Even today amid a mounting exodus among those who can afford it, and with its appeal diminished to businesses and newcomers, California, legendary state of American dreams, continues to inspire optimism among progressive boosters.
Laura Tyson, the longtime Democratic economist now at the University of California at Berkeley, praises the state for creating “the way forward” to a more enlightened “market capitalism.” Like-minded analysts tout Silicon Valley’s massive wealth generation as evidence of progressivism’s promise. The Los Angeles Times suggested approvingly that the Biden administration’s goal is to “make America California again.” And, despite dark prospects in November’s midterm elections, the President and his party still seem intent on proving it.
But most Californians, according to recent surveys, see things differently. They point to rising poverty and inequality, believe the state is in recession and that it is headed in the wrong direction. Parting with the state’s cheerleaders, the New York Times’ Ezra Klein, a reliable progressive and native Californian, says the Golden State’s failures are “making liberals squirm.”
Reality may well be worse than even Klein admits. In a new report for Chapman University, my colleagues and I find California in a state of existential crisis, losing both its middle-aged and middle class, while its poor population faces dimming prospects. Despite the state’s myriad advantages, research shows it plagued by economic immobility and inequality, crushing housing and energy costs, and a failing education system. Worse than just a case of progressive policies creating regressive outcomes, it appears California is descending into something resembling modern-day feudalism, with the poor and weak trapped by policies subsidized by taxes paid by the rich and powerful.
California may conjure images of Rodeo Drive and Malibu mansions in the public imagination, but today the state suffers the highest cost-adjusted poverty rate in the U.S. The poor and near-poor constitute over one third – well over 10 million – of the state’s residents according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Los Angeles, by far the state’s largest metropolitan area, and once a magnet for middle class aspirations, has one of the highest poverty rates among major U.S. cities. A United Way of California analysis shows that over 30 percent of residents lack sufficient income to cover basic living costs even after accounting for public-assistance programs; this includes half of Latino and 40 percent of black residents. Some two-thirds of noncitizen Latinos live at or below the poverty line.
While many Californians are fleeing, some are decidedly less bearish.
“In California, there is this idea of ‘Oh, we care about the poor,’ but on this metric, we are literally the worst,” Stanford’s University’s Mark Duggan, principal author of an economic comparison of California with Texas, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The state’s poverty and associated dysfunction are on full display in leading cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, where a large underclass now inhabits the streets – the once-iconic locales having become poster children for urban dysfunction. Beyond massive homeless camps, crime has become so bad that the LAPD has warned tourists it can no longer protect them. San Francisco, meanwhile, suffers the highest property crime rate in the country. Businesses like Walgreens have shut down numerous Bay Area locations due to “rampant burglaries.” Homelessness and crime increasingly dominate the state’s political discourse, particularly in these two deep blue bastions.
California also faces growing inequality. By the Gini index, a measure of the distribution of income across a population, California has the third-highest inequality behind New York and Louisiana, and has experienced the fifth largest expansion of inequality since 2010, according to American Community Survey data. California also suffers the widest gap between middle- and upper-middle-income earners of any state.
Once among the most egalitarian regions in the country, Silicon Valley has become among the most segregated places in the country. CityLab has described the technology hub as “a region of segregated innovation,” a trend becoming more pronounced, according to recent research. Silicon Valley now boasts its own underclass of those who clean its buildings and provide food service. Nearly 30 percent of its residents rely on public or private financial assistance.
Similarly, according to the Brookings Institution, San Francisco, the technology industry’s most important urban center, has experienced the most rapid growth in inequality among the nation’s large cities in the last decade. The California Budget and Policy Center has named the city first in California for economic inequality; the average income of the top one percent of households in the city averages $3.6 million, forty-four times the average income of the bottom 99 percent, which stands at $81,094 in a city and state with a high cost of living.
The situation is worse elsewhere in the state. Over the past decade more than 80 percent of California jobs paid under the median income, and most under $40,000 annually, a poverty wage in California. Worse yet, as demonstrated in our analysis, California lags all peer competitors – Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Nevada, Washington and Colorado – in creating high wage jobs in fields like business and professional services, as even tech growth begins to shift elsewhere.
The biggest losers in California have been those industries that historically provided the best opportunities for working-class people – manufacturing, construction, energy – as well as agriculture, the state’s historic economic powerhouse. On a per capita basis, California builds only a fraction of the housing compared to its main rivals, while corporate new investment, suggests a new Hoover Institution study, has shriveled to a rate one-tenth Texas and one-sixteenth that of Ohio.
The state’s climate change policies, however well-intentioned, have had a particularly devastating impact on manufacturing. California’s “renewable energy” push has generated high energy prices and the nation’s least-reliable power grid, crippling an industry reliant on fossil fuels and a stable electric supply. The state fell to 44th in the country in manufacturing sector employment growth last year; its industrial new job creation has lagged competitors such as Nevada, Kentucky, Michigan and Florida. Even without adjusting for costs, no California metro ranks in the U.S. top ten in terms of offering well-paying blue-collar jobs, notes The New York Times. But four – Ventura, Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Diego – sit among the bottom ten.
As the environmentalist Breakthrough Institute summarizes it, the state’s climate agenda has created a “new Green Jim Crow era” keeping more people, particularly minorities, in poverty.
Housing policy has also hurt most those who can least afford it. California’s state planning policies aim to reduce urban sprawl – the shift to locales where costs are lower and the state is gaining migrants. The heavily minority Inland Empire, which has little political influence, now has more people than the San Francisco metropolitan area, which dominates state politics, but the former is unable to reverse any of these policies.
Despite expectations by planners that limiting suburban growth would reduce prices for the masses and greenhouse emissions by encouraging density, studies in Vancouver, Canada and several other locations have shown the opposite; they associate densification with higher land and housing prices. California has the highest urban density of any state, yet suffers the second highest housing costs and rents of any state except Hawaii. On this issue, some media coverage appears to have been influenced by the pro-density preferences of tech titans like Mark Zuckerberg.
Striving, largely minority middle- and working-class families bear the brunt of such policies. According to a recent American Enterprise Institute survey, California is home to six of the nation’s worst markets for first-time homebuyers. It would take more than 100 years for the median-income household to save for a mortgage on a median-priced home in San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Jose. The state now ranks 49th in homeownership rate, producing far less new housing than competitive regions like Arizona, Texas or Florida. A recent study by economist John Husing found not one unionized construction worker can afford a median-priced home in any coastal California county.
Unable to buy their own home, many working class families find themselves paying extraordinarily high rents, with more than half of all renters shelling out in excess of 30% of household income, the traditional definition of an outsized housing burden. Nearly four in ten California households meet or exceed this level. Not surprisingly, one quarter are contemplating a move elsewhere. High rents and house prices, along with low wages, also have produced the nation’s highest level of overcrowding.
Nor has densification brought the purported environmental benefits cited by California’s champions at Brookings and in the Biden Administration; the pro-density Terner Center projects that if California’s cities followed the density guidelines, at best the state would see a 1% reduction in emissions.
Manifest Education Failures
Historically education was seen – particularly among traditional liberals – as critical to upward mobility for poor and working-class people. Yet for decades the state’s schools have underperformed national norms, particularly for poor students. Since 1998, California has ranked, on average, 46th in 8th-grade reading and mathematics subject-area performance on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), the only comparable assessment between states nationwide. This includes comparisons with demographically similar states like Texas, which spends less money per student.
Today, almost three of five California high schoolers are not prepared for either college or a career; the percentages are far higher for Latinos, African Americans, and the economically disadvantaged. Among the 50 states, California ranked 49th in the performance of poor, largely minority, students. San Francisco, the epicenter of California’s woke culture, and site of the recent recall of several far-left school board members, suffers the worst scores for African Americans of any county in the state.
These students are often unprepared for college. At California State University – where ethnic studies programs are now mandated – the need for remedial courses or 40 percent of freshmen demonstrates a low level of preparedness in such basic skills as reading comprehension, writing and mathematics. Some educators have decided to eliminate this problem by eliminating remedial classes.
California’s model curriculum, which focuses on how to “build new possibilities for post-imperial life that promotes collective narratives of transformative resistance,” may only exacerbate these problems by inculcating attitudes antithetical to those necessary to succeed in a highly competitive capitalist economy.
Many California educators from the highest reaches of academia down to the grade school level champion “equity” in education over developing hard math skills and fostering excellence. Even basic life skills such as being on time are eschewed: The San Diego Unified School District will no longer count such scruples as turning in work on time in grading and evaluation. It may reduce the penalties for cheating. This is justified as a way of redressing racial issues, as many of the malefactors (like most California students) are from disadvantaged minority groups.
Most Californians support charter schools, including nearly half of all Democrats, and three chapters of the Southern California NAACP – San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside. The state’s powerful teachers unions, and the Democrats they back, oppose such education alternatives.
Tech titans, once focused on improving schools, now seem less engaged. This may make sense given the extent to which tech relies on global talent rather than recruiting locally. In 2018, three-quarters of the tech workforce in the Bay Area was foreign-born, a majority on short-term non-immigrant visas.
The answer to many of the problems plaguing California’s struggling lower classes has been to throw more of the upper class’s money at them. Michael Bernick, a former director of the state’s Employment Development Department, says “The culture for much of California, driven by state politics, is one of benefits (and now guaranteed income), not a jobs strategy or expectation.” California is unlikely to be devoting the state’s surplus –driven largely by stock and property gains among the wealth – as Texas and other states do, to attracting businesses. Instead, as Bernick suggests, the preference has been to boost the welfare state, as it did in initiating record-setting stimulus payments during the pandemic. It is now contemplating handing out debit cards to cope with high energy prices created by the state’s environmental policies.
California’s technology industry consists of staunch funders of the states’ progressive Democrats. They may themselves be obsessed workaholics and living testaments to entrepreneurial capitalism, but Greg Ferenstein, who interviewed 147 digital company founders, says most believe that “an increasingly greater share of economic wealth will be generated by a smaller slice of very talented or original people. Everyone else will increasingly subsist on some combination of part-time entrepreneurial ’gig work ‘and government aid.”
Many prominent business people, including those who made their fortunes in California such as Zuckerberg, Pierre Omidyar, Elon Musk, and Sam Altman, founder of the Y Combinator, have embraced the notion of a "guaranteed wage," that would cover most critical bills. Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign was built around this concept.
In the interim, people are fleeing the state. Demographer Wendell Cox notes that since 2000, California has lost 2.6 million net domestic migrants, more than the current populations of San Diego, San Francisco and Anaheim combined. In 2020, California accounted for 28 percent of all net domestic outmigration in the nation, about 50 percent more than its share of the US population.
California’s population growth has fallen below the national average for the first time, and the state appears to have even possibly lost population the last two years. The pandemic seems to have accelerated this movement. Last year California was home to three of the five large regions over one million with the highest percentage population loss – San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. Both San Francisco and Los Angeles school districts face large decreases in enrollment; the LA district, the state’s largest, projects a 20% cut in this decade.
This outmigration trend cannot be dismissed as “white flight.” An analysis of minority population flows shows that Latinos and African Americans are settling increasingly west of the Sierra, particularly in the south, Texas, and parts of the Midwest. Similarly, the foreign-born population – so critical to the state’s economy – has declined in Los Angeles over the past decade, and stagnated in the Bay Area while swelling in places like Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, Houston, Nashville and even midwestern cities like Columbus, Des Moines and Indianapolis.
Simply put, California is in danger of losing its youthful mojo. Many of those leaving, according to IRS data, come from young, middle and working class families. When these people leave, birthrates plummet. Los Angeles and San Francisco rank last and second-to-last in birthrates among the 53 U.S. major metropolitan areas. Among California's big metros, only Riverside/San Bernardino exceeds the national average in women aged between 15 and 50 with births. California’s total fertility rate, long above the national average, is now the nation’s 10th lowest. Los Angeles County alone has lost three quarters of a million people under 25 over the past twenty years.
California today is as old as the rest of the country and aging 50 percent faster than the national norm.
It is rapidly replacing the surfboard with a walker.
* * *
Joel Kotkin is a Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.
“We Can’t Force The Human Body To Accept Foreign Genetic Code” Dr. McCullough On mRNA Technology
"We Can’t Force The Human Body To Accept Foreign Genetic Code” Dr. McCullough On mRNA Technology
Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch…
Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough warned that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines inject “foreign genetic code” into human beings, which the body fails to break down or expel for a prolonged period of time.
Research on mRNA “has been going on for decades,” Dr. McCullough said during an Oct. 5 interview. The 2023 Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to two scientists for making “messenger RNA long-lasting in the human body,” he said. “I mean, it has been tested in multiple applications … It's an absolute bust. It was just the worst idea ever to install the genetic code for a lethal protein without being able to shut it off. It wasn't the fact that it was rushed; it's just ill-conceived from the very beginning.”
“We can't force the human body to accept foreign genetic code and produce a foreign protein … Messenger RNA for vaccines is a completely failed concept. It’s a dangerous concept, and the U.S. government wasn't honest. They should have been honest. Trump should have come out and said, ‘Listen, it's on our website; our military's been working on this since 2012.’”
During a testimony at the European Parliament last month, Dr. McCullough said, “There's not a single study showing that the messenger RNA is broken down” in the human body once it is injected.
“There's not a study showing it leaves the body.” Since the vaccines are “made synthetically, they cannot be broken down.”
He added that the lethal protein from the [COVID-19] vaccines found in the human body after vaccination was found to be circulating “at least for six months, if not longer.”
In the case of seasonal jabs, that is, taking an injection or booster at the end of six months as recommended by the authorities, “there's another installation in more circulating potentially lethal protein.”
Scientist Drew Weissman, who won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his role in developing mRNA technology, warned in a 2018 paper that not only did clinical trials of mRNA vaccines produce “more modest [results] in humans than was expected based on animal models,” but that the “side effects were not trivial.”
Dr. Mccullough’s comments come as the Gates Foundation is spending $40 million on countries in Africa and other economically backward nations to produce new mRNA vaccines in efforts to prevent diseases like tuberculosis and malaria.
Concealing a ‘Global Security Threat’
In the Steve Deace interview, Dr. McCullough said that the ineffectiveness of the technology was not unknown to the government since they’ve been testing it for nearly 40 years.
He referred to a February 2023 paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which cited that the U.S. government has been investing billions of dollars in developing messenger RNA technology since 1985.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began investing in mRNA tech in 2011. DARPA then launched the Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) program in 2016 that sought to produce “relevant numbers of doses” against infections within 60 days of identifying them.
The ADEPT P3 was a program by the U.S. military “to end pandemics in 60 days.” There is no other technology “that our government has invested more in,” Dr. McCullough said.
Dr. McCullough cited another paper that stated there were “over 9,000 patents on messenger RNA. And all the patent assignees are big entities. At the top is Sanofi, then Cervavac, BioNTech, Moderna, and the U.S. government. No single person invented messenger RNA. Someone who comes up in 2021 and says, ‘You know I invented it’. That's impossible. This has been going on for decades.”
Dr. McCullough pointed out that the United States and China have been in “collaboration for years” in their research on infectious and lethal coronavirus.
However, officials like Anthony Fauci, the former head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Francis Collins, the former head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and “a whole cadre of scientists, they collaborated to conceal this global security threat.”
“They actually intentionally lied to the world and said the virus came out of nature. They knew it came out of the Wuhan lab,” he said, citing a research paper by Ralph Baric and Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi that was published in the Nature journal in 2015.
Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi is affiliated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, while Mr. Baric is from the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“They said they created SARS-CoV-2 virus. They called it the Wuhan Institute of Virology 1 virus. That was the prototype SARS-CoV-2. So, that's in 2015. Instead of bringing Ralph Baric out [and asking] ‘Dr. Baric, how do we get ourselves out of this disaster,’ you masterminded this virus funded by the US.”
‘Pull All COVID-19 Vaccines Off the Market’
In his interview, Dr. McCullough made three recommendations. “I say number one, I've called in the US Senate [and] now the European Parliament [to] pull all COVID-19 vaccines off the market before anyone else is harmed.”
“Number two, US, EU and all westernized Nations [should] pull out of the WHO. They're not trustable. And number three, I'm following the World Council for Health. I am recommending a halt on all childhood vaccines, the entire vaccine schedule until this is clarified since messenger RNA is now on the schedule without any concerns for safety.
While some studies related to the safety of COVID-19 vaccines have shown the jabs to be safe, others have raised concerns about the safety of the shots.
A December 2022 study analyzed trials comparing vaccine recipients with individuals who did not receive a vaccine or were given a placebo.
It concluded that “compared to placebo, most vaccines reduce, or likely reduce, the proportion of participants with confirmed symptomatic COVID-19, and for some, there is high-certainty evidence that they reduce severe or critical disease.”
However, a June 2022 study that looked at mRNA vaccinations found that “Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest (AESI).”
“The excess risk of serious adverse events of special interest surpassed the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group in both Pfizer and Moderna trials.”
‘Shedding’ the Infection
During the interview, Mr. Deace asked about hearing issues that he and his colleague suffered and whether they had any ties with the vaccines. While he did not take a COVID-19 shot, the colleague was vaccinated. Mr. Deace asked if this was “further proof that basically the last few years Peter everybody was a lab rat whether you took the vaccine or not.”
“It's true, nearly all of us have been exposed to the Wuhan spike protein,” Dr. McCullough replied. “When I see patients in the office, we check antibodies against the spike protein. Invariably, they're elevated. Rarely, I'll find somebody who hasn't been exposed.”
Dr. McCullough pointed out that there are “clear-cut papers” showing individuals suffering hearing loss after taking COVID-19 jabs. “It's all related to the spike protein,” he said. mRNA vaccines work by instructing cells in the body to produce the spike protein found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus.
Once vaccinated, an individual’s muscle cells begin producing spike protein pieces, displaying them on cell surfaces, which end up triggering the immune system to create antibodies. When such an individual gets infected with the COVID-19 virus, these antibodies will then fight the virus.
Dr. McCullough warned that even people who have not received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can eventually get affected by messenger RNA through a vaccinated individual via “shedding.”
“Shedding means that one has been exposed to the spike protein or to the messenger RNA from close contact with another individual. We know both of them can travel via exosomes which are small phospholipid packets that can be exhaled [via] breath, through sweat, [and] various forms of body fluid, typically you know very close contact.”
“There was a big project called the Eva project in the UK showing 78 percent of women who take a vaccine—they actually have menstrual abnormalities. And those who even didn't take a vaccine, they end up having menstrual abnormalities. There's been plenty of these reports that have occurred.”
Dr. McCullough cited an interview he did with scientist Helene Banoun, an expert on shedding, who believes such things “clearly happens, for sure, in people who've taken the vaccine within 30 days, close contact.”
“Now, two studies—one in the United States, one in Japan—[show] the messenger RNA comes through breast milk. The spike protein may be shedded potentially for a much longer duration of time. It's been shown in the human body now for months, maybe even years afterward. And that's the rationale for what our recent proposal to actually undergo spike protein detoxification.”
The cardiologist pointed out that “every signal” related to cardiovascular disease, neurologic disease, blood clots, immune disease, and cancer “is up.”
“There can be debates on why all these chronic diseases are up, all-cause mortality up in every single area of the world,” he said. “The two big exposures we've had are COVID-19 infection and now COVID-19 vaccines, and I think both mechanisms have led to this wave of disease.”
“I think more powerfully with the vaccines since the vaccines are largely genetic, they're given every six months, and they install the genetic code for the disease-promoting and lethal Wuhan spike protein.”
Rent Control Is A Disaster – Don’t Let It Spread Across The Nation
Rent Control Is A Disaster – Don’t Let It Spread Across The Nation
Authored by Betsy McCaughey via The Epoch Times,
America’s renters -…
America’s renters - more than one-third of the nation’s households - are in for trouble.
Left-wing politicians are demanding rent regulation from coast to coast. Wherever it is adopted, the result will be a disastrous reduction in the rental housing supply, leaving renters desperate for places to live.
New York is the poster child for the failures of rent regulation. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently mulling a challenge to the constitutionality of the city’s rent regime.
Whatever the justices decide, the public needs to consider less destructive, more targeted ways to help low-income people pay for housing. The court of public opinion needs to consider these facts.
Fact No. 1: Rent regulation isn’t targeted to the poor.
In New York, there’s no means test. What you need is luck or connections. The mean income of a rent-stabilized apartment dweller is $47,000, but census data show that tens of thousands of them earn more than $150,000 per year. Some occupants use what they’re saving on rent to pay for a weekend place in the Hamptons or New England.
The pols don’t object—a sure sign they’re calling for rent regulation to help themselves politically, not the poor.
In New York, 44 percent of rental apartments are regulated by the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB), established in 1969, which sets the maximum amount by which landlords are allowed to raise the rent. Those limits apply to all buildings of six or more units built before 1974.
In 2022, the RGB set the maximum rent hike at 3.25 percent on one-year leases and this year at 3 percent. Never mind that last year, fuel costs to heat the buildings soared by 19 percent and overall inflation hit 8.3 percent.
The decisions are political, not economic. Many Democratic politicians vilify building owners as “greedy landlords” and depict themselves as the champions of the downtrodden. It’s a scam.
Fact No. 2: Winners and losers.
The winners are the lucky few with rent-regulated apartments and the pols who count on an army of tenant activists to turn out at the polls. The losers are the 56 percent of renters who don’t score a regulated apartment and have to scour neighborhoods for an unregulated place that they can afford. They’re paying more.
Why? Because regulation causes some landlords to walk away, reducing the overall supply of apartments. The laws of supply and demand mean rents go up. New Yorkers in unregulated apartments are paying the highest rents in the United States for a one-bedroom apartment. They're the real victims, and they should be furious.
Yet the left-wing press pretends that rent control offers only benefits. The New Republic warns that the Supreme Court challenge threatens “laws that have benefitted the city’s tenants for generations.” Sorry, untrue—only some tenants, and not always the neediest.
It’s economic madness. The saner way to help those who need assistance paying rent is with a voucher. We offer the needy SNAP debit cards to help them pay for groceries. No one slaps price controls on grocery stores or designates certain stores as “regulated,” forcing them to sell at below cost.
Yet New York forces certain landlords to pay what should be a public cost shared by all, an argument made to the court.
Fact No. 3: The Marxist fantasy that rent regulation will help the poor is spreading across the United States and Europe as well.
Maine and Minnesota have enacted laws allowing municipalities to impose rent regulations. In November 2024, California voters will be asked to approve a proposition allowing local governments to add additional restrictions to the state’s existing rent caps.
The laws of supply and demand are international. Berlin froze rents in 2019, and the rental supply plummeted, according to the Ifo Institute, a think tank.
Yet London Mayor Sadiq Khan is calling for freezing rents for two years. London provides housing vouchers to the poor—a smarter approach—but when the city froze the voucher amounts during the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer apartments were available in the price range. The answer is to raise the voucher amount. Freezing rents will only make the shortage worse.
Ignore the demagogues. The evidence is in: Rent regulation is a political scam. There are better ways to help Americans afford a place to live.
China’s Birth Rate Plummets 10% To Lowest On Record
China’s Birth Rate Plummets 10% To Lowest On Record
China’s birthrate fell 10% last year to its lowest level on record, a significant drop…
China's birthrate fell 10% last year to its lowest level on record, a significant drop in spite of extensive efforts by the CCP to encourage people to get busy.
The country had just 9.56 million births in 2022, the lowest figure since they began keeping records in 1949, according to a report by the National Health Commission.
The high costs of child care and education, growing unemployment and job insecurity as well as gender discrimination have all helped to deter many young couples from having more than one child or even having children at all. -NBC News
China's population also fell for the first time in six decades, dropping to 1.41 billion people - a demographic shift that's caused officials to worry that the country will 'get old before it gets rich' - with a slowing economy and declining tax receipts amid increases in government debt due to soaring health and welfare costs.
According to the report, the demographic downturn is largely thanks to China's one-child policy imposed between 1980 and 2015. Nearly 40% of Chinese babies last year were the second child of a married couple, while 15% were from families with three or more children.
The sharp decline in births comes despite Beijing's efforts to increase child care and provide other financial incentives. In May, President Xi Jinping presided over a panel to study the topic.
Not just China
As we noted in June, Japan's birth rate has also plummeted to a record low for the seventh straight year, with the number of babies born falling below 800,000 this year, health ministry data showed on June 2.
The number of newborns in Japan fell to 770,747 this year, down 40,875 from the previous year and the lowest since the country began record-keeping in 1899, Kyodo News reported, citing health ministry data.
Japan’s fertility rate—the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime—fell from 1.30 in 2021 to 1.26 last year, equivalent to the previous low recorded in 2005. The number is far below the 2.07 rate necessary to sustain a stable population.
The decline in Japan’s birth rate is attributed to people delaying parenthood due to the economic impact brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the prevailing trend among couples to delay marriage, according to the report.
The US birthrate has also been in decline, falling slightly in 2022 compared to 2021, with roughly 3.7 million babies born nationwide. It still hasn't recovered to pre-pandemic levels according to the CDC.
And as Mike Shedlock noted two years ago.
More via Mish Talk, worth a review:
The Pandemic Caused a Baby Bust, Not a Boom
Scientific American reports The Pandemic Caused a Baby Bust, Not a Boom
When the COVID pandemic led to widespread economic shutdowns and stay-at-home orders in the spring of 2020, many media outlets and pundits speculated this might lead to a baby boom. But it appears the opposite has happened: birth rates declined in many high-income countries amid the crisis, a new study shows.
Arnstein Aassve, a professor of social and political sciences at Bocconi University in Italy, and his colleagues looked at birth rates in 22 high-income countries, including the U.S., from 2016 through the beginning of 2021. They found that seven of these countries had statistically significant declines in birth rates in the final months of 2020 and first months of 2021, compared with the same period in previous years. Hungary, Italy, Spain and Portugal had some of the largest drops: reductions of 8.5, 9.1, 8.4 and 6.6 percent, respectively. The U.S. saw a decline of 3.8 percent, but this was not statistically significant—perhaps because the pandemic’s effects were more spread out in the country and because the study only had U.S. data through December 2020, Aassve says. The findings were published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.
Birth rates fluctuate seasonally within a year, and many of the countries in the study had experienced falling rates for years before the pandemic. But the declines that began nine months after the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency on January 30, 2020, were even more stark. “We are very confident that the effect for those countries is real,” Aassve says. “Even though they might have had a bit of a mild downward trend [before], we’re pretty sure about the fact that there was an impact of the pandemic.”
Covid Accelerated the Existing Trend
Covid accelerated the already declining birth rates.
Given the 16-year lag between births and the civilian noninstitutional population coupled with the aging of the workforce there will be fewer and fewer workers supporting retired workers on Social Security.
Notice the relatively steep decline in the birth rate starting in 2008 and continuing through today.
That impact will start showing up in 2024 and last a minimum of 12 years.
How long depends on whether the birth rate picks up after Covid. I highly doubt the birth rate will pick up.
Deflationary and Inflationary Impacts
- Inflationary: Shortage of workers increases wage pressures
- Deflationary: Fewer workers support an increasing number of retirees
- Deflationary: Older workers need more assistance, buy fewer things, travel less.
- Deflationary: More government debt and deficits. Government spending has a negative impact on real GDP.
* * *
Time for another sexual revolution?
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