Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, January 01, 2016

China Needs More Children – And So Do We

The Chinese Communist Party made world headlines last year when it announced an end to its notorious “one-child” policy. This famous one-child limit has been ruthlessly enforced since the 1970s and resulted in an unnatural society with 50 million more males than females and 150 million “only” children who have no siblings, cousins, uncles, or aunts. Fifty million men can never find a girlfriend or a wife and start their own families.

Now don’t assume this policy change shows that China is becoming a free society. The policy was changed because China is literally running out of people to maintain its economic growth. After 35 years of a very low birth rate, China has created a demographic time bomb in which the older population that needs care is growing much faster than the population of young working people who support them. In the foreseeable future, a fourth to a third of China’s huge population will be over age 60, but there will only be two workers for each retiree.

Does any of that sound familiar? In the United States, Social Security and Medicare are in financial trouble because too many retirees are supported by too few working adults. The percentage of working Americans peaked 15 years ago and has declined ever since. We used to have 16 workers for one retiree; now we have only three.

A population that simply replaces itself doesn’t generate enough savings to support retirees. A single working person doesn’t pay enough into Social Security and Medicare to support his own retirement; the system depends on having several younger working adults to support each retired person.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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