In his recent interview with The Santa Barbara Independent, Joe Guzzardi of Californians for Population Stabilization expressed a misconception about the economy commonly held by anti-immigration advocates. Guzzardi suggested that immigrants — even college-educated international students — compete with other Americans in a “shrinking job market,” implying that a growing population means only one thing: more workers chasing a finite number of jobs.
But new participants in an economy not only compete for jobs; they also create jobs by consuming goods and services, starting businesses, etc. If Guzzardi were correct, California should have suffered an economic collapse characterized by mass unemployment as its population doubled over the last 40 years. Instead, the economy has grown along with the population.
If the people at CAPS truly hope to reduce global population growth, they might want to welcome immigrants into the U.S. so that newcomers can enjoy the higher standards of living that are closely correlated with declining birthrates.