I have been living in Europe for the last 5 years. I have noticed something, and to my surprise have had it proven by scholarly studies and
Europe is growing old. The birth rates in Europe have been in decline for many years. I know many will say that it is a good thing, but consider this,
Europe cannot grow if its population of young people doesn't. You need people to replace the current ones working, producing, ect. They are having
less kids than other countries and not even enough to keep their current infrastructure viable in the next couple decades.
I think it is a product of modern day socialism. People want to live life and enjoy themselves. Our grandparents generation of sacrifice and purpose
centered around the family life has changed. The entitlement mentality has led to many people working, not to create security for their family they
have no plans on making, but rather to travel and enjoy life. A little selfish IMO. They look to have kids in Europe after 40+ years of age. When they
have had their fun. The result is in one child per couple. sometimes, their bodies are simply past the child bearing age.
Then you have to consider the need for immigration to offset the lack of labor. You then have a HUGE problem. Your countries change as the new influx
of people come in to occupy jobs your kids will not because you will want them to get an education and have a cushy job. Sounds good right? Well yes,
the problem is that there is then no one left to take the necessary manual labor jobs your kids are too good to work in.
Then the entitlement mentality sets in. If you can't find a job in your field of work, you go on unemployment until you find a job that fits into your
skill set. So you get a financial crisis and all of a sudden everyone with a college education is out of work and collecting unemployment, expensive
unemployment. You also have most immigrants working and making money.
What happens is social tensions as one group is producing and the other is eating itself up slowly over time.
In countries where birth rates have stayed the same you see relatively good recover. Nothing great, but they can hold their own. Ireland, France, ect.
Have an average birth rate of 2.+ per female. In places where you see a birth rate of 1.2 /1.5 you see a major decline.
here is a great article I found, much to my surprise that correlates what I am saying.
What's Really Behind Europe's Decline? It's The Birth Rates, Stupid
The labor demonstrators, now an almost-daily occurrence in Madrid and other economically-devastated southern European cities lambast austerity and
budget cuts as the primary cause for their current national crisis. But longer-term, the biggest threat to the European Union has less to do with
government policy than what is–or is not–happening in the bedroom.
In particular, southern Europe’s economic disaster is both reflected — and is largely caused by — a demographic decline that, if not soon
reversed, all but guarantees the continent’s continued slide. For decades, the wealthier countries of the northern countries — notably Germany —
have offset very low fertility rates and declining domestic demand by attracting migrants from other countries, notably from eastern and southern
Europe, and building highly productive export oriented economies.
In contrast, the so-called Club Med Countries– Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain–have not developed strong economies to compensate for their
fading demographics outside pockets of relative prosperity such as Milan. Spain was once one of Europe’s star performers, buoyed largely by real
estate speculation and growing integration with the rest of the EU. Six years ago the country was building upwards of 50% as many houses as the US
while having 85% less population. Roughly six million immigrants came to work in the boom, even as roughly seven to eight percent of Spaniards
preferred to remain unemployment.
Another thing I have considered is the impact that the lack of new ideologies can have on a society. I see Europe as stagnant. Stuck in its ways that
cannot adapt to the world changing around them. They are worshipers of tradition and "the way it is". They cannot adapt because most of them are well
into their mid life and are more concerned with their mortality and their legacy. They have lost the vigor of life's challenge and want things to go
the way they have been accustomed to.
The youth is also affected. They are not in their element. I see them as being aged willingly and prematurely. Their parents for the most part are too
old to understand the nuances of youth culture and too tired to keep up.
Their parents are concerned with what Florida couples already retired are concerned with. Decorating the home, making appearances to their social
circles, and just looking for ease and rest.
Their youth is very frustrated and out of touch with their elders. I see this as a huge problem for Europe. SO much so that I think it is too far
gone. They will bitterly, stubbornly, and incorrectly hold onto power as the youth is increasingly divided from their elders. There is a total lack of
communication amongst what little youth there is and their "parents world". They have a deep seeded problem in Europe of their base not being at all
in accord with their respective heads.
They don't want to change, and still adore the entitlement mentality. They still look to live life and enjoy themselves, the consequences be damned
and the responsibility be shifted to another sap.
I see big trouble for geriatric Europe.
They are tired and old.
Across Europe, birth rates are falling and family sizes are shrinking. The total fertility rate is now less than two children per woman in every
member nation in the European Union (see Figure 1). As a result, European populations are either growing very slowly or beginning to decrease.
At the same time, low fertility is accelerating the ageing of European populations. As a region, Europe in 2000 had the highest percentage of people
age 65 or older — 15 percent. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, this percentage is expected to nearly double by 2050.
These demographic trends portend difficult times ahead for European economies. For example, a shrinking workforce can reduce productivity.
At the same time, the growing proportion of elderly individuals threatens the solvency of pension and social insurance systems. As
household sizes decrease, the ability to care for the elderly diminishes. Meanwhile, elderly people face growing health care needs and costs. Taken
together, these developments could pose significant barriers to achieving the European Union (EU) goals of full employment, economic growth, and
Concern over these trends has sparked intense debate over the most effective policies to reverse them or mitigate their impact. The policy debate has
focused on three approaches: (1) promoting increased immigration of working-age people; (2) encouraging more childbearing, especially among younger
couples; and (3) reforming social policy to manage the negative consequences of these trends — including measures that could raise the retirement
age or encourage more women to join the workforce. To date, this debate has produced more heat than light, and solid research-based evidence to inform
the debate remains sketchy. Many aspects of the relationship between national policies and demographic trends are either disputed or not well
understood, and it remains difficult to disentangle the effects of specific policy initiatives from the effects of broader social, political, and
edit on 4-11-2012 by manykapao because: (no reason given)