William Thien

Has America Reached Its Carrying Capacity?

Posted on: June 12, 2016

In environmental science there is a term called “Carrying Capacity” which is essentially a number that indicates how many members of a particular species an ecosystem can sustain and maintain indefinitely. In other words, certain areas in the wild may only be able to maintain certain numbers of deer or elk before the animals begin to become overpopulated, emaciated and sickly as a result of insufficient food and resources, water, what have you.

The term “Carrying Capacity” is not without its parallels regarding human activity as well.

Lately we have been hearing quite a bit about the refusal by Congress to restrict illegal immigration as well as a refusal to cap the numbers of H-1B visas and other administrative actions that enable foreign workers to be employed within the borders of The United States, often displacing American workers.

Furthermore we are witnessing the administration’s drive to enact trade deals such as TPA and TPP, known as Trade Promotion Authority and Trans-Pacific Partnership which many in our own government suggest will not favor American workers. These programs are reminiscent of the Ross Perot candidacy against Bill Clinton in the 90’s when Perot suggested that the ratification of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) would end with a “giant sucking sound” of jobs leaving The United States. And after Clinton ratified NAFTA, that’s exactly what happened.

To all of this legislative activity marginalizing the American worker there has been a growing backlash from the populace. Organizations such as NumbersUSA.com and others have begun to publicize the government’s seeming attempt to undermine the population through legislation that enables and often stimulates the relocation of jobs overseas, that gives American jobs to foreign workers arriving here with special visa status, and that provides benefits to illegal immigrants when our own veterans or homeless are not eligible for those very same benefits.

As Congress refuses to curtail immigration, both legal and illegal, and as Congress authorizes worker visas that displace American workers, America’s “Carrying Capacity” is diminished.

With the migration of industrial production to Asia during the last three decades or more and the rapid, legislated increases in our own country’s population through enforced immigration, I believe America is reaching its “carrying capacity” and that is why we are seeing the popular candidacies of Trump and others like him who address these matters.

Driving jobs overseas through express trade deals and increasing worker visas is the same as marginalizing the resources of an ecosystem in the wild. Just as in the wild, resources are not unlimited. At any given time for there are only so many jobs, for example.

America is reaching its “carrying capacity” and Americans are beginning to say enough is enough.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

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