Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Things That Can’t Go on Forever Simply Don’t

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Economist Herbert Stein’s old adage—”If something cannot go on forever, it will stop”—still holds.

Take illegal immigration.

There are currently somewhere from 11 million to 15 million immigrants living in the United States without legal authorization. Last month, nearly 100,000 people were apprehended or turned away while trying to illegally cross the southern border. Some experts suggest that at least that number made it across without arrest. At that rate, the United States would be gaining a fairly large city of undocumented arrivals each month.

Most of the people who enter the United States illegally arrive without fluency in English, a high-school diploma, competitive job skills or money. The majority will require support subsidies, and collectively they will require increased legal and law-enforcement investments.

At some point, American social services will be so taxed that the system will be rendered dysfunctional—as is already occurring in areas of the American Southwest. Or, some regions of America will so resemble the countries undocumented immigrants abandoned that there will be little point in heading north.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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