Try to imagine a future where your local mayor regularly made speeches about the importance of having children and your local taxes go to support matchmaking events with romantic music and lighting where singles could meet.
If that sounds odd, it won’t be. It is already happening in Japan.
From the Telegraph: “Tokyo funds matchmaking parties to boost birth rate.”
Officials in Kochi organise coffee and cake events in rural cafes, complete with a romantic soundtrack of live piano music, to try and boost marriage and birth rates.
Masanao Ozaki, governor of Kochi, said: “Now is the last chance to take action on this problem. I’m deeply concerned as to whether young workers in the future will be able to take on such a huge burden.”
Japan’s population is forecast to lose a third of its population in the next 50 years if current trends continue, with social security costs projected to rise to 24.4 per cent of gross domestic product as early as March 2026.
Last year’s official figures show that the number of births fell to 1.03 million, the lowest since data began in 1899.
A key pioneer of practical ways to boost the birth rate is Yuriko Koike, a policy maker and former cabinet minister with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who also heads a LDP panel that promotes spouse-hunting events and singles parties known as “machikon”, attended by hundreds of people at a time.
How do I know it is going to be happening here some day? Because we are also suffering from demographic decline. Even though we are probably among the best of the Western nations, our population is still bottoming out. The Bush-Obama economy has reduced reproduction even more.
A declining population would be an economic headwind even in the best of circumstances. But a declining population in a society that depends on a pyramid scheme for a retirement plan is even worse off. The ratio or aging people to young workers gets worse and worse, leaving fewer people to support those who are in their twilight years.
Our experiment in modern Liberalism is about to reach its end.