The end of American demographic exceptionalism
War fever is contagious.
Pundits go pugilistic, prognosticating Ragnarök around the corner. Such is the tenor of the times.
This was incontrovertibly evident at a recent gathering in America’s imperial city. Pax Americana will prevail, we were told, because of demography. The rest of the world is going to heck in a handbasket. Chortles all around. Unipolarity forever!
Say what? It goes like this: the empire’s global competitors, aka “enemies” Russia and China, have declining populations from below-replacement fertility and lack of immigration, thus are headed for oblivion.
The US does not have such problems? Just cherry-pick some stats. The half-truth is always more convincing than a lie.
A few days later, the inimitable UK Daily Mail gave the lie to all that, running with the headline:
America's fertility crash laid bare: Interactive map shows how birth rate has plummeted since 2007 — falling by up to a THIRD in some states.
In true Daily Mail fashion, they didn’t mince words about what is afoot in the erstwhile land of the free and home of the brave:
Births in America have been on the decline for years, plummeting 22 percent nationwide since 2007, data suggests — with the downward trend prompting warnings the US is now on an irreversible path of economic decline.
Utah had the largest birth rate decline since the 2008 Great Recession (36.2 percent), due to past child-bearing age refugees from California and the growing acceptance of birth control among the prevalent Latter Day Saint (Mormon) population. South Dakota had the lowest birth rate decline (9.3 percent) for the period. This is not the stuff of a superpower.
The Daily Mail quoted Wellesley College’s Dr. Phillip Levine saying that US fertility decline would “have a damaging impact both on social cohesion and general well-being.”
Damage is done daily as America implodes. Climate change claptrap cuts short family continuity. Small children are vulnerable to the gender dysphoria diagnosis, a sure money-maker for the “health care” establishment. Urban crime soars, woke prosecutors coddle criminals, yet the hapless unarmed J6 folks rot in jail.
Downtowns are occupied by fetid encampments of the “unhoused.” The national debt blows past $34 trillion while domestic infrastructure rots. Congress spends hundreds of billions on wars and more wars. The southern border is wide open, but we’re told that homegrown “White supremacists” (if you can find them) are the top domestic security threat.
It escapes me how such a dysfunctional society sets an example for the world. This is not our grandparent’s America.
Look no further than the latest US Census: “The U.S. population in 2020 was older and had fewer children under age 5 than in 2010 or 2000…”
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America’s total fertility rate is 1.6, the lowest ever recorded (since 1800). Yes, that is slightly higher than Russia, and almost a third higher than China, but nothing to write home about. It confers no geostrategic advantage.
China will have a solid manufacturing base for years to come; with 1.4 billion souls, there is still room for error. Russia’s economy improves despite onerous Western economic sanctions.
Like elsewhere in the Global North, the US working-age population will soon begin to decline. The Census Bureau predicts that with less (legal) immigration, the country’s population will begin to fall by 2035.
Another unprecedented development is that the US population will be majority non-White by 2030. Social cohesion is already on the skids. Even uber-woke former German Chancellor Angela Merkel knew that multiculturalism doesn’t work:
Of course, the tendency had been to say, 'Let's adopt the multicultural concept and live happily side by side, and be happy to be living with each other.' But this concept has failed, and failed utterly.
In their 2022 study The Causes and Consequences of Declining US Fertility, the good Professor Levine and colleague Prof. Melissa Kearney stated the obvious:
We are unable to identify any period-specific social, economic, or policy changes that can statistically explain much of the decline. We conjecture instead that the sustained decline in the US fertility rate more likely reflects shifted priorities across recent cohorts of young adults. [Emphasis added]
Doesn’t it always come down to priorities? In times of tight money, those cherished creature comforts are harder to come by. What rational person prefers material goods to family life anyway? That’s mammon worship. Don’t get me started.
In the above-cited study, six causes for falling fertility were cited:
- Higher housing costs
- Increasing childcare costs
- More female employment opportunities
- Rising student debt
- Declining religious observance [secularism]
There was no mention of abortion, a significant factor. In my humble opinion, the last item on their list, “declining religious observance,” should have been the first. That means secularism, from which mammon-worship arises, meaning materialistic priorities. When traditional faith fades, secularism fills the void.
Average US life expectancy has decreased of late, only in part due to Covid. We hit peak life expectancy of 78.9 years back in 2014, way before the pandemic. There has been a five-fold increase in drug overdose deaths in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that for Americans born in 2021, the average life expectancy will be 76.4 years, the lowest since 1996.
Here's another sad tidbit: The CDC also reported that US infant mortality increased by three percent from 2021 to 2022, the highest year-on-year increase in decades.
Something’s not right, folks.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not “running down my country,” like in the old Merle Haggard tune. We are profoundly blessed to be Americans, despite our woefully dysfunctional government.
But ignoring, dismissing and denying the problems that plague us is not patriotic in my book. We need to look hard at our own country, come together and do something about what ails us. Regime mouthpieces spreading gloom and doom about Russia and China are a distraction. We really do need to mind our own business for a change.
Louis T. March has a background in government, business, and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author, and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
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