Monday, August 29, 2011
America's One Child Policy
Vice President Joe Biden, Commissar of the Cracked Head Club, visited China and voiced his understanding of China's One Child Policy. The part that he understood was the forced abortions and the eugenics of baby girls. The part that he didn't understand was how the Chinese government expects one breadwinner to support four retirees. But as usual Biden had it backward.
The Chinese government isn't worried about how retirees will be supported, because they have no investment in them. They'll receive whatever social benefits are doled out, and that's it. China's brutal pragmatism and lack of democracy makes rationing health care and anything else easy. Massive rallies and protests happen all the time in the People's Republic, unreported by the media, and are ignored by the authorities. Tienanmen Square showed the limits of popular protest in creating political change. It's a lesson that neither the leadership nor the people have forgotten. Biden should have really been asking his question in Washington D.C. While America has no official one child policy, it has promoted a shift from family savings and support, to a government supervised safety net. Taxes have gone up, the single income family has become rarer and birth rates have dropped. Marriage and children have become more expensive, the former has dropped at a staggering rate among lower income families, and the latter has gone up leading to large numbers of single parents.
The modern state has all for intents and purposes tried to replace the family, providing an expensive cradle to grave social support network. A network that favors those most who work the least.
The government replaces fathers, mothers and children. Children are cared for by the government. So are their elderly parents. The utility of having children diminishes. And the entire system is funded by higher taxes and economic gimmicks that decrease jobs and diminish buying power which lowers the number of self-supporting families, and lowers birth rates in general and especially among the productive working class who usually provide the biological base for population expansion.
Boosting tax revenues means rewarding spenders over savers, which leads to a consumeristic society that drives even more people into the social welfare system. And even those who stay out of it and try to save, are operating in a system whose monetary policy and programs are set against them. The short term tax revenue gains and monetary policy gimmicks lead to much larger problem as again they create more dependency as everyone is forced into relying on the government social safety net.
Birth rate is the engine behind the social safety net. If the birth rate falls, then even when practiced with the best intentions, the whole system becomes a massive Ponzi scheme. But how do you keep the birth rate high when taxes are high, higher education has become mandatory and a consumer society teaches people to reward themselves now, instead of deferring instant gratification until later?
And without a high birth rate, a major revenue gap opens up. If solvent long term funds were used to prepare for the gap, then the day of disaster could be delayed. But the same political elite that created the problem is also guilty of uncontrollably spending all those funds, and then holding out their hand for more.
In Europe, one answer has been more government subsidies for children. A typical statist solution that tries to use the unacknowledged source of the problem to create incentives to bypass its consequences. While subsidies can marginally increase birth rates, they do not address the real problem.
Taking away people's money and then paying them to go shopping in order to stimulate the economy is common enough in the United States. And it never works. You can't restore a healthy economy with subsidies and you can't restore a healthy birth rate with some social benefits. It's not just about the money, it's also about the culture that was created by those policies. A post-family culture.
So the other Western solution is to import immigrants from a different culture with high birth rates. Europe has all but destroyed itself with that approach, and America is speedily following along. Sure, the total birth rate numbers look good, and no one is supposed to care how many European countries are set to be Muslim by 2100.
But the economics of it still don't work because social utilization goes up drastically to pay for all those extra children, many of whom will never work legally, others who will take far more out of the economy than they will ever put back in. The cost of trying and then imprisoning a single criminal for a year is staggering. Those rapes, murders and drug deals don't just have a human cost-- they have a shocking economic toll. And throw in a major riot like in London and the economic damage adds up to the loss of entire major cities.
And there we are back again to Europe set for a Muslim majority, and America set for a Hispanic majority, and both are going completely bankrupt anyway.
Chinese leaders could have pointed all this out to Biden, but they find it easier to let our civilizations collapse in their own time, while the Century of China gets underway. China may never make it, its own economy is parasitically interlinked with ours and its centrally planned economics and social unrest will probably take it down before 2050. This would be nothing new for China which has gone down this way before. And dynasty or party, it has never really learned from its mistakes.
And Europe arguably has never learned from the mistakes of the Roman Empire, instead again overreaching its conquests, outsourcing its defense, showing weakness at the worst possible time, opening cities to barbarians and engaging in absolute folly in a crisis have been repeated. And the United States is following along.
Peering at the world through the spyglass of history, it would seem as if every people are repeating their old errors again. The State of Israel looks a lot like the latter days of its kingdoms, placing its faith in an untrustworthy power, Egypt and Rome, and allowing itself to be led to disaster by internal division and treason. The Muslim world is aching to revive the Caliphate with the same end results, cultural decay and collapse.
It's astounding that no one has learned anything in thousands of years except how to make a better smartphone. We can put people on the moon and make dinner in five minutes, but we can't stop destroying ourselves in cycle after cycle of history while finding creative ways to justify our suicides.
America doesn't need a One Child Policy, but it has one anyway that punishes childbirth among productive populations and rewards it among unproductive populations. That leads to a division of lower income populations into a working class and a welfare class. With the working class supporting the welfare class. Marriage is down among both classes. It's too expensive for the working class and too unnecessary for the welfare class. Why bother getting married when the local aid office is already your husband, wife and parents combined? The more children you have, the more the government takes care of you.
If China's One Child Policy is a moral horror, the Western One Child Policy is an economic and social horror that has already destroyed major European and American cities. And it's just getting started.
The left's fear and loathing of Western self-perpetuation translates into shrill agitation for population control. Which means more tax penalized one child or no child families in the West alongside ten child Bangladeshi families living off social welfare since tax penalties can't be expected to apply to people who don't pay taxes.
The countries worried about population growth have too little of it, and the countries that aren't worried about it have too much of it. Globalists dream of some UN administered worldwide population scheme, but if no major country was willing to turn over its nuclear weapons to the UN, how likely is it that they'll turn over their babies?
Ted Turner has praised China's One Child policy and suggested that tax penalties could be used to dissuade large families, along with Cap and Trade for babies to allow those families or countries who don't have children to sell their childbearing rights to more fertile people and places.
Turner's plan would allow Europe to sell its child credits to Africa, but how would Africa afford it? China would have an entirely new export in baby credits, but the main countries buying it wouldn't be able to pay for it either. There's something ghoulish about such talk of trading unborn babies between the continents, aborted Western and Chinese babies being sold as credits to create new babies in countries subsidized by Western aid.
But we're trading enough live babies already. There is a booming trade in Chinese and African babies being adopted by Western couples. As with other Western industries, the manufacturing is outsourced to China, while the Western consumer overpays for a product that seems convenient in the short term, but is highly injurious to him and his society in the long term.
The consequences of using the Third World as a baby manufacturing factory, through immigration or adoption, are the end of the First World. You can outsource your energy production to countries that hate you and finance a way of global terrorism. You can outsource your manufacturing and industry to countries that hate you and lose much of your economy and gain a powerful new enemy. But when you outsource your population replacement to peoples that hate you-- then you're gone.
A country can survive anything but its own self-inflicted genocide. And low birth rates combined with population replacement amount to that. Suicidal genocide by a civilization that no longer thinks there's any reason to go on.
The West has subsidized population booms in the Third World with its medicine and its aid. Now it's subsidizing its own population replacement by them. Uncle Sam, John Bull and Madam Liberty are sitting in a skyscraper somewhere with pistols to their heads, cheerfully making plans for their farewell parties. The parties will have a very diverse invitation list. And the evening will end with the suicide of the cultures that contributed so much to the world in the last 500 years.
But the fecklessness of Western liberals and liberalized conservatives may stem their self-inflicted suicide. Before the populations are wiped out, the economies will be.
America and Europe are coming up against the impossibility of maintaining their governments and their economies at the same time. They will have to choose one or the other, and whichever choice they make will leave their countries much less attractive to immigrants.
Either the end of the social safety net or the end of economic growth will significantly reduce rates of immigration and even lead to the exit of some immigrants. It's already happening in America just on the current unemployment rates alone. A complete economic collapse would dramatically reverse the number of opportunistic immigrants who come for profits, rather than for freedoms. But this isn't any kind of solution, it's more like a suicide realizing that he can't hang himself and jump into the water at the same time. He'll have to choose one or the other.
But drowning a dog to kill the fleas on it is no answer. Even if you reduce the number of fleas, the dog is still dead. And it's not clear if the dog can be revived again. The Russian people have never recovered from the damage done to them by Communism. Neither have their birth rates. America isn't as badly off-- but many European countries may have passed the point of return. The easiest way to tell may be to see which countries have an active political movement dedicated to national survival and which don't.
The 2012 election looks set to come down to a contest between a candidate who favors open borders and economic growth-- and a candidate who favors open borders and big government. Lucky us. We'll get to choose between a man who still wants us to have hope and faith in being able to hang ourselves and jump in the lake at the same time-- and a man who believes the future lies in jumping into the Rio Grande and lowering taxes. As they say north of the border, Dios Bendice a Estados Undisos Mexicanos.
Not that it matters. The fleas aren't killing the dog, they're feeding off its self-inflicted wounds. And the wounds are economic and cultural. Japan kept out immigrants, but its low birth rate and falling marriage rate, under the shadow of a big government maintained recession puts it in the same club as the rest of the First World It may avoid filling its cities with Third Worlders doing manual labor and low level crime, and instead replace them with robots, but it's still on the path to extinction.
Meanwhile back in China, the Commissar of the Cracked Head Club, was explaining to his hosts who were trying to stifle their laughter, how unsustainable their system is.
"Poor dumb bastard," they think, "doesn't he understand that this is what drives our competitiveness. That Chinese parents push their child even harder to succeed when he is their sole source of support?
But how could Biden understand, what government control, estate taxes and the death of the family have robbed America of? Chinese families may have only one child, or two, but they still think in the long term. That child is their future. But Biden's own party is barely capable of thinking two weeks ahead. His opposition is hardly much better. Show me a Republican with a long term plan for the country, and I'll show you an unelectable candidate. Show me a Republican with short term solutions that ignore long term problems-- and I'll call him, Mr. President.
Having children is about thinking of the future. Cultures that stop thinking of the future, that cannot imagine the world going on after they die, find innovative ways to commit suicidal genocide. The left is right that having children is not selfless, it's long term selfishness. It's our willful desire to keep our blood and our people around on the planet long after we're gone.
Long term selfishness like that built this country. It built a lot of countries. It raised industries out of the ground and covered the continent with people. But when a culture loses its sense of long term selfishness, what replaces it is a short attention span and instant gratification. And as the economic reasons for having children vanish, and so does the structure of the family, the reasons for having children diminish. The biological need is replaced by housepets and casual sex.
China's competitiveness is personal, but it transcends the personal. Its leaders are venal, greedy and amoral-- but they also think of the future. American competitiveness is personal. It doesn't look to the future. Our companies are satisfied with making short term gains. Our politicians look for short term successes. Our culture seeks only to lock in the benefits of the present, while China sacrifices the present for the future. It does so in brutal and ugly ways, but you don't have to fight a duel nicely to win. You just have to play to win.
Children are the staying power of a nation. They are its long term projection into the future. When a nation does not think of the future, then it has no children and when a nation has no children, then it has no future.