Tag Archives: Birth Rates

Will Europe Hit a Demographic Tipping Point? | Newgeography.com

So what exactly is in it for a young person in Greece, Italy, Spain, or apparently even France to stay home? Increasingly not a lot other than avoiding the difficulty involved in moving to another country far from home where the culture, language, etc. are different. That’s a daunting challenge to be sure, especially in a continent where people are very rooted, not just in their country, but often their town, though this can be reduced if they move to a former colony. But it appears we are seeing early signs of migration out of some European countries.

It’s way too early to say what this will turn into, but if an exodus of the youth does take hold, it isn’t hard to imagine how this could hit a catastrophic tipping point in some countries. Facing unemployment, unfunded pensions, massive debts, austerity, and social unrest – as well as the prospect of getting stuck as the bag holder for all this – it isn’t hard to imagine a flight for the exits among the young. This would be like a demographic Lehman Brothers. Once confidence is lost, there’s a run on the bank, or in this case, a run for the exit.

This is far from assured, of course. But it’s not an inconceivable outcome if things stay on the present course. Solving the nexus of issues around growth-euro-debt is critical for Europe, as is cracking the code on immigration. It seems unlikely birth rates will improve until these items are solved first. In the meantime, the US and Canada should be revisiting their own immigration laws to make sure they are poised to respond to – and benefit from – another wave of European economic refugees heads their direction.

Will Europe Hit a Demographic Tipping Point? | Newgeography.com

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ For Muslim Brotherhood

The Islamist document calls for their strategic plan to be implemented slowly, in phases that enable Shariah to “creep” into U.S. culture.

To work, it requires Muslims gain influence in various ways including: expanding Muslims’ physical presence here via high birth rates, immigration and refusing to assimilate; keeping locals “in the dark” over human rights infringement by ensuring they don’t study Shariah doctrine and its impact; controlling the language Muslims use to describe non-Muslims as “the enemy” lest it raise concern; forcing compliance with Shariah at local levels; employing the offensive use of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits to silence critics of Islam; claiming Muslim victimization; subverting the U.S. education system through the introduction of dominant U.S. Middle East studies programs; demanding the right to practice Shariah in segregated Muslim enclaves and demanding its recognition in non-Muslim spheres; and, ultimately, demanding Shariah replace Western law.

Following this plan, Islamists vow the flag of Islam will one day fly over the White House.

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ For Muslim Brotherhood

The financial crisis of 2008 signaled that the US had a massive build-up of bad decisions and bad thinking. The bad decisions and bad thinking extend all over society. One example is the difficulty in recognizing internal and external threats – like the lawful threat from Islam. Lawful Islam in the US seeks to chip away at American society until it is torn down.

Is South Korea Headed for Trouble? – WSJ.com

‘Korea has another decade of growth, and then we’ll start down Japan’s path.” So declares a prominent Korean economist to an American visitor.

President Lee Myung-bak, who is in the last months of his administration, may be President Barack Obama’s favorite Asian leader. But his 30% approval rating at home reflects frustration with rising inflation, his cozy ties to business groups, and public fears of a growing wealth gap. The likelihood that a left-wing candidate will capture the presidency next year portends a turbulent future for U.S.-Korea relations as well as the Korean economy.

Michael Auslin: Is South Korea Headed for Trouble? – WSJ.com

It is likely that South Korea will head down the same path as Japan. The US is also in the same danger. Asian countries are less flexible and more susceptible to bubbles and crashes. Plunging birth rates only exacerbate the existing problems.

Western countries tend to be more flexible than Asian countries. That means they will have fewer bubbles and fewer crashes. However, that does not mean Western countries won’t have any.

The heavy suppression of crashes leads to the Japan path. The only way to avoid the Japan path is to just let the crash happen. That is hard to do in a democracy.

Russia: Rebuilding an Empire While It Can | STRATFOR

This could set the stage for a new version of the Cold War, though it would not be as long-lived as the previous one. Putin’s other reason for re-establishing some kind of Russian empire is that he knows the next crisis to affect Russia most likely will keep the country from ever resurging again: Russia is dying. The country’s demographics are among some of the world’s worst, having declined steadily since World War I. Its birth rates are well below death rates, and it already has more citizens in their 50s than in their teens. Russia could be a major power without a solid economy, but no country can be a global power without people. This is why Putin is attempting to strengthen and secure Russia now, before demographics weaken it. However, even taking its demographics into account, Russia will be able to sustain its current growth in power for at least another generation. This means that the next few years likely are Russia’s last great moment — one that will be marked by the country’s return as a regional empire and a new confrontation with its previous adversary, the United States.

Russia: Rebuilding an Empire While It Can | STRATFOR

If the next few years represent the last of a great Russia, then America is living in the most danger period in all its history.

The Russian leadership surely knows that the country is dying, and it may be hundreds of years before it rises again. Will it be tempted to take America down with it? 

A gray tsunami is sweeping the planet

Eventually, the last echoes of the global baby boomers will fade away. Then, because of the continuing fall in birth rates, humans will face the very real prospect that our numbers will fall as fast — if not faster — than the rate at which they once grew. Russia’s population is already 7 million below what it was in 1991. As for Japan, one expert has calculated that the very last Japanese baby will be born in the year 2959, assuming the country’s low fertility rate of 1.25 children per woman continues unchanged. Young Austrian women now tell pollsters their ideal family size is less than two children, enough to replace themselves but not their partners. Worldwide, there is a 50 percent chance that the population will be falling by 2070, according to a recent study published in Nature. By 2150, according to one U.N. projection, the global population could be half what it is today.

That might sound like an appealing prospect: less traffic, more room at the beach, easier college admissions. But be careful what you wish for.

Think Again: Global Aging – By Phillip Longman | Foreign Policy

The Demise of the European Welfare Nation

Europe’s other most troubled countries share many of Greece’s characteristics. Italy and Spain have birth rates that have slipped as low as Greece’s and shrinking labor working age populations. Yet early retirement is the norm. In Italy the average retirement age is 59, among the lowest in industrialized nations, and Spain is ranked only slightly higher. Only one-third of Italy’s population aged 55-to-64 is in the workforce, and the average male worker in Italy will spend more than 25 years in retirement. In fact, with life expectancy increasing, a growing chunk of European adults spend more of their [adult] life retired than working. But the costs are staggering. Italy now spends 15 percent of its GDP on pensions, the highest in the Europe.

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Russia’s dangerous decline

THE United Nations Population Fund projected last week that Russia’s population will drop from 142 million today to 100 million in the next 40 to 50 years. The agency’s report praised recent government efforts to increase birth rates and extend lives. But not enough is being done to counter stark demographic forces: an impending decrease in the number of women of child-bearing age, poor healthcare, rampant vehicular and industrial accidents, widespread alcoholism, and social conditions that discourage family formation.

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The Coming Nuclear War in 2012

[Updated March 19, 2012] Nuclear warfare in or around 2012 is very possible given, well, the threats of nuclear war (atomic war) coming out of Russia and China concerning Iran. Let’s look at what they have to say.

Attacking Iran: Putin Says Consequences Would be ‘Truly Catastrophic’ with Unimaginable Scale

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia is concerned about the “growing threat” of an attack on Iran over its nuclear program, warning that the consequences would be “truly catastrophic.”

In an article on foreign policy for publication on Monday, six days before a March 4 presidential election he is almost certain to win, Putin also warned Western and Arab nations against military intervention in Syria.

On Iran, Putin said that “the growing threat of a military strike on this country alarms Russia, no doubt. If this occurs, the consequences will be truly catastrophic. It is impossible to imagine their real scale.

Putin warns against ‘catastrophic’ attack … JPost – Middle East

What does “truly catastrophic” mean?

What does – “It is impossible to imagine their real scale” – mean?

We can use statements by other Russian leaders to fill in the gaps:

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, warned Wednesday that outside encouragement of antigovernment uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa could lead to “a very big war that will cause suffering not only to countries in the region, but also to states far beyond its boundaries.

Mr. Lavrov’s annual news conference was largely devoted to a critique of Western policies in Iran and Syria, which he said could lead to a spiral of violence.

Russian Says Western Support for Arab Revolts Could Cause a ‘Big War’ – NYTimes.com

Some of the Russian leaders issuing statements on this topic: Nikolai Patrushev, Dmitri Rogozin, Sergey V. Lavrov and General Nikolai Makarov.

All these coded messages coming from Russian leadership are telling us that Russia will nuke America if Iran is attacked. Putin is up to the task: Signs Russia Would Have No Problem Nuking America.

Of course, these are not the only threats of nuclear coming out of Russia: Russian Threats of Nuclear War Grow Louder. Some of these threats are implied, and some direct, but they are getting louder.

Is Russia bluffing?

A lot of people think the recent implied threats are related to Putin’s reelection. He’s only pandering to the nationalist crowd. But there is a problem. This reelection is becoming difficult. There are a lot of unhappy people. There is a real risk of revolution in the next few years. If Putin loses the support of the nationalist crowd, then that could mean the country tips into revolution. And revolution means death or prison for Putin and his cronies. So Putin might be forced to follow through on his nuclear war threats for his own regime survival if the west crosses the line he has drawn in the sand – western interference in the Middle East and North Africa. It is fairly common for autocratic regimes to put regime security above national security. In this case leading to disaster for Russia and America.

It is likely that the US and Europe will not test Russia’s nuclear threats, but what about Israel? An article in the New York Times Magazine comes to the chilling conclusion that Israel will attack Iran on 2012. The Atlantic magazine put together a panel of experts to predict the probability of an attack in 2012:

War or peace in the Middle East amounts to a coin toss. The probability that the United States or Israel will strike Iran in the next year is 48 percent according to a new project that predicts the chances of conflict–the Iran War Clock. And as a result, the clock is set to 10 minutes to midnight.

How does the Iran War Clock work?

We’ve assembled a high-profile panel of experts from the policy world, academia, and journalism to periodically predict the odds of conflict. They include: Daniel Byman, Shahram Chubin, Golnaz Esfandiari, Azar Gat, Jeffrey Goldberg, Amos Harel, Ephraim Kam, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Matthew Kroenig, John Limbert, Valerie Lincy, James Lindsay, Marc Lynch, Gary Milhollin, Trita Parsi, Paul Pillar, Barry Rubin, Karim Sadjadpour, Kenneth Timmerman, Shibley Telhami, Stephen Walt, and Robin Wright.

It’s 10 Minutes to Midnight: Introducing The Iran War Clock – Dominic Tierney – International – The Atlantic

Just in case you don’t believe me, two generals tell us that Russia and China will defend Iran even if it means World War III:

1. Fmr. Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff: Russia Is Ready to Use Military Power to Defend Iran and Syria
2. Implied Nuclear Threat from Russia: Russia says would be threatened by Iran military action | Reuters. This post also has a video on a Chinese general threatening war over Iran.

The next problem is that the historical signs of war are present today. Historian Niall Ferguson found three key signs present before major 20th century war: Empires in decline, economic volatility and ethnic conflict. These are the three Es. Niall goes on to explain that the three Es are present today, and the age of upheaval has started.

Historical signs suggesting that a US-China war may be on the horizon.

Great power rivalries in history:

1. Spain versus Holland in the 16th century. [War]
2. Holland versus England in the 17th century. [War]
3. Britain versus France in both the 18th and 19th centuries. [War]
4. France and Britain versus Germany in the 20th century. [War]
5. Germany versus Russia in 1914. [War]
6. Germany versus Russia (Soviet Union) in 1941. [War]
7. Soviet Union versus the US and its allies in the Cold War after 1945. [No War]

The rise of China almost certainly means conflict with America. There is a good chance this conflict will lead to war. Historically, when an empire runs into conflict with a rising power, then war has occurred 6 out of 7 times.

Does China Want War? [A Collection of Articles]

What about Bible prophecy? It points in the same direction – big problems ahead. Check out this article: Three Biblical Signs of Impending Doom on America

This video explains how 9/11 represents a harbinger of doom:

The Foundation for War

The reason you should be worried about threats of nuclear attack is that the world is now in a pre-collapse state after a long period of peace and stability. This is like a giant sandpile that is ready to collapse after a long period of time but is just waiting for one more grain of sand to land in the right spot.

Another way to look at the world is like a forest. The world moves into the future just like a forest (or sandpile) moves into the future. What happens to a forest after a long time of no (or small) fires? Does it mean a big fire will never happen, or does it mean that a catastrophic fire is coming? Later I explain why societies move into the future like a forest.

It is during the time of peace and stability that the seeds of collapse are sown. An example of this is the economic collapse of 2008. The government suppression of economic collapses (recessions) since 1945 sowed the seeds (bad decisions and corruption) of economic collapse. Not trying to suppress collapses would have burned out much of the bad decisions and corruption. Instead, they were allowed to build until the resulting economic collapse was unstoppable. This collapse is not finished.

A forest becomes susceptible to a major forest fire if a lot of dead wood and dead bushes build up. This happens when there are no fires to clear them out – during peace and stability. You can see the signs that a major collapse is possible by looking for the same signs present before historical collapses.

Historian Niall Ferguson talks about the historian signs present before 20th century war:

“Economic volatility, plus ethnic disintegration, plus an empire in decline: That combination is about the most lethal in geopolitics. We now have all three. The age of upheaval starts now.”

The above quote comes from the March/April 2009 edition of Foreign Policy magazine on page 58. The author had earlier explained how the three E’s described the reason for conflict in the 20th century. The three E’s being: economic volatility, ethnic conflict or disintegration and empires in decline.

Building upon his previously acclaimed volumes on empire, economics, and financial history, Professor Ferguson argues that three things seem necessary to explain the extreme violence of the twentieth century: ethnic conflict, economic volatility, and the decline of empires. He argues that the confluence of these factors helps us to understand why so much happened at certain times, especially between the years 1904 and 1953, and why this savagery was so heavily concentrated in certain places. Professor Ferguson uses these themes to reinterpret and resolve the central paradox of why extraordinary progress in science and technology coincided with unprecedented violence, and why the seeming triumph of the West in reality planted the seeds for the decline of Western dominance over Asia, which he believes is leading towards an inexorable shift in the global balance of power towards the East.

Read More…

Listen to audio.

A large part of the world has moved to a pre-collapse state. Russia and China are in danger of collapse. America, Europe and Japan are in danger of economic collapse. The Middle East is now in the state of collapse. The UN predicts “global social crisis” stemming from the 2008-2009 economic downturn. If the world is a big sandpile, then it’s coming down soon.

The decline of America is real this time, says Foreign Policy magazine. The decline of an empire is a sign of bad things to come, like war. The Congressional Budget Offfice says the US could face a European-style debt crisis.

Russia has moved to a pre-collapse state similar to the one that occurred right before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The return of Putin to power is one reason that Russians are starting to leave the country in droves. The exodus is so large, “it’s comparable in numbers to the outrush in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution.”

Russia is starting to get friendly with Germany.

History is consistent on this point: Germany and Russia are not close friends. Any appearance that they are is a herald of war. Truth is, this forming Russian-German axis is one of the most significant and underrated trends on the world scene! History tells us where this will end. The formation of a peace pact between Russia and Germany is a sure sign that one or both are preparing for an imperialistic, violent mission.

Read More…

The New Power Alliance: Russia, Germany and France

In the following article, I logically walk through why the Russian leadership is mentally prepared to nuke America and accept the consequences: Signs Russia Would Have No Problem Nuking America.

Here we learn that Russia is already preparing for nuclear conflicts along its border.

China is “In Danger” of collapse according to the 2011 Failed Sates Index.

With Greece on the verge of default, and Ireland, Portugal and Spain waiting in the wings, the collapse of the Eurozone is a real possibility.

One author calls Japan a bug in search of a windshield. It’s only a matter of time before it experiences a major financial crisis.

Why would anybody want to start a nuclear war? Because they think war is inevitable anyway, and waiting will mean a much more unfavorable outcome. For example, both Russia and China are very worried about the missile defense system in the West. It is surrounding both Russia and China. Initially, it will not be much of a threat, but later it could potentially neutralize much of their second-strike capability if upgraded.

Another problem is confusing national security with regime security. Regimes will often go to great lengths to ensure their own security to the detriment of the rest of the country.

Looking into the Future

As any society moves one day into the future it is heavily influenced by history. History being all the prior days that people can remember. History provides a feedback loop for each new day. Events of each new day pile on all the prior days and provide the influence for yet another day.

It turns out that a lot of systems move into the future in the same way. For example, forests, sandpiles, earth movement, financial markets, societies and more. These types of systems exhibit Self-Organizing Criticality (SOC). They automatically go from a stable state to an unstable without any help. Then they just collapse.

If you track the collapses of forests (fires), sandpiles, financial markets, earthquakes, wars and attacks within wars, they all follow the power law distribution. Count the number of collapses of a given size within a given period, and plot the results on a log-graph. You will get an almost perfectly straight line. For example, a plot of attacks within wars is a straight line with a slope of -2.5.

What happens to a forest if you try really hard to put out every fire – you suppress all collapses? Eventually the forest builds up to a pre-collapse state that is so big that the next fire will be unstoppable.

Why?

The forest never stops growing and expanding. Because the system never stops, suppressing a collapse means that the future builds on an unstable base.

Suppressing collapses in forests, sandpiles, economies or societies (war) produces the same result – bigger collapses. Suppressing collapses makes the system unstable and prone to bigger collapses. Eventuality the system will experience a collapse so large that it is unstoppable. The policies of most countries is to suppress economic collapses (recessions). This explains why the West is in trouble now, and why China will soon be in big trouble.

The suppression of war in countries works the same way. Countries that don’t directly experience war for a long time get lulled to sleep. Eventually a country will become susceptible to defeat – the big collapse of society. The US and the West are in this boat.

If all collapses for a system are suppressed, then it should run into a major crisis at a given frequency. For example, a forest should have a massive fire every set number of years, or more likely a range of years. The forest may get wiped out every 90 to 100 years. We see this same phenomena with the US.

The US runs into a crisis period every 80 to 100 years according to “The Fourth Turning“. In 2005 we entered another 20 year crisis period. “Winter’s Coming for the Boomers” is an article that discusses the theories in “The Fourth Turning”. Each new crisis period is due to the impact of crises on the generations over an 80 to 100 year period. Each new generation increasingly forgets the lessons from the past. Since smaller collapses (recessions and wars) tend to be suppressed, eventually the country must experience a large crisis. You can read more stories here.

For more information about the signs of war please read this article: 25+ Signs That Point to Nuclear War.

When Will it Happen

Should Israel attack Iran, then I expect the US to be at risk of nuclear retaliation from Russia and China the following spring.

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