Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Czechoslovakia vs the US

Ridiculous little item in last week's Guardian by Tim Dowling comparing today's USA with Czechoslovakia in 1975. This was inspired by the 'news' that Martina Navratilova has regained her Czech citizenship after declaring that she is ashamed of the United States. (Note: she isn't so ashamed that she renounced her American citizenship.)

Dowling lays out all sorts of nonsensical comparisons between today's US and the past's Czechoslovakia. Here's something he should have considered. {From the San Francisco Chronicle in 2006.}
Overall, immigrants now make up 12.4 percent of the nation's population, up from 11.2 percent in 2000. That amounts to an estimated 4.9 million additional immigrants for a total of 35.7 million, a number larger than the population of California.
Yup, that's an extra 5m people entered America in the years 2001-2005. A million a year. I don't have any stats before me, but I'm pretty sure that Czechoslovakia didn't experience anything like this during the time when people like Navratilova had to defect in order to find freedom.