Some of you will recall that I am a massive fan of the urban explorer website http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/ for those that do not know these guys photograph abandoned buildings. The photographs provide a fantastic journey through a past that is often only the other side of a door. These guys were brought to the fore of my mind recently when a fire occurred in an old building in town. These decrepit structure sits on an old industrial site that has gradually been squeezed by residential development. The building harks back to a day when there was actual industry in town so that gives you an idea of its age. When the fire services attended the blaze they had to call on bomb disposal experts because the building was actually full of unexploded mines and associated ordnance. Nobody that I have spoken to knew that this stuff was stored there or what the building was currently used for. Like so many old buildings it had been forgotten and perhaps there is a lesson there.
As I was looking through pictures of derelict and abandoned industrial sites it struck me how hopelessly slow the human race is to adapt. When you look at these factories that would have employed thousands and now stand idle you wonder what future we see that keeps us breeding. The insanity that these hubs of employment are listed for demolition to make way for more housing seems to be lost on us. Where we used to live in small terraces adjoining an industrial site we now have much better housing stock which seems to lead us to believe that we are improving. Like a slow-moving ocean liner facing an iceberg we plough on with any slight reduction in birth rate more than backfilled by immigration. There can never be a return to full employment in the west until and unless we adjust our birth rate to match our labor needs and , since nobody can see a reversal of the industrial revolution, that means fewer children.
I have said several times that I believe state sponsored or supported child-birth is a disaster that results in the wasted generations that we are now seeing. It is interesting to read that the, ever logical, Germans are now facing labour shortages because they saw a massive decline in birth rates when the wall came down. The German’s reaction to uncertainty over the future was not to bring children into the world, can you fault their logic? The government will tell you that we need more young, working age people to fund the pensions of an aging population. Firstly they are wrong what they mean is that they need more income to pay the pension bill because they failed to invest the pension contributions. The reason that they failed to invest is because they predicted eternal growth, in short they are morons. The logic that more working age people = more tax receipts is as flawed as the eternal growth. It is like going to the brewery and ordering four times your normal order because you need to make more money. The truth is that more working age people in a shrinking employment market means more welfare which in turn means higher taxes which depresses the jobs market, again the politics of morons.
This year, in the UK, welfare is predicted to be 16% of the governments spend, education is 12% so in laymen terms we are spending more money supporting those that don’t work than we are educating the next generation. This can only mean that each successive generation will be less unemployable and hence welfare spending will rise. Of course as a percentage it will rise even faster because GDP will also be dropping and remember welfare at 16p in the pound does not include pensions.
The final argument that I wanted to address was the argument of ‘build it and they will come’ which says that as an ingenious race we will naturally find new employment opportunities for the masses. I read a line in a book recently that caused me to do some research and I can say that this principle has been proven to be wrong. Have you ever wondered why there are so many Romanians and why they are so adept at begging? Ceausescu had a vision for the country, he wanted to make it the industrial power house of Europe. To achieve this vision he needed a large working age population but the country was in a dire state and, like the Germans, having families was well done the average mans list. On the principle that if you ‘build it they will come’ he set about a regime of mandatory annual pregnancy tests from the age of 14. These tests were monitored and enforced by the securitate and there were severe penalties for terminations. This is absolutely true, please feel free to research the subject. For my purposes though it proves definitively that simply making a workforce will not change the world in a positive way.
I don’t know the answer to this problem but I like to think that I have been reasonably sensible in having two children in marriage and then a vasectomy. I firmly believe that more important than your ‘right’ to have children is your children’s right to have a future, I didn’t need a vasectomy as it turns out but the principle was sound, it readily defeats any arguments for more children. As to the rest of it perhaps the next time we ‘oo’ and ‘ah’ over a baby or congratulate a couple on their ‘good news’ we should address the elephant in the room and ask “what will they do with their life”. I know it sounds cold and well a little Germanic but they are the leading economy in the west after all……..