Former Durango Mayor Dick White recently expressed concern about Colorado’s population growth (“Is growth really what we want?” Dec. 15).
He and other public officials, including Gov. Jared Polis, rightly worry about population growth’s impact on the environment since Colorado’s population is projected to increase 30% by 2040.
That means a lower quality of life for those of us already here with more cars, roads and housing – and less open space.
Fortunately, we can prevent this environmental degradation.
Immigration will drive nearly 90% of U.S. population growth in the coming decades, according to Pew Research. Immigration pressure is driven by a bipartisan mix of boosters – business interests that want more and cheaper workers, ethnic groups that want more political power and economists who worship GDP growth.
What the boosters conveniently omit to tell you is that aggregate GDP growth doesn’t benefit any of us already here. We only benefit from increases in GDP per capita – which they’re not pledging will happen.
Unmentioned in most discussions of immigration is how it can destabilize the sending countries. By encouraging the most enterprising and industrious people to leave underdeveloped countries, we make those countries less stable and prosperous than they otherwise would be. Just look at Mexico, Central America or the Middle East for proof.
By humanely scaling back immigration levels, we can help preserve quality of life here in the U.S., and Colorado particularly, but also encourage stability and prosperity elsewhere and make our environmental goals easier to achieve.