Advertisements

Category Archives: demographics

The Last Hurrah, by the Zman

Will the 2020 election pit baby boomers Trump and Warren? From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

The 2020 presidential election, which will probably be Trump versus Warren, is shaping up to be the final act of Baby Boomer America. Both are of the generation that has come to symbolize the culture of those born after the Second World War. Trump was born in 1946, while Warren was born in 1949. That means both came of age with the Beatles and the Stones. Both were in college when the hippies and anti-war protesters were taking over the college campus. They are children of the 1960’s.

It has been argued many times that the Baby Boom generation is more than just the people who were teenagers and young adults in the late 60’s. According to demographers, the Boomers include people who were in college when Ronald Reagan was president. That’s fine, as far as demographics, but when people think Boomers, they think in cultural terms. The generation that grew up on the Beatles is what they have in mind, not the generation that grew up on Lynyrd Skynyrd.

That really is the important thing to keep in mind whenever discussing generational politics in America. For the Boomers, the 60’s were a vastly different time from the 70’s, in terms of the culture and outlook. The 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, in contrast, are not wildly different culturally. It’s like how the 50’s and early 60’s are really the same culture. The cultural revolution that stated in the 1960’s really did change the country, so by the 70’s it was a totally different experience for young people.

Continue reading→

 

Advertisements

The Biggest Migration Since the Barbarian Invasions of Rome, by Doug Casey

This interview with Doug Casey is all kinds of politically incorrect, which means, as is often the case, that Casey is spot on. From Casey at internationalman.com:

International Man: Former Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi once warned that “Europe runs the risk of turning black from illegal immigration… it could turn into Africa.”

Since the United States and NATO helped overthrow Ghaddafi in 2011, millions of migrants from Africa and the Middle East have poured into Europe. Many transited from Libya.

This is all well known, and all signs point to this trend accelerating. What’s your take on where this is going?

Doug Casey: First, it’s a pity Ghaddafi was taken out. Another disastrous US policy decision. Not that he was a nice guy—no one running an artificially constructed nation-state can be. But it was at least a stable situation. Now it’s been replaced by a bloody and costly war. And it’s complete chaos. Nice work Hillary and Obama. But let’s talk about Africa at large.

Africa, or at least migration in and out of Africa, is going to be the epicenter of what’s happening in the world for the rest of this century.

Africa has gone from being just an empty space on the map in the 19thcentury, to a bunch of backwater colonies in the 20th century, to a bunch of chaotic failed states that most people are only vaguely aware of today. Soon, however, it will be continuing front-page news. This is because Chinese are moving to Africa in record numbers while Africans are leaving as fast as they can.

What we’re looking at is actually the biggest migration since the barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire. There will be tens of millions—scores of millions—of Africans trying to get into Europe. I don’t know how the Europeans will keep them out. I used to say Europe was going to be a petting zoo for the Chinese, but it may be more of a squatter’s camp for the Africans.

Africa is the only part of the world where the population is still growing and growing rapidly. Africa south of the Sahara was about 6% of the world’s population in the ’50s, now it’s about 16%. But by the turn of the century, it’s going to be 45%. Assuming there isn’t some kind of catastrophe. It’s not clear that the Africans can grow enough food for billions more people.

In fact, if the West stops supporting the continent with capital and technology, it could be in for very tough times. Wakanda, the country in “Black Panther”, doesn’t exist. On the contrary, the continent is full of Gondwana lookalikes. Gondwana is where most of the action takes place in Speculator, the novel John Hunt and I wrote. It’s the first of seven in the High Ground series.

Continue reading

Yikes! Japan has more people over the age of 80 than under the age of 10, by Simon Black

There is no way Japan will be able to continue to fund the present level of old-age benefits. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Earlier this week the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs released its 2019 world population report… and there were a number of very interesting findings:

1) World population continues to grow slightly, but the rate of global population growth is at the lowest level since at least 1950.

 2) Global population growth rates are unevenly distributed. Developed nations (including the US, Japan, Western Europe) suffer from alarming declines in fertility rates, while developing countries are experiencing rapid population growth.

The 47 least developed countries in the world (mostly in Africa) are the fastest growing, and just NINE countries are expected to make up HALF of global population growth over the next three decades.

Continue reading

Do Empty Cradles Matter? Look At Japan. By Lyman Stone and W. Bradford Wilcox

Japan and Western welfare-states have birth rates well below replacement. So who’s going to pay for pensions and medical care for the elderly? From Lyman Stone and W. Bradford Wilcox at theamericanconservative.com:

shuttertock

America’s fertility rate has fallen to its lowest point in history, 1.73 babies per woman, according to data just released by the Centers for Disease Control. The truth is starker still around much of the developed world, as noted by a new Institute for Family Studies report. Across Europe and Asia especially, each year brings more countries hitting their lowest fertility rates in history. In South Korea, for instance, the average woman can now expect to have less than one child.

In the face of global climate change, this worldwide birth dearth might seem okay. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York recently noted that some may even be wondering: “Is it OK to still have children?” Some experts have a different question: should we even care? Conrad Hackett, senior demographer at the Pew Research Center, recently asked this question at a forum on family issues hosted by the Brookings Institution. Why do we care if fertility is low?

In fact, we should care that fertility is falling, for at least three big reasons.

First and foremost, the reality is that fertility rates around the world, and in the United States, are lower than what women themselves say they want. About 40 percent of American women in their 40s report that they would like to have more children than they currently do. This figure is markedly larger than the approximately 20 percent of their peers who say they have more children than they would like. Such numbers are worrying because research tells us that women who “miss” their fertility ideals tend to be less happy than those who make them.

Continue reading

25% of Millennials no longer having sex due to financial problems, by Simon Black

In many ways Americans are a lot poorer than they used to be. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

My grandfather was just a toddler when soldiers came home from World War One in 1918.

They brought the deadly Spanish Flu with them, which killed well over 50 million worldwide.

As a young adult, my grandfather struggled through the Great Depression with the rest of the world.

And just as things started looking up, World War II broke out.

Lucky for me, he survived it all.

After the war, my grandfather took a job as a teacher. And on that single salary he was able to buy a house, provide for his family, afford a car, and have a secure pension for when he retired.

His wife (my grandmother) started a small hair salon in the family living room to earn money on the side.

They saved nearly every penny they ever earned. They never went into debt.

And they invested conservatively, often buying short-term government savings bonds that paid  over 4% by the late 1950s– well above the rate of inflation.

This wasn’t just my grandparents’ experience either.  Back then, this was the fundamental promise of America: you were rewarded for working hard and saving money.

But now things are entirely different.

For starters, cost of living is totally out of control. My grandfather’s teaching salary was more than enough to support his family in a comfortable, middle class lifestyle.

Today that would be almost impossible.

More often than not, it takes two working parents to make ends meet in a typical household.

Census statistics show that just 25% of married households with children were dual income in 1950. Today it’s nearly 70%.

Plus, to even qualify for a lot of jobs today, you must have a university degree… which carries its own enormous costs.

Even after adjusting for inflation, a typical university education in the US costs over five times as much as it did in 1960, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

A typical young person today emerges from university with student debt exceeding $40,000. And millions of young people have student debt exceeding $100,000.

Speaking of debt, my grandparents had none. And they had plenty of cash savings, as was typical of their generation.

But today’s median household (according to Federal Reserve data) has racked up consumer debt exceeding $30,000, with a bank balance of less than $5,000.

And that bank balance earns a pitiful interest rate of just 0.02%. So even for people who have savings, the interest they earn doesn’t keep up with inflation.

Housing costs are also out of control.

Home prices are near record highs, making it extremely difficult for young people to afford a  down payment.

And rents have been steadily rising for years, far outpacing the rate of inflation (and lackluster wage increases.)

Perhaps that’s why a survey from Zillow last year found that nearly 25% of 24-36 year olds were living with their parents. They simply can’t afford their own housing.

Coincidentally, a study from the University of Chicago last year showed that roughly 25% of people in their 20s reported having zero sex in the previous 12 months, almost the same amount as people living with Mom and Dad.

While this might sound comical, it matters: young people are putting off children as well.

In fact, the US fertility rate is now at its lowest level in DECADES, well below the amount necessary to maintain a stable population.

It’s simply too expensive to have kids.

When my grandparents started having children, the hospital bill was about $100.

Today it can easily be more than 100x that amount. And the cost of rearing a child today through the age of 18 can now exceed $200,000, not including university tuition.

Then there are retirement challenges as well.

Back in my grandparents’ era, it was common for workers to have well-funded private pensions.

Today private pensions are nearly extinct. And of the few that still exist, about 25% are insolvent.

Public pensions (as we discuss frequently) are in terrible condition, with a mutli-trillion dollar funding gap worldwide.

And then there’s Social Security, which is in such financial ruin that even the Social Security Administration admits the program’s trust funds will run out of money in 2034.

I also think back to how easily my grandmother was able to start her own hair salon. She bought a pair of scissors one day and started cutting hair in her living room. Simple.

Today you’d have to navigate a mountain of permits, licenses, bureaucracy, and legal liability, the cost of which is prohibitive for most people who dream about starting their own business.

Unsurprisingly, Census data show that the number of new startups in the US continues to decline.

This is a long way from the original Promise of America, where the average person could work hard, save money, and afford to retire.

Today, the system is no longer designed to provide any of that.

Wages and savings don’t keep pace with inflation. Debt has exploded. People are working harder and becoming less prosperous. And retirement is anything but secure.

These problems can’t be fixed in a voting booth. Or by waiting for the Bolsheviks to engineer prosperity for all. And certainly not by following the status quo.

A better solution is to walk a different path altogether– one of self-reliance and independence.

For example, you CAN secure your retirement. Not by relying on a broken pension, but by taking matters into your own hands with a more robust structure like a solo 401(k).

You can obtain a top quality university education by studying abroad at a fraction of the price.

You can start a new business in a tax-advantaged jurisdiction (like Puerto Rico, where you can pay just 4% tax on your profits).

There are countless solutions to fix these challenges. It just takes a little bit of education and the will to take action.

California Dream Has Become an Overcrowded Nightmare, by Joe Schaeffer

Let’s add overtaxed and overregulated to overcrowded. From Joe Schaeffer at libertynation.com:

The state’s leftist immigration policies choke the livable life out of urban centers.

The quality of life in the former paradise known as the state of California continues to decline precipitously. Overcrowding, strained resources, homelessness, and accompanying social welfare hazards seriously hamper the Golden State’s major urban population centers. Instead of acknowledging that some form of course correction to developments over the past 30-odd years is necessary, however, California’s Democrat politicians are steadfastly beating the drum for and attempting to accommodate massive legal and illegal immigration into their congested domains.

Sardine Cities

“The California ranch-house lifestyle — founded on sunshine and ample backyard space for a pool — has become increasingly unaffordable for middle-class families in urban areas where most jobs exist. Living space has tightened and become impossibly pricey for too many,” the Los Angeles Times reports in what reads very much like an elegy for a lost land.

“It was wonderful when our population was only 12 million in the 1950s and 22 million in the 1970s. But now we’re at 40 million and headed to 50 million by 2050,” The Times reports.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s solution: stack bodies up to the sky. The Democrat, a staunch advocate for illegal aliens, is turning a blind eye to the negative effects of encouraging foreigners to pour into his state and instead trying to handle the swell of lower income residents by building what The Times states will be“densely populated, multistory living [areas] near transportation centers.”

Continue reading

Illinois’ demographic collapse: fewer immigrants, fewer babies and fleeing residents, by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

The people of Illinois are heading towards the exits. Understandable, given the state’s fiscal problems, insolvent pensions funds, and what’s sure to be continuously rising taxes. From Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner at wirepoints.org:

Since the turn of the century, Illinois has been in the midst of a perfect demographic storm. Residents are leaving the state in record numbers. The number of Americans moving into Illinois has hit new lows. Net foreign immigration has fallen by half. And the number of births has dropped by more than 20 percent.

These demographic forces have all combined into a single troubling fact: Illinois is shrinking. The state has lost population five years in a row. In 2018 alone, the state lost 45,000 people, the second-biggest population drop in the country.

The state’s growing domestic out-migration has been especially problematic. More Illinoisans are leaving the state at the same time that fewer Americans from other states are moving in.

Continue reading→

 

%d bloggers like this: