Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

The U.S. Hispanic population has increased sixfold since 1970 | Pew Research Center

There is no larger, more monolithic group in the US with less power and with less representation at all levels of the civic and private sectors of American society.  Of the 53 million hispanics, a whopping 33 million plus are Mexican American.  This means that the current immigration impasse is largely, both internally and externally, a Mexican problem.  You can think of it as a “Mexican American Problem” or as purely a Mexican problem but in any case, Mexican Americans are a relatively monolithic community with a strong sense of their past, and an ongoing connection to the mother land (incidentally, Mexican Americans do not have to divide their loyalties between North America, i.e., the USA, and modern day Mexico, because the lands between the Rio Grande and the territories beyond the Alamo have largely been one continuous playground to a Mexican community that can easily claim to be Native American.  The so called “pilgrims” have a weaker claim.

Answering the question “Why have Hispanics/Latinos been in the US for so long and achieved so relatively little?” would go a long way towards unlocking America’s potential and promise of another American century of success.  The clock is ticking and American leadership and policy makers are asleep at the wheel.  The Latino community leadership is asleep as well…

“The Hispanic population grew to 53 million in 2012, a 50% increase since 2000 and nearly six times the population in 1970, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, the overall U.S. population increased by only 12% from 2000 to 2012. Hispanic population growth accounted for more than half of the country’s growth in this time period.

U.S. Hispanic Population in 2012

Much of the growth is occurring in a relatively small geographic area. A Pew Research Center analysis last year found that the 10 largest counties by Hispanic population accounted for 22% of the national Hispanic population growth between 2000 and 2011. Half of these counties are located in California.

Nationally, Mexicans are the largest Hispanic origin group but the composition of origin groups varies by geographic area. For example, while Mexicans represent a majority of Hispanics in all but 11 states, Puerto Ricans are the largest group in New York and New Jersey and Cubans are most populous in Florida.”

More via The U.S. Hispanic population has increased sixfold since 1970 | Pew Research Center.

Filed under: access to education, analytics, Blogosphere, consumers, Culture, Culture Think, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Demographic Change, Discrimination, Education Policy, Education Reform, ethnicity in politics, Immigration, Latin American Alliances, Latinos, Leadership, Minority Males, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, Public Policy

5 facts about Hispanics for Hispanic Heritage Month | Pew Research Center

In a world that is being made smaller everyday by advances in travel and technology, culture and language remain significant causes of distance between people.  America has a tremendous treasure in its diversity and in the muscle of its young and growing Hispanic/Latino population.   The Policy ThinkShop brings you the following facts to get you thinking about America’s future and its role in a multicultural and multilingual world…

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, a period chosen because it bookends the independence days of five Central American nations (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica, Sept. 15), Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept. 18), as well as Columbus Day/Dia de la Raza (Oct. 14 this year in the United States). In honor of the event, here are five key facts about U.S. Hispanics:

1. Geography: Although there’s been some dispersion in recent years, the Hispanic population remains highly concentrated. More than half (55%) of the nation’s Hispanics live in just three states — California, Texas and Florida — and 71% live in just 100 of the nation’s 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

2. Population size: According to the Census Bureau, there were 51.9 million U.S. Hispanics in 2011 (its latest estimate, for 2012, is just over 53 million). The Hispanic population grew 47.5% between 2000 and 2011, according to a Pew Research analysis, and accounted for more than half (55%) of total population growth over that period.

3. Countries of origin: The umbrella term “Hispanic” embraces a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. However, nearly two-thirds of U.S. Hispanics trace their family origins to Mexico; Puerto Ricans, the nation’s second-largest Hispanic-origin group, make up 9.5% of the total Hispanic population.

4. Educational attainment: College enrollment among Hispanic high school graduates has risen over the past decade: According to the Census Bureau, 49% of young Hispanic high-school graduates were enrolled in college in 2012, surpassing the rate for white (47%) and black (45%) high-school grads.

5. Language usage: A record 35 million (74%) Hispanics ages 5 and older speak Spanish at home. Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the United States. Nearly all U.S. Hispanics say it’s important that future generations speak Spanish.

More via 5 facts about Hispanics for Hispanic Heritage Month | Pew Research Center.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Language, language and public relations, Latin American Alliances, Latinos, Mass Media and Public Opinion, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, , ,

Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in U.S. homes, even among non-Hispanics | Pew Research Center

Do you speak Spanish?  America, like the rest of the “Americas,” speaks Spanish quite fluently, prevalently and often.  Despite the illusion that North America is monolingual and that being monolingual is somehow more “American,” the truth is that America has been multilingual for hundreds of years prior to the landing of the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, followed by May and Flower–the Mayflower, that is, much later.

The original experience of  the inhabitants of the Southwest, for example, included migration patterns by the native peoples of Central America across the Rio Grande and all the way up into the Dakotas and back.  For over a thousand years, the natives of what much later became North America spoke numerous languages and roamed what would become America.  The first settlement at St. Augustine, you could say, established the continent’s first European language–Español.

St. Augustine was founded forty-two years before the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts – making it the oldest permanent European settlement on the North American continent.

Today, America’s strong and vibrant Spanish heritage is prospering as many of us feel right at home speaking the original colonial language.  According to the Pew Foundation,

“A record 37.6 million persons ages 5 years and older speak Spanish at home, according to an analysis of the 2011 American Community Survey by the Pew Research Center.

Spanish is, by far, the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. The next most spoken non-English languages are Chinese (with 2.8 million speakers), Hindi, Urdu or other Indic languages (2.2 million), French or French Creole (2.1 million), and Tagalog (1.7 million).

The number of Spanish speakers in the U.S. has grown rapidly in recent decades, reflecting the arrival of new immigrants from Latin America and growth in the nation’s Hispanic population. Today 34.8 million Hispanics ages 5 and older speak Spanish at home.

However, not all Spanish speakers are Hispanic. According to our analysis, some 2.8 million non-Hispanics speak Spanish at home today. That places Spanish at the top of the list of non-English languages spoken by non-Hispanics along with Chinese and ahead of all other languages.

(The U.S. Census Bureau measure of non-English language use captures how many people say a language other than English is spoken in the home but does not capture how well or how often the language is spoken).

Who are the 2.8 million non-Hispanics who speak Spanish at home? Some 59% trace their ancestry to non-Spanish European countries such as Germany, Ireland, England and Italy. An additional 12% say they are of African American descent. Nonetheless, about one-in-five (18%) non-Hispanic Spanish speakers trace their heritage to a Spanish-speaking country. By comparison, among the non-Hispanic U.S. population ages 5 and older, about two-thirds (64%) trace their ancestry to non-Spanish European countries, 13% say their ancestry is African American and 1% trace their heritage to a Spanish-speaking country.

Nine-in-ten (89%) of non-Hispanic Spanish speakers were born in the U.S., a share similar to that for all non-Hispanics ages 5 and older (91%).

The racial composition of non-Hispanic Spanish speakers mirrors that of the U.S. non-Hispanic population. Overall, three-quarters (77%) of non-Hispanics who speak Spanish at home are white, 14% are black, and 9% say they belong to some other racial group. Among the non-Hispanic U.S. population ages five years and older, 76% are white, 14% are black, and 9% are some other race.

Many non-Hispanic Spanish speakers reside in a household where at least one other member is Hispanic. Overall, 26% of non-Hispanic Spanish speakers live in these types of households. By comparison, just 3% of all non-Hispanics ages 5 and older live in such households.

Three-in-ten (28%) non-Hispanics Spanish speakers who are married live with a Hispanic spouse. By comparison, only 2% of non-Hispanics are living with a Hispanic spouse.

When it comes to English proficiency, eight-in-ten (80%) non-Hispanics who speak Spanish at home say they speak English “very well”, 11% say they speak English “well”, and 9% say they speak English “not well” or do not speak English.  This compares with 96% of all non-Hispanics 5 years and older who speak English only or speak it “very well”, 2% who speak English “well”, and 2% who speak English “not well” or do not speak English.”

via Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in U.S. homes, even among non-Hispanics | Pew Research Center.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, Education Policy, Education Reform, ethnicity in politics, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Intolerance, Language, Latinos, Medicaid Expansion, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, Public Health, Public Policy, , , , , , ,

Our dying spirit and our gluttony: ‘No Religion’ on the Rise: 19.6% Have No Religious Affiliation – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Our children are obese.  We all want sugar, salt and animal fat. Our diets are structurally dictated by social norms and supermarket design. Our heart is big for our country and we hate anything or anyone that does not belong.

Our hearts are clogged with fat as we await our 4th of July picnics.  Yet we want more.  Our ability to love and our confidence in our progeny is growing small.  As we have more and our children get more, somehow we all seem to have less.  In a multiple choice test today, our children would choose “a condiment or a flavor” for the word lament.  We lament and they do not understand.  They have so much and they cannot appreciate what we no longer have to give them.  We lost it along the way in our pursuit of other things.

Going to temple, church or mosque, has probably never been 100% popular in American communities.  Never. Never 100%.  Organized religion, or as philosophers say “religion as a public vs. a personal phenomenon” is now being used as a bully pulpit–mostly for social and ethnic networking purposes and increasingly for abortion, guns and even to pursue a mythical “moral majority.”

The collective and unity values that undergird any ethical and spiritual system of thought and code of behavior are increasingly absent from the American popular scene.  Ad nauseam, thinking people clamor and, ad nauseam, they think and ponder about the increasingly apparent American fabric deficits demarcated by our dying brotherhood–a brotherhood that is being replaced by cliches like: Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  The cult of the vagina diaries is upon us.  Perhaps it has been spawned by a Geist that finds the heterosexist world we live in increasingly misogynist, misandrist (The hatred of men by women) and ultimately misanthropist. With the common denominator of hating, we are doomed to a society in which each one hates one.

Religious identity is complicated, personal and often private.

However, today, these sort of things are measured by polls.  We are now being told that belonging to a formal religion is waning in our society.  That  1 in every 5 Americans today say that they do not identify with any religion.

It is interesting to see how the baby boomers, who tore down the proverbial establishment and replaced it with some form of conspicuous consumption, will manage the current crisis in our society.  A malaise one may describe as lacking a rational and popular central value system we can say a significant majority of Americans practice.  Organized religion seems to be eroding quickly. America’s self respect and view of itself seems somewhat jumbled today by an omnipresent media establishment that caricatures America and then entertains and educates her with the productive and lucrative apparition of an America that is a cacophony of stereotypes.

Spirituality seems to be dying in America and social purpose is quietly being suffocated as we ware-out our soles chasing sustenance for our souls.

If promotion, status and in-group membership  drive our reason for connecting, where is there room or opportunity for giving or sharing?  Where is the anima to do so?

Of course, this topic is as divisive as the moment of death, when our spirit leaves our body.  Even if you are an atheist you know that  a lifeless body has no anima–spiritual or not it looses its vibrant gestalt–at minimum consciousness.

In a similar way, a community or society without anima is not really alive–look at what mathematics, power and chauvinism did for the Nazis.  Yet chauvinism is the driving force for political parties, political discourse and political groups today…  Same sex, same social class, same club, same religion, same neighborhood, same party.

So, discussions of spirituality go well beyond intellectual elitism and snobbery and their disdain for the opiate of the masses.

“The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%)…”

via ‘No Religion’ on the Rise: 19.6% Have No Religious Affiliation – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Filed under: Blogosphere, New Electorate, News, perenting, Religion

A Lifeline for No-Longer-Illegal Immigrants – An interesting comment from this NYT’s comments section …

Contrary to popular belief America was not created by immigration. It was created by conquest and exploration and it was done so on top of many other “native” nations. To this day Americans have not been able to assimilate and fully include those natives into its polity or its economic success. How then can we argue that immigration has been so noble and that immigrants are naturally a part of the American way?The truth lies much closer to Plato’s “necessary untruths.” To romanticize immigration, both in terms of why people leave their native lands and in terms of why they come to America is simply false and misleading. People come to America because they hope for better than they have where they reside as they make the often courageous decision to uproot and venture into the relatively unknown. What never seems to be discussed is how few of us here in America consider leaving this country. In an important way, America was created by people leaving their homeland because they were pushed out by various political and economic factors. That is what we have in common with the new comers. They come here because it is not comfortable where they previously resided. Here then lies the central question that needs to be considered by all of us who want to be fair minded and responsible. What would have become of us and our ancestors if the then native “americans” would have had the wherewithal to keep our ancestors out? Just as many of us want to keep other people out today.

More via A Lifeline for No-Longer-Illegal Immigrants –

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Demographic Change, ethnicity in politics, Immigration, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, symbolic uses of politics, WeSeeReason, , ,

Heritage Foundation Cuts Ties to Jason Richwine – from The Atlantic Wire

What do barbie dolls and the Heritage Foundation have in common?  Barbie dolls are to sexism as the heritage foundation is to racism —  they both used to be bastions of each ideology but today they appear increasingly useless and irrelevant.

The Atlantic Wire reports that the Heritage Foundation is running for cover as the facts come out about one Jason Richwine, a former Harvard student who wrote his Ph.D. thesis exploring the presumed intellectual inferiority of Hispanics in America.  The Heritage Foundation used the controversial Harvard former student to publish a recent report arguing about the so called costs of immigration for America.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank born in the aftermath of the Nixon era when America saw itself through the eyes of a popular media, government and academia largely of European ancestry and xenophobia towards all things not “White” or of European origin.  This world view was forged at a time when civil rights at home and Vietnam abroad crushed the former American dream which was forged in a 1950s America which was being torn asunder by hippie kids and non-White civil rights marchers.

Today the modern expression of these reactionary movements are anti immigration, states rights and anti affirmative action diatribes that fly in the face of the facts of an America that needs every once of talent and muscle from its growing “brown majority.”

Recent demographic reports show that Rodriguez is now the most numerous last name held by new born babies in our country.  Tomorrow is here and the Heritage Foundation seems to be trying to cover the overwhelming historical truth with an increasingly ineffective ideological argument about the size of a broken barbie doll umbrella.


“Jason Richwine, co-author of a controversial report from the Heritage Foundation that criticized the potential cost of immigration reform, has resigned from the organization. The resignation follows revelations that Richwine’s college dissertation argued that …”

via Heritage Foundation Cuts Ties to Jason Richwine – Philip Bump – The Atlantic Wire.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, ideology, Immigration, Intolerance, Latinos, New Electorate, News, propaganda and spin, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, WeSeeReason, , , ,

Second-Generation Americans | Pew Social & Demographic Trends

You know what they say about statistics.  When aggregating and analyzing statistics and what they tell us about social trends, we must be careful because the devil is always in the details…. It depends what we are comparing to what…  Of course that second generation is doing well compared to their struggling first generation, “off the boat” parents–but there is some truth that coming to America can still be somewhat of a dream.. You be the judge.  Read the Pew Foundation’s work on Second-Generations …


“Second-generation Americans—the 20 million adult U.S.-born children of immigrants—are substantially better off than immigrants themselves on key measures of socioeconomic attainment, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. They have higher incomes; more are college graduates and homeowners; and fewer live in poverty. In all of these measures, their characteristics resemble those of the full U.S. adult population.

Hispanics and Asian Americans make up about seven-in-ten of today’s adult immigrants and about half of today’s adult second generation. Pew Research surveys find that the second generations of both groups are much more likely than the immigrants to speak English; to have friends and spouses outside their ethnic or racial group, to say their group gets along well with others, and to think of themselves as a “typical American.””

MORE via Second-Generation Americans | Pew Social & Demographic Trends.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, Immigration, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, Parenting, , , , ,

Daily Number: Youth Vote Undergoes Big Racial, Ethnic Changes – Pew Research Center

The Pew foundation continues to light our path forward with data that illuminates a view of a future, more diverse America that seems to be here now…


“The racial and ethnic composition of young voters has shifted dramatically over the last four presidential elections.Youth Vote Undergoes Big Racial, Ethnic Changes

Just 58% of voters age 18-29 identified as white non-Hispanics, while 18% were Hispanic, 17% were African American and 7% identified as mixed-race or some other race. The share of young voters who are white has declined 16 points since 2000, when 74% of voters under 30 identified as white and 26% identified as nonwhite.

This stands in sharp contrast to older voters. Fully 76% of voters 30 and older were white, down only six points from 2000. Only 24% of voters 30 and older were nonwhite, including 12% who identified as black and 8% as Hispanic.

The changing demographics of the young vote are significant because President Obama’s support among young voters declined in 2012 among many of the same subgroups in the overall electorate in which he lost ground, particularly whites, men and independents. His losses among young voters since 2008 might have been even greater, but for the fact that Obama won young African Americans and Hispanics by margins that were about as large as in 2008.”

More via Daily Number: Youth Vote Undergoes Big Racial, Ethnic Changes – Pew Research Center.

Filed under: Blogosphere, consumers, Culture Think, Demographic Change, Kid Power, Minority Males, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, , , , , , ,

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