George Gilder was right…

Way back in 1977 (which, in our pop-culture world, is practically ancient history), George Gilder wrote the following prescient words:

Crucial to the liberals’ dream of escape from family burdens is zero population growth. Because each individual no longer depends on his children to support him in old age, many observers seem to imagine that children are less important than they were in the past. But substantially fewer offspring are a possibility only for a while in the modern welfare states. No less than in the past, the new generations will have to support the old. The only difference is that now the medium is coercive taxation and social security rather than filial duty. (Men and Marriage, p. 170)

With Greece’s economy failing and Europe’s markets jittery as a result, Gilder’s words come back to haunt us. The socialist welfare state cannot survive negative population growth, because it literally cuts off the only support system that will work–more young people to care for the elderly:

With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The countries are trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing working hours and reducing health benefits and pensions…. The reaction so far to government efforts to cut spending has been pessimism and anger, with an understanding that the current system is unsustainable.

Changes that would have been required in any case have now become urgent. Europe’s population is aging quickly as birthrates decline…. According to the European Commission, by 2050 the percentage of Europeans older than 65 will nearly double. In the 1950s there were seven workers for every retiree in advanced economies. By 2050, the ratio in the European Union will drop to 1.3 to 1. Figures show the severity of the problem. (Read the rest HERE.)

It’s amazing to read columnists who rightly point to a lack of people as the reason these economic houses of cards are beginning to topple–yet who still offer more government programs (fueled by taxpayers) as the solution. Where will the extra taxpayers come from, one wonders?

One thought on “George Gilder was right…

  1. Trying to find out about the weather, I flipped on the news yesterday. The female anchor bursts into a smile and starts talking about how birth control pills are the most popular form of birth control more globally now. Her “happy” statistics are, 16% of married women in America use BC pills. 23% of married women in the UK use BC Pills. And to the anchor’s obvious elation, 40% of married women in other European nations (France, Sweden) are on birth control pills.

    Of course, she doesn’t say a thing about the negative effects of the pill, nor of the quickly disappearing demographic of Europeans simply because they don’t want to have children.

    She also neglects to mention that even MORE non-married women are using BC pills because marriage is not so much the norm in Europe. I’d even dare to say that for every married couple in Europe, depending on the nation, there are anywhere from 2 to 4 unmarried couplings (couplings meaning they are unwed, heterosexual people who attempt a semblance of monogomous, albeit temporary, relationship.)


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