From Volume 37, Issue 15 of EIR Online, Published Apr. 16, 2010

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Economic Collapse Cut U.S. Birth Rate 'Below Replacement'

April 7 (EIRNS)—The complete global financial crash underway has cut the birth rate of the United States as of 2008, pushing the U.S. down below the "population replacement fertility rate" of 2.1 live births per woman during childbearing age; it had been unique among industrial nations in being above that rate.

The 2008 figures from the National Council on Health Statistics show that 40,000 fewer American children were born in that year than in 2007 or 2006; and that the birth rate (per 1,000 women of childbearing age) fell by 2.2% in 2008.

An analysis of those figures by state, for 25 states having about 55% of the country's population, showed a direct and close correlation between the change in fertility and birth rate in each state, on one hand, and the timing and severity of the drops in 1) per capita income, and 2) housing "values" in those states, on the other. And those states with the biggest drops in birth rates—for example, California and Florida at -2.8/1,000 women, and Arizona at -4.1/1,000 women—were the states hit with the worst bubble-economy collapse.

This "unexpected" drop in births and birth rate likely accelerated in 2009, and will be reflected in the ongoing 2010 Census.

1.2 Million U.S. Households Lost Between 2005 and 2008

April 8 (EIRNS)—According to a report issued this week by the Mortgage Bankers Association, 1.2 million U.S. households were lost due to the economic collapse between 2005 and 2008. That number doesn't include data from 2009, so the impact up to the present is far worse. Faced with job losses as well as foreclosures, those who have lost a home to foreclosure do not necessarily become renters.

There has been a five-fold increase in overcrowding of remaining households—defined as more than one person per room. This doubling-up is happening as families who lose a home move in with friends or family. In other cases, younger people have delayed striking out on their own, instead staying with their parents. Others, who fail to find work after graduating from college, move back home.

Not only has the national homeownership rate fallen, but renters also have been forced to double up or move in with friends or family. The vacancy rate for U.S. apartments stood at 8 percent in the first quarter, according to a report this week from Reis, a real estate research firm.

Those 1.2 million households were lost even as the population grew by 3.4 million.

With Bernanke Quoting Keynes, We Could All Be Dead Soon

April 7 (EIRNS)—Federal Reserve Chairman Ben "Bubbles" Bernanke took aim at Social Security and Medicare in a Dallas speech today, "justifying" his austerity demands by quoting President Franklin Roosevelt's opponent, the British monetarist economist and sexual prestidigitator John Maynard Keynes. Bernanke, in his Texas speech, insisted the United States has to cut Social Security, Medicare, and other spending to get down to the 3% deficit/GDP ratio, even though that EU Maastricht Treaty "3% rule" is anathema to the U.S. Constitution. It has also had disastrous economic and political results for Europe.

"The economist John Maynard Keynes said that in the long run, we are all dead. If he were around today he might say that, in the long run, we are all on Social Security and Medicare," Bernanke began. Blaming unsustainable Federal deficits on "an aging population," rather than on the tax revenue collapse and the $25 trillion worth of bail-out commitments which he and Tim Geithner made to the banks, Bubbles Ben got to his point. "The arithmetic is, unfortunately, quite clear. To avoid large and unsustainable budget deficits, the nation will have to choose among higher taxes, modifications to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, less spending on everything else from education to defense, or some combination of the above."

As Lyndon LaRouche says, in the long run we will all contribute in some way to the essential future of the human race, in conquering Mars and beyond for human habitation, via the Moon—or, in the short run, we may all be dead in history's worst economic collapse. The short-run goal, then, is to get President Barack Obama out of office, and Ben Bernanke along with him.

All rights reserved © 2010 EIRNS