Why has the American birth rate fallen so low? It's the result of many cultural forces including the Pill, college, more women in the workforce, delayed marriage, delayed childbirth, and higher divorce rates. Even Social Security and Medicare are factors; First, couples no longer rely on children to care for them in their old age, so they aren’t as motivated to go to the trouble of raising them. Second, even those who want more children find it increasingly difficult to afford them. If current trends continue, by 2050 all of America will look like Florida, a state known as “God’s waiting room” because of its disproportionate elderly population.
The implications of all this are disconcerting. An aging population combined with low birthrates equals a contracting labor force, less entrepreneurship and innovation, and a dwindling tax base coupled with massive increases in government payouts. By 2034, there will be just 2.1 workers to support each retiree’s Social Security payments. This new book by Jonathan V. Last is called What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster. It's not easy reading, but it will make you think about America's future.
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