A Great Economic Indicator: The Family
Over twenty years ago, expert demographers predicted a fall in the stock market in late 2009. The fall happened a little earlier in 2009 than the experts predicted, but it did happen. These demographers, in the course of their work, stumbled upon a fascinating long-term indicator for the stock market—birth rates. A chance comparison of the long-term S&P 500, the premier stock market indicator and U.S. birth rates revealed an eerie similarity.
Here’s how it works. Spending drives the economy, and the baby boomer’s lifetime spending peaks at about 45-50 years old. The stock market peaks when the baby boomers’ spending peaks. The problem is the baby boomer generation is reaching that age right about now, and there’s no subsequent generation large enough to replace them.
But there’s more to this story, and it goes deeper than the stock market, as the documentary DVD, Demographic Winter, The Decline of the Human Family, clearly shows. For instance, in order for a population to survive it must at least meet the fertility replacement level of 2.1. That means the average woman needs to have at least 2.1 children over her lifetime in order to, at a minimum, replace the current population of any society.
Anything below 2.1 indicates population decline. Anything over 2.1 indicates population growth. Currently, the U.S. is at 2.01, which is just below replacement level. The overall European fertility rate, however, is between 1.53 and 1.55.
In Wisconsin and the United States we’re fast approachig an aging population, where the majority of the population is now or soon will be in retirement, on pensions and government subsidies. There are not enough young people in the workforce or coming into the workforce to support the aging population, especially considering the exponentially increasing costs of Medicare and Social Security.
Demographers and economists point to several reasons for this: the sexual revolution, the divorce revolution, prosperity, more women in the workforce during childbearing years and widespread inaccurate assumptions about overpopulation.
Each of these different factors has chipped away at and continues to chip away at the traditional view of marriage and family and children. And who suffers? The children. Our children, the few we are still having, will bear the burden of supporting an aging population that has tried in every way conceivable to not conceive and to destroy the preborn they do conceive.
Incredibly, those families that can afford to have more children are not and those families that cannot afford to have more children are. Lower-income and single-mother families are having more children where, we know from a plethora of social science evidence, children are at a distinct disadvantage developmentally, socially, emotionally and certainly economically.
So, not only will our children bear the burden of our infertility, they will do so without the nurturing of the traditional family. What’s to be done? The solution offered by a group of billionaires is most definitely not the answer.
The billionaires, including the likes of Bill Gates, George Soros and Oprah Winfrey decided several years ago to pour their billions into what I call a “class cleansing” effort. They are worried there are too many poor people in the world, particularly in developing countries, so they’re going to engage in “population control efforts,” which is just a euphemism for abortion, birth control, and other nefarious acts. The cold-hearted strategy and arrogance of the plan is astounding! They don’t want to have to deal with the poor so they plot to get rid of their children.
No, the real solution, as European policymakers have discovered almost too late, is to strengthen the family, particularly among the poor where the gold standard for families—a married father and mother raising their children together—is sadly and tragically lacking.
Families are the economic and social bedrock of a society and definitely of our state. They bring the next generation into the world, raise the incoming workforce in their homes, buy houses and consume products and create a nurturing environment for children—the future leaders of our state and our country. For the sake of the future of our nation we must welcome children and invest in them by strengthening the family.
That begins with moms and dads determining to stay married, with churches being willing to champion marriage, and with government promoting traditional marriage and families with solid policies. Demographers get the importance of my oft-repeated phrase, as the family, so the state. The question is, do the rest of us?
VIEW Wisconsin Family Council’s brand new publication “Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition: by clicking HERE.