Thursday, 25 March 2010

Dan Gardner: Immigration Won't Save Us (only Canada can save itself).

Dan Gardner, writing in the Ottawa Citizen, explains why immigration inadequately addresses Canada's aging demographic concern.

He writes:

The demographic dilemma we face is not -- at least not in the next 30 years -- population decline. It is population aging.


Who will pay for health care and other social services? Who will keep pensions afloat? By 2030, there's a good chance workers will enjoy steadily rising wages thanks to chronic labour shortages, but that money won't go into their pockets. It will go to governments -- which will raise taxes to punishing levels to keep retiree supports from collapsing.

So what matters here is not the absolute numbers of people in the population. It's the ratio of workers to retirees. And many studies have shown that, for a host of reasons, feasible levels of immigration can do little to change the worker-to-retiree ratio.


So the analysts asked what would it take to maintain the ratio of workers to retirees? Answer: Immigration would have to more than triple almost immediately and rise rapidly to almost seven times current levels. That would mean 2.6 million immigrants arriving each year. And Canada's population would explode to 57 million within 15 years.

Needless to say, that's impossible. Not to mention absurd -- because there's no way we could boost numbers that high.

It has now become almost universally accepted that Canada's current intake of immigrants has little effect on slowing Canada's aging demographic trend. Reversing the trend is completely out of the question.

Some may argue that the solution is to increase immigrant intake targets but there are problems with that simplistic view, the prime being the cost of it. The cost to taxpayers to fund the current system is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. A conservative number puts that cost to at least $2 billion but it is most likely higher. It goes even higher when publicly funded services that immigrants are most likely to use are factored in.

It is true that immigrants pay taxes as well but if immigrant cohorts are drawing more from taxes in the form of support services in addition to feeding the immigration system itself then the point becomes moot. The Frasier Institute's Herb Grubel argues that "immigrants who arrived in the 12 years before 2002 imposed a fiscal burden of $18.5 billion on all Canadians in the year 2002 alone". In other words it is more costly to Canadian taxpayers than it is worth.

So the fact that Canada's immigrant intake has almost no positive effect on the nation's aging demographic trend, to the point of being negligible, it operates at a financial loss to Canadian taxpayers as well. Now consider how much more costly it will be to increase targets to a number that will reverse the aging demographic trend. We cannot afford it even if we wanted to.

Throwing more fuel on the fire is the aging portion of Canadian society. How can Canadians support the demands of its retirees and support an already expensive immigration system? Tax increases are pretty much an inevitability to support the former. Taxes would have to be increased even higher to support the kind of immigration that would have any effect on Canada's aging society.
Canadians like to think that most of the planet is covered by teeming masses of poor people in hopeless countries. Billions upon billions of them. And every single one of those people would sell a kidney to come to Canada, drive a cab, and shiver for six months of the year.

In the past, that satisfying image bore some resemblance to reality. Today, it increasingly does not. In a few decades, it's likely that Canadians will be amazed to recall we once thought that way.

He argues that improving economic prospects in one's home country discourages emigration. He then couples this with the measured fact that increasing standards of living is reciprocated by decreasing fertility rates. This kind of one, two punch will make Canada a tougher sell to prospective immigrants as the economies improve in nations like India, China, Turkey, and Mexico and elsewhere. Indeed, Canada may be competing with a country like China for immigrant labour as China itself is experiencing an aging society as well and may fall victim to a declining population over the next few decades.

I am not sure how much I agree with him on this. If it were true then why do middle class east Indians commit career suicide and emigrate to Canada? The western lifestyle has a certain attraction to it and Canada as a shopping mall is quite appealing. If not for economic reasons or as an insurance policy western citizenship is fashionable. But I do think he is right for us to expect a remarkable decrease in Asian immigration for the reasons he has given. I cannot say the same for south Asian immigration but we shall see. In any case there will be no shortage of the world's 7 billion people who are willing to relocate to Canada. I think it is more fitting to focus on the quality of immigrant that Canada will attract and not from where.

So if immigration "won't save us", what will? According to Dan Gardner, and pretty much any one else who doesn't make a living in the immigration industry, Canada can only save itself by having more babies. Indeed, the Canadian government should be investing more in Canadian families than in immigration. The billions of tax dollars wasted (as opposed to invested) to support the bloated immigration system should be redirected to support Canadians who want to have children. This is what Canada has traditionally relied on to increase its population. Immigration did, and does, have its place but it is ineffective to sustain and grow the nation's populace. Only Canadians can do that.

I get tired of hearing that though immigration does not help alleviate Canada's aging population "it does help". I disagree. It is detrimental becuase it absorbs public money that otherwise could have been used to support Canadians who want to have children. We wouldn't be wasting money to teach immigrants English or French since Canadians would be teaching their children that. We wouldn't be spending so much money on job training initiatives and job placement programs for immigrants like we do now since we would be doing that with Canadian children through the school system. Children are the nation's future. Without them Canada has none.

I know that telling Canadians to have more babies is an affront to some Canadians' self absorbed existence and their selfish impulses but to you I say die already! To what end have you lived your life anyway? I know having children is a personal choice and there are some people who should not be having children at all but there are Canadian men and women who want children, and not just one. Canada's future depends on them and they deserve the support.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Martin Collacott: Immigrants want less immigration.

Another piece by Martin Collacott recently appeared in the National Post. You can read it in full here. The following is a sampling.

It is widely believed that most immigrants support high immigration levels. Political parties in particular buy into this assumption, assuming that bringing in large numbers of newcomers will increase their support among ethnic voters. Research in the United States, however, suggests that this is a mistaken premise and that immigrants think immigration levels should be lowered.

A recent poll commissioned by the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., found that 56% of Asian-American voters surveyed thought immigration levels in the United States were too high, 7% thought they were too low and 14% just right. Among Hispanic voters, the results were not that different, i.e. 57%, 5% and 18% respectively.

There is no shortage of data, moreover, showing that immigrants who arrived in recent decades have been much less successful economically than those who came before 1980[...]we are bringing in far more people than we need and can successfully integrate into the economy. This is particularly the case during a recession -- as was demonstrated during the economic downturn in the early 1990s[...]those who claim to represent newcomers often have agendas of their own that differ significantly from the interests of those whom they are supposedly serving. Most notable are organizations that purport to represent ethnic communities but that don't reflect the concerns of the latter[...]Surveys show far more Canadians want immigration levels lowered rather than increased. This is particularly the case in large cities such as Toronto...

One of my tag lines for this blog once stated that mass immigration hurts immigrants too. This should be self evident.

It is well documented that far too many immigrants have found themselves working in jobs unrelated to their expertise often in a state of underemployment once they arrive in Canada. And they end up staying there. Now, it may be true that some immigrants have found work suitable to their skill sets but for many this is not the case. An immigrant engineer from India who is unable to find work upon arrival is in danger of losing his acquired skills by languishing in a job where his knowledge is not utilized. Making his employment situation worse is that not only will he be competing for jobs with those graduating from Canadian universities he will also be competing with engineers imported into the country from India. And that's year after year and the longer he stays out of his profession the less likely will he will find employment. Yes, mass immigration hurts immigrants too.

For many immigrants immigrating to Canada has been career suicide but instead of addressing the problem of too much immigration they chose instead to lay blame with systemic discrimination. Perhaps if they spoke up and together made immigration an election issue perhaps Canada's governing political parties will listen. Heck, they don't listen to Canadians concerning the issue. If they did then maybe you wouldn't be driving a cab right now.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Population Growth Or Population Replacement: Canada In 2031 And Projected Outcomes: The Asian Example.

This is a companion post to the one beneath it. What I want to address in this one is to point out that the StatsCan projection is simply just that, a projection. It's major flaw is that it assumes that all things will remain the same because all variables cannot be accounted for since no one can accurately predict the future. But a lot can happen domestically and internationally in 20 years time to affect the expected outcome. First, some articles from the National Post on the matter.

In this article we learn that one-quarter of Canadians will be foreign born by 2031, an increase from today's figure of 19%. Australia is the only country to have a higher percentage of its populace to be foreign born at 22%. This makes Australia and Canada the two countries with the greatest number of foreign born citizens in the world.
By 2031, at least one in four people in this country will have been born elsewhere, new population projections from Statistics Canada suggest, and just half the working-age population will belong to families that have lived in Canada for at least three generations.

"This is the strongest indication yet -- obviously, it's been developing for decades -- that there is a new Canada," says Henry Yu, an associate history professor at the University of British Columbia.

According to the projections, the foreign-born population in Canada is expected to grow four times faster than those who are Canadian-born over the next 20 years, creating the most diverse population since Confederation.

However, the vast majority of the visible minority group -- 96% -- will continue to settle in one of the 33 larger census metropolitan areas, with most of them -- 71% -- clustering in the country's three largest cities: by 2031, visible minorities will account for 63% of Toronto's population, 59% of Vancouver's and 31% of Montreal's.

This might not be a bad thing but it is not inherently a good thing either which is what we are expected to assume, that is if you turn your brain off and let Canada's journalists and pundits do the thinking for you, always an unwise choice. After watching so much current affairs programing coupled with a geeky obsession with the news I can assure you Canadian journalists are not exactly society's "A" students and definitely not the brightest lights in the room. The only difference between them and the average Canadian is that they are paid to give their opinion, which frequently runs counter to popular sentiment, and have that opinion disseminated en masse to the public at large.
Islam will be the fastest-growing religion in the next two decades, Statistics Canada says, with its numbers expected to triple and encompass about seven per cent of the Canadian population by 2031.

I have concerns about the rise of Islam in Canada but I will save that for another post.

In this article, and more to the crux of the matter, we learn:
According to Statistics Canada projections, Canada's population will become increasingly diverse by 2031, with nearly half of Canadians aged 15 and older either foreign born or with at least one foreign-born parent (up to 46% from 39% in 2006). About 55% of this foreign-born population will have been born in Asia.

China is a major source of Canada's Asian immigrants. It is also a country facing its own demographic problems. A victim to its own success China's one child policy is yet another example of the law of unintended consequences, a law that can be described as the road to hell that was paved with good intentions.

Simply put China is also an aging society and aging fast. According to official Chinese sources China has the largest senior population in the world at one-fifth of the world's total and 10% of the country's current population. This has implications for an emerging economy who will need young skilled workers to not only keep it going but support the pension system of its senior populace (sound familiar?).

Adding to China's demographic problems is that there are more boys being born than girls, a situation shared by neighbouring India. This has to do with both countries cultural preference for boys. This surplus of boys has consequences. Many males in China (and India) will have no choice but to forgo marriage and child rearing due to the lack of available females, provided they can get over their racial prejudices and marry outside their race and faith (if they have one).

So China may not only be an aging country but also a dying one, a characteristic of its neighbours Japan and South Korea. All three nations may have no choice but to open their borders to immigration and against popular sentiment. The question is which immigrants will they be courting? All three countries may entice their expatriot citizens to return possibly accompanied by their foreign born children. It may also entice people of Chinese ancestry to come to China. Chinese immigrants have established sizable colonies in the western world especially here in Canada and China may call them home.

It is possible China may stop its citizens from immigrating altogether. This would be complimented by a revocation of the one child policy and the introduction of initiatives to encouraging child bearing and rearing.

Closer to home Canada's Asian population is not replacing itself either. StatsCan's last report on fertility rates pegs the national average at being 1.58, well below replacement levels. Canada's Asian population falls below that at 1.3 (if I recall correctly). Indeed, the boom of an Asian presence in Canada is due entirely to immigration and not a self populating community. A look at the replacement of Cantonese by Mandarin in North America's Chinatowns strengthens this point. Canada's Asian communities are almost solely dependent on, and will continue to be dependent on, immigration in order to sustain itself. We're it not for immigration Canada's Asian communities will be on the decline and in consequence so will an Asian presence, not good news for those with a Sino-colonial agenda.

China is an authoritarian country governed by one party rule. It has dreams of global supremacy but it cannot achieved this when a significant portion of its population (25% by 2050) is either aging, aged, and/or dying. It may very well restrict population outflows in order to sustain itself. China at one time was Canada's top source country of immigrants but now that title belongs to India. China's aging demography is not factored into the StatsCan projection because the projection is unable to do so yet it may influence future immigration trends let alone an Asian presence in Canada.

India on the other hand...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Population Growth Or Population Replacement: Canada In 2031 or "Toto, I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore."

The latest population growth report from Statistics Canada comes as no surprise. Predicting a less white, more Asian Canada it utilizes an ongoing immigrant selection and settlement trend as its crystal ball and sees that the trend will continue into the foreseeable future altering the racial balance of the nation to an even greater degree. That is if current immigration and demographic trends are allowed to continue into the next two decades. And I do mean "if" because much can happen between now and then to alter the expected outcome.

A look at the report tells us that nothing is new under the sun. This is from the Toronto Sun.

According to a population growth report released Tuesday, Statistics Canada says by 2031 between 25% and 28% of Canada’s population could be foreign-born (up from 20% in 2006) and between 29% and 32% of the population will be visible minorities, which would almost double the proportion reported in the 2006 census.

But those changes will mostly be seen in Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas — Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal — where more than 71% of all visible minority people in Canada will live in 2031.

In fact, Statistics Canada estimates 96% of all Canadians from a visible minority group will live in cities by then.

This is nothing new. Canada's visible minority population is already overwhelming clustered in Canada's major urban centers and not surprisingly this will be more profound in the future. Reading the article further:
“Even including places like St. John, Sudbury, Quebec City, and Moncton, it (the population of visible minorities) is doubling, but only from 2% to 5%.”

By 2031, visible minorities will make up 63% of the population in the Toronto census area (up from 43% in 2006) and 59% of Vancouver’s (up from 42%).

I caught the CBC report on this and according to the gentleman interviewed a city like Barrie, which is considered a bedroom community of Toronto, will only have a "vis-min" population of about 11% in 2031. In other words Canada's major urban centers will becoming increasingly "vis-min" majority while the rest of the country remains mostly white in character just like it is today so nothing new to report there. To repeat, 71% of Canada's visible minority population will live in either Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal and 96% of Canada's visible minority population will reside in a Canadian city. This will bring a whole new angle to the rural/urban divide.

The more significant figure is the one that predicts that of "those born in Canada, 47% will be second-generation Canadians who would belong to a visible minority, whereas in 2006, it was 24%." What this means is that Canada is on track to making the current white majority population into a racial minority due to Canadian born births alone.

It is interesting to note how quickly this social transformation occurred. Canada has four centuries of history to boast of starting at the time of the first European landings. Yet, within one generation, one lifetime, the racial character of the nation can be radically altered. This demographic shift that a mismanaged mass immigration system is imposing on Canada is not an inevitable outcome brought about by natural and unselfish devices nor by popular will. It is because of politics, indeed that is its heritage.

Canada's immigration system of the last twenty years is a dramatic departure from that which proceeded it. It was born in 1990 as a desperate attempt by a political party being run into the ground by a very inept man of questionable repute (and yes, I do speak of Brian Mulroney and the now defunct Progressive Conservative party). It was for votes, ethnic votes in urban ridings to be precise, and noting more. Prior to it Canada had a "tap on, tap off" approach that attracted little commentary, allowing roughly 80,000 or so immigrants a year. It was the Mulroney Progressive Conservatives who increased the number to 250,000+ with the very explicit goal of attracting immigrant votes in urban ridings. This was coupled with relaxed immigration laws and citizenship standards to quickly turn immigrants into voting citizens. The ploy failed, the party was wiped out to just two seats in the House of Commons and the party of Sir John A. MacDonald became extinct.

The Progressive Conservative party is gone yet the immigration mess they beset on the nation lingers on like a bad taste in one's mouth. The triumphant Chretien Liberals did not reverse the mistakes of the PC party and return Canada to the "tap on, tap off" approach the Trudeau Liberals adopted because the Liberal party benefited most from immigrant and ethnic block votes. Thus, immigrant clustering in urban centers continued unabated and at a greater pace making the the urban ethnic block vote of even greater importance.

So to blame the Liberal party of Canada for Canada's mess of an immigration system and its consequences is unjustified. It was a Conservative government that set things in motion and a Conservative government today that refuses to address the issue even in a recessionary period where Canadian jobs and livelihoods are at stake. So beholden are Canada's political parties to urban immigrant and ethnic block votes that none of them are willing to discuss the issue and admit that Canada has been accepting too many immigrants for too long with the explicit purpose of importing votes. Instead we are distracted with nonsensical rhetoric dreamed up in public relations firms about an aging population and pensions and "being prepared for a recovery", all excuses easily debunked with further investigation. However these distractions are necessary to scare an increasingly weary public to accept an immigration system and its outcomes that they otherwise find themselves at odds with.

That is its legacy and an inglorious one it is. Canada must endure a radical social transformation all for the sake of an MPs pension plan.

In any event it is lazy and cowardly not to discuss what the StatsCan population growth means for the nation and for social harmony. How sure can we be that there will be any? What will prevent an Asian dominated British Columbia from becoming a Quebec of the west coast let alone be more loyal to Canada and not to China? Will the flames of the Quebec sovereignty movement be reignited and fanned once again? Will a "red neck" Alberta (a racist slam as any other) also seek secession? What will a South Asian dominated southern Ontario have in common with the rest of the nation?

Also, how can Canada effectively maintain a foreign policy with a highly balkanized population? How can a uniquely Canadian identity survive under a multicultural umbrella where other cultures of foreign origin and character claim Canadian recognition when our common sense tells they are not of Canadian development? And how will Canadian history be remembered when the faces of the vast majority of immigrants and their Canadian born children are not reflected in the national foundational stories, being footnotes at best?

These are some concerns. I'm sure there are others. We have to ask ourselves if this is the road Canadians want their country to travel down. I don't and I suspect a majority of Canadians are with me on that. If you wish to dismiss my objection as racist then ask yourself how does it feel to be a racial minority? If you have no problem with it then you will have no problem with keeping Canada majority white. If you do have a problem with being a racial minority then you should be able empathize with Canadians who oppose the StatsCan projection. If you cannot relate then that is probably because you are of the racial majority and all the more reason why you should ask yourself the question I proposed.

What is clear is that Canada's population will grow but at the expense of the host white majority. Indeed, Canada's European national character is being diminished and eventually it will be replaced, sacrificed for an MPs pension. This is already happening in Canada's urban centers. There's nothing to stop from engulfing the nation as a whole. Is this a good thing, a bad thing, or a desired thing is debatable and we need need discuss it openly and nationally. I argue that Canada will become a more racist place the more racially diverse it becomes. We already see instances of that happening. I argue that in Canada it is best to maintain the racial majority balance for the sake of minority rights and to maintain overall social stability. If the StatsCan projection comes to pass, and I fear it will, I see unsettled waters ahead.

Whites are already a minority on a global scale. They only happen to be the majority in a few nation states. I don't see what can be accomplished by making them a minority everywhere in the world.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Becoming A Refugee: Canadian Citizenship Cheap And Quick.

Here is Barbara Kay writing in National Post.
Where do immigrants get the idea that stretching rules is "common" here? Partly from mercenary Canadians such as the "ghost" immigration consultants advertising their expertise on the perfectly legal website the boasts put forward therein are even approximately accurate, Nasoh Raslan and his fake address represent the least of Canada's immigration problems. The first thing you see on the website's professional-looking home page is the statement: "A cheap, quick and effective way to come to Canada."

Intrigued? I certainly would be if I were a credulous would-be immigrant eager to avoid a lot of red tape.

The website lays out the steps for coming to Canada "quickly and easily," including this one: "The next step is to help you find a motive in order to claim refugee in Canada. We will provide you with a listing of different motives so that you can choose the one that best suits you" (emphasis mine -- though I will leave in all the various spelling and grammatical mistakes).

Cheap and quick. Sounds like a two-dollar prostitute hard up for crack money. Is that what Canadian citizenship has become?

The website she describes is an eye opener into the world of immigration consultancy and provides greater argument as to why there needs to be a government crack down on this so called "profession".

English is obviously not the first language of the author of the site leaving me to wonder if the person is a Canadian citizen at all. If so, what kind of loyal citizen offers advice to non-citizens in ways to cheat the immigration system?

It should be no surprise that the advice given is to file a bogus refugee claim. The refugee steam is just another class of immigrants having more to do with immigrating than it has to do with fleeing real danger and persecution. Indeed, I say the majority of refugees to Canada over the past two decades were, are, and continue to be bogus but since we had quotas to fill they got the go ahead and became citizens even though they didn't deserve it. Little has changed to this day. You see, immigrant or refugee they eventually become voting citizens in the end and as far as Canada's competing political parties are concerned that's what the immigration system is really about.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Problem: An Immigration Officer Rejects Your Application. Solution: Appeal For A New Immigration Officer.

They're Americans, they live in New York, they're gay, they're HIV positive, and they want become Canadians to capitalize on Canada's socialized health care. So, expecting them to place "an excessive demand" on Canada's health care system their application was denied.

In response they did what anyone else would do when confronted with an unwanted answer: appeal and try and get the one you want. It's like getting a bad mark on a test and then returning the test paper back to the instructor with the instructions to mark it again until you're satisfied with the grade. We all know life doesn't work that way but this is Canada after all and we have laws and appeals and rulings and appeals and deportation orders and appeals and appeals and appeals.

From the National Post.

Of the many things about Canada that appeal to the American couple, who are both HIV positive, the freedom to wed and access to universal health care are paramount. But the pair has not yet been able to call Canada home.

Generally healthy and never hospitalized, the couple are nonetheless expected to have combined prescription drug costs of about $33,500 per year for the next 10 years.

It's an expense they have promised to pay themselves if they can't secure employer-based or private drug coverage when in Canada.

However, because there is nothing to stop the couple from enrolling in an Ontario drug program meant to help residents offset particularly high prescription costs, Citizenship and Immigration Canada rejected the couple's application for permanent resident status.

Mr. Companioni and Mr. Grover were told they would place an "excessive demand" on the health-care system.


But at the urging of their lawyer, the couple -- who have amassed a half-million dollars in assets -- appealed the decision in federal court and won the right to have a new immigration officer examine their case.


Although Citizenship and Immigration then proceeded to file its own appeal, Mr. Battista said he is confident Mr. Companioni and Mr. Grover will eventually become permanent residents.

With an aging population expected to stress the limits of Canada's health care system these two gentlemen are not the kinds of immigrants this country needs now or ever. It's unfortunate that they are HIV positive but that's probably their fault. Canadian tax payers shouldn't be burdened with their mistakes. We simply cannot afford it.

Syrian Immigrant Denied Citizenship For A Third Time, This Time For Lying (so why is he still in the country?).

From the National Post.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is calling a Federal Court ruling that denied citizenship to a Montreal man who lied about where he lived in Canada "an unmitigated victory for the rule of law."


In a Federal Court decision released last week, Judge Francois Lemieux dismissed Syrian immigrant Nasoh Raslan's appeal of a citizenship court ruling that denied him full status in Canada. Judge Lemieux found that Mr. Raslan "knowingly and willingly embarked on a course of conduct to deceive the citizenship court concerning his true residence in Canada -- and this for the purpose of jumping the queue."

It feels good to read these kinds of stories. It's nice to know that someone out there takes Canada's sovereignty seriously (and yes immigration is a sovereignty issue).

There's more to the story.

Mr. Raslan, who lived in Montreal, told a citizenship court in Mississauga, Ont., that he lived in an apartment in the Toronto suburb. But a citizenship officer noted that Mr. Raslan had offered two different apartment numbers for his address on two separate documents. Further investigation revealed that Mr. Raslan's home phone number had been used by 62 other citizenship applicants and his mailing address had been used by 127 applicants. When Mr. Raslan appeared before a citizenship judge in October 2008, he maintained that he lived at the Mississauga address and presented a lease agreement to support his claim.

The citizenship judge, however, ruled that Mr. Raslan was not credible and had not met the necessary residency requirement. Applicants must establish that they have lived in Canada for at least three out of four years before applying for citizenship. In his Federal Court appeal, Mr. Raslan said he had lied about his address on the advice of an immigration consultant, who told him that his application would be processed faster in Mississauga than in Montreal.

Who are these immigration consultants who coach their clients to lie to obtain Canadian citizenship? Standing on guard for thee? Apparently not but should it come as a surprise that an immigration consultant behaved this way? Time to rein the consultants in.

Mr. Raslan is a permanent resident of Canada yet has made three attempts to apply for Canadian citizenship and failed. Why is he still in the country if it seems he cannot obtain citizenship? Should he be deported? Maybe. Recall that 62 other applicants were using the same phone number and 127 applicants were claiming residency at the same address for the purposes of gaining citizenship through deception. Do they think we are we a nation of suckers? Honestly, I don't blame them.