I know I write a lot about the looming problems with entitlement spending in the face of an aging population. But, believe it or not, the crisis in America is going to pale in comparison to Europe and Japan. Europe is going down the tubes because of socialist policies and lavish public benefits that nobody wants to cut. But Japan is facing a demographic challenge because of a low birth rate, which means fewer workers to support an aging population. Now from Japan Today (hat tip to Free Republic) comes this troubling portent of things to come:
The number of children below 15 in the nation came to 17.38 million as of April 1 for the 26th straight year of decline, accounting for a record-low 13.6% of the population, according to an internal affairs ministry population estimate released Friday.Here's a BBC story from two years ago:
The decline in Japan's birth rate is so severe they have invented a word for it - 'shoshika', meaning a society without children.Ironically, one of the things that may save America's bacon when it comes to entitlement spending is a large influx of immigrants who are leaving Europe and Asia to escape oppressive tax rates.
Unless women here start having more babies, the population in Japan is expected to shrink more than 20% by the middle of this century. Nearly half would be elderly, placing impossible burdens on the health and pension systems.