Marriage, family and the business dividend

From Mercatornet:

Have you read the latest on the Greek bailout? Last I heard people who were lucky enough to have government jobs are on strike because they are about to lose them, thanks to austerity measures being forced on the country by the EU and the IMF.

The sunny Mediterranean country is the eye of the storm of the European debt crisis. It also has one of the lower birth rates in Europe — at the current rate Greek women on average will bear less than 1.4 children.

According to a new report from the Social Trends Institute in the US these two things are connected. The report, Sustainable Demographic Dividend: What Do Marriage & Fertility Have To Do With The Economy? points out that in developed countries like Greece social welfare programmes are straining to support surging dependent elderly populations, while productive, working age populations stagnate or shrink.

The report suggests that demographic trends in marriage and fertility play an underappreciated and important role in fostering long-term economic growth, the viability of the welfare state, the size and quality of the workforce, and the health of large sectors of the modern economy.

Read the full piece HERE. We’re not in favor of the “welfare state” to begin with; that’s not the point of this piece. Rather, this points out the very obvious (and often ignored) fact that fewer children means fewer producers to take care of an aging population. Real “welfare” is the family taking care of its own (including extended family members who may not have children for any number of reasons).

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