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One of the most pernicious myths being foisted on Americans today has to do with the perceived perpetual threat of the so-called population explosion.  The impacts of gullible young people being fooled by this deception is resulting in serious harm to our nation and the world we live in.

Activists back in the 1970’s, including Paul Erlich who wrote the book Population Bomb,  projected sky rocketing birth rates around the world that would lead to mass starvation and resource shortages the world over, including here in the United States.  The myth of this explosion continues to this day in spite of the fact that the world is actually heading toward a cataclysmic demographic decline as birth rates throughout the world are falling below replacement rates, including in China!  In Japan, more adult diapers are sold than baby diapers! There is no getting around the impacts of the most basic demographic mathematical equation- civilizations that do not replace themselves eventually cease to exist.

Today’s best trend among young people is to delay marriage and forego having more than one kid.  The worst trend is to forego both marriage and kids altogether!  If you do the math, it is not difficult to realize the impacts of these trends upon society and we need to look no farther than the United States to understand the new reality.

America is lucky that we have Social Security and Medicare, but the fact is these plans are nothing more than glorified, government sanctioned ponzi schemes.  This is because our government did not set aside the money taken from our paychecks and invest the same so that it would be there when we need it.  Instead, they spent the money as it came in and expanded the benefits to those who never paid into the system to begin with.  Further, due to the birth dearth that is clearly upon us, we don’t have enough young people paying into the system right now to ensure near term solvency.

Consider this illustration.  A 30-year-old today has no intention of having kids and is himself an only child.  Both of his parents were the only child in their family too.  If all of his grandparents are still alive it means that this one man will someday be responsible for subsidizing his own unfunded retirement liabilities, along with that of his two parents and four grandparents!  He is now further burdened with Obamacare which is based on the same principle of the young subsidizing the costs of others.

As challenging as this scenario is, something worse is being played out in countries throughout the world who do not have anything equivalent to our poorly funded Social Security and Medicare programs.  In other words, in these countries absolutely nothing has been set aside to care for the elderly.  These societies have always relied on family to shoulder the burden, but there is no family!  The birth dearth in many of these countries means dire straits are ahead for an increasingly aged population.

This column was first published in the Santa Barbara News Press. 

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