🇺🇸 Shrinkage

Plus, how to retire with $2 million on a $100,000 annual salary.

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Good morning, and happy Wednesday! World War II veteran Lester Tanner passed away last week at age 99 — and, during his funeral, an American flag was given to his family in his honor. Here's his story.

Plus, we thought this video was pretty interesting. Here’s how to retire with $2 million on a $100,000 annual salary.

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FLAG POLLS

📉 January 18, 2023: President Biden Job Approval: Approve 46, Disapprove 52 (Rasmussen Reports)

📉 January 17, 2023: President Biden Job Approval: Approve 46, Disapprove 52 (Rasmussen Reports)

📈 January 11, 2023: President Biden Job Approval: Approve 50, Disapprove 47 (Economist/YouGov)

📉 January 11, 2023: Congressional Job Approval: Approve 21, Disapprove 54 (Economist/YouGov)


TRENDING

Right: Little Joe's Corvette Roger Kimball, American Greatness

Right: Kamala Harris Is a Flop Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason

Right: Does Anyone Still Think Biden Is Democrats' Best Option? Norman Solomon, Salon

Left: 'Unforced Errors': A White House Facing a Fresh Crisis Lee & Liptak, CNN

Left: Why Trump Should Worry More Than Biden Jessica Levinson, MSNBC

Left: GOP House Agenda Is MAGA on Steroids Bill Press, The Hill


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QUICK CLICKS

Crash Near Kyiv, Mayors Will Meet, El Chapo's SOS

World: World's oldest person, France's Sister André, dies at age 118 (NPR)

World: Helicopter crash near Kyiv kills 14, including Ukrainian interior minister (CNN)

Climate: Global warming has reached the top of the Greenland ice sheet (Nature)

US: Mayors to meet behind closed doors to discuss migrant crisis amid tensions over buses (Fox News)

Entertainment: Reality TV stars The Chrisleys begin prison sentences for fraud, tax evasion (ABC News)

US: Donald Trump prepares for his return to Facebook and Twitter (NBC News)

US: Jailed 'El Chapo' drug kingpin sends 'SOS' to Mexico president (AFP)

US: Santos accused of taking $3K from GoFundMe for veteran's dying dog (The Hill)


CHINA

Shrinkage

On Tuesday, China reported its population declined in 2022. This hasn't happened since 1961, during the Great Chinese Famine that killed between 15 and 55 million people. Some say India is now the world's most populous country.

Reporting from the LeftIndia is set to become the world's most populous country. Can it create enough jobs? (CNN)

Reporting from the Right: China's population shrinks for first time in decades (Fox Business)

From The Flag: Meanwhile, China is also in the midst of a near-historic economic slowdown, partially as a result of its since-abandoned zero-COVID policy. Here’s more from both sides concerning the Asian nation’s population and related economic state.


RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

China’s Lagging Population and Economy Are a Double Whammy

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping faces a major challenge as the nation’s birth rate is declining, while its economy is also slowing.
  • Crackpot theories concerning overpopulation continue to harm the developed world, as evidenced by China’s since-ended “one child” policy.
  • Estimates of China’s population growth proved to be wrong, suggesting economic projections could be similarly inaccurate.

“Big News About a Smaller Chinese Population” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “China’s Communist Party tried for decades to engineer slower population growth, and now it has what it wished for. The country’s population declined last year for the first time in six decades… at the same time economic growth fell to its slowest pace in nearly 50 years. … This is happening even though the Communist Party dropped its one-child policy in 2016. Beijing tried for decades to contain population growth, sometimes via forced abortions and sterilizations. This caused enormous social disruption, especially as Chinese parents anxious for sons engaged in sex-selective abortions in large enough numbers to create a significant male-female imbalance. The Party only belatedly realized that slower population growth would make it harder for China to grow rich before its population grows old. Yet now that the Party wants more children, it finds the Chinese public unwilling or unable to oblige. A decline in optimism about the economy may be one reason.”

“China has begun its inevitable demographic tailspin” Andrea Widburg, American Thinker: “In 1968, Paul Ehrlich and his wife wrote The Population Bomb… premised on the Malthusian concept that a wealthy society… produces so many people that its resources fail, at which point there is a horrible, painful, and violent collapse… What neither Thomas Malthus nor the Ehrlichs envisioned… was that technology would make such great advances that well-run countries are able to feed not only their own citizens but other countries’ citizens as well. … The result of Ehrlich’s theories is that Western countries… are no longer replacing themselves and are in steep demographic decline. Although it’s not literally a Western country… China is the country that keeps the rest of us supplied with just about everything. And now, China has admitted that it also belongs on the demographic decline list, resulting from 50 years of its disastrous ‘one child’ policy, which led to the mass murder of female fetuses and infants.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Is China Shrinking? Eberstadt & Van Ness, American Enterprise Institute


LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

An Economic Course Correction Is Needed As China Enters a New Era

  • China’s declining population means fewer workers supporting older citizens and less spending in key areas, such as investment.
  • This is a far different situation than what China faced in the 1970s, suggesting China’s economy simply needs to adjust.
  • Data suggests China’s population is in permanent decline, and the country’s demographics make that especially challenging.

“The Problem(s) With China’s Population Drop” Paul Krugman, New York Times Opinion: “China’s population declined last year… But why consider this a problem? After all, in the 1960s and 1970s, many people worried that the world was facing a crisis of overpopulation, with China one of the biggest sources of that pressure. … So why isn’t population decline good news, an indication that China and the world in general will have fewer people placing demands on the resources of a finite planet? The answer is that a declining population creates two major problems for economic management. … The first problem is that a declining population is also an aging population — and in every society I can think of we depend on younger people to support older people. … The other problem is subtler but also serious. … a falling population — especially a falling working-age population — tends to reduce some important kinds of spending, especially investment spending.”

“China's Population Decline Doesn't Have to Be A Disaster” Daniel Moss, Bloomberg Opinion: “The retreat was the first since 1961, the final year of the Great Famine under Mao Zedong. The current moment is far less ominous. At the time of Mao’s death in 1976, the economy was an impoverished basket case. It’s now the pre-eminent global exporter and often described as the workshop of the world. … the changes China is undergoing as a result of demographic shifts won’t mark an overnight break with the past. There will likely be much attention paid to generating home-grown demand and the enhanced use of automation in the workplace. For decades, policymakers, academics and businesses have talked about the desirability of moving from an export and investment-based model to something more centered around domestic consumption. The minus headcount will put a great premium on this.”

One more opinion piece from the LeftChina’s population is declining — and nothing may change that Bryan Walsh, Vox


FLAG THIS

What’s the Financial Fallout?

Economists explain China’s population is not only in decline, but also aging. As more workers retire, there are fewer people paying into pensions and public health funds. What’s more, the population is disproportionately male, due to the nation’s former one-child policy.

There’s an expectation that Chinese officials will look to expand incentives offered to growing families. For example, a county in northwestern China pays cash to families with babies (CNN).

It’s not entirely clear what impact China’s declining population will have on the global economy. But, from 2016-2018, 36% of all US imports came from the Asian nation (Freight Waves).

Some say the rise of automation will make China’s population decline less relevant, in terms of manufacturing.


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WATERCOOLER

Poe Born in Boston, Nightmare Job Interviews, Rider Becomes a Robber

On January 19, 1809, poet, author, and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Today I Learned many schools don’t teach cursive writing anymore. When the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were introduced in 2010, they did not require U.S. students to be proficient in handwriting or cursive writing, leading many schools to remove handwriting instruction from their curriculum altogether.