Category Archives: demographics

One Day Soon, The Sun Will Not Rise, by Chris Hamilton

The Econimica blog has a lot of great graphs, and it usually has a different perspective than everyone else. From Chris Hamilton at econimica.blogspot.com:

When the Q4 US resident population data is released, something that has not happened in the post WWII era will take place.   The population of adults aged 15-64 years old will decline.  This was not supposed to happen and will put an end to seven plus decades of continuous population growth which has meant a growing workforce, a growing consumer base, and growing tax base.  A growing core US population, something considered as sacrosanct as the sun rising, will not happen.  On a year over year basis, where there once were up to 3 million more homebuyers than the previous year, 3 million more car buyers than the year before, 3 million more potential customers…there will be likely be thousands fewer.

Many will assume this is a demographic issue of boomers exiting the working age population…but actually demographics is simply the early onset of a disease that will only progressively worsen.  This is truly a population growth issue, not simply a demographic distribution problem.

The economic system the US and world have adopted are dependent on perpetual growth on a quarter over quarter and year over year basis.  Two negative quarters (or even zero growth) and a recession is called and all the Federal Reserve’s and federal governments tools are employed.

Given the importance of growth, the most important factor in growing the economy is the rising demand represented by a growing population.  But the US fertility rate has been negative for 45 years (chart below) meaning the native population (plus immigrants) have continually failed to replace themselves.

This means US population growth has simply been a story of immigration.  And until 2000, N. America was the primary destination for the majority of the world’s immigrants.  However, since ’00 and particularly since ’05, the migration patterns have significantly changed.

To continue reading: One Day Soon, The Sun Will Not Rise

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Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Millions Still to Come, by Soeren Kern

It appears that some of the refugee flow into Europe from the Middle East may be abating as Syria and Iraq quiet down, but there is still a huge influx from Northern Africa on its way. From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.com:

“African exodus of biblical proportions impossible to stop”

  • More than six million migrants are waiting in countries around the Mediterranean to cross into Europe, according to a classified German government report leaked to Bild.
  • “Young people all have cellphones and they can see what’s happening in other parts of the world, and that acts as a magnet.” — Michael Møller, Director of the United Nations office in Geneva.
  • “The biggest migration movements are still ahead: Africa’s population will double in the next decades… Nigeria [will grow] to 400 million. In our digital age with the internet and mobile phones, everyone knows about our prosperity and lifestyle…. Eight to ten million migrants are still on the way.” — Gerd Müller, Germany’s Development Minister.

The African Union-European Union (AU-EU) summit, held in in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on November 29-30, 2017, has ended in abject failure after the 55 African and 28 European leaders attending the event were unable to agree on even basic measures to prevent potentially tens of millions of African migrants from flooding Europe.

Despite high expectations and grand statements, the only concrete decision to come out of Abidjan was the promise to evacuate 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya.

More than six million migrants are waiting in countries around the Mediterranean to cross into Europe, according to a classified German government report leaked to Bild. The report said that one million people are waiting in Libya; another one million are waiting in Egypt, 720,000 in Jordan, 430,000 in Algeria, 160,000 in Tunisia, and 50,000 in Morocco. More than three million others who are waiting in Turkey are currently prevented from crossing into Europe by the EU’s migrant deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

To continue reading: Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Millions Still to Come

Debt and Taxes and Perdition, by Andrew P. Napolitano

Loading up future generations with debt is immoral. Fortunately, future generations won’t pay it. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

Should the government borrow against the future? Should it guarantee higher taxes for your children and grandchildren in return for lower taxes for you?

If government’s moral legitimacy depends on the consent of the governed, as Thomas Jefferson argued in the Declaration of Independence, can the federal government morally compel those who haven’t consented to its financial profligacy — because they are not yet born — to pay higher taxes?

These questions are at the base of the debate — such as it is — in Congress these days over the so-called Republican tax reform plan. But you will not hear these questions even asked, much less answered, on Capitol Hill because the Republican leadership of the House and Senate is afraid that the answers might drive them from power. The same can be said for Democratic leaders when their party controls Congress.

In fact, with the exception of a few courageous senators, such as Rand Paul of Kentucky, and representatives, such as Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, most in Congress in both parties think the only limit on the government‘s taxing power is what it can politically get away with at any given moment.

And it gets away with a great deal because vast majorities in both major political parties recognize no moral limits to the government’s sordid pattern of tax, borrow and spend.

The numbers are chilling.

The federal government collects about $2.5 trillion in revenue and spends about $4 trillion, annually. The difference between what it collects and what it spends is made up in borrowing. But it doesn’t borrow money as you or I do or any business does — with a planned schedule to pay back the principal it owes plus interest. Rather, it goes deeper into debt to pay its debts.

To continue reading: Debt and Taxes and Perdition

The Generational Wheels Are Turning, by Michael Krieger

Many cryptocurrency skeptics are older, and don’t understand their appeal to younger generations, who have been systematically screwed (see “The Kids Are Not Alright“) and welcome a currency option outside the control of a government. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

“The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.”

— Oren Harari

If you only read my stuff sporadically, you might be surprised to hear that I’m actually quite optimistic about the future. The main reason I compose articles highlighting all the frauds, corruption and absence of ethics within our current paradigm isn’t to fill you with fear and dread, but to create awareness. Ignorance is not bliss, and I believe a deep appreciation about how completely broken and opaque the current way of doing things is can provide the spark of inspiration and determination necessary to create a new and much better world

As I’ve stated many times previously, it wasn’t until Bitcoin emerged and I started to understand the implications of it, that I became very encouraged about the future. Prior to that, I saw humanity living under a terminal, predatory system that would eventually consume itself, but I couldn’t see a plausible roadmap toward a better tomorrow. Bitcoin proved to me that not only did such a path exist, but the infrastructure for this better future was being built right in front of our eyes.

I first started writing about the revolutionary implications of Bitcoin in the summer of 2012, and looking back five years later I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of awe and appreciation for all that’s been achieved. While the optimist in me always thought we might get to where we are today, to see it actually happen is nothing short of extraordinary. The incredible energy and global talent that’s entered this space over the past several years brings a gigantic smile to my face. It truly is an idea whose time has come, and the more the concepts of decentralization and trustless systems infect the global consciousness, the more unstoppable they become. I think we’re already there.

To continue reading: The Generational Wheels Are Turning

France: Muslims In, Jews Out, by Giulio Meotti

Muslims are driving Jews out of many of their traditional districts in France. From Giulio Meotti at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Suburbs have become transformed into one of the most visible signs of the Islamization of France. Anti-Semitism is devouring the French Republic.
  • While Jewish symbols disappear from France, Islamic symbols proliferate, from burkinis on the beaches to veils in the workplace. Jews who have not fled France are trying to become “invisible”.
  • France’s suburbs are rapidly becoming apartheid societies. Hatred of Jews has become the gateway to “la France soumise” — the submission of France.

Suburbs (“banlieues”) — distant from the affluent boulevards and bistros of Paris — form the “other France“. They are the “peripheral France“, (“La France Périphérique”) as the geographer Christophe Guilluy calls them in an important book. They are where “living together” between communities has really been tested.

In the last 20 years, these French suburbs have not only become “concentrations of poverty and social isolation“, but have gone from being some of France’s most densely-populated Jewish areas to “lost territories of the Republic“, according to the great historian Georges Bensoussan, in his book, Les territoires perdus de la République.

These suburbs have become transformed into one of the most visible signs of the Islamization of France.

Anti-Semitism has returned as one of Europe’s worst diseases. France hosts Europe’s largest Jewish community, and Jews have been fleeing the suburbs to either emigrate or move to gentrified districts of the cities, where they feel more protected. What happens to the Jews will have a seismic impact on the entire continent.

In the Parisian suburb of Bagneux, someone recently vandalized the memorial plaque for Ilan Halimi, a young Jew who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a “barbarian gang” in 2006, just for being a Jew. At the time, it was France’s first case of murderous anti-Semitism in many years. After it, Islamists murdered Jews at a school in Toulouse and a kosher supermarket in Paris.

To continue reading: France: Muslims In, Jews Out

Only Contrarians Will Survive, by Egon von Greyerz

If you made the trades opposite the multiyear trends in stocks, bonds, junk bonds, and housing right now (in other words, short them all), you’d probably make a lot of money. That is not an investment recommendation, but look and see where we are in a year or two. From Egon von Greyerz at goldswitzerland.com:

We are currently standing before one of the most unique and frightening periods in history. Never have there been so many extremes in so many different areas. In the last 100 years everything seems to have developed so much faster, including population, technology, inflation, debt, money printing, budget deficits, stock, bond and property prices, crypto currencies etc.

All of these areas are now in an exponential growth phase. The final stage of exponential growth is explosive and looks like a spike that goes straight up. A spike for a major sample like global population or the Dow never finishes with just a sideways move. Once a spike move has finished, it always results in a spike move down.

It seems that everything in the world is developing much faster today like computers and mobile phones or robots. The world assumes that this exponential growth in so many areas will continue or even accelerate further. But sadly, that is unlikely to be the case.

EXPONENTIAL MOVES ARE TERMINAL

There is a more scientific illustration how these exponential moves occur and also how they end.

Imagine a football stadium which is filled with water. Every minute one drop is added. The number of drops doubles every minute. Thus it goes from 1 to 2, 4, 8 16 etc. So how long would it take to fill the entire stadium? One day, one month or a year? No it would be a lot quicker and only take 50 minutes!That in itself is hard to understand but even more interestingly, how full is the stadium after 45 minutes? Most people would guess 75-90%. Totally wrong. After 45 minutes the stadium is only 7% full! In the final 5 minutes the stadium goes from 7% full to 100% full.

That is the simple explanation why we are seeing this very fast exponential move in so many areas. It is of course impossible to say exactly when the global stadium or individual stadiums will be filled especially since we don’t know the size of these stadiums. What we do know is that when it is full, the water level will not only stop rising but the stadium will collapse.

We are probably now in the final minute, or probably seconds, of the move since we are in the exponential phase that has lasted around 100 years.

To continue reading: Only Contrarians Will Survive

Only China Can Restore Stability in The Global Economy, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

There are many candidates, but the Chinese real estate bubble may be the biggest bubble out there. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

For those of you who don’t know Andy Xie, he’s an MIT-educated former IMF economist and was once Morgan Stanley’s chief Asia-Pacific economist. Xie is known for a bearish view of China, and not Beijing’s favorite person. He’s now an ‘independent’ economist based in Shanghai. He gained respect for multiple bubble predictions, including the 1997 Asian crisis and the 2008 US subprime crisis.

Andy Xie posted an article in the South China Morning Post a few days ago that warrants attention. Quite a lot of it, actually. In it, he mentions some pretty stunning numbers and predictions. Perhaps most significant are:

“only China can restore stability in the global economy”

and

“The festering political tension [in the West] could boil over. Radical politicians aiming for class struggle may rise to the top. The US midterm elections in 2018 and presidential election in 2020 are the events that could upend the applecart.”

Here are some highlights.

The bubble economy is set to burst, and US elections may well be the trigger

Central banks continue to focus on consumption inflation, not asset inflation, in their decisions. Their attitude has supported one bubble after another. These bubbles have led to rising inequality and made mass consumer inflation less likely. Since the 2008 financial crisis, asset inflation has fully recovered, and then some.

The US household net worth is 34% above the peak in 2007, versus 30% for nominal GDP. China’s property value may have surpassed the total in the rest of the world combined. The world is stuck in a vicious cycle of asset bubbles, low consumer inflation, stagnant productivity and low wage growth.

Let that sink in. If Xie is right, and I would put my money on that, despite all the housing bubbles elsewhere in the world, the Chinese, who make a lot less money than westerners, have pushed up the ‘value’ of Chinese residential real estate so massively that their homes are now ‘worth’ more than all other houses on the planet. Xie returns to this point later in the article, and says: “In tier-one cities, property costs are likely to be between 50 and 100 years of household income. At the peak of Japan’s property bubble, it was about 20 in Tokyo.

To continue reading: Only China Can Restore Stability in The Global Economy