Germany’s demographic and economic collapse
People think they know how bad the German demographic situation is, but mostly they have no idea. The country's economy could collapse following the net loss of at least six million workers in the next 15 years. Political correctness may be on the verge of its biggest scalp yet
How strange history is. In World War Two Germany lost millions of its people fighting for Lebensraum -- living room -- but today, without getting out of bed (or more likely getting into bed) the country finds it has more living room than it knows what to do with.
Why? Quite simple really. German women are not having enough babies to sustain the population. The country, it seems, is emptying out.
According to a report by the World Economy Institute in Hamburg (HWWI), Germany’s birth rate is now the lowest on the planet, threatening a collapse in the workforce by 2020. Angela Merkel has said that Germany will lose a net six million workers over the next 15 years.
The report puts Germany’s birth rate at 8∙2 per 1,000, critically below the replacement level of 2∙1 per female. “No other industrial country is deteriorating at this speed despite the strong influx of young migrant workers”, the report says.
Such deathbed birth-rates are changing the social landscape of the country. The German population is expected to fall from 81 million to 67 million by 2060, and that figure presumably allows for the large influx of Africans across the Mediterranean who will continue to settle in Germany.
The report claims that some small towns in Saxony and Brandenburg might eventually have to close up shop and become ghost-towns, such is the German population shrinkage.
Crucially, the report claims that by 2030 the worker/retired dependency ratio will be 1:1, an unsustainable ratio that could make the public pensions system insolvent.
Germany, it seems, is heading the way of long-term-declining Japan, but without the strength of Japan’s homogeneous culture and work ethic.
Germany is now discovering that the consume-now-and-to-hell-with-tomorrow business model does not work long term. It sells plenty of beer for the all-night party but makes no provision for the cleaning up. Germany’s high-consuming, childless couple, abortion friendly business model combined with cradle-to-grave early retirement welfare entitlements is simply not sustainable.
Who is going to pay for those millions of pensioners whose retirement can last twenty-five or thirty years? The childless couple are economically useful while working and spending and partying, but where are the children to support them when they retire?
The fact is that the German people, and the rest of the EU, have opted for a business model of maximum consumption now at the price of minimising responsibility for the future.
They forgot, or couldn’t care less, that lavish welfare programs are not economically viable without at least replacement level birth-rates to sustain the non-working, welfare-dependent population. It doesn’t work any other way.
As the Canadian journalist Mark Steyn puts it in his prescient book America Alone (this book actually predicted Germany’s troubles): “There is no precedent in human history for economic growth on declining human capital -- and that’s before anyone invented unsustainable welfare systems.”
The economic problems of Europe’s low birth-rate, early retirement business model have been known for years. But rather than do what societies have done throughout history -- have children -- Europe’s political class decided to continue partying and bring in migrants from the Third World to have the babies Europe’s hedonistic life-style consumerists refuse to have.
But now, Europe has discovered what the common-sense man on the street has always known: unselective mass immigration and welfare do not mix. Immigrants certainly do have more babies, but they also, like the rest of us, retire early and enjoy the welfare partying.
And so do their children. Turkish immigrants in Germany, for example, have three times the rate of welfare dependency as ethnic Germans.
Nevertheless, the World Economy Institute in Hamburg believes Germany needs more skilled immigrants, with the emphasis very much on skilled. But it’s difficult to see what difference skilled immigrants will make, other than keeping the wheels turning long enough to bury Germany’s ageing population. Skilled immigrants will do nothing to address the emptying-out of those towns and villages.
In the short-term, Germany may well need skilled immigrants, but the immigrants Germany is getting are those for the long term, those who cross the Mediterranean uninvited, demanding their human rights in Europe’s tottering welfare states.
Such immigrants may well re-populate those birth-collapsed ancient towns of Saxony and Brandenburg, but they are not what the World Economy Institute in Hamburg want. How many of those immigrants will be working the next day on Vorsprung durch Technik or building the next generation BMW?
That is why Angela Merkel, for all her criticism of the anti-immigrant movement Pegida and all her perfunctory PC talk about the “benefits of immigration”, is desperate to disperse the Mediterranean boat people throughout Europe (even bribing countries with their own money to take them), and it is why the rest of Europe does not want them dispersed.
But in a dogmatically liberal PC Europe, some truths cannot be spoken out loud.
If there is one fact that we in Europe should by now have learned, it is that migrants from Africa or anywhere else are not going to write our retirement and welfare cheques.
There is only one solution to Germany’s woes -- have more German babies. The peoples of Germany and other EU countries will sooner or later have to bring to an end their living-for-now partying culture and become responsible adults who parent and invest in children; the only future that any responsible society can possibly have.
Vincent Cooper is a regular contributor to The Commentator
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