The $35 Trillion
the Living Room
By Dennis M. Howard © Copyright, 2008 www.movementforabetteramerica.org
With the United States and the world facing the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, everyone is asking: “How did we get here? And how do we solve it?”
As the only writer who has been warning since 1997 that such a crisis is exactly what we could expect based on ongoing demographic trends, it pains me to say, “I told you so!”
In 1997, I wrote a report titled The Abortion Bomb: America’s Demographic Disaster. In it, I said: “I see little hope that we can avoid an eventual crash on Wall Street that will make the 1930’s look like cashing in your cards after a bad game of Monopoly®.”
I even gave percentages as to when a crash was likely to happen:
“I’d give it a 50% chance of happening with the next recession or by the year 2000, an 80% chance by the year 2010, and a 100% chance of happening by 2020. But the sooner it happens, and the sooner we wake up, the softer the crash will be.”
I predicted: “it will last longer than the Great Depression, and if it takes a war to get out of it – as happened with World War II – America as we know it may not survive.”
That was three years before the market top in 2000, but few people were interested in listening to a messenger bearing bad news – however earthshaking. At the time, Wall Street was booming. Even Alan Greenspan, who coined the term “irrational exuberance,” only raised it as a question – not a warning or a prediction.
Regrettably, my forecast proved correct. Wall Street took a tumble in 2000 right on schedule. It is dropping again right now, and we find ourselves in a new worldwide crisis that could easily last until 2020 – even if we reverse the trends that caused it.
How could I be so right about such a momentous event and everyone else so wrong?
First, the mainstream media were blind-sided by their own politically correct bias in favor of abortion and aggressive contraception. And a great many weather-vane politicians – many nominal Catholics included – went whatever way the winds were blowing. Minds were closed to the idea that the abortion boom had anything to do with a possible economic decline.
In short, any pro-life advocate who saw such a connection was made to feel like a skunk at a garden party. Fortunately, we stuck to our guns. Movement for a Better America has been tracking the economic impact of abortion since 1995. Besides “The Abortion Bomb,” we did studies showing the difference in state-by-state recovery rates from the 1989-94 recession.
That study revealed major discrepancies between states with high abortion rates and those with low abortion rates. The low rate states suffered virtually no recession at all; while those with the highest rates – mainly Democratic “blue states” – were still in recession five years later. .
Initially we used losses in downstream tax revenues as an index of the cost of abortion, but that only showed government losses. So we changed to using lost GDP as a measure of total economic cost. If all those babies had not been aborted, what would they have contributed to the economy in hard, reliable numbers like total GDP?
We found that the 50.5 million surgical abortions since 1970 have cost the U.S. an astonishing $35 trillion dollars. However, if you include all the babies lost to IUDs, RU-486, sterilization and abortifacients, the number climbs to over $70 trillion!
No matter how you slice it, aggressive “population control” exacts a huge price in future economic growth that can never be recovered. Indeed, it is a loss that reverberates through all future generations. Without an enormous new Baby Boom lasting another 40 or 50 years, that growth is lost forever. We don’t have a debt crisis. We have a death crisis.
This case will still prove controversial. Far too many people look on abortion and aggressive use of contraception as some kind of free lunch. You pay your $400, the deed is done, and that’s it. Out of sight, out of mind.
They just happen to be terribly wrong. The collapse of the former Soviet Union is a dramatic example. It wasn’t Ronald Reagan who did it. The main reason for their collapse was internal -- 300 abortions for every 100 live births for decades. Their future is still grim. Right now, there are not enough younger women to reverse their population decline. Indeed, they are expected to lose another 40 million people between now and 2050.
The same kind of population decline is in the cards for countries like Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, and even China. The Muslim world is going in the other direction – with rates of natural increase 5 and 6 times higher than ours. They will own the second half of the 21st Century unless we reverse course. And it won’t be their fault; it will be ours.
Solving this crisis requires short and long term measures. Yes, we need to arrest the immediate crisis in our markets, but we need to do so without sliding down the slippery slope to government control of our whole economy. We are doing just that.
Instead, we need to restore real power to the people by making government more responsive to the needs of workers and families. We need to reign in the “winner-take-all” global economy that destroys local initiative and entrepreneurship. We need to empower every American to make a productive contribution to a new growth economy.
But the most important change of all is recognizing that families are the fundamental social and economic unit of society for the simple, but profound reason that they are the source of all supply and demand.
The handwriting is on the wall. If we don’t heed it, you can make this message the epitaph of a once great civilization: “As the family goes, so goes the nation.”