Category Archives: demographics

China: Fragile Giant, by James Rickards

The rhetoric about China has gotten over-the-top. They’re a ten-foot-tall race of super humans who put on their pants both legs at the same time and will soon rule the world. James Rickards provides some welcome perspective at dailyreckoning.com:

I’ve made many visits to China over the past thirty years and have been careful to move beyond Beijing (the political capital) and Shanghai (the financial capital) on these trips.

My visits have included Chongqing, Wuhan (the origin of the coronavirus outbreak), Xian, Nanjing, new construction sites to visit “ghost cities,” and trips to the agrarian countryside.

My trips included meetings with government and Communist Party officials and numerous conversations with everyday Chinese people.

These trips have been supplemented by reading an extensive number of books on the history, culture and politics of China from 3,000 BC to the present. This background gives me a much broader perspective on current developments in China.

In short, my experience with China goes well beyond media outlets and talking heads.

An objective analysis of China must begin with its enormous strengths. China has the third-largest territory in the world, with the world’s largest population (although soon to be overtaken by India).

China also has the fifth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world, with over 280 nuclear warheads. This is about the same as the U.K. and France but well behind Russia (6,490) and the U.S. (6,450). China is the largest gold producer in the world at about 500 metric tonnes per year.

Its economy is the second-largest economy in the world — behind only the U.S. China’s foreign exchange reserves (including gold) are the largest in the world.

By these diverse measures of population, territory, military strength and economic output, China is clearly a global super-power and the dominant presence in East Asia. Yet, these blockbuster statistics hide as much as they reveal.

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The Visegrad Nations Have Nailed Their Complaints to the EU’s Door, by Tim Kirby

The Eastern European countries don’t want to merge into the EU’s bureaucratic blob. From Tim Kirby at strategic-culture.org:

The Visegrad nations in the center of Europe are challenging the orthodoxy of the EU elite and throughout history direct challenges to enforced dogmas spark a lot of chaos, change, and empower others to stand against the status quo.

Right before the Protestant Revolution in Europe many significant players doubted the necessity of Rome and had some qualms about certain dogma, but they dared not speak heresy, at least not publicly. When Martin Luther nailed his list of complaints to that church door it instantly shifted the Overton Window just enough to make yesterday’s unspeakable blasphemy, become a possible option with many lethal consequences. Luther’s heresy (or bravery depending on your religious views) opened the door for others to follow and led to the downfall of the Catholic Church in many nations, ending Western European Christian unity. It looks like history is yet again repeating itself as certain leaders are spreading a new heresy, openly and loudly against the sacred dogma of 21st century Europe.

We have all heard about the famous Russian law that bans “homosexual propoganda”. This has been blasted by the mainstream media but it is very much an external problem from their standpoint. In the minds of today’s spineless and genderless European hipster serfdom Russia is a distant backwards realm locked eternally in the Dark Ages. The Western subconscious mind is held together by the glue of belief in its own inherent superiority. This makes the Russians eternally bad, but that bad is an “out-group” sort of bad.

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New Harvard Data (Accidentally) Reveal How Lockdowns Crushed the Working Class While Leaving Elites Unscathed, by Brad Polumbo

Harvard researchers certainly weren’t goal seeking the conclusions that came from their own study. From Brad Polumbo at fee.org:

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Eugenics, The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Clash of Two Systems, by Matthew Ehret

The roots of the so-called science of eugenics go back to nineteenth-century Britain. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

Matt Ehret explains what caused the rise of the perversion of science known as “eugenics” as a new scientific religion in the 19th century.

Today’s world is gripped between two possible futures: on the one hand, a multipolar alliance in defense of sovereign nation states has organized itself around a paradigm of long-term thinking, scientific optimism and win-win cooperation, while a unipolar paradigm of world government, depopulation and zero-sum thinking pushes a program of Great Resets, controlled pandemics and war.

Gaining insight into these two opposing paradigms is more important now than ever before, and one important place to start is the disturbing mind of Great Reset Architects who are today pushing society into a “Fourth Industrial Revolution” where it is believed that automation, and Artificial Intelligence will render most of humanity obsolete. As the World Economic Forum’s star philosopher Yuval Harari has repeatedly described this outlook: “Technology may disrupt human society and the very meaning of human life in numerous ways ranging from the creation of a global useless class to the rise of data colonialism and digital dictatorships”.

In the first article in this series, I reviewed the re-organization of the eugenics movement after WW2 as it followed Sir Julian Huxley’s demand that “the unthinkable be made, once again thinkable”.

In this second segment, we will leap back a little further in time to better understand what caused the rise of the perversion of science known as “eugenics” as a new scientific religion in the 19th century, before continuing with part three (From Russell to Wiener: The Rise of Cybernetics and Transhumanism).

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The Population Dud: Paul Ehrlich, Call Your Office, by Issues and Insights

The population bomb never exploded and blew up the world like Paul Erhlich predicted it would. From the Issues and Insights Editorial Board at issuesinsights.com:

Newborn babies, once common, are increasingly rare as fertility rates fall. Photo: Image by James Timothy Peters from Pixabay, under Pixabay license (https://pixabay.com/service/license/).

There’s an old saying among economists, demographers, actuaries and sociologists: “Demographics is destiny.” If that’s true, and it certainly appears to be, America could be in very big trouble.

Back in 1970, leftist Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich warned in his sensationalist book, “The Population Bomb,” that overpopulation would lead to mass starvation and the depletion of our natural resources. As we all know, it didn’t happen.

Indeed, natural resources have never been more abundant, based on prices we pay, as the late economist Julian Simon predicted in making a very public1980 wager with Ehrlich about the future. Virtually every measurable form of pollution has fallen sharply in the intervening years. And billions of people were pulled out of poverty, all during a time of strong population growth.

In short, Ehrlich and his legions of doomsday followers couldn’t have been more wrong.

In fact, the real problem we face today is exactly the opposite: People in the U.S. are no longer having enough babies. That fertility decline shows in a dramatic slowdown in population growth. And no, don’t blame COVID-19 for that.

The Centers for Disease Control just this month reported that U.S. birth rates fell in 2020 for the sixth straight year, dropping below the population replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman to just 1.64 children per woman. American women had just 3.6 million babies last year, the fewest since 1979, when we had 110 million fewer people.

Over the last decade, the U.S. population grew just 7.4%, the smallest gain since the Great Depression. If current declining fertility trends stay in place, that small gain will soon turn into an actual population loss.

Of course, many Americans on the left, in particular global warming extremists and green activists, welcome a shrinking population. They see humanity as a plague, not a gift or a blessing.

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How the Unthinkable Became Thinkable: Eric Lander, Julian Huxley and the Awakening of Sleeping Monsters, by Matthew Ehret

Want to know where all these terrifying ideas about eugenics and population control through genocide came from? From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

Will we see biotechnology serve the interests of humanity under a multipolar paradigm that cherishes national sovereignty, human life, family, and faith?

As much as it might cause us a fair deal of displeasure and even an upset stomach to consider such ideas as the hold eugenics has on our presently troubled era, I believe that ignoring such a topic really does no one any favors in the long run.

This is especially serious, as leading World Economic Forum darlings like Yuval Harari flaunt such concepts as “the new global useless class” which Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, automation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is supposedly ushering in. Other Davos creatures like Klaus Schwab call openly for a microchipped global citizenry capable of interfacing with a global web with a single thought while Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg promote ‘neuralinks’ to “keep humanity relevant” by merging with computers in a new epoch of evolutionary biology.

Leading Darwinian geneticists like Sir James Watson and Sir Richard Dawkins openly defend eugenics while a technocracy consolidates itself in a governing station using a “Great Reset” as an excuse to usher in a new post-nation state era.

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Covid-19 fear porn has cast a chill over love, sex, and birthrates, and we were damn fools to let it happen, by Robert Bridge

Evidently, people can be scared out of sex, or perhaps familiarity doesn’t breed anything but contempt. From Robert Bridge at rt.com:

 
Covid-19 fear porn has cast a chill over love, sex, and birthrates, and we were damn fools to let it happen
 
Instead of allowing the human spirit to triumph in the face of adversity, we cowered in our homes, prevented children from learning and playing together, and let our small businesses go up in flames. History will judge us badly.

Since it is well known that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’, it should come as no surprise that it also does little to breed babies. Even the most amorous lovebirds will go frigid when their wings have been clipped and predictions of impending doom scream from every mainstream channel. That may be the main takeaway from the radical experiment known as Lockdown 2020, as the US birthrate took an unexpected hit at a time when all the indicators were looking rosy.

The US birthrate didn’t just go wobbly last year, it plummeted a whopping four percent, marking the worst single-year decrease in nearly 50 years. To further break it down, birthrates fell eight percent for Asian American women, three percent for Hispanic women, and four percent for African American and Caucasian women. Locked-down Europeans are reporting similarly precipitous declines.

And no, this decline was not the result of caged couples wisely resorting to safe-sex practices. Sales of Trojan condoms slumped six percent during the three months ending Sept. 30, 2020, coming on the heels of a 13 percent decline in the previous quarter. In other words, when you hit ‘pause’ on life you may succeed at ‘flattening the curve’, but you will also flatten the libido.

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Deflation Threat Looms As China Suffers First Population Decline Since 1949, by Tyler Durden

China will not grow at anywhere the rate it has been if its population is shrinking. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

China is battling not one but three vicious demons. The interconnected issues of insurmountable debts, deflation, and demographics threaten to sap the world’s future growth potential. 

Fending off the 3 D’s: debts, deflation, and demographics requires the People’s Bank of China to slash borrowing costs and unleash an enormous amount of credit into the local economy to cover up the faltering demand that usually persists with demographic challenges.

The question we should be asking is China really on the “rise,” as President Xi Jinping believes: “the East is rising and the West is declining” or if the coming demographic crisis derails Xi’s global takeover plans.

Beijing desperately attempts to recover from its decades of disastrous ‘one-child policy,’ which officially ended in 2015 and was replaced by the current two-child policy.

According to FT’s sources, the latest Chinese census data, which was completed in December and has yet to be publicly released (the issue is reportedly so sensitive that it won’t be released until many government agencies reach a consensus on the data and its consequences), is expected to show the country’s first population decline since records began in 1949.

China’s total population is expected to print less than 1.4 billion, according to people familiar with the census report, and if it is reported, the peak in China’s population came five years earlier than the United Nations predicted.

But, as Bloomberg notes, the trend is hardly surprising. China’s birth rate has been in decline for years and the introduction of the two-child policy in 2016 failed to make a dent. The number of newborns in 2019 fell to 14.65 million, a decrease of 580,000 from the year before. To cope with the shrinking population, a PBOC study last month urged a drastic overhaul of the policy to encourage “three or more” children per household. It called for a total lifting of any restrictions to “fully liberalize and encourage childbirth” to reverse the current four-year straight decline in births nationwide.

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Consequences – They are unavoidable, by Bill Blain

Artificially suppressed interest rates and low birth rates have their consequences. From Bill Blain at morningporridge.com:

“We may choose our paths, but we can’t choose the consequences that come with them.”

This morning: Consequences are unavoidable. Pension savers are crushed by interest rate repression and the changing demographics of Covid, while the deluge of debt fuelled by low rates does nothing for economic sustainability.

One of the things any investor must understand is that everything has consequences. There are always consequences. They are unavoidable. 13 years of monetary experimentation by central banks has profound consequences. For everybody.

A few days ago my colleague, Mike Hollings, CIO of Shard, and I put together a vlog on shifting market conditions. I’ve known Mike for decades, and we both agree it’s the consequences of the last 13 years of monetary distortion (since the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis that began in 2007) that present the greatest long-term challenges for markets. (You should be able to see some highlights of our chat in the latest Shard Lite-Bite video later today.)

One of the issues we covered was the effect of repressed interest rates on savings – and how challenging these will be to the expectations of current pension plans. Sure enough, bang on time, there are two stories in the market this morning that throw our concerns into stark reality.

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U-Haul Reveals 2020 Migration Trends As Pandemic And Taxes Take Toll, by Tyler Durden

They’re leaving the totalitarian states and headed towards the states that have preserved a vestige of freedom. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A new report has found that Tennessee posted the largest net gain of U-Haul trucks than any other state in 2020, making it U-Haul’s top growth state for the first time.

Growth rates are determined by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus leaving that state in a given year. U-Haul keeps tabs on more than two million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions annually, allowing the company to observe migration trends, according to the report published by U-Haul.

“Tennessee’s influx of do-it-yourself movers during a turbulent year marked by the coronavirus pandemic means that a state other than Florida and Texas tops the growth rankings for the first time since 2015 when North Carolina led the way,” the report said.

Texas and Florida were the top two other destinations. For three consecutive years, Texas had the largest net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks before Florida displaced it for the number one spot last year.

Before the pandemic, Americans fled liberal-run states and metro areas because of high taxes to conservative states that were business-friendly, such as Texas and Florida. The pandemic certainly amplified the exodus.

Ohio, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, and Georgia made up the rest of the top ten states with a net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks.

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