January 22, 2005


U.S. births, immigration boost Social Security system (Bloomberg News, January 19, 2005)

Tara Trent of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, has three girls, with another child on the way in June. The 31- year-old homemaker and her husband, Ken, talk of having a fifth baby. Big families aren't unusual in the neighborhood, she says.

``Ken says we're not going to have any workforce later,'' Tara says with a laugh. ``So we've got to pump these kids out to take care of us.''

The Trents are part of a demographic phenomenon in the U.S. unmatched in any of its major trading partners: Americans are having more babies. The trend, combined with an annual inflow of immigrants that is more than the rest of the developed world combined, may undercut a key argument behind President George W. Bush's plan to allow private Social Security accounts: that the current system faces an emergency because of a sharp decline in the size of the future U.S. workforce.

Even Newt Gingrich, the Republican former speaker of the House of Representatives and a supporter of private accounts, says, ``The combination of higher birth rates and more immigration makes the United States the healthiest of developed nations. This is not a crisis.''

One of the reasons we need to stop treating the Europeans like allies is because our futures are so different--we have one.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2005 10:02 AM

I hope our archivists are saving copies of the copious babbling and scribbling they do in their Doomed lanuages on the way out.

Posted by: Ripper at January 22, 2005 12:49 PM