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Is America Having Enough Babies…Or is it Another Sign We're Turning Japanese?

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.

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About the Author

Keith Fitz-Gerald has been the Chief Investment Strategist for the Money Morning team since 2007. He's a seasoned market analyst with decades of experience, and a highly accurate track record. Keith regularly travels the world in search of investment opportunities others don't yet see or understand. In addition to heading The Money Map Report, Keith runs High Velocity Profits, which aims to get in, target gains, and get out clean. In his weekly Total Wealth, Keith has broken down his 30-plus years of success into three parts: Trends, Risk Assessment, and Tactics – meaning the exact techniques for making money. Sign up is free at

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  1. Phillip Mark | December 6, 2012

    You have an interesting premise on birth rates that leaves several major factors out of your equation. The rise of artificial intelligence is moving at a rate that is incredible.
    In twenty years a large percentage of our interactions will be with highly automated systems and not people. What I have seen already leads me to believe the evolution is coming and in fact we may not be the dominant player.
    Add robotics and the need for employees is further reduced.
    It will be interesting to watch the implementation of a robotic income producing tax rate.
    The robotic tax output scale will facilitate the lost taxes of human labor.
    Thank you for everything you share with me.

  2. david tarbuck | December 6, 2012

    Along with the so called "shortage" of workers there exists unemployment rates of 8% and higher; youth rates (youth stand between adults and the children you want more of!) are 15% in Canada, 18% in USA and 54% in Greece (demographics in the global village) others fall in between.

    Before we advocate augmenting populations with economic incentives, I suggest that we need more good paying jobs for the existing populations. A PRIORITY of YOUTH TRAINING INCLUDED.

    In individual countries, such as China where force is used to restrict birth rates there are admittedly individuals who are devastated but the overall economic scene has vastly improved. Contrast this with those societies where for religious reasons, or fear of ethnic extinctions, families of three or more are encouraged. Which have the better standards of medical care, education and food intake?

    Put all of the above in the context of exponential growth on ONE small planet??!!

    Back to the drawing board!!!

    • Ana Elliott | December 6, 2012

      The greatest resource on our planet earth is the human person. I'm not just talking about the sheer physical worth. Man's creative intellect, its compassion for others, and ability to form relationships, makes us our most valued resource. When people choose to not procreate (or cooperate with human nature) of course there will be serious consequences. If you are having trouble imagining how a baby could possibly improve the world, remember the great good Mother Teresa accomplished. Her maternal care towards the poorest of the poor, treating the human person with the utmost dignity in the worst possible circumstances, contributed to nothing less than setting the world on fire with love of humanity.

    • Stephen Tareila | December 9, 2012

      There are many jobs that go begging. They may require special skills, travel, relocating or are deemed undesirable for some reason. Many of our youth could do the jobs that Hispanic immigrants do in my area(CT, NY, and MA). There is a lot of work, plenty of people, but not all the people are workers. Especially so, when the government finances a welfare state buffet.
      More college graduates need to create jobs rather than flooding the market looking for jobs.
      Unfortunately we have many "empty suits" graduating college.
      We have plenty of youth training including the public schools, military, tech schools and colleges/universities. Young people need to apply themselves diligently rather than drowning themselves in computer games, reality shows and other time and talent wasting activities.
      Which I guess brings us to the next point. God can help them with that. The West has excelled in providing better standards of medical care, education and food intake and more importantly, liberty because of our former Protestant Christian reliance on a good, gracious Heavenly Father. Hence, we named our cities Providence(God's) and Philadelphia,city of brotherly (the "Christian" was understood) love. The people had large families until just recently and most fared well. There was the Protestant work ethic and sound belief in being fruitful and multiplying. American auto and housing industries would be robust today if we had another 80 million people(consumers) under age 45. Plus we'd have a few more geniuses who would have solved many problems. Also the country has vast underdeveloped and undeveloped land/resources even in the East for a much larger population.
      You also mentioned China, a terrible country, with which no comparisons should be made. Their government has killed untold tens of millions of its own citizens, while imprisoning and threatening many, many more. Chinese don't even experience liberty until they emigrate to the West.
      Finally you sound like an Agenda 21 disciple or Robot with that "One small planet". Actually its a very large planet with vast untouched and unknown resources. Also, there are vast amounts of low population density areas. This would include most of Canada, our own West, Alaska, Maine, Siberia, the Sahara, western South Africa, Australia, and the list goes on. What about colonizing the seas and Antarctica?
      In conclusion, we need a return to a much higher birth rate and dependence on a loving, providential, but sovereign God.

  3. ed the grocer | December 6, 2012

    If you stop vaccines, eat far less sugar, get the fluorides out, learn about vitamins, fats, minerals, enzymes, and co-enzymes you will add thirty healthy years to your life. You won't "need" a monster wave of young people to look after you because you won't need looking after. If you consider how you would like to live in a modern world, you don't need long rows of wage slaves grinding out their lives for your self importance. Monetary growth just for some expanding squiggles on a ledger sheet is no longer a good thing. It is time for us to grow up.

    • Peter | December 10, 2012

      Your living longer, and even efficiently does not help, you will drain more resource from workers who pay for your social security longer. Apart from that, living longer takes more food, clothes, fuel, social services from the world. It is a less burden to the world if people die younger, sad to say.

  4. michael fransene | December 6, 2012

    way to many people now!!! one baby per household limit ! to many people are staving now more will make it worse!

    • DD | December 6, 2012

      I 100%C agree with you although I think two is ok with very few exceptions that allow more and this should be worldwide.

      I don’t care what your religion is, how many times you marry, etc, etc., once you have had two, you are done – no more! Plus you are not allowed to divorce or separate (with few exceptions) until your children are of age. How is it you can marry, have a child and get divorced all inside a year? There no integrity or staying power anymore – You make your bed, so you should be made to lie in it!

      The system is also VERY WRONG when you have to rely on your children and g-children to feed state pension plans and anything else of such nature with taxes Each generation needs to take care of its own and if you mess up, oh well, that’s too bad.

      There are not going to be enough jobs etc., to go around with the tech industry excelling at the pace it is either, so high unemployment, poverty and/or slavery will become the norm.
      What about the earth's resources too? humans are destroying rain forests, wildlife in addition to pollution and a host of other things that destroy this planet. And don't get me started on greed and pure selfishness and exploitation of others too.

      STOP being so selfish and STOP having all these children where more than half of people out there don’t care about to see it through; and to make their child a good and productive person.

      Guess this is my gripe for the day! Lol.

  5. Kathy | December 6, 2012

    I think this is a bunch of malarky….I would advise any woman not to have anymore babies. We have no jobs, our food is so expensive its getting almost impossible to eat healthy, and lastly I along with many others think that out government is practicing population control. The chemtrails in the sky everyday is posioning the air that we breathe with aluminum, and all other types of stuff.
    we are just trapped rats being used for their experiments. On top of that…When we go to the doctor, and I am sure almost everyone can atest to this…They can never find out what is wrong with us. Most people are saying, " what's the use in going, they aren't going to know what's wrong"? The Government is pushing people to become dependent on them by promoting foodstamps, medicaid, and even the free government phones as a way of them controlling us. And with this said, …YOU must see why WOMEN are electing NOT to have kids these days. And frankly, I don't give a damn about what might happen in the future…WE know what is happening now. We as women can't take the chance of bring others into this world with all this negative stuff lumming overhead. I am overwhelmed, and confused by the things that are going on it our world, but it seems our hands are tied.

  6. George Beeler | December 6, 2012

    This is a sign that the vast majority of people cannot afford to have a child and are finally becoming responsible. I would state that basic healthcare costs are mostly at fault. The price of food is rising, but nothing like a visit to a hospital near you! The brunt of this is due to a combination of regulations and liability and not necessarily in that order.
    I do wonder if you counted illegal aliens as they appear to be reproducing rapidly. With that said, the latest immigration policy makes sense. If we aren't having our own babies, supplement your population with productive (by this I mean tax paying) workers and their children. That's how most of our forefathers came to America for a better life through the opportunities we have through hard work.

  7. Lynda | December 6, 2012

    Why would anyone want to have a baby these days? What a dismal outlook for these children.

  8. sven s | December 6, 2012

    Having enough babies?? Can't believe you money men. Where were you when Hurricane "Sandy" struck New York? Maybe you missed that an area the size of continental USA has melted on the Artic icecap or haven't had a recent holiday in the Pacific where those unfortunate inhabitants of coral atolls are loosing their gardens at a rapid rate.The planet has too many babies thats its problem. Hard concept for momotarists to grasp.

    • Steve Christ | December 6, 2012

      Dear Sven,

      Thank you for reading and for writing. It shows that you are involved and that you care. These are qualities we value. But I believe if you read the article carefully, Mr. Fitz-Gerald was simply pointing out the potential economic ramifications of a low birth rate and how it would affect this country in the same way it has Japan over the last 30 years. Mr. Fitz-Gerald and his team have, in fact, written extensively on all facets of the environmental problems facing this planet as well as the numerous investment opportunities and social consequences associated with them. That discussion is simply beyond the scope of this particular article but we will no doubt be addressing it again in future columns.

      Thanks again for being a part of the Money Morning family.


      Steve Christ, Managing Editor
      Money Morning

  9. Ole Fjord Larsen | December 6, 2012

    1) Since we are already 7 billion people on this small planet, there more than enough US babies
    2) The problem is: What KIND of babies ? Or rather what kind of PARENTS ?
    90 % of the parents do not give their babies the unlimited and unconditional love, respect, security and freedom to natural unfolding that every child needs during its first 4 years of life after conception to develop harmoniously and keep its innate zest for life and creativity rest of the life.
    Anything short hereof is torture of a more or less severe character and consequence.
    In stead of the dominating sadistic culture of child abuse a CULTURAL REVOLUTION is required to save the planet.

  10. Vinson Johnson | December 6, 2012

    It depends on if you think of people as human beings or economic units. As human beings, we have over populated the earth and a lower birth rate is very encouraging. From a business stand point more economic units produce and consume more trash which brings more profit to companies. I think something is wrong with our economic theories.

    • PATRICK | December 6, 2012

      absolutely right, mankind has to break this insane vicious circle of more and more and more. Short term it will cause some problems, long term the world would definitely become a better place to live… Of course the multinationals of this world don t want this to happen, they are willing to destroy everything for more growth year after year

  11. john clare | December 6, 2012

    Excuse me but your argument is rather one-sided. I consider the exact opposite of what you argue to be the case. You discuss the USA, so I'll use USA stats. 200 years ago 90% of the population worked in agriculture. Now only 1 in every 500 works in that business. The work is done more and more by machines, and despite less people being involved vastly more food is produced.
    The same trend has taken place in factories. Over the past 100 years mechanisation has introduced more power, more machines, and ultimately robots. People will always be needed, but not at the same level as previously.
    With more people you will have more unemployment, permanently. The smaller the society and the more sophisticated systems it works on the richer it will be. It isn't people at the work face who make wealth now, it's the mechanisms. Install more mechanised systems, and make them more efficient and more wealth will be created. You cant continue to run a society on non-stop growth in people and GDP. Common sense says that ultimately it becomes another ponzi system.

  12. fallingman | December 6, 2012



    Despite some good and revealing comments here, I don't think enough people are giving you your props. This was a good article on an important subject.

    The message: Demographics is destiny. (August Comte). Ignore the subject at your own risk.

    Big changes are coming, but they will come gradually, and will almost certainly not be addressed in any coherent way at the public policy policy level, because, while planning ahead for the inevitable is important, there's no urgency to do so. Same as with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and private pension shortfalls.

    Business, as always, will adapt to meet our needs the best it can, but, as Japan has shown, it likely won't be easy.

  13. Eileen | December 6, 2012

    We could try what some European countries are doing to encourage more women to have babies. The satisfaction that higher education provides offers far more than having a family does. Our tax code is antiquated and discourages families; our immigration policy has gotten a lot more dysfunctional and the leadership in Washington is incapable of having an adult discussion about anything.

  14. Stuart Davies | December 6, 2012

    I cannot believe what I have just read about your negative attitude to the falling birth rate in the US.
    Over here in the UK (and in Europe in general) your sort of short-term thinking by decades of politicians of all persuasions, has gotten us into the financial and social mess we are in now.
    Technology has superseded a lot of manual craftsman input. There are just not the employment opportunities to go round.
    Successive governments have created none-jobs. That is – jobs for which there was no genuine requirement. New Statutory regulations, as a result of political and media backed hype, have created jobs (civil servants) which were totally uneccessary, giving us all a false sense of job security. The people who have filled the none-jobs, Socialists by definition, have felt obliged to support the political party that created those jobs for them. Now we are at a point where the amount of finances the none-jobs require (that is ongoing salaries and top of the range pension deals) has outstripped the money clawed in by the government thru various taxes and levies. The people IN the none-jobs and those running the none-jobs departments are at odds and un-cooperative with any policy that attempts to reduce their benefits.
    It has already been stated by our Chancellor that the civil service pension deals (usually introduced by the Socialists ie. Labour) is UNSUSTAINABLE. Lord knows what they intend to do about that!
    Another big problem is that multi-national companies such as Google, Starbucks and Amazon, amongst MANY others, have been allowed to move profits to low tax refuges. The argument being that these companies employ people who DO pay tax. Twenty of our top blue-chip companies pay very little or no tax whatsoever, whilst the proletariat at the bottom of the pyramid are being squeezed. All these companies have to do is suggest that they could re-locate elsewhere, thereby by implication making thousands redundant, and the politicians back off.
    All these none-jobs were created and maintained by politicians with taxpayers money.
    We are now being bled dry in an attempt to balance the books.
    Immigrants (mainly from Europe, but from anywhere in reality) who contribute nothing, but just TAKE from the economic benefits systems make up some 43% of the new homes requirement.
    Politicians come and go, and it seems are only interested in offering ideologies which will get them elected again.
    To increase the employment rate, investment is needed in pet projects, such as infrastructure. But the only place to get £ ($) Billion investment is from government who can only borrow even more money to finance that work. Of course you can go the way of QE by issuing more worthless money without anything to back it up, which in turn devalues the buying power of the ordinary punter.
    We are now beyond saturation point, and no one has the guts to tackle the real problems.
    Yes! politicians tinker around the edges, but an electorate, now having been persuaded that they are ENTITLED to anything they want, see no reason why they should change their way of life or to a more austere way of thinking.
    The earth has finite resources. And if the whole world would aspire to the quality of life of those in the US and the western world, we would need FOUR MORE similar planets, just to support the existing population as it is – without any increase in numbers.
    The US is a much greater area than the UK but unless you tackle the problems on the distant horizon such as that of over-population, you will end up like Europe, owing more than you can ever repay. This could then mean civil unrest and/or being taken over by the likes of China, already buying up and/or renting great swathes of land in other countries to grow crops or extracting minerals.
    See what is happening over here and avoid like the plague.

  15. Keith Fitz-Gerald | December 6, 2012

    Hello everybody!

    Thanks for the comments. I really appreciate the thinking and the passion that comes through even if we have multiple viewpoints. This is one of the most complicated issues of our time because there is very little precedent for what is happening now and the demographic changes that accompany humanity's continued "progress" – and boy is that a loaded word these days.

    Please keep those great thoughts coming and thank you for being part of the Money Morning family!

    Best regards,

    Keith :-)

  16. Diana | December 6, 2012

    We in the United States are experiencing two interrelated things at once. The President wants to support aborations and Homosexual Marriage. Neither one will produce children. We think that the country is going downhill even considering Homosexual Marriage. Dumb Americans that want Homosexual Marriage are actually shooting the USA in the foot. All Homosexual Marriage will produce is either AIDS or the HIV disease. Aborations will kill the innocent children that will never be born. What do the Americans expect from a President that want to distroy civilization in the future!

  17. Jeff Pluim | December 6, 2012

    This was a good article, Keith. And after having read all of the comments on the article, it is interesting to see that no one here has addressed an imminent evolution in society. It is not a matter of if, but when genetic researchers totally crack the aging codes. They are already able to extend the life expectancy of simple celled worms to 7 times their normal life expectancy. Researchers are very close to being able to reverse the erosion, or shortening, of the telemids at the end of the DNA strands. That will mean that people will be able to live indefinitely. I truly expect that this will happen within the next 5 to 10 years, maximum. Right now there are billions being poured into this line of research. Unless humankind stops reproducing or drastically reduces the birth rate (but at least is sufficient enough to cover those who die from accidents and the like), then our longevity will cause a huge over-population. One other factor that has not been addressed, but one that I am intimately familiar with, is this; space travel is within this generation's grasp. I predict that within 30 years we will be travelling the galaxy, much the same way as our forefathers did when colonizing the Amaericas and Australia. As Earth becomes more crowded, there will be emmigration to new worlds.

    • ed the grocer | December 8, 2012

      A few things. First, it is very simple now for a sixty year old to live to a very healthy one hundred. It is cheap and needs no new science. Second, the real problem is reversing our environment. We need no less than a complete rebuilding of all of our systems. It likely won't happen and the chemicals that we revered will be the death of our grandchildren. And space travel? sorry, but we are stuck right here.

  18. Mr. Obvious | December 6, 2012

    It's simple math…..exponential growth paired with the limited resources this earth can provide is beginning to reach critical mass. Food , water, energy, environment, and economy are all interconnected and influenced by this growth curve. Quoting another source " Humanity has stretched its systems to the limits. From our energy systems to environmental systems……from our healthcare systems to our welfare systems…..from our political systems to our legal systems….and from our financial systems to our industrial systems". This world must start the dialogue needed to decrease the population of this planet….if we fail in this endeavor we can relegate ourselves to die the way of bacteria in a petri dish…..where we will consume all of the resources around us until they are gone and then die in our own excrement. Math does not lie and the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name. As our founding father once said "facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. Do the math my friends!

  19. William | December 6, 2012

    Is there not enough Illegal Immigrants to make up for Native Americans weariness about being able to raise a child in this Socialistic USA. That the HRS, HHS, DCF that can't wait to take your kids and put them in some Same Sex Partner home. Or just have Big Government taking G-d from their lives!

  20. William | December 6, 2012

    Why so The Government can tell you how to raise them, what to teach them tell them, that there is no G-d or that their hopes are in Vain! Are there not enough Illegal Immigrants to fill their needs? Just start Taxing them to have them pay their own way.

  21. H. Craig Bradley | December 6, 2012


    The Federal Government could covertly administer a dose of Viagra to every male in the country on friday or saturday night and simply let nature take its course. Of course, its a numbers game. Only a small percentage of them would reproduce. Not every affair, tryst, or incident of sexual intercourse results in a pregnancy for various reasons, but a large number of infected males would still be successful.

    However, the stats remain the same: 80% of ALL women of childbearing age will eventually have at least one child, in or out of wedlock. Unmarried parents are a burden to society in that they are usually poor and require public assistance (welfare, food stamps, and WIC payments). So, its doubtful the government could do much, other than offer cash awards to new parents as a small incentive to have children and be married.

  22. H. Craig Bradley | December 6, 2012


    Home Health Care ( Medicare paid) is already being affected. One physical therapist I know, Oleg L., told me yesterday physicians are no longer the "gatekeepers" as far as doctor prescribed physical therapy at home. Medicare contract auditors or agency administrators determine how many sessions a medicare patient actually receives. Fewer medical providers is part of the intent of ObamaCare legislation. The Federal government affects this policy by conducting audits.

    For example, a doctor might prescribe 2 months of home health care and physical therapy due to a "medically necessary" condition. However, the maximum a patient will actually receive today is less than the amount prescribed, just 7 visits @ 2 sessions/week.

    Furthermore, Medicare administrators told a group of P.T.'s a few years ago that they intend to audit every single home health care agency in the country. An audit is conducted on 20% of all patient cases in the previous 12 months. Generally, these audits uncover 'unauthorized' charges or therapy, even if properly prescribed. Health and Human Services then "claws back" all the money that was previously paid to the home health care agency in question.

    Most agencies are small businesses and can not afford to lose $300,000. The only way to get it back is to appeal the matter in court and hire a lawyer. It takes months. Small home health care agencies usually go out of business after a HHS Audit. That's happens to be the government's goal.

  23. Doris Kelsey | December 6, 2012

    One in 88 babies become autistic. In some communities it is one in 29. Most are under 20 years of age as this is a recent phenomena. Testamony at last weeks senate hearings was pretty scary as the cost of raising these kids was over 3 Million each. FDA has had their heads in the sand.

    When you take a group of rats and give them all the food and bedding they need, they will multiply rapidly. When their area becomes crowed, breeding slows, some of them become 'white' with their constant licking and grooming. Eventually breeding ceases. As some die off (rats generally live about 2 years), breeding does NOT resume. The colony dies off.

    We are a country of immigrants.

    Our earth is polluted beyond comprehension. Glysophate (Roundup herbcide) rains down upon us chelating the micro-nutrients we need to live healthy lives. Monsanto destroys our RNA, causes our guts to produce our own pesticides inside us, and sues our farmers for trying to farm without their poison. The oil/gas/coal companies threaten us with extinction.

    Is it no wonder women don't want to bring children into this? I don't/didn't/won't.

    • H. Craig Bradley | December 7, 2012

      Many of our Senators and Congressmen are "autistic". Its a real impediment to doing their jobs too!

  24. dourdan | December 6, 2012

    daddy always said animals and children know

  25. 967610mw | December 6, 2012

    Our current infratructure cannot support anymore people. We are running out of energy, food and water. We need something to come along and kill a billion people for us to sustain our current status quo. The last thing we need is a few thousand of 15 year olds getting pregnant to improve your statistics.

  26. steve limbach | December 6, 2012

    You have completely missed the forest for the trees !!! The SINGLE BIGGEST PROBLEM WE HAVE IS OVERPOPULATION !!! It is NOT just about economics and growth and who is going to take care of the elderly,… IT IS ABOUT SAVING our PLANET !! We NEED to come up with a method of dealing with economics, poverty, health care, etc. with a decreasing growth rate, because the planet can NOT sustain the population at the present growth rate ! Nearly every social and economic problem on earth is exascerbated by population outstretching our resources. Endless growth is not the answer but indeed it is the ROOT problem !! We should be overjoyed that rates are decreasing,..and actively working on ways to have a working economy with a sustainable population that will reach some plateau within the next few decades. The present formula, where each generation has more wealth and more "stuff" will not work too much longer. Let's get some economists who can start thinking about the FUTURE rather than try to continue the irrelevant formulas of the past. !!!

  27. Ron | December 6, 2012

    Those who have led responsible lives will always be burdened by the Jimminy Crickets of the world. I don't advocate denying their children life's necessities, but something must be done about those who cannot control their reproductive urges.
    We are called to be humane and caring people, but those who receive that care at our expense must realize it is not an "entitlement." When they cease to hold up their end of the stick, when they have babies as a means of livlihood, it has gone too far.

  28. Gloria Faltstrom | December 6, 2012

    The fertility rate has dropped 23% or 26% since the introduction of genetically modified foods. You might want to check that out. The situation might not have anything to do with becoming japanese.

  29. Doni | December 6, 2012

    I agree with those who think we need a smaller population, not more babies. Growth can't go on forever when space and resoruces are limited. Our population also produces a lot of waste which makes our environment less healthy. Industrial activities tend to make the waste more toxic. We need to adjust to a population that is stable or even shrinking. It would be beter for human health and happiness.

    Of course there are a lot of other needed changes – problems with bad government and too much corporate power. The addiction to power and money at the top reduces what is left for the general population. I don't blame people for thinking having children is not worth while, even cruel or stupid, because the world they will inherit is too harsh (or are we just spoiled?).

  30. Curtis Edmark | December 6, 2012

    I don't disagree with the premise that fewer future workers mean less tax revenue but what can you do about it? Encourage people to have more children when they can hardly afford to take care of the ones they have?

  31. Marc de Piolenc | December 6, 2012

    Too few payers supporting too many retirees is not a demographic problem; it's a symptom of fraud! This "problem" wouldn't exist if government were not committing fraud by paying current retirement benefits from current contributions – a Ponzi scheme. If people had traditional, fully capitalized retirement accounts this would be completely irrelevant.

  32. Van Cornelius | December 7, 2012

    Actually I think fewer babies is good. Earth's human population has doubled in the last 50 to 60 years (See the movie Earth, free on YouTube movies). Resources and land are limited. Artificial technology to increase them such as dangerous and harmful GM foods (search and the web for documentation) are harmful and cause health and other problems. A well-run organic farm can far outstrip GM farms. GM farming has been far over-hyped by Monsanto and other corporations that financially benefit from it. See the movie "Doctored" available through and watch the segment towards the end where a California organic farmer is interviewed.

    What is needed is a no growth policy, in which population growth is discouraged. This could be done by gradually reducing and eventually eliminating the income tax for dependent children. (Better yet replace the income tax with a national sales tax). Also rather than subsidizing giving birth to children by young poor women who cannot afford them , who support themselves and their partners through through Aid to Families with Dependent Children, encourage them to put their babies up for adoption. People who have children should support them themselves, rather expecting tax payers to do so. The right to choose abortion within a reasonable time after conception should not be infringed

  33. C. Frederiksen | December 11, 2012

    Overpopulation is the one greatest problem facing the world. If we don't find the answer, Nature will. Adjusting to stable population is a challenge that must be faced. "Too many old people" is a big (but one generation) problem.

  34. H. Craig Bradley | December 13, 2012

    Lower birthrates mean slower population growth rates, but populations still seem to grow over the long term none the less. More people mean more demands on limited government resources and especially, infrastructure. As it is, we have deferred infrastructure (roads and bridges) right up to the failure point in some cases. The future indeed looks grim absent needed investments ( not only for pensions and Federal entitlements either). Fully 1/2 of any state's annual infrastructure budget is for roads.

    By 2050 the population of California will soar from 37 million to 50 million, and that of the US from 300 million to 400 million, according to data released by the US Census Bureau and the CIA fact Book. So, there will indeed be growth in the good OLD U.S.A. The overall population will indeed be older and the percentage of working age people proportionately less.

  35. Cecily Westermann | December 17, 2012

    US births continue to far outnumber US deaths–According to the CDC, U.S. there were 3,999,386 births in 2010 and only 2,465,936 deaths. Births have widely exceeded deaths every year since 1946, and more U.S. babies were born in 2007 than in any other year. Our population was 254 million in 1992 (only 20 years ago), is now rapidly approaching 315 million, and is projected to reach 421 million by 1950. Even when you consider that immigration is contributing to population growth, the U.S. is actually having too many babies.

    Quality of life is deteriorating due to environmental and economic problems–and to a decrease in commercial and governmental responsiveness. Supplementary means of supporting Social Security Old Benefits and other legitimate government financial needs can be developed. Encouraging more births to support government needs just forwards worse problems to future generations, and would be

  36. Ed Devine | December 26, 2012

    Regardless of how the Obama Administration, the media, or Liberals and RINO's in Congress, or the self serving illegal aliens try to spin the narrative on illegal immigration, America's citizens, workers, students and taxpayers recognize the fact that undermines all their self serving rhetoric regarding unconstrained immigration and lax enforcement. Like it or not folks, too many people competing for the same limited resources and opportunities is NOT, and NEVER WILL BE, sane, sustainable social, economic or environmental policy. Pragmatically speaking, the birth rate in America is down because of dangerously misguided political agenda's that undermine the will and the ability of American citizens to have large families. Parents do not, often cannot afford the costs of children, and introducing more children into an economic model that insures that they will be forced to compete for jobs, housing, and education against millions of illegal immigrants, is not a decision that many caring parents make easily. We also enforce a false concept of the value of education in the workplace, as virtually all studies on the subject ignore important considerations. As the number of college educated individuals increases, the value of that education in a market increasingly glutted with similarly educated individuals, reduces the need for employers to actively compete for such workers on a basis of salary or benefits. In effect, the value of a College education was that it distinguished one job candidate from those with no college degree. Now with so many degree baring individuals underemployed or unable to find work, a market glut exists such that employers are now seeking to hire outside our country to gain the competitive advantage and undercut their need to "compete" for American workers by obtaining the same skills at a substantially lower "world wage", rather than that demanded by educated American workers to live the American quality of life" they've come to expect. Overpopulation, congestion, urban sprawl, crumbling infrastructure, diminishing resources and opportunities, lack of affordable housing, vanishing farm land and green space, overcrowded schools, hospitals and jails, water and energy shortages, depressed wages, increased tax burdens, the balkanization of our communities, the marginalization of American workers, students, taxpayers and voters, are all the result of anti-family legislation, unconstrained immigration and lax enforcement. Absent firing a shot in our own defense, America is being invaded on a scale unparalleled in human history. The mammalian imperative to reproduce and multiply on flourishes in an environment that likewise allows subsequent generations to likewise be abundant. Congressional and Corporate interests have created an environment in our country where America's declining population serves as the revenue stream whereby the democracy we created is undermined and our own interests and values usurped.

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