Back to the Future – Argentina Unravels – Douglas Farah

Douglas Farah, Senior Fellow, International Assessment and Strategy Center

http://www.strategycenter.net/docLib/20130227_BacktotheFuture.pdf

ABSTRACT: Under the corrupt populist administration of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Argentina is on the road back to ruin.

Overview:

Argentina’s flamboyant president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was indignant

when, during a U.S. tour last year, a student at Harvard asked her how her personal wealth had grown more than 900 percent in less than a decade. “I don’t know where you get those figures, but that is not how it is,” the president responded. But the figures come from Kirchner’s own public disclosures of wealth, mandated by law. As a recent analysis showed, her declared personal declared fortune has increased from $1.6 million in 2003, when her late husband Néstor Kirchner was elected president, to $18 million by the end of 2012, a year into her second presidential term – more than 1,00 percent. The vast bulk of the declared growth in assets, using valuations of properties far below market value, came in 2008, shortly after Cristina took office. That year her wealth jumped from $5.2 million to $12.7 million, and continued to grow in the ensuing years.The salaries of the president and her late husband Néstor, who preceded her as president, amounted to less than 4 percent of her wealth.1 Such is Argentina in the time of Fernández de Kirchner, where official obfuscation political allies with lucrative business opportunities, often at the expense of foreign investors whose properties have been expropriated in violation of international agreements. As one report noted Corruption watchers complain that her government has neutered government oversight, giving auditing posts to cronies compromised by conflicts of interest. The result: corruption cases take an average of 14 years to work through the system, according to the non-profit Center for the Study and Prevention of Economic Crimes, and only 15 in 750 cases have led to convictions.2 Although her husband promised a new era of transparency in Argentina, both he and Fernández de Kirchner have fired aggressive prosecutors and gutted the anticorruption watchdog agency, a trend that the U.S. Embassy regularly commented on as a serious concern.3 The Embassy noted that while Manuel Garrido, the top attorney in the national prosecutor’s office investigating official corruption, launched more than 100 investigations into official corruption from 2004-2009, he failed to gain even a single conviction. Many of the investigations were aimed at close Kirchner associates, from cabinet ministers to public works administrators.4

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‘When is it my turn to be sold?’ A personal recollection of China’s one-child policy | LifeSiteNews.com

‘When is it my turn to be sold?’ A personal recollection of China’s one-child policy | LifeSiteNews.com.

‘When is it my turn to be sold?’ A personal recollection of China’s one-child policy

BY ELISE HILTON

BEIJING, April 25, 2013 (Acton Institute) – In yesterday’s New YorkerJiayang Fan offers a family memoir that highlights the degradation of China’s one-child policy and hints at the demographic issues that we are facing globally.

Fan recalls, at the age of seven, meeting an aunt for the first time. It was widely-known in the family that this aunt had been sold for two bushels of rice, as she was the result of an unplanned pregnancy. She was adopted by a childless couple, and then grew up to work for the government as a family planner; that is, she helped implement the government’s one-child policy.

Steven Mosher, of the Population Research Institute, explains the history of this Chinese policy:

The one-child policy, first adumbrated by Deng Xiaoping in a 1979 speech, was in place nationwide by 1981. The “technical policy on family planning” followed two years later. Still in force today, the technical policy requires IUDs for women of childbearing age with one child, sterilization for couples with two children (usually performed on the woman), and abortions for women pregnant without authorization. By the mid-eighties, according to Chinese government statistics, birth control surgeries—abortions, sterilizations, and IUD insertions—were averaging more than thirty million a year. Many, if not most, of these procedures were performed on women who submitted only under duress.

Fan's generation learned

Fan’s generation learned “proper” family pictures have only one child.

Fan’s aunt was actually lucky; given the propensity in China for male heirs, girls are overwhelming aborted. Of course, Chinese girls are not the only ones to suffer this fate; it happens in India, South Korea, and other places. In 2009, the New York Times acknowledged the problem:

In India and China the situation is dire: in those countries, more than 1.5 million fewer girls are born each year than demographics would predict, and more girls die before they turn 5 than would be expected. (In China in 2007, there were 17.3 million births — and a million missing girls.) Millions more grow up stunted, physically and intellectually, because they are denied the health care and the education that their brothers receive.

In What to Expect When No One Is Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster, Jonathan V. Last writes that America is suffering from a self-imposed one-child policy of sorts and we are in not much better shape than China when it comes to demographics. Not only does this type of social re-engineering change economies, it changes entire social institutions like marriage. Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute has spent considerable time studying the changes China is facing.

From 2000 to 2030, the percentage of men in their late 30s who have never been married is projected to quintuple. Eberstadt doesn’t believe that having an “army of unmarriageable young men” will improve the country’s economy or social cohesion. He thinks demographic change will pose two problems specific to China. Its society has relied heavily on trust relationships within extended-family networks. In a country where fewer and fewer people will have uncles, those networks will rapidly atrophy.

Even now, China is seeing dramatic changes to marriage customs and rituals. Chinese women are demanding more and more from the men seeking marriage. NPR recently highlighted this in a story focusing on one couple where the groom had to pay a “bride price” of approximately $11,000 to satisfy his bride. Xiaobo Zhang, a professor of economics at Peking University, sees other changes as well:

Zhang has found families with sons in areas with higher gender imbalances are more likely to be unhappy, and to have to work harder in order to be able to afford that all-important wedding gift — the apartment.

“In order to save more, families with sons must work harder. They are more likely to become entrepreneurs, more likely to take risky jobs — like working in the construction sector — more likely to work longer hours.

This type of social change has also led to an increase in human trafficking in places like China and India. Both boys and girls are vulnerable. Boys are desired as sons for childless couples and as workers, girls as sex workers and as brides forced into marriages.

And what of Jiayang Fan’s family and the aunt who was sold for rice? Fan recounts:

As the story goes, my grandfather held his youngest daughter in one arm and his eldest with the crook of the other. When he handed over the baby, swathed in threadbare hand-me-downs, in exchange for the grain, his other daughter asked, “When is it my turn to be sold?” My grandfather, more leathery and grayed than he should have been at fortysomething, looked down at her, and at the twin bushels of grain in his other arm, and laughed. And then he wept.

This article originally appeared on the website of the Acton Institute and is reprinted with permission.

España. Aborto y debacle demográfica

España. Aborto y debacle demográfica

A nadie sensato se le puede escapar que de seguirse con las políticas mantenidas hasta la fecha, se producirá una práctica inviabilidad del Estado de Bienestar de consecuencias dramáticas para el conjunto de la población

El Instituto Nacional de Estadística acaba de publicar los datos provisionales del Padrón Continuo a 1 de enero de 2013, registrándose por primera vez pérdida de población en España desde el dramático 1939, en un número que alcanza las 205.788 personas. En 2012 el número neto de españoles empadronados experimentó un insignificante aumento del 0,02%, mientras que el de extranjeros se redujo en un 3,8%.

El grave precipicio demográfico en el que ya se encuentra España está directamente relacionado con el apoyo cultural y financiero que los sucesivos gobiernos, de forma activa o pasiva, han venido otorgando hasta la fecha a la masiva y sistemática práctica del aborto y, aún más importante, a la casi absoluta ausencia de políticas de apoyo a la maternidad, encontrándose en este aspecto nuestro país a la cola de Europa, como se desprende del pormenorizado estudio comparativo realizado recientemente por la Fundación REDMADRE.

Una cifra superior a los 50 millones de euros anuales invierte el conjunto del Estado español en la financiación de abortos cuya cifra anual crece incesantemente. En concreto, en 2011 crecieron un 5% en relación al año anterior, alcanzándose la espeluznante cantidad de 118.359 abortos, a pesar del aumento del uso de la píldora abortiva postcoital y el éxodo masivo de inmigrantes a sus países de origen.

Los datos son rotundos y la tendencia imparable, lo cual debiera constituir un toque de alarma para nuestra clase política y para el conjunto de la sociedad civil, así como una poderosa razón más a incluir en el debate que se acaba de abrir en torno al anuncio realizado recientemente por el Ministro de Justicia, D. Alberto Ruíz Gallardón, por supuesto en favor de la propuesta que originalmente ha sido presentada en defensa de la vida de los españoles por nacer y el apoyo a la maternidad.

A nadie sensato se le puede escapar que de seguirse con las políticas mantenidas hasta la fecha, se producirá una práctica inviabilidad del Estado de Bienestar de consecuencias dramáticas para el conjunto de la población y, especialmente, para los sectores más desprotegidos.

Antonio Torres
Presidente Fundación REDMADRE

El sistema de pensiones español va al colapso tras el alarmante envejecimiento de población

http://www.religionenlibertad.com/articulo.asp?idarticulo=28839

familiacristiana

Los datos más destacados se podrían resumir en los siguientes titulares:

• Hay más personas mayores que jóvenes: las personas mayores de 65 años superan en casi 1,3 millones de personas a los menores de 15 años.

• Hay menos niños menores de 1 año que personas entre 65 y 69 años e incluso menos que personas de 72 años de edad.

• En el 2040, el sistema de pensiones será insostenible -cuando se jubile la generación del ‘baby boom’- si no se produce un repunte de la natalidad.

• Las ayudas a las familias deben de ser vistas como una inversión para tratar de solucionar el grave problema demográfico español.

Hacia el abismo…
España avanza hacia el abismo. Por  primera vez desde que en 1998 se comenzasen a publicar las cifras oficiales del Padrón Continuo, España ha perdido población. En
concreto, los habitantes empadronados en nuestro país han disminuido en 205.788 personas durante el año 2012, situándose en un total de 47.059.533 a 1 de enero de 2013, según los datos provisionales.

El invierno demográfico en nuestro país es una realidad con la consiguiente inversión de la pirámide poblacional y el Gobierno no puede mirar hacia otro lado, afirma Eduardo Hertfelder, presidente del Instituto de Política Familiar (IPF). Los mayores de 65 años (8.333.283) superan ya en 1.283.007 personas a los menores de 15 años (7.050.276) y ya son, incluso, la misma cantidad que los menores de 18 años (8.334.238).

Por otra parte, en un año, el número de niños menores de 3 años ha descendido en España en 84.229, mientras que la población mayor de 65 años se ha incrementado en 111.084 personas.

La natalidad española sigue cayendo año tras año. El número de niños menores de 1 año se redujo un 6% con respecto a 2012 hasta situarse en 417.582, menos de la mitad que el pico máximo de la pirámide poblacional, establecido en 837.768 personas con 36 años de
edad, y menos que las personas entre 65 y 69 años e incluso que las de 72 años de edad. Este continuo descenso en el número de nacimientos supone que España se verá abocada no solo a una pérdida drástica del número de habitantes, estimada en más de 13 millones a lo largo del siglo, sino que hará insostenible el estado del bienestar actual.

Hacia el 2040, cuando la generación del ‘baby boom’ se jubile, el sistema de pensiones, la sanidad y la educación se verán abocados al colapso si esta tendencia demográfica no cambia. Sólo un repunte del índice de fecundidad puede comenzar a cambiar el grave problema del envejecimiento poblacional del país. España necesita 280.000 nacimientos más al año para alcanzar el nivel de reemplazo generacional ya que nuestro índice actual de fecundidad es de 1,36, el séptimo por la cola de la UE-27.

Las administraciones públicas deben hacer una apuesta decidida por la Familia y comprender que lo que destinan en ayudas a la maternidad y a la natalidad no es un gasto sino una inversión, y más aún en esta
época de crisis. Revertir el problema demográfico, que compromete seriamente el futuro y la prosperidad de España, pasa por verdaderas políticas de apoyo a las familias.

America’s Demographic Advantage

by Elizabeth Crnkovich

http://pop.org/content/americas-demographic-advantage

America, with a younger and more robust population, currently possesses a demographic advantage over the rest of the industrial world. What does this advantage look like and how much longer will it last? This was the key question addressed in the Campaign for Life Strategy Summit sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List in Washington D.C.

The session, entitled “Depopulation, Eugenics, and the American Future,” featured Susan Yoshihara, Senior Vice President at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), and authors Jonathan Last and Dr. Robert Zubrin.

Susan Yoshihara talked about the population decline that is hollowing out the great powers of the world. China and Russia both aspire to be superpowers, but the Chinese work force is shrinking because of the one-child policy, while Russia is in the middle of a demographic meltdown. It’s hard to see how they can compete with America on the world stage over the long term. America’s allies in Asia and Europe also suffer from population decline. As their populations age and shrink, they are retreating from their international commitments, leaving America alone to face the problems of the world. They will turn inward, focusing on maintaining their own faltering economies. They will literally have no money and no one to spare.

America, on the other hand, is poised to reap the benefits of its still robust fertility and its openness to immigration. This relatively rosy demographic picture constitutes a tremendous opportunity. The U.S. must seize the advantage while it still can, since birth rates, even in America are falling. No one, of course, can bring back the 55 million unborn children that have been lost to abortion. But America can value the children that are born and better educate them in order to remain the world’s only superpower.

Jonathan Last, the author of the book “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster,” had a more negative take on America’s fertility. He believes that the reason that America has, at 1.9 children per couple, the highest fertility in the industrial world is because we have high immigration. When the immigrant births are factored out, middle class fertility rate stands at a bleak 1.6. This is about the European average and is perilously close to China’s 1.53.

Thanks to America’s immigrants, the U.S. has been able to maintain near-replacement fertility rates. But a nation cannot rely on immigration to artificially boost its fertility forever. Mexico’s fertility rate has dropped below replacement and the flow of young Mexican immigrants to America has dropped precipitously. As far as the immigrants who are already here, their relatively high birth rates last only a generation. Their children, born and raised in the U.S., will have much lower fertility rates.

Jonathan Last amused the audience with his meditation on pets. There are now more pets in the U.S. than children, and in some cases they are better treated. As fewer children are born, more pets are adopted.  In Japan, the “dog-mommy” has become a stereotype.  

Some of Last’s best lines concerned Japan, where they now sell more adult diapers than baby diapers, and where the number of centenarians–100 year olds–will equal the number of newborns.

At the end of the day, Last believes that America can avoid the demographic dustbin of history. According to Last, “it all starts with groups and people who support and value each human life.”

Robert Zubrin, author of Merchants of Despair, put it a different way. He believes that how a country answers the question, “Are humans creators or destroyers?” will determine whether or not it survives.

Zubrin started with the destroyers, whom he identified as the eugenicists. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were eugenicists par excellence, obsessed with the idea that one race was above all others. This view that there are superior and inferior races poisons the mind and makes the forceful and ruthless downsizing of inferior populations wrongly seem a rational course of action. After all, “they are only useless eaters, a burden to the ideal society.”

 Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War Two supposedly marked the end of eugenics. But these same ideas soon resurfaced in America under the guise of population control. Its advocates similarly view human beings as mere commodities whose worth can be judged according to the standards of whoever is in charge. “Ideas have consequences,” spoke Zubrin, “If humans are seen as destroyers, we must succumb to tyranny. If they are seen as creators, however, we must protect liberty at all costs.

North Dakota and Kansas pave the way for Pro-life Legislation

http://pop.org/content/north-dakota-and-kansas-pave-way-pro-life-legislation

By Steven W. Mosher

If we can’t look to Washington for good news, then we can look to the states, Kansas and North Dakota in particular. Pro–lifers have been on the move in both states, and their state legislatures have responded by passing a host of pro–life bills.

Let’s start with North Dakota, where the state legislature has been especially busy. Not only did it pass a personhood amendment—the first legislature in the nation to do so—but it also passed:

• a heartbeat bill banning abortions as early as six weeks (which we at PRI were pushing). Once the fetal heartbeat is detected, the child cannot be aborted, under this law. This would end over 80% of all abortions, a huge step toward banning all abortions. The bill also clearly states that, in banning abortions after the heartbeat is detected, it is in no way condoning abortions before that point.

• a bill requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges. This means that anyone who performs abortions must be able, when the abortion goes awry, as it frequently does, to admit the wounded mother to a nearby hospital.

• a ban on abortions past 20 weeks on the grounds that babies can feel pain at that point. Evidence shows that they can probably feel pain a lot earlier, but this is a start.

• a ban on taxpayer funding going to organizations that perform abortions. This would stop funding from going to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country. The more funding we are able to cut, the more clinics they are forced to close.

 

• a ban on abortions for genetic conditions like Down Syndrome. Statistics show that the majority of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome before birth are aborted, simply because they have an extra chromosome.

The Governor, Jack Dalrymple, a Republican, has aleady signed the heartbeat bill. He is expected to sign the other measures as well, thus banning most abortions in North Dakota. The personhood amendment will be voted upon in the state during the elections in November of 2014.

 

Kansas, which I recently visited, is not far behind. The Sunflower State has passed:

• a bill banning sex selection abortions (which I testified in favor of before the state legislature.) Although sex selection abortion is not practices to the same degree in America as it is in India and China, it is still very much a reality. The abortion industry, including Planned Parenthood, is complicit with this form of discrimination against girls. Indeed, Sex-Selective Abortion is the worst form of discrimination imaginable, since it is a discrimination that kills.

• no tax funding for abortion or tax advantages for abortionists and their business. Similar to the ban in North Dakota, this would cut funding to the abortion industry.

• no school district sex-ed materials from, or instruction by staff of, abortion businesses. This would help prevent sex-ed from being used as a means of promoting the abortion industry.

• a bill mandating a woman’s “right to-know” what an abortion entails. At least 24 hours before the procedure, she must be provided with details of her child’s gestational age, size and appearance, a clear description of the abortion procedure, and the option to view the ultrasound. She must also be given time to ask any questions she may have before the procedure. These questions must be answered in language she can comprehend. All these requirements must be met for the abortion to be legal. (See bill here: pages 10-13)

• a bill allowing prosecution for injuries and death of unborn children when the mother is a crime victim. This bill acknowledges human life inside the womb, and is an important step toward a personhood amendment.

• a bill banning lawsuits for “wrongful birth” claiming that doctors should have advised abortion. If a child is born with a defect, parents will sometimes file complaints against the doctor for not recommending an abortion, or for not having the equipment necessary to detect a defect. This bill protects the doctors against such lawsuits.

We at PRI applaud North Dakota and Kansas for moving to protect innocent, unborn life. The laws listed above will go a long way towards protecting the unborn, and educating the public that every life is precious and deserving of protection.

North Dakota and Kansas are both vying to become the most pro-life states in the union. May they both win!

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