From Bloomberg Viewhttps://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-03/make-america-mate-again
The recent data on population growth marks an ominous return to a trough last seen during the Great Depression. Moreover, data released by the real estate firm Trulia last week indicates that the number of young people living with their parents (or siblings) recently hit levels not seen since 1940.
That statistic suggests that a baby boom isn’t likely, never mind a boom in consumption fueled by the formation of new households.
The article manages to hit a few highlights but also offers an odd twist on the underlying causes in my opinion.
The Baby Boomer generation began shortly after the end of WWII. The public's overall feeling of optimism and a better future essentially led to more babies being brought into this world. That is obviously a great oversimplification but it does provide a glimpse into the underlying motivation.
Just as importantly, this moment in history was preceded by three decades of doom and gloom. Following WWI the entire world was in chaos. Economies were in the tank and governments across the globe were changing hands so quickly one needed a cheat sheet to keep up with them. Experiments in Marxism and Socialism were popping up in what seemed like a daily basis, only to be overthrown by a coup the next day.
Here at home things were hardly better. Riots and strikes were commonplace and calling in the National Guard was much more regular occurrence than our history books like to mention. Things were downright ugly for a long, long time and people were angry. Eventually the entire world was at war.
Fast forward to today. The entire world is on fire and it appears no end is in sight.
Instead of taking advantage of the lessons of history governments across the globe are doing the opposite of what history and common sense tells them to do. Germany, for example, is importing millions of Muslims in hopes they will be the answer to their shortage of babies that would eventually populate the labor force in the future. To put it nicely, that plan is not panning out and things are not going well in Germany.
Here at home we understand at a gut level it's not all that rosy either. By every measurement we are teetering on the brink of disaster. Whether it be national debt, labor participation rate, or any other measurable you care to mention, things are downright ugly. And like that previous time in our history people are not exceptionally optimistic about bringing new babies into this world.
Last year, a statistic was release that received almost zero play from the media but sent shock waves through those who understand economics well. The dollar amount of auto loans exceed the dollar amount of new mortgage loans for the first time in U.S. history. That one statistic speaks volumes. But I'll be brief, the public has zero long term confidence or optimism.
But things are suddenly looking up. Without ever stepping foot into the Oval office Trump has sparked a wave of optimism across the country. Everyday the newspapers are packed with article after article noting the huge change sweeping over the country (and the globe).
You don't have to be Nostradamus to predict babies will follow.