Last month, the Chinese government announced that it was changing its one-child policy to a two-child policy. For more than 35 years, the Chinese government has mandated that its citizens refrain from having more than one child. Couples knew that if they violated the one-child policy, they would be punished with fines, job losses, and forced abortions.
Why the change in policy? Two reasons: There are not enough children being born in China to support the rapidly increasing elderly population, and since the one-child policy was established, a majority of the couples have used selective abortions to eliminate their unborn female babies so they could make certain they would have a boy.
The gender imbalance in China is worse than any other country in the world. It has gotten so bad that there are not enough women available for the men who would like to get married.
Also last month, the South Korean government announced the third phase of a long-term program in which the government is offering financial incentives to encourage young couples to get married and have children. Why? Because there are not enough children being born in South Korea to support the country’s aging population.
France and Japan have the same problem as China and South Korea. In fact, most of the countries in Europe have the same problem. That’s why there’s a strong likelihood that Muslims will take over Europe in the future, because Muslims have more children than do the members of each of the seven other major religious groups in the world.
We have a similar problem in the United States. Although we’re not as bad off as the European and Asian countries, we have serious economic problems because of the lack of births in our country. When the Social Security system was started in 1930, there were 16 workers for every Social Security recipient. Today, there are only four workers for every recipient. In the foreseeable future, it is estimated that there will only be two workers for every recipient.
If you were around during the 1960s and 1970s, you may remember the mass hysteria that occurred among the politicians, in the media, and in colleges throughout the United States. We were told that we were in the midst of a population explosion that would cripple the world by quickly consuming all of its available resources.
Now, 50 years later, we are being told that in most countries the birth rate is not keeping up with the aging population.
There are two replacements for babies who never came into existence because of contraception and abortion. Can you guess what the two replacements are?
The answer is illegal immigrants and robots.
You’re probably already aware of the flood of illegal immigrants who have been allowed to enter our country and several European countries. But there’s another “invasion” that is far more advanced than most people realize — it’s the ever-growing use of robots in manufacturing and other business activities.
In a 300-page report that was released last week by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, it was noted that the number of people who are over the age of 60 is expected to rise from 841 million to more than 2 billion by 2050. The report indicated that as the world’s population ages, the demand for automation is “skyrocketing” and that within a decade, over 45 percent of all manufacturing jobs will be performed by robots.
The report stated that China is the biggest buyer of robots. In 2014, China bought 50,000 robots, which represented a quarter of all robots sold worldwide. China is currently trying to catch up with other countries.
Of all the countries in the world, South Korea has the most robots, with 440 industrial robots per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry. Japan is second, behind South Korea, and Germany is third in the number of robots being utilized in the workforce.
Currently, in the manufacturing industries, it costs an average of $25 an hour for a human worker to perform spot welding. The cost to have a robot perform the same task is $8 an hour. Beijia Ma, the author of the Bank of America report, stated that “we are facing a paradigm shift, which will change the way we live and work.” The report said it is estimated that almost half of all U.S. jobs could be at risk.
During the past 30 years, we have moved closer and closer to a borderless, globalized world in which jobs migrate to whichever country has the cheapest labor. Now there’s a massive shift from human labor to robots that possess humanlike intelligence.
In addition to the robots that are being utilized in manufacturing, there are now “carebots” for the elderly, “agribots” for planting seeds and picking fruit, and commercial drones for performing tasks that in the past could only be performed by highly educated humans. Bank of America is currently developing a “robo-advisor” that will use algorithms to provide investment advice to individuals who have less than $250,000 in investment funds.
If you think that the economic and political turmoil we’re going through right now is troubling, imagine the explosive economic and political turmoil that will result from the massive displacement of workers.
More on this topic next week.