Saturday, August 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Is demography our destiny?

sowell column sig

By
From page A9 | November 18, 2012 |

Some media pundits see in the growing proportion of nonwhite groups in the population a growing opposition to the Republican Party that will sooner or later make it virtually impossible for Republicans to win presidential elections or even to control either house of Congress. But is demography destiny?

Conventional wisdom in the Republican establishment is that what the GOP needs to do, in order to win black votes or Hispanic votes, is to craft policies specifically targeting these groups. In other words, Republicans need to become more like Democrats.

Whether in a racial context or in other contexts, the supposed need for Republicans to become more like Democrats has long been a recurring theme of the moderate Republican establishment, going back more than half a century.

Yet the most successful Republican presidential candidate during that long period was a man who went completely counter to that conventional wisdom – namely, Ronald Reagan, who won back-to-back landslide election victories.

Meanwhile, moderate Republican presidential candidate after moderate Republican presidential candidate has gone down to defeat, even against Democratic presidential candidates who were unpopular (Harry Truman), previously unknown (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) or who had a terrible economic track record (Barack Obama).

None of this seems to have caused any second thoughts in the Republican establishment. So long as that remains the case, demography may indeed be destiny – and that destiny could be Democratic administrations as far out as the eye can see.

If nonwhite voters can only be gotten by pandering to them with goodies earmarked for them, then Republicans are doomed, even if they choose to go that route. Why should anyone who wants racially earmarked goodies vote for Republicans, when the Democrats already have a track record of delivering such goodies?

An alternative way to make inroads into the overwhelming majority of minority votes for Democrats would be for the Republicans to articulate a coherent case for their principles and the benefits that those principles offer to all Americans.

But the Republicans’ greatest failure has been precisely their chronic failure to spell out their principles – and the track record of those principles – to either white or nonwhite voters.

Very few people know, for example, that the gap between black and white incomes narrowed during the Reagan administration and widened during the Obama administration. This was not because of Republican policies designed specifically for blacks, but because free market policies create an economy in which all people can improve their economic situation.

Conversely, few policies have had such a devastating effect on the job opportunities of minority youths as minimum wage laws, which are usually pushed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.

But these facts do not “speak for themselves.” Somebody has to cite the facts and take the trouble to show why unemployment among minority youths skyrocketed when minimum wage increases priced them out of jobs.

The loss of income from an entry-level job is only part of the loss sustained by minority young people. Work experience at even an entry-level job is a valuable asset, as a stepping stone to progressively higher level jobs. Moreover, nobody gains from having a huge number of idle youths hanging out on the streets, least of all minority communities.

Labor unions push minimum wage laws to insulate their members from the competition of younger workers, and Democratic politicians are heavily dependent on union support. For the same reason, Democrats have to go along with teachers’ unions that treat schools as places to guarantee their members jobs, rather than to provide the quality education so much needed to rise out of poverty.

What Democrats cannot say under these conditions is what Republicans are free to say – even if Republicans have seldom taken advantage of that freedom to make inroads into minority voting blocs. Inroads are all they need. If the black vote for Democrats falls to 70 percent, the Democrats are in deep trouble.

But if Republicans continue inarticulate, then it is they who are in big trouble. More important, so is the country.

Thomas Sowell is an author, economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Vallejo celebrates cultural diversity

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

2 shot Friday night in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

 
Groups receive honors for going green

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Badges pinned for new Fairfield, Vacaville firefighters

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Nuttin But Fun!’ theme of 2015 Dixon May Fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Adult literacy efforts in need of volunteers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

County looks for Solano centenarians

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Brown signs two bills by Wolk

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Brain tumors are not all alike

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B8

Weather for Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

New Obama birth control fixes for religious groups

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

 
US won’t let borders hamper fight vs. extremists

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Interpol seeks clues to Thai ‘baby factory’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Parents had hoped to negotiate with Foley captors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

IDs of men found shot in adjacent yards released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
DUI arrest is California Democrats’ latest blow

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Couple charged in alleged odometer rollback scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Passengers leave trove at San Francisco airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lawn removal in parched California draws fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

 
New fear: What happens in Ferguson if no charges?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Ice bucket challenge may change nonprofit world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Obama taking less vacation, but too much for some

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Days Obama, predecessors spent on vacation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
Questions, answers about Missouri grand juries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Gov’t warns US retailers about hacking software

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Mosque attack kills 64 in Iraq, Sunnis halt talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Hamas kills 18 suspected informers to deter leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
UN: death toll from Syrian civil war tops 191,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

West condemns Russia over convoy to Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola spreads in Nigeria; Liberia has 1,000 deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Aug. 17-23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Boxer, Feinstein: Different routs in backing Israel

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A8

 
Somebody deserves to be fired

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

A ‘gifted’ family member doesn’t have a degree, can’t keep a job

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
Ebola outbreak revives interest in ‘The Hot Zone’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Parole denied yet again for Lennon’s killer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Offense struggles, Raiders fall to Packers 31-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Panik, Giants end Nationals’ 10-game win streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Gray pitches into 9th, A’s top Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Avila remains undefeated after opponent throws in towel

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Davis’ accomplishments still inspire despite loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Versatile Martin looks to earn 49ers roster spot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
New, longer grass laid at 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US picks 12-man roster for basketball World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Blaney steals 1 from Kyle Busch on final restart

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Harvick wins Bristol pole; 5th of this season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chevrolet wins IndyCar manufacturers championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Scott, Tringale tied for the lead at Barclays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ryu has 66, leads by 5 at Canadian Women’s Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodes leads Boeing Classic by 1 stroke

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Aug. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Fitbit to Schumer: We don’t sell personal data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Jell-O can’t stop slippery sales slide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

At Jackson Hole, central bankers eye varying goals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Yellen: Job market makes Fed hesitant on rate hike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Lawsuits challenge FAA drone, model aircraft rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Louise Loveall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra “Sandy” Caldwell Garton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Paul Nolin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 08/23/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.10 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3