Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Major Impacts of Declining Birth Rates Worldwide ...

Recently, my TEC Groups heard Herb Meyer, a senior CIA official back in the 1980s; he prepared the overnight national security intelligence report, and was the first to forecast the probable decline of the Soviet Union. Today, he talks to groups about trends that he sees. This one is particularly interesting:

Key Trend #2: The Coming Death of Europe, Japan, Russia, et al ...
• Why? Declining and VERY LOW Birth Rates! Replacement rate is 2.1 ... many at 1.3 (within 30 years, will lose 30% of population ... very big deal!) and declining. No region has ever recovered from a 1.1 rate.
• With fewer young/fewer workers, means fewer people to support a longer-living retired class. Coupled with trend towards welfare states where more and more expenses are supported by the state, it becomes a financial disaster! The death spiral supports itself: As prospects get dimmer and dimmer, couples become less and less likely to have children. (You see that in the U.S. today. See further below.)
• Europe’s birth rate overall is 1.5 ... a disaster. Germany’s is 1.3. In 30 years, Europe will have 30 million FEWER PEOPLE, with even fewer workers supporting more elderly. Only 40% of college-educated German women have children. Lowest is in Italy and Spain at 1.1 and 1.2. RUSSIA is in the same fix, and knows it: Medved has declared Sept. 12 each year a Day of Marital Contact! Huh!
• France is giving a woman with two kids $3,000 a month to have a third.
• How to compensate: Allow immigration of Muslims escaping from their dire economic straits ... but aren’t integrating them into the population. Big Mistake: Younger Muslims frequently want Western mores and culture (and jobs), but Europeans are keeping them poor, helping to radicalize them. Lesson to the U.S. In France, 20% of people under 20 are Muslim.
• Muslim areas are all above replacement at 2.4 to 6.8, altho declining.
• We wonder why European states don’t support us in Iraq and Afghanistan. A major reason is that those states are now up to 10% Muslim, and leaders need their votes to get re-elected.
• Other bad trends overseas: Only 1 of 7 couples is getting married. Trends toward stability of family life are negative. Putting AGE limitations on surgeries, so once you reach certain ages, you can’t get certain health care. Also, trend toward Euthenasia (bad for elderly!). Parents encouraging bright kids to emigrate to where there are greater opportunities ... can’t get into U.S. because of small quotas, so are going to Canada, Asia.
• Also, Europeans don’t like to work. One country has 400 MORE vacation hours on average than the U.S. ... TEN WEEKS! The average work week is less than 38 hours. Any effort to change is made with great resistance ... witness riots in France, and the current refusal by Greeks to acknowledge their bankruptcy.
• Japan: Birth rate is 1.3, forecasting 50 million fewer people in 30 years. Have already closed 2000 schools, at 300 per year. Closed two universities. In 20 years, 20% of population will be over 70 years old.
• Canada: No better. A 1.5 birth rate.
• You need PEOPLE ... to be customers, buyers, workers, to support an economy and provide money for a family to live on and pay taxes.

The U.S.’s Prospects ...
• The bad news is that the Anglo birth rate is 1.8 and slipping. The good news is that the Hispanic rate is 2.8, putting us at the desired 2.1. For the first time, more kids are being born to Mothers NOT born in the U.S. than U.S.-born mothers.
• Of interest, there is a political context with an underlying cultural phenomenon: Red states vs. Blue states, or areas. Most economic growth, and higher birth rates, are occurring in Red states/areas ... and the reverse is in Blue states/areas. Also, “people of faith” live more normal lives, and pro-create. (Corollary: Europe is going more and more sectarian.) The more you have an increasing tax burden, with less and less discretionary income, the less you are likely to have a child, or another child. Yet, children are essential for the future.
• Utah has highest birth rate, Vermont the lowest.
• Projections are that we will need an additional 50-60 million people to support a growing economy and our aging baby boomers ... and most of the new people will be Hispanic immigrants, critical to our future economic health just as immigrants have been in the past. Another key: Have POLICIES to INTEGRATE them, to avoid Europe’s catastrophes. Yes, they take an inordinate share of school expenses in early years, but on balance they are tax-neutral ... what they pay is what they use.
• Needs will include: New homes/clothing/home needs/education/food ... and ENERGY.
• Challenge: As we move towards a State-ist economy, we will be hard-pressed to pay for increasing entitlements for increasingly large financially-stagnant (and declining) recipient bases (social security, medicare, medicaid, etc.).

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