It is rather amazing that CNBC admits that we have a baby shortage.
The conservative “alternative media” has warned about the demographic implosion that is starting. Colleges are beginning to feel it. But we rarely find the mainstream media acknowledging the problem. So I was pleasantly shocked to find CNBC published this editorial by Jake Novak: “We need more babies! Seriously, this is a problem.”
We just learned that the U.S. birthrate fell for the sixth straight year in 2013 to an all-time low.
Pardon me for sounding a bit alarmist, but this is really bad news for our economy, our society, and all of civilization.
Let’s start with the economy. I know a lot of us have been brainwashed into thinking that our natural and manufactured resources are shrinking. We’re often told that we have a choice of either radically reducing our consumption or our population or we’ll eventually run out of water, energy, and food.
Excuse me, but this is hogwash.
Novak explains that the human race has always seemed to be at the edge of resource depletion and overpopulation for its environment. This was true thousands of years ago. But human beings innovated and found new uses for what were, before, not resources at all. Thus, from a secular economic standpoint, the real resources are human beings. They produce new innovations that increase the “carrying capacity” of their environment.
I’m talking about the people who have come up with the technologies to desalinate water, terrace mountainsides, drain swamps and fight disease with vaccinations and sewage treatment. I’m talking about the people who came up with kerosene to replace whale blubber, petroleum to replace kerosene, natural gas to replace petroleum, and so on and so on.
All of the above came courtesy of humans. Reduce their number, and you also reduce your chances for the great innovations that make life better for the humans already on the planet and make life more comfortable and possible for billions more to join us.
I don’t see how anyone can deny Novak’s reasoning. The only basis for doing so is the conceit that we know the future and we know that, now, at this moment in history, there are no inventions or discoveries left that will revolutionize our lives. Such predictions have been made before; they have always been proven wrong.
On the other hand, when population growth declines, so does the potential for humans to innovate and invent—because there are now fewer innovators or inventors.
The result is that population limitations usually mean resource limitations in the future.
Beside all that, we have structured our welfare state and especially our pension scheme (aka “Social Security”) in a way that depends on an increase in workers. But they aren’t around due to declining birth rates.
We are headed to huge shortages of everything thanks to a shortage of babies.