Couple this with Covid vaccine induced infertility and the world’s population may drop precipitously. From David Charbonneau at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:
A recently published meta-analysis shows that global sperm counts are declining worldwide—at an accelerating rate.
The article, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update in November 2022 by an international team of researchers, reviewed 2,936 scholarly abstracts and 868 full articles and analyzed data from 38 sperm count studies done on six continents, updating their landmark study of 2017.
The 2017 study found sperm counts had fallen in North America, Europe, and Australia by over 50 percent in a fifty-year span. The current study updated this data as well as added data from South/Central America, Asia, and Africa.
“The aim of this study was to examine trends in sperm count among men from all continents. The broader implications of a global decline in sperm count, the knowledge gaps left unfilled by our prior analysis, and the controversies surrounding this issue warranted an up-to-date meta-analysis,” said the authors.
The analysis found that while sperm counts had declined at the average rate per year of 1.16 percent between 1972 and 2000, the rate of decline since 2000 has increased to an average of 2.64 percent per year.
China faces myriad financial and demographic challenges. The country won’t be taking over the world anytime soon, even if it expands its balloon fleet. From James Rickards at dailyreckoning.com:
China has fallen victim to what economists call the middle-income trap. Economists consider a low-income country to have around $5,000 annual income per capita. Middle-income countries have between $8,000 and $15,000 annual income per capita. High-income countries begin at around $20,000 annual income per capita.
China’s per capita annual income is $12,970 — solidly in the middle income category. By the way, in the U.S. it’s $75,180, among the highest in the world (second to Switzerland).
Due to China’s extreme income inequality, it is more useful to think of China as having two populations. One population of about 500 million urban workers has an annual per capita income of about $28,000, while a second population of about 900 million villagers has an annual per capita income of about $5,000.
That would put the 900 million villagers solidly in the lower income category, not even close to middle income. And there is extreme income inequality within the 500 million high-income groups such that most of those would have a middle income of about $12,000 per year, while a select few would be earning millions of dollars per year each.
China is predominately a low-income country with a significant middle-income cohort and a tiny slice of the super-rich. This income inequality makes China’s climb out of the middle-income ranks even more difficult. And the super-elite cohort is a potential source of social unrest among the less well-off.
As if sperm counts didn’t have enough problem, the vaccines may exacerbate the trend. From elgatomalo at boriquagato.substack.com:
extreme low fertility persists and mRNA vaccines look more and more like the culprit
back in july i started tracking some worrying trends in swedish birth rates. this trend seems to be appearing all over the west/OECD but as i said then, sweden seemed a particularly good test subject because:
they provide good data
it goes back 25 years
they did not engage in much lockdown so that is not a confounding factor to the extent it is in most of the rest of the west
they had a high vaxx rate
there has been quite a lot of speculation about whether the covid vaccines are causing fertility issues and i have been, for some months, assessing two competing theories on the unprecedented drops in birth rate.
i summarized them in an update piece here and will use them verbatim (italic) because i think it’s important to make forward looking, testable hypotheses and then see how you do instead to trying to backfit ideas to data post facto.
this is the real test of a theory.
2 leading theories seem to have emerged:
this is the result of covid vaccine induced sterility/reduced fertility/sperm counts (as has been biologically documented in a number of places)
this is the result of a “summer shift” where the birth rates in 2021 deriving from a sort of “blackout baby” trend due to less travel and more staying home due to 2020 covid fears, lockdowns, and travel restrictions gave way to a “summer of re-opening” and everyone went on vacation instead of trying to get pregnant.
When you get big drops in birthrates nine months (i.e., the human gestation period) after mass vaccination campaigns, its impossible to pretend the drop is due to something beside the vaccinations. From Mary Beth Pfeiffer at rescue.substack.com:
Nine months after mass vaccination, 110,000 fewer babies are born. In the U.S., birth data is scarce, and few mention the F word: Fertility
Evidence is growing in Europe that many fewer babies are being born in the aftermath of—and circumstantially related to—the covid-19 vaccination rollouts. This widespread phenomenon is alarming doctors, data analysts, and others who say a monumental shift is being ignored.
“Since January 2022, the number of live births has fallen like never before in Switzerland and the canton of Bern,” reads an urgent report by canton legislators. A separate Swiss research study, meantime, reported a 10 percent decline in births in the first half of 2022 compared to the prior three-year average. Using statistical modelling, it found “a striking temporal correlation between the peak of first vaccination and the decline in births in Switzerland.”
While the famously neutral Alpine nation has emerged as ground zero in a battle against vaccine-related infertility, several other reports suggest this is an across-the-continent problem that should be worldwide news. Because these key emerging reports are not in English, they are virtually unknown in the United States.
Let’s jump straight into the fray. Hudson begins with an analysis of the “take the money and run” ethos, complete with de-industrialization, as 90 percent of US corporate revenue is “used to share buybacks and dividend payouts to support company stock prices.”
That represents the apex of “Finance Capitalism’s” political strategy: to “capture the public sector and shift monetary and banking power” to Wall Street, the City of London and other western financial centers.
The whole Global South will easily recognize the imperial modus operandi: “The strategy of US military and financial imperialism is to install client oligarchies and dictatorships, and arm-twist allies to join the fight against designated adversaries by subsidizing not only the empire’s costs of war-making (“defense”) but even the imperial nation’s domestic spending programs.” This is the antithesis of the multipolar world advocated by Russia and China.
Having a baby is an expression of optimism. There are a number of factors behind declining birth rates, but one of them has to be that the present state of the world doesn’t lend itself to optimism. From Kevin Stocklin at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:
Amid the deluge of dire predictions that the human population will rise exponentially, deplete the earth’s resources, and overheat the planet, two recent demographic studies predict the opposite—that the number of people will peak within the next several decades and then begin a phase of steady, irreversible decline.
In some places, including Japan, Russia, South Korea, and most countries in Europe, that population collapse has already begun. China is not far behind.
The United Nations has predicted that humanity will continue its rapid expansion into the next century, growing from just under 8 billion today to more than 11 billion by 2100. An oft-repeated interpretation of this data is that people are having too many babies, and many of the models for climate change and environmental degradation are based on projections like these. In August, the U.N. declared a “code red for humanity” over climate change and overpopulation, and analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley stated that the “movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing.”
There’s not enough of the young to support the old. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
Whether we admit it or not, collapse is the default “solution.” That destiny has already been written by demographics.
The saying “demographics is destiny” encapsulates the reality that demographics–rising or falling trends of births and deaths–energize or constrain economies and societies regardless of other conditions.
Demographics are long-term trends, but the trends can change relatively rapidly while policies remain fixed in the distant past. This disconnect between demographic reality and policies has momentous future consequences. An appropriate analogy is the meteor wiping out the dinosaurs; in the case of demographics, this equates to the complete financial collapse of the retirement and healthcare systems.
As this article below mentions, extrapolating the high birth rates and falling death rates of the 1960s led to predictions of global famine.
As death rates declined and women’s educational and economics prospects brightened, birth rates fell, a trend that now encompasses most of the world.
Economies have never, cannot be, and never will be controlled from above, buy either governments or central banks. From David Stockman at internationalman.com:
Goodness me, even the Wall Street Journal is catching on. In a piece about the inflationary rebound theory of a former UK central banker named Charles Goodhart, it actually tees-up the possibility of high inflation for a decade or longer due to an adverse, epochal shift in the global labor supply.
He argued that the low inflation since the 1990s wasn’t so much the result of astute central-bank policies, but rather the addition of hundreds of millions of inexpensive Chinese and Eastern European workers to the globalized economy, a demographic dividend that pushed down wages and the prices of products they exported to rich countries. Together with new female workers and the large baby-boomer generation, the labor force supplying advanced economies more than doubled between 1991 and 2018.
He got that right. Now, however, the working-age population has started shrinking for the first time since World War II in developed economies, compounded by an ever more generous banquet of Welfare State free stuff that is shrinking the available labor pool even further. At the same time, China’s working force is expected to contract by a staggering 20% over the next three decades.
Needless to say, as global labor becomes more scarce, developed world workers will finally have bargaining leverage to push up their own previously stagnant wages. In the US leisure and hospitality sector, for instance, where worker shortages are most acute, Y/Y wage gains have averaged 15% for the last three months running.
Here’s an unusual assessment of the beneficiaries of the Ukraine-Russian war from Gregory R. Copley at oilprice.com:
China has, in recent years, become increasingly isolated on the global stage and was considered a major foreign policy concern for the United States and its allies.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not only reignited geopolitical tensions in Europe but has also pushed Russia towards China and ensured the entrenchment of a new Eurasian bloc.
China will be watching the development of Russia’s invasion closely, searching for parallels and lessons for its potential invasion of Taiwan.
Russia’s war with Ukraine has, for the time being, saved the Communist Party of China (CPC) and therefore the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The isolation of Russia as part of the US-led global information warfare campaign has completed the process of driving Russia “back into the arms of Beijing”. This was occurring at a time when the economy of the PRC was imploding and the CPC, under General-Secretary Xi Jinping, was attempting to retain global power while essentially ring-fencing its economy from outside influence.
The situation does not guarantee the PRC’s revival as a wealthy power, but, even though it now becomes more dependent on Russia, it does at least allow the Communist Party of China to survive.
The PRC, as the world’s largest importer of food and energy, and now with diminishing foreign currency reserves, sees that Russia has nowhere else to go except to elevate the PRC to the position of Moscow’s most important trading and security partner.
And because this is literally an issue that could save a declining PRC, Beijing’s assessment of the ongoing conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine has to be along far more pragmatic lines than Western assessments, which tend to be either based around irrational fear or euphoric optimism.
General Secretary Xi and his team are, as a result, evaluating ongoing lessons from the current Russian military conflict against Ukraine, and the new phase of the Russian strategic war with the US. Their assessments cannot follow the unrealistic views being promulgated by Western analysts.
International Man: Lee Kuan Yew, the former leader of Singapore, once said:
“The size of China’s displacement of the world balance is such that the world must find a new balance.
It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world.”
What is your take?
Doug Casey: China has united 1.4 billion people into a single political entity, so of course they have a lot of weight. But simply having masses of people under your political control doesn’t mean as much as it used to.
China would still be a poverty-stricken non-entity if it hadn’t been for the reforms that Deng Xiaoping made starting in 1980. Masses of uneducated, desperately poor peasants are more of a liability than an asset in the modern world. Deng transformed China’s economy into something that functions pretty much like those in the West. But now, Xi Jinping seems to be returning to the philosophy of Chairman Mao, with much more centralized control. That’s very negative for the country.
Secondly, China’s demographics are horrible. The average woman today only has 1.4 children. Low reproduction rates are to be expected when a society urbanizes. But China also had a draconian one-child policy starting in 1980 that only ended in 2015. That, and the fact the Chinese prefer males for cultural reasons, compounded the phenomenon.
Few people in the West realize that as a result of these things, the Chinese population is in steep decline. UN projections—which aren’t worth much but are still interesting—find that by the end of this century, their population could collapse to 600 or 700 million. And they’ll mostly be old people, so it’s not going to bounce back quickly.
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