Not so long ago, I was admonished by a loyal reader for regurgitating a former post. The admonishment was spot on. Still, from time to time, it is worthwhile to re-examine past thoughts and, perhaps, re-evaluate, or, confirm the past thoughts.
Many people throughout the world and even on this blog seemed to assume China would overtake the US, not only economically, but, also in total power. I have consistently rejected that notion for several reasons, not the least of which being their population problem.
From a post I wrote a couple of years ago, quoting another article which I mocked ….
Government debts are “not very high” at 11 trillion yuan ($1.7 trillion) or the equivalent of 40 percent of GDP, Lou said. That compares with over 230 percent of GDP for Japan, which is struggling to restore balance as its population swiftly ages, driving costs for health and elder care higher.
Here was my response …..
Yeh, China’s population, (with their generation of a “one child policy”) will never age like Japan’s, amirite?
The dumbasses are like a Western nation on steroids! ……. And, they’ve passed their peak.
As noted in the article, the local governments are the ones who carried the debts, but, now, their central government is taking on more debt at an increasing rate. In spite of the deficit spending, the GDP growth rate is still declining. At this rate, and probably will happen, in five years we’ll be discussion China’s 3% growth rate ….. and then, they’re done. It will remain to be seen if they see an import of a foreign population as the answer to their dire economic future, or not.
Let’s fast forward to today ………
…. In 2016, the Chinese Communist Party abandoned its decades-long one-child policy and allowed all couples to have two children. China’s National Commission of Health and Family Planning confidently predicted that the new two-child policy would result in at least 20 million new births.
The state’s birth planners were wrong.
The National Bureau of Statistics reported on January 19th that there were only 17.2 million births in 2017, down from 17.9 million births the year before. The numbers not only fell millions short of the projected number, they suggest that the birth rate in China is set to dramatically decline in the future years.
Making matters worse, tens of millions of women have been eliminated from the population by sex-selection abortions and female infanticide. The result is fewer women of childbearing age in China and a further dip in the birthrate. Even the Chinese government, proven to be over-optimistic in its projections of future births, says that the number of newborns will drop to 16 million after 2020. …..
…Already, with 158 million people older than 65, China has the world’s largest population of elderly. And their ranks are growing by roughly 8 million each year. From underfunded — or non-existent — pension funds to the lack of elderly care facilities, China is obviously woefully underprepared for an aging society. ….
You can read more at the link.
Well, China has some choices, but, none of them are very good choices. Indeed, their eminent decline has me much more worried than any fanciful surpassing of US supremacy.
It is true, even today, that their debt to GDP ratio is good compared to the rest of the developed world, but, then, they never really got altogether “developed”.
Being the totalitarian system that they are, I suppose the option of simply killing off the elderly is on the table. Also, as I mentioned a couple of years ago, they could also attempt to import more labor. They should ask Europe and the US about how that’s working out. Another, and perhaps their last solution to their problem would be to respond how many other societies responded in the past …….. go get women from other societies ……. typically done through warfare.
The problem is that the Chinese, in their rush for economic maturity, never understood what it was that caused the economic success of the Western Civilization. They tried to emulate, in many ways, our society, but failed to understand the dynamics which caused Western Civilization’s success. In other words, they tried to force things to happen rather than allow the impetus to happen. I suppose we could go on for quite some time as to what allowed for and caused the Industrial Revolution, but, that’s for a series of posts rather than just one. (Would love a discussion on that!!!!) However, suffice it to say, none of those conditions or changes actually ever occurred in China. So, very soon, they will go along the path of all the many other nations who attempted to create an economy based on cheap labor. <———– Note the contrast to the Industrial Revolution where the base laborers continued to increase their wealth in spite of a reduction of necessary skills!!!
I’ll leave you with this …… being fruitful holds a couple of different connatations. And, as any naturalist can tell you, you don’t need to attempt to control populations, they will control themselves.