

    Reply this comment
  6. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 08:15

    If the # of illegals dropped that would mean we would be spending fewer taxdollars to support illegals, fewer illegals would be in our jails for violent crimes, there would be fewer illegal mothers giving birth in American hospitals, etc… none of which is true.

    Why would illegals go back to Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, etc… anyway? Talk about jumping from the fire pan into the fire! They got it made here. Free medical care, lots of social services of one kind of another, the Catholic church protects them and tells them where to go to get free stuff, tax free income if they work, and once they make it past the border (which is a breeze) they are home free. The cops don’t track them down unless they commit crimes other than illegal immigration. As a matter of fact, if they get caught driving w/o a license or insurance the cops have to give them their cars back on the spot in many cities. heh. You try driving your car w/ no license (suspended) and without insurance. Your car will get towed so fast it will make your head spin.

    So I simply don’t believe what Pew says. I’ve lived too darn long to take that bait. It makes no rational sense if you connect the dots. THINK!

    Reply this comment
  7. queeg
    queeg 24 April, 2012, 09:23

    Lets move on…

    Reply this comment
  8. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 09:36

    “Lets move on…”

    Not your call. If you have a topic comment – post it – otherwise zip it.

    Reply this comment
  9. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 24 April, 2012, 10:54

    “zip it” ?? There we go Beezy Boob— are you in charge of….anything??? LOL

    Reply this comment
  10. Rogue Elephant
    Rogue Elephant 24 April, 2012, 11:21

    Economic statistics for Hispanics will continue to be skewed by the influx of uneducated and unskilled workers and their families from Central America.

    That being said, it’s informative that the analysis focuses on California (generous welfare state) without contrasting the results versus Texas (the opposite). I’d wager (having lived in both states) that Texas enjoys (a) greater social mobility for Hispanics and other ethnic groups and (b) less racial tension.

    Certainly, business climate helps social mobility. Texas is business-friendly. California has descended from being business-unfriendly to being outright hostile. Their are exceptions, of course – the “crony capitalists”, politically-connected, and willing/able to pay the required “protection money” to the state’s political gangsters.

    It’s sad to see poor Hispanic immigrants flee Mexico’s corruptocracy and economic failure for dependent serfdom on the plantations of California’s exploitative Democrat political hoodlums.

    Reply this comment
  11. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 11:27

    “zip it” ?? There we go Beezy Boob— are you in charge of….anything???”

    Don’t you have any pertinent comments on the topics of the day? Your posts barely rise to the brain power level of a 7 YO. In fact, 7 YO girls tweet more sophisticated and brainy messages than you do. No joke.

    Reply this comment
  12. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 11:41

    “It’s sad to see poor Hispanic immigrants flee Mexico’s corruptocracy and economic failure for dependent serfdom on the plantations of California’s exploitative Democrat political hoodlums”

    You know what’s even sadder, rogue? That the leadership in our country lets Mexico offload the poorest of their poor and their social misfits on us. Essentially America is Mexico’s safety value. How many educated Mexicans do you think come to live in the US? A miniscule number. They stay in Mexico with their friends and family. We get all the misfits, criminals and poor Mexicans. And then you are forced to pay for them and live next to them in your neighborhood. Mexico encourages the dregs of their society to go north. They give them maps and tell them where to go for social services. And of course all of them know that they can use any US emergency room for free on the taxpayer’s dime – even under Obamacare. If you had a business and gave away goods for free everyday you would have a lineup 3 deep around the block, rogue. Governments are no different. Why would the government whores care? It’s not their money, plus the decision makers live behind big cinder block walls free from the sight of indigent illegals. Out of sight, out of mind! 😉

    Reply this comment
  13. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 24 April, 2012, 11:58

    no beezyboob— on this subject—no other comment at this time. Sorry little buddy.

    Reply this comment
  14. Bastiaan Schouten
    Bastiaan Schouten 24 April, 2012, 12:07

    There is a BIG LIE regarding undocumented workers–it is that they are leaches on the body politic, consuming public resources paid for by others; it is rather the contrary. They pay sales taxes and real estate taxes (if only through rents). Usually their incomes are too low for income taxes (but they do not receive Earned Income Credits.) They work–they must;and most employers withhold and pay payroll taxes (Social security and Medicare) on the order of 13%. Here is the Rip Off–they will never receive any payroll tax-funded benefits. Rather they subsidize the “documented.” If they receive any benefits, it is only when life threatening health events force them into the Emergency Rooms. The persistence of the “leach” Big Lie is amazing. It remains because of ignorance and because it is purposely repeated by bigots who know it to be false. There are many other Big Lies about Hispanics in the USA, but the “leach lie” is probably the worst.

    Reply this comment
  15. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 24 April, 2012, 12:31

    This is not to counter your comment but I’m not sure undocumented workers do not received payroll tax funded benefits when it comes to Worker’s Compensation. My understanding from several lawyers and an insurance company representative is that undocumented workers do receive medical care for job related injuries.

    And, of course, anyone who walks into an hospital emergency room receives care regardless of ability to pay.

    Reply this comment
  16. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 12:39

    “There is a BIG LIE regarding undocumented workers–it is that they are leaches on the body politic, consuming public resources paid for by others; it is rather the contrary”

    False. It’s documented that Ca taxpayers spend over $20B annually on illegal migrants. The biggest costs are for education, health care, incarcerations and welfare (and, yes, illegal get welfare). If illegal mamacita drops a load in an American hospital she stays here and collects free housing, food and medical care (FACT). No way on God’s green earth do illegals pay over $20B a year in Ca taxes. So sorry. You’re wrong.

    “They pay sales taxes and real estate taxes (if only through rents)”

    See above ^^^^^^

    “Usually their incomes are too low for income taxes (but they do not receive Earned Income Credits.)”

    False. Illegals get ITIN numbers and get child tax credits. Those payments amounted to $5B or more. So they don’t pay a dime in income tax and collect $5B. I have proof of that from a statement from the IRS inspector general. Be happy to link it for ya. And if I do I expect you to retract your previous statement. Deal???

    “They work–they must;and most employers withhold and pay payroll taxes (Social security and Medicare) on the order of 13%”

    False. The large majority work off the books and there are no withholdings. That’s a myth you sympathizers pump. Only idiots accept what you say as fact.

    “If they receive any benefits, it is only when life threatening health events force them into the Emergency Rooms”

    False. Any ER doc or nurse or billing clerk would tell you that illegals use the ER’s as their primary care office. By law, they can’t be turned away and must be seen by a doc. And the taxpayers cover the charge. Obviously, to foment this misinformation, you are a sympathizer. You are hurting your cause here. When you misinform you weaken your position to your audience. The readers here have already discounted you greatly. You are doing damage to your crusade. I suggest you stay off the boards.

    “It remains because of ignorance and because it is purposely repeated by bigots who know it to be false”

    I knew the race card would eventually get played here. We can’t complain about being pick pocketed by indigent illegals without being slandered with ‘racist’ implications. Shame on you for stooping so low!

    “The persistence of the “leach” Big Lie is amazing”

    According to the urban dictionary a “leach” aka ‘leech’ is one who survives mainly off the production of another. A synonynm is ‘parasite’. The truth is often an uncomfortable notion.

    Reply this comment
  17. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 13:30


    Please note the following:

    “Summary: The July 7, 2011, report of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration provides summary data from IRS tax returns that show illegal immigrants collected far more in dollars from the IRS than they paid in federal income taxes for each year in the period of 2005-2010, the total six-year net benefit amounting to about $7.3 billion”

    I don’t expect you to return, let along retract your statement or admit providing misinformation, Bastiaan. In my experience those like you never do. You post misinformation and when called out disappear back into the woodwork. Please prove me wrong.

    Whether you return or not – you did a big disservice to the illeal cause. When people have to resort to misinformation – across the board – it tells the audience that you haven’t a leg to stand on. So in a backhanded way, I want to thank you for strengthening my position. Your kind is my best ally! 😉 Gracias.

    Reply this comment
  18. queeg
    queeg 24 April, 2012, 14:31

    Shocked at the disrespect some show toward posters….whoever owns this site should call a time out on mean spirited attacks….

    Reply this comment
  19. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 14:38

    “Shocked at the disrespect some show toward posters….whoever owns this site should call a time out on mean spirited attacks…”

    Look how the ‘liberty lover’ is calling for censorship.

    Yet when Teddy goes on the attack or when Mr. Censorship shoots his barbs……it’s all in the spirit of public discussion.


    I knew it would come eventually tho. It always does.


    There would be nothing wrong with such a guideline. It’s all in the name of civilized behavior! 😉

    Reply this comment
  20. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 14:53

    However, in the new America one is taking a risk when he tells the truth or posts factual information that ruffles feathers. He risks punishment. Will Rogers once said ““A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth”. Boy oh boy, Will nailed that one for sure! 🙂 But you have to laugh at the ones who run to teacher and call for punishment for words! heh. They are the of the same ilk as those who snitched off their neighbors in Berlin (1938-44) for making slurs against the state! 😉

    Reply this comment
  21. queeg
    queeg 24 April, 2012, 16:11

    I wonder what Teddy thinks…the voice of reason and enlightenment!

    Reply this comment
  22. queeg
    queeg 24 April, 2012, 16:14

    I bet Rexie promotes civil discourse over insensitive discourse against kind posters on this site!

    Reply this comment
  23. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 16:26

    “I bet Rexie promotes civil discourse over insensitive discourse against kind posters on this site!”

    Obviously you don’t know rex like I do. 😉

    Reply this comment
  24. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 24 April, 2012, 17:47

    Queeg– Tell me you’re not now for the first time noticing the insane disrespect Beezleboob shows many many people??? He has done it forever—— he is a world class troll—- THE only person I have disrespcted out here is the boob and I did it after he has repeatedly done it to me. Enjoy the disrespect he gives you all.– Ted

    Reply this comment
  25. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 17:59

    “Queeg– Tell me you’re not now for the first time noticing the insane disrespect Beezleboob shows many many people???”

    God almighty. Of all people you certainly have the nerve to talk! 😀 Don’t you have a date tonight with Ms. Kettle, Mr. Pot??? heh. 😀

    At least I stick to the subject matter and don’t write the majority of my posts to denigrate and insult others.

    You just hate my opinions so you attack me with vitriol on a regular basis. You don’t fool me or anyone else who is rational and reads this stuff.

    Whatever disrepect you get on this board you’ve earned. Every syllable of it.

    Stop whining.

    Reply this comment
  26. queeg
    queeg 24 April, 2012, 18:55

    Brings a tear!!!

    Reply this comment
  27. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 24 April, 2012, 19:00

    a sad uncompromising tear, true that.

    Beezy bob, forgive me for again bursting your delusions of adequacy but you have nothing of substance to offer out here, well…ah…ever.


    You’re confusing paragraph length with substance.

    A typical junior high journo-move by the way!


    Reply this comment
  28. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 19:17

    “A typical junior high journo-move by the way!”

    If I’m at junior high level you’re a 5 year old with a #6 pencil trying to connect the lead to the paper between the 4 inch lines. heh. And even at that you fail! heh. The teach divided the class into 5 levels: A,B,C,D and Teddy Steal. Put some of that in your pipe and smoke it! 😀

    Reply this comment
  29. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 24 April, 2012, 19:27

    Seriously man…is that all you got?

    Reply this comment
  30. Bastiaan Schouten
    Bastiaan Schouten 24 April, 2012, 21:15

    An “innocent” misunderstanding of Mexican immigration is that Mexicans, unlike other immigrant groups of the past, do not assimilate, or if so, very slowly. This misunderstanding is fueled by the widespread use of Spanish, Spanish media, etc. Indeed, were I live in the Central Valley many recent immigrants are able to “get by” without much English. Indeed, to the chagrin of many “Anglos”, many bi-lingual people, especially in retail, earn a little more. There is a lot of ignorance in this area–most people do not know, for example, that around 1900 there were public German schools in Illinois. However, a main reason for this “misunderstanding” is that the Germans, Italians ,Irish,etc. mostly came in waves that began and ended. In the case of Mexican immigrants there has been a constant substantial stream starting with the Mexican revolution–Mexican Americans now consist of three to four generations. Are they “assimilating?” The answer is yes, very quickly–about 1/3 of Mexican Americans marry non-Hispanics. The kids learn English very quickly in school, just as I, a Dutch immigrant in the 3rd grade did–in fact, unfortunately many of 2nd and 3rd generation speak little Spanish. I believe that “English only” is the way to go. People who don’t speak good English in this country are locked into 2nd class citizenship. I don’t believe that bi-lingual education has a proven record (but dual immersion seems to have promise). Screw special programs or requirements “to assimilate them.” After work English in the local schools however seems to be of great value.

    Reply this comment
  31. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 23:53


    I see you returned. But you never responded to my proof sources and retorts to your previous claims. You went on to an entirely different sub-topic. That is very disingenuous of you. You have lost all your credibility on this board. Certainly with me. You have done your cause a huge disfavor.

    “An “innocent” misunderstanding of Mexican immigration is that Mexicans, unlike other immigrant groups of the past, do not assimilate, or if so, very slowly”

    When my grandparents arrived at Ellis Island they were ALL IN from the time they deboarded the boat. They had ONE burning desire. TO BE AN AMERICAN. The illegals who sneak across the border have no allegience to America. Their only alligience is to take advantage of any opportunity or benefit that they can gain from America. They have no interest in assimilating. Santa Ana is like little Mexico. And they bring their crime and blight with them across the border. Santa Ana is the most crime ridden nation in OC. Compare Santa Ana with Little Saigon when the boat people arrived. Those people truly wanted to be Americans and live the American dream. Look at the city they have built. Look at how their kids assimilated into our school system and now they make up about 60% of the enrollment in UCI when they are only about 8% of the population. So there ya go, Bastiaan. Checkmate, my friend! 🙂

    It’s all about culture and loyalty, Bastiaan. We don’t want freeloaders here. We want serious LEGAL immigrants who have something to offer to America. We do not want to care for Mexico’s offloaded dregs of society who are pushed across the border by the Mexican government that wants nothing to do with them. Mexico is offloading it’s problems on us. And we’re getting damned tired of it! 🙁

    Reply this comment
  32. queeg
    queeg 25 April, 2012, 08:06

    When will the motor mouthing end.

    Reply this comment
  33. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 25 April, 2012, 08:47

    Queeg– As long as Beezy is out here it won’t.

    Reply this comment
  34. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 25 April, 2012, 09:36

    “When will the motor mouthing end”

    I didn’t know that you were an illegal sympathizer too. So you support Wall Street criminals and illegals too? Be honest. Are you a secret admirer of Saul Alinksky too? Let have a ‘come out of the closet day’ at CWD. Everyone show their cards so we don’t have to guess any longer. 😉

    I just noticed the headlines that the SCOTUS has hinted that SB1070 (Immigration law in AZ) is constitutional and that they approve of it.

    It’s going to be a tough day for some. Lay down and get some rest. A warm washcloth on the forehead with a could advils should work. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  35. queeg
    queeg 25 April, 2012, 15:46

    They are human beings displaced by circumstances beyond their control…but breaking and not enforcing our laws has led to…..slow motion chaos….

    By the way…. Wall Street is gound zero for immigrant exploitation…..cabbies….hot dog carts….construction….au per’s, nannies, hotel workers….dry cleaners….etc…

    Probably big oil has a piece of the action too….and big education and big food….

    Watch the movie “Gangs of New York” for the dark side of humankind….or read a Sinclair Lewis book on industrial revolution labor agonies….

    Am I a liberal or an exploitive capitalist….time will tell…it’s complicated!!!!

    Reply this comment
  36. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 25 April, 2012, 17:02

    “They are human beings displaced by circumstances beyond their control…”

    Baloney. They could fight back. Nothing stops them from taking back their country. As long as we are a safety valve for the mexican oligarchs nothing changes at all. The shackles on your children will only get tighter and tighter.

    Wall Street steals much more than it provides to the peasant population. If you lived back in the midevil days you would claim that the king who stole from the serfs and killed them if they stepped out of line was a benevolent king. I know your kind.

    “Am I a liberal or an exploitive capitalist….time will tell…it’s complicated!!!!”

    I forecast a liberal who forces free market values only on those with incomes under $100k a year. The other side of the spectrum can pick and choose what economic system that they follow depending on the direction of the wind on any given morning.

    Reply this comment
  37. queeg
    queeg 25 April, 2012, 19:48

    Teddy….help me!!!!

    Reply this comment
    REALITYTIME 23 July, 2012, 03:22

    the Beelz dude is spot on. The rest of you probably don’t even live in California. I was born here and raised. The issues with mexican and central american immigrants are as follows. We DO only get for the most part…the lowest of their socio economic and even intelligencia scale. The educated and skilled stay put there enjoying a decent life. I have lived and worked in latino communities all over LA. Every one of them has been a bad experience as far as such a huge percentage of the people simply NOT caring. NOT respecting this city, this state, or even this country. I am not speculating. I have witnessed this living in those communities for brief periods. Victimized by crime, by disrespect, by trash, by ignorance and the always pervasive gang activity. The kook who said Latinos immigrate fast? and claimed to be a dutch immigrant? Again a TROLL and a liar. LAUSD has the MOST kids with learning disabilities, language problems etc and are Latino. Our drop out rates are soaring, our academic achievement here, the worst. And to make matters worse. Latino have more kids than all other ethnicities and nationalities in this city. While all others cut back on their global footprint? Latinos behave like they are in a breeding war. ANY latino neighborhood you visit around LA will be a worse example of what that community once was before it became Latino. They rarely improve any community they populate. California will end up BEING another Mexico if this state doesn’t wake up soon. And no it’s not about ‘race’, it is about a NATION next door shovelling its unwanted Poverty at us repeatedly….and those people ..unable to chaste themselves…breeding like roaches in the land of candy. It sucks. Diversity is great. But we are losing that here to them. LA Raza. Please. Do something great with your own nation? THEN come to ours. Instead they flee the mess they created there, and make a mess of ours here. I’m so ‘over’ trying to deal with these racist, rude and so often violent ignorant 3rd world people. FACT In LA latinos murder more people here than ALL other races / cultures combined. That’s ‘gratitude’ for a better life right homes?
    r-i-i-i-i-ight. Beelzy…ignore the La Raza Trolls Bastiaan, teddy, queeg etc. La Raza at work

    Reply this comment
  39. cynthia curran
    cynthia curran 11 May, 2014, 17:23

    Actually, I would say Houston Texas according to social mobility studies along with Bextar County have the less for social mobility. Interesting Brownsville a pretty poor region in Texas had better. La/Orange did better than Bextar and Harris County Texas. La/Orange and Houston and Dallas all have high levels of illegal immirgants. The right versus left debate is mute.

    Reply this comment
  40. cynthia curran
    cynthia curran 11 May, 2014, 17:27

    Certainly, business climate helps social mobility. Texas is business-friendly. California has descended from being business-unfriendly to being outright hostile. Their are exceptions, of course – the “crony capitalists”, politically-connected, and willing/able to pay the required “protection money” to the state’s political gangsters.
    – See more at:

    You have been lied to by the Right. Orange County has lower poverty than Harris County Texas. Orange is only 2 percent black while the other county is 15 percent. Higher black populations means more poverty. Conservatives need to ponder this, Houston Texas ward 3 has a poverty rate of 47 percent because its mainly poor Afro-Americans. La/Orange score better on these social mobility because have only 9 percent black LA and only 2 percent black Orange County. Most of the south did bad because of a lot more blacks.

    Reply this comment

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