Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Stock Market in DANGER of Strangling the Bears to Death - Nadeem_Walayat
2. Germany Pivoting East, Exit US Dollar, Enter Gold Standard - Jim_Willie_CB
3.Flight MH17 – Kiev Flash Mob's Last False Flag? - Andrew_McKillop
4.Stock Market Crash Nightmare! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold - The Million DOLLAR Question... - Rambus_Chartology
6.Gold And Silver – BRICS And Germany Will Pave The Way - Michael_Noonan
7.The Jewish Selfish Gene, People Chosen by God, Everyone Else is Goyim to Kill - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Israeli Promised Land Dream - The Criminal Roadmap Towards “Greater Israel”? - Felicity Arbuthnot
9.Which Way is Inflation Blowing? Watch Commodities - Gary_Dorsch
10.U.S. Economy Quarterly Review and Implications for 2014-2015 - Lacy Hunt
Last 5 days
Israels Final Solution of Turning Gaza Concentration Camp into a Grave Yard - 31st July 14
US Failure: Unintended Consequence - 31st July 14
Stock Market Breakdown! - 31st July 14
Echoes Of The Great War – Only An Echo In The Elite Mind - 31st July 14
This is Bad News for U.S. Economy and Stock Markets - 31st July 14
The Important Impact of This “Secret” Gold Agreement - 31st July 14
The Something For Nothing Society Death Spiral - 31st July 14
The Social Memory Dump, Shredding Society - 31st July 14
How Safe Are Unallocated Gold Bullion Accounts? - 31st July 14
USDJPY Big Bear Market - 31st July 14
No More School in Gaza Because All the Children are Dead Chant Israel's Jewish Fundementalists - 31st July 14
The Iron Dome Inside The Heads of Israel’s Leaders - 31st July 14
You Know a Politician or Talking Head is Clueless When….. - 31st July 14
Don't Get Married to Your Gold Stocks—It's a Performance-Based Relationship - 31st July 14
Stock Market Parabolic Collapse - Sowing the Seeds of the Next Depression - 30th July 14
How to Profit from the Russia Ukraine Conflict - 30th July 14
Greenspan: U.S. Economy Running Out of Buffer; Stock Market to See Significant Correction - 30th July 14
Rogue States And Loony Tunes - 30th July 14
Anne Elk’s Theory On Brontosauruses - 30th July 14
Our Totalitarian Future - Totalitarianism NOW! - 30th July 14
Stocks Bear Market Formation Revealed - 30th July 14
We Just Found “The Future” - 30th July 14
What the “Steak Bandit” Says About Asset Values - 30th July 14
Designer War By Default - Seven Types of Elite Madness - 30th July 14
Death of the U.S. Dollar? Gold an Inflation Hedge? Really? - 29th July 14
We’re Ready to Profit in the Coming Gold Price Correction—Are You? - 29th July 14
Their Economy Will Collapse, Including Ours - 29th July 14
Silver Prices – Megaphone Patterns - 29th July 14
Real U.S. Interest Rates - Fed Exit a Blue Pill? - 29th July 14
Why Israel Should NOT Exist, Just Like Any Other Rogue State - 29th July 14
Gold Still Looking Good - 29th July 14
Silver Price Set To Star - 29th July 14
Our Population Growth Totalitarian Future - 29th July 14
World War 1 Cause and Consequences - The Planned Destruction of Christendom - 29th July 14
Will Crashing Commodities Crash the Stock Market? - 29th July 14
Ukraine MH17 - Washington Thinks Americans Are Fools - 29th July 14
Stock Market Bubble Warning - 29th July 14
Gold Price and U.S. Dollar’s July Rally - 28th July 14
Second Quarter Corporate Earnings: Marching Toward a Strong Economic Recovery - 28th July 14
Time to Put a New Economic Tool in the Box - 28th July 14
Mossad in Gaza, Ukraine and the Cult Of The All-Powerful Elite - 28th July 14
Elliott Wave Gold Price Projection Since 1970 - 28th July 14
Investors Remain Uncertain As Stock Fluctuate Near Long-Term Highs - Will The Uptrend Extend? - 28th July 14
The Mass Psychology Of Decline - 28th July 14
Will the US Destroy the World? - Don’t Expect to Live Much Longer - 28th July 14
GDM and GDXJ Gold Stocks In-depth Look - 28th July 14
Stock Market One FINAL High? - 28th July 14
What It Means - Paradigm Collapse And Culture Crisis - 27th July 14
Wall Street Shadow Banking: You Can’t Taper a Ponzi Scheme: “Time to Reboot” - 27th July 14
6 Tips for Picking Winning Gold Mining Stocks - 27th July 14
Israel's War on Children, Exterminating the Palestinians Future - 27th July 14
Guilt By Insinuation - How American Propaganda Works - 26th July 14
Surprise Nuclear Attack On Russia To Liberate Ukraine - 26th July 14
Use "Magic" Of Gold/Silver Ratio To Greatly Increase Your Physical Holdings - 26th July 14
Derivatives Market Species Origins - Abuse, Props and Risks - 26th July 14
Stock Market Manipulation and Technical Analysis - 26th July 14
China’s Stock Market Finally Looks Like A Buy - 26th July 14
Ed Milliband Fears Israel Jewish Fundamentalist Gaza War Massacres Backlash - 26th July 14
The Big Energy = Power Battle Is Coming - 25th July 14
USrael - Zionists in Control of America's Goyim Brainwashed Second Coming Slaves - 25th July 14
More Weakness Ahead for Gold Miners - 25th July 14
Gold Price Strong Season Starts - 25th July 14
Geopolitics and Markets Red Flags Raised by the Fed and the BIS on Risk-taking - 25th July 14
Gold Lockdown Until Options Expiry - New Singapore Gold Contract Threatens Price Manipulation - 25th July 14
The Bond Markets, Black Swans, and the Tiny Spirit of Santo - 25th July 14
No Road Map For Avoiding The Future - 25th July 14
Israeli War Machine Concentrating Women and Children into UN Schools Before Killing Them - C4News - 25th July 14
Israeli Government Paying Jewish Fundamentalist Students to Post Facebook Gaza War Propaganda - 25th July 14
Why the Stock Market Is Heading For A Fall - This Time Is Not Different - 25th July 14
An Economic “Nuclear Strike” on Moscow, A “War of Degrees” - 25th July 14
BBC, Western Media Working for Israeli Agenda of Perpetual War to Steal Arab Land - 25th July 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The Biggest lie in Stock Market History Revealed

Are American's Having Enough Babies to Stop Turning Japanese?

Politics / Demographics Dec 06, 2012 - 10:47 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Politics

Keith Fitz-Gerald writes: A new study by The Pew Research Center shows that the birth rate in the United States has dropped to the lowest level since 1920, when reliable statistics were first made available.

The birth rate dropped precipitously last year to only 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age (which is defined as 15 to 44 years of age). That is half of what it was in 1957 at its peak.


Most people aren't troubled by this -- but they should be. Here's why.

Our low birth rate has tremendous implications at all levels of our society. What's more, it is yet another sign that we are turning Japanese.

Now I know the idea that we are becoming more and more Japanese-like is not without its fair share of criticism.

People question me all the time about it - challenge me is more like it - arguing that the United States is different. That somehow, unlike Japan, we're going to escape the economic mess we've created for ourselves.

Having spent more than 20 years closely involved in Japanese society as a businessman, a husband, a father, and a part-time resident, I think that's wishful thinking.

The truth is any population decline in the United States will have severe implications for our economic way of life exactly the way it has in Japan.

And it's not just the numbers of births that matter, but rather all of the things that stem from low birth rates years down the line.

The Future Pitfalls of the Decline in U.S. Birth Rates
For example, a lower birth rate means fewer job prospects in the future. It also means fewer workers feeding into a system that actually requires more workers to support the greying society we live in.

With declining birth rates, Japan is now expected to drop from 2.8 workers supporting each retiree in 2008 to 1.5 by 2050.

Here in the United States, our trend is headed in the same direction, where a mere 2.6 workers will be expected to support each retiree by 2050. That's a 44.68% decrease from the 4.7 workers in 2008 -- and a whopping 85.65% reduction from the 42 workers who supported each retiree at the end of WWII.

There are implications in terms of health care rationing, too. It will affect home care, assisted living, traffic, mobility, technology, and taxes. Especially taxes...

Of course, with the fiscal cliff approaching, the tax debate is now front and center. But lower birth rates also mean much of the debate is misdirected.

It's not so much a matter of taxing the rich as it is how we deal with declining revenues. No matter how you cut the moral debate about taxing the rich or having more people pay in, fewer workers will mean future tax receipts go down.

And that, in turn, means there will be even less to spend when the rapidly graying population needs it the most.

Our military is also predicated upon national policies that have been developed during times of economic prosperity and are now being carried out at a time of transition. This is a mismatch. Older societies tend to be more survival oriented, so it's entirely possible that the way in which our nation conducts itself in the international community will change.

Perhaps that's not such a bad thing, though, if we are less likely to send our sons to war so easily - but that's a subject for another time.

Our immigration policy, too, merits serious consideration in light of the low birth rate data, especially when we've been building a model based on newly immigrated foreign- born mothers having more children than U.S.- born women. Just because that's worked in the past doesn't mean that the same thing will work in the future.

That's the case, for instance, among Mexican immigrant women who were singled out by the Pew data as having the largest birth rate decline of any group included in the study - 26%. That's a 400% larger decline than U.S.- born women, who saw their overall birthrate fall 6%.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill here? After all, one data point does not make a trend.

Further, you can counter, as many people do, that modern contraception and better sex education are also factors that could contribute to slowing childbirth.

Both of those things are true; I merely think there's more to this story.

Having spent more than two decades carefully studying both countries, I am convinced that there is a link between economic development and fertility.

Specifically, I believe falling fertility rates here in the U.S. herald some truly world- altering ramifications, not the least of which is that we are making the same damning mistakes Japan has made over the last 30 years.

The similarities include:

•The lowest birth rate in history and one that's going in the wrong direction - check.
•A growing number of old people dependent on a smaller number of workers - check.
•Failed stimulus programs - check.
•Outrageous amounts of debt that can never be paid back being spent to make up the leverage gap - check.
And I'm not alone. There is an increasingly vocal group of scientists who believe that higher human development is negatively correlated with lower fertility rates. In other words, the more "advanced" a society becomes, the less fertile it is.

Others, like Mikko Myrskyla of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, believe that there is a "j-curve" of sorts, and that advances in economic development can reverse fertility rate declines.

I think this is like counting leprechauns under the rainbow. The laws of nature are immutable:

1) If you don't have new children, you cannot replace your population.
Japan is literally dying. It's got the worst demographics ever recorded. The number of senior citizens, or "silvers" as they are called because of their silver- colored hair, is growing faster than both the number of new workers needed to support them and the number of children needed to replace them.

So fast, in fact, that the last Japanese will be born in 3011 -- only 1,000 years from now, according to a study from Hiroshi Yoshida of Sendai.

Between the low birth rate and aging population, Japan will lose more than 33% of its population by century's end. The Japanese government estimates that the birth rate will drop so far, so fast, that it will hit a mere 1.35 children per woman in her childbearing years within the next 50 years.

This is made worse by the fact that 36% of men between the ages of 16 and 19 have no interest in sex. More than 60% of unmarried men don't have girlfriends while more than 50% of single women in the same age group are not dating.

So far the United States remains a highly "sexed" society but how much longer will that last? I don't know. But the data, whether you include immigrants or not, seems to suggest that reproduction is the issue.

2) It's becoming too expensive to raise children.
Raising a child from birth to the point where he or she becomes a productive adult can bankrupt even the most productive of families in Japan. My wife and I, for example, know plenty of couples who are perfectly happy not to have children because they don't want the economic stress of raising children in Japan when the economy has been stuck in a rut since they were born.

This has significant implications, particularly when it comes to future employment and the housing recovery everybody seems so fixated on.

You can have the best jobs in the world, but if there's nobody to fill them, the point is moot. Productivity per worker may rise, but barring the massive advances in robotics and other compensatory technologies everybody expects, overall productivity will decline.

As for housing, it's much the same story. People may not think immediately about this, but in Japan where we've seen this play out over 20+ years, the results are extremely evident. Rural housing remains but a fraction of what it cost at the height of Japanese prowess. Many homes are simply empty and decaying.

Banking debt there remains underestimated even today and construction companies are confounded by staggering low levels of new housing formation (the numbers of new families being formed) and the number of young people moving permanently back in with their parents.

It will be the same here in 30 years' time.

3) Technology provides limited compensation.
Many people assume that the use of robotics and other technology will help alleviate the burden associated with aging. I share that opinion but believe it will do nothing to change the societal impact of bad economic conditions on fertility rates.

More than 50% of the world's population now lives in countries with falling and, more specifically, below- replacement fertility numbers. That number was a mere 8% in 1970, according to an older paper by Nobel laureate Professor Gary Becker of the University of Chicago and a deep thinker when it comes to the effects of low birth rates on future economic activity.

4) Immigration might help in the short term but can't solve the problem.
One of the reasons that Japan is in such trouble is the near- complete lack of a workable immigration policy. Migrant workers remain tightly controlled and their children are not recognized as Japanese citizens -- even if they are born on Japanese soil.

Japan has experienced a tremendous shift in education, how young people are employed, and a dramatic polarization of younger versus older members of their society. Have s and have- not s are not the issue. What seems to be at stake is the sentiment that the older generation has had it all, while leaving tremendous burdens to the younger generation that they didn't sign up for.

We've had tremendous immigration into the United States but that appears to be flattening, and our immigration policy remains a wreck despite the fact that it's very different from Japan's.

5) Politicians may not be able to fix this
America, like Japan, is torn on many levels. We are looking to Washington with ba ted breath, hoping our leaders can solve our problems -- but that may be completely futile.

Even if our politicians come to their senses tomorrow, they may not be able to fix this. And, if there is a lesson to be learned from Japan, perhaps that's it.

Demographics is not a policy issue. Declining birth rates are about demographics. They are inescapable.

That's why we must continue to invest in companies that favor the aging population, create technologies we need as oppose to those we simply want, and that pay us for the risks we take.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2012/12/06/is-america-h...

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014