Tag Archives: Birth rates

“The 2-Child Policy Has Failed”: China’s Birth Rate Hits Record Low As Growth Slows, by Tyler Durden

At its present birth rate China cannot sustain the growth rates that have made it an economic powerhouse. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

China finally abandoned its controversial one-child policy in November 2013. But more than six years later, millions of Chinese couples are still unwilling to have a second child. And that’s a huge problem for the Communist Party, whose legitimacy in the eyes of the public depends on its ability to deliver on promises of unbridled growth and prosperity.

And who can blame them? Entrenched behaviors die hard, and after the government’s brutal treatment of citizens who defied its policy (which was initially imposed to ward off famine), we can sympathize with Chinese who simply believe that having two children isn’t in keeping with the fundamentals of patriotic socialism with Chinese characteristics.

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No Motherhood, No People, by Paul Craig Roberts

A culture that doesn’t reproduce dies. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

It is paradoxical that feminism together with other ideological movements has destroyed the natural feminism of women and turned them into sexual items. The 19-year old who intends to get her tubes tied is turning herself into a pure sexual commodity ( https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/08/02/the-turn-against-motherhood/ ). That women are transitioning themselves into sex dolls is a paradoxical result after decades of feminist propaganda that reduced the sexual relationship between men and women from a loving relationship to “men’s use of women’s bodies.” The feminists have now achieved what they decried.

Feminism has not liberated women.  It has liberated women from woman’s role.  The kind of stable committed relationships that men and women formerly had are difficult to find today except in the oldest generation.

As The Saker recently wrote, we are experiencing “the gradual irrelevance of an entire civilization,” one that has been emptied of its history, foundational purpose, integrity, spirituality, and moral conscience.  It is doubtful after decades of anti-male propaganda that the relationship between men and women can be restored.  Thus has the family been undermined.  White ethnicities are disappearing from earth as the birth rate is less than the death rate, and 19-year old women are having their tubes tied.

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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.

Europe’s Crisis of Survival, by Guilio Meotti

Europe’s crisis is easy to state, virtually impossible to solve: people aren’t having enough babies. From Guilio Meotti at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • In facing this existential challenge, a downward spiral in which Europeans seem to be slowly dying out by failing to reproduce, it seems that Europe has also lost all confidence in its hard-won Enlightenment values, such as personal freedoms, reason and science replacing superstition, and the separation of church and state. These are critical if Europe truly wishes to survive.
  • In Western Germany, 42% of children under the age of six now come from a migrant background, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, as reported by Die Welt.
  • “[I]f you look through history, where the Church slept, got diverted away from the Gospel, Islam took the advantage and came in. This is what we are seeing in Europe, that the Church is sleeping, and Islam is creeping in… Europe is being Islamized, and it will affect Africa.” — Catholic Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Cameroon.

In facing this existential challenge, a downward spiral in which Europeans seem to be slowly dying out by failing to reproduce, it seems that Europe has also lost all confidence in its hard-won Enlightenment values, such as personal freedoms, reason and science replacing superstition, and the separation of church and state. These are critical if Europe truly wishes to survive. (Image source: Pixabay)

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Ultimate Indicator Shows US Never Recovered From The ’08 Great Financial Crisis, by Christ Hamilton

Choosing to procreate may be the ultimate expression of optimism. Take a look at what’s happening to birth rates. From Chris Hamilton at economica.com:

The ultimate indicator of personal economic confidence is the determination to perpetuate the species and have children.  The chart below shows annual US births from 1910 through 2017 and it is estimatedthere were 3.84 million births in 2017, nearly a hundred thousand fewer than in 2016.

The 2017 figure is also nearly a half million fewer than the late 1950’s baby boom era peak and likewise below the subsequent mid 2000’s double peak.  The 2017 figure is also nearly six hundred thousand below the Census estimates provided as recently as 2000 and 2008.

To offer some perspective, the chart below shows annual births versus total US population…despite the total population nearly doubling since 1957, the US had 11% fewer children in 2017 than 1957…or 2007.

More poignantly, below is the US childbearing population (those aged 15 to 45 years old)…the red columns represent the annual change while the blue line is the total 15 to 45 year old population.  As can be plainly seen, the growth of the childbearing cohort represented by the “baby boom” on the left dwarfed the growth represented by “millennials”, on the right.  Of course, on a relative basis (%), the millennials represent less than a third the annual quantity of growth than the boomers offered…and millennials high levels of education driven indebtedness and poor quality of employment, etc. mean the quality of growth they represent is even lower than their numbers would indicate.

A last note regarding millennials, their estimated “growth” was never organic (as births essentially never exceeded those during the “boomer” period) and instead was almost entirely dependent on estimates of continued high rates of immigration…the same immigration that has dramatically slowed since the early 2000’s.  Chart below shows the sources of 15 to 64 year old population growth (declining births vs. immigration…annual average per 5 year periods) since 1970.  Given this, there is a high probability that the size of the millennials significantly undershoots estimates.

To continue reading: Ultimate Indicator Shows US Never Recovered From The ’08 Great Financial Crisis