Tag Archives: Declining birth rates

Demographers Warn Of Impending Population Collapse, by Kevin Stocklin

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.

A father prepares to change the diaper of his newborn daughter as his wife looks on in a hospital in Apple Valley, California, on March 30, 2021. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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.”

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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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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:

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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.

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The Global Economy Is Running Out Of Its Most Valuable Resource, by Gefira

People are an economic resource, who knew? From Gefira at gefira.org:

The current state of the financial markets and the global economy depends on one single resource that nobody, even such renowned economists as Paul Krugman or Robert J. Shiller and dissenters like Max Keiser and Jim Rickards, dares to talk about. In private discussions central bank managers told us that they were aware that none of the existing economic theories and models fit this new situation. Yet, they do not broach it in their public speeches and lectures, preferring to deal with such topics as balance sheets and business cycles. All of which reminds one of a family visiting a terminally sick relative: everybody knows that he will never recover, and nobody whispers as much as a word about it.

All productive nations whether in East Asia or the West, have reached the peak of their 250-year-long development. Even the most devastating wars could not prevent their populations from growing in the long run. It is only now, during the many decades of peace and affluence, that the numbers of the inhabitants of the developed countries have been decreasing and the trend continues. The phenomenon has not been brought about by any famine or natural disaster but by the sheer fact that people do not want to have children.

Japan is an economic bellwether. The country refrained from mass migration and during the 2006-2016 period its population shrank by 0.5%, oil consumption dropped by 22%, car sales by 7% and GDP by 4%.

Japan is the first country to cope with the new reality and investors need to change their mindset to understand what this new reality stands for. In the past, every business cycle, recession or recovery, ended with a higher GDP and larger economy than before. In the future we will see the opposite: every business cycle will conclude with a lower GDP and a smaller economy than the previous one. A shrinking population entails economic consequences. Oil consumption will decline, car sales will go down, and national GDP will be lower and lower. The paradox of it all is that the total economy may be shrinking, and yet people in the US, Europe and Japan will be doing better than before. Why? Because a less crowded country means less dependence on (foreign) oil, lower pollution and CO2 emissions, fewer traffic jams, more space and food abundance. It is the financial sector that will be afflicted by the new reality, not the people. Without the support of central banks the Western financial industry will not survive a continued depopulation, a situation in which people save and spend less and less money. A buoyant economy invests in win-win deals, a stable economy is a zero-sum game, and in a depressed economy all investors lose. That is why central bankers are considering the imposition of negative interest rates. These are flashing warning signals.

To continue reading: The Global Economy Is Running Out Of Its Most Valuable Resource

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