Varney says a 2.1 percent fertility rate is magic number for a population to stay stable. In Europe fertility rates are all below 1.9 percent, which means there is not a replacement population. In China fertility rates are 0.9 percent. Those demographic imbalances contribute to a troubled economy.
“It contributes to our economic problem because if you’ve got more and more older people, they don’t spend money like people ages 24 to 55. That is a demographic which is expanding which is not a big spender in terms of consumption. In fact, they take money away from 24 to 55 year olds. So you are taking money off of this high spending group and putting in the hands of a lower spending group, which is not good for national consumption. Plus you are setting up a system where you have got to keep paying them for years and years. You have made a moral obligation to play pension and health benefits to retirees. We’ve made that commitment, but we can’t afford it, which means you are raising takes to play the elderly and laying off young people so you keep the elderly in the style to which they have become accustom and that is not good for the overall economy. If you look at Europe, that is an extreme example. How can you possibly have a dynamic vigorous economy if 55 out of 100 adults are 65 and older? You simply can’t do it. They are not productive.”
Varney thinks one solution would be to raise the Social Security retirement age.
“Its rational to do that, we are living longer so its legitimate to retire later, plus most of us don’t do manual labor which breaks us apart by age 65. Most of it is white color work or intellectual workers.”
He also believes immigration could be a solution.
“The reason Europe and east Asia have this problem is because they will not accept mass immigration. You can’t immigrate to Japan. They simply won’t have it. Europe is loathed to accept any more immigrants from Eastern Europe and North Africa, they don’t want it but that would be an answer to the demographic problem. Contrast that with America where we have mass immigration, whether it’s legal or not. We got it.”
He says those immigration numbers are replacement fertility.
“All of those eager young baby makers who flood north of the boarder really make a difference to our demographic.”
Varner suggest an easier way for immigrants to work toward citizenship would be the best course of action.
Thirteen percent of Mississippi’s population is over the age of 65. According to the Census Bureau that population will double between now and the year 2050, and as many as one in five Americans could be elderly. Between 2010 and 2030 the elderly growth rate is expected to grow 2.8 percent annually because of the baby boomer generation.