I’m often told, in effect, “You’re a smart guy, but you sound like a crazy extremist when you speak out in favor of prudence, moderation, and realism. You’d be a lot more popular if you didn’t write about the things you aren’t supposed to write about.” (…)
For example, consider the argument that mass immigration is a good idea because it brings us more ethnic restaurants, …
I, personally, found that thought pretty persuasive around 1981. Immigration really did make American restaurants better in 1981 than they had been in 1971, when only Mexican and Chinese restaurants were common.
And maybe that was still true in 1991 compared with 1981, but the incremental benefits were clearly declining. Americans had gotten pretty good at cuisine by 25 years ago, and thus less and less needed to import culinary skills to get even better. Moreover, every extra immigrant by 1991 was less of a novelty than in 1981.
Today, with 56,000,000 Hispanics, it’s hard to be confident that the 56,000,001st Hispanic will make our dining-out experience so much better that he’ll be worth all the other hassles that come with him.