Demographic changes can radically alter society. Remember the Bubonic Plague? It wiped out 30-45% of the British Isles, and collapsed the Feudal System. It spawned revolts, and completely changed how their economy operated. Rarely can such radical changes improve a society, usually they just cause misery.
When our self-appointed “betters” put society on a gurney, crack open its chest, and start messing around with its organs, you can be sure that there will be unintended consequences. What might those consequences look like? What will be the result of the latest incarnation of the Utopian dream, and just how long before it turns into a devastating nightmare?
Let’s look at the collision course of three different social facts. Although I will be citing American statistics, the trends can also apply to Canada and the West as a whole.
First: lifespan changes. Through a combination of treatment, prevention, and risk reduction, our life spans are longer than our great-grandparents could have imagined. It has now become commonplace to see people living well into their 90’s and even beyond. But long life does not always mean good health. We have exchanged the sudden deaths of relatively young and healthy adults for long lives and correspondingly complex medical situations. With people retiring every day our retirees represent a constantly growing percentage of society.
Second: the Social Safety Net. In 1935, Social Security was implemented to carry the financial burden of comparatively few retirees. Originally, the ratio was about 40 contributors for every one recipient, not a difficult burden to carry, distributed as it was between so many people. In the 50’s that ratio shifted to 16:1, and in the 70’s it moved to 3:1. Today, Baby-boomers are retiring en masse. Combine that with longer lifespans, and which direction do you think that ratio will tilt in the future?
Finally: birthrate changes. The “Boomers” were the high-water mark for our birthrate. Since then, trends have been toward fewer children, later in life; but immigration trends have delayed the impact of this decreased birth rate. The birth rates of immigrants have artificially elevated the total national birth rate, delaying the aging of society. But even these statistics are dropping, says the Washington Post.
Putting these facts together, what might we expect?
We can expect cultural fragmentation. Eventually, the introduction of foreign cultures and values exceeds the Melting Pot’s ability to integrate those cultures into itself. This triggers a fragmentation into numerous sub-cultures. Such loyalties are inward-looking, and unlikely to consider themselves a part of a National Identity. Hyphenated cultures, and hyphenated people, have divided loyalties. That is a rich soil for division, strife, and tribalism; easily and often exploited by unscrupulous politicians.
We can also expect our safety net will outpace our ability to fund it. (Some argue this has already happened.) At that point, it will become necessary to limit who can access benefits. This might mean raising a retirement age, or introducing a means test.
In ordinary conversation, we often speak of providing for a financial dependent as “carrying them”. This gives us a helpful metaphor that takes us beyond bland statistics.
For the sake of round numbers, suppose we are “carrying” one 200-pound person in the social Safety Net. In 1935, 40 taxpayers helped carry that one person. Everyone carried about five pounds, that’s not so bad. In the 50’s, 16 people did the same work. That’s 12.5 pounds; more than five, but not yet overwhelming. In the 70’s, the ratio was 3:1. Each person was carrying 67 pounds above his own weight, all day long, every day. What are we carrying today — do we even know? Is it ninety pounds? One hundred? More?
Remember, that number only includes one part of the safety net. It doesn’t include welfare, health care, or any other government-run programs. What effect could that weight have on productivity? Disposable income? Retirement savings? Capital investments?
The stark reality is that so-called “Progressives” have chained the hapless taxpayers to two trains traveling in opposite directions. If we continue our current trends of low birth rates, we will have no choice but to drastically slash our social programs.
Simply put, the future requires children. But are we truly ready to face the necessary drastic changes?
Are we ready to treat divorce and single parent families as tragic, rather than normative? To acknowledge the hard (obvious) fact that same-sex “marriages” do not produce children and thus provide no future on which to build a nation? Are we finally ready to esteem faithful, enduring heterosexual marriages, and large families?
There is a hard truth the “Progressives” won’t talk about; the solution we let slip away.
All our precious social programs could continue unabated for a long time to come if we could access our untapped workforce: a million new American workers per year, every year.
We had them, but they’re gone now. Such bright potential snuffed out by the callous hand of the abortion provider.
The “Progressive” cannot be intellectually honest and support widespread Abortion at the same time as the Safety Net. They can’t have it both ways.
Image: http://www.openclipart.org/cgi-bin/navigate/tools/weapons; author:User Firebug on en.wikipedia; Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.