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Population and prosperity

By Babette Francis - posted Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Endeavour Forum Inc. is a pro-life, pro-family women's NGO which has supporters in all Australian states, links with similar groups overseas, and also has special consultative status with the Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. Our representatives attend UN meetings, make submissions and organise NGO workshops (known as "parallel events" in UN-speak) on women's health issues at the annual meeting in New York of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women.


We publish a quarterly newsletter focused on our concerns about social issues such as induced abortion, the Family Law Act which trivialises marriage, and discrimination in child care funding and paid parental leave against mothers not in the paid workforce. Our newsletter is mailed to our supporters and a certain number are sent free to think-tanks. One of those think-tanks, one which supports free market solutions, emailed us recently to suggest we take them off our mailing list as they had no use for our newsletter.

The indifference by free-market and many business associations to social issues is short-sighted, because no matter how successful they are in economic terms in persuading governments to adopt free-market policies, the resultant prosperity for the nation will be very muted indeed if the birth rate collapses well below replacement level as is happening in Japan and some countries in Europe, and if there is major disintegration among families caused by broken marriages - or an absence of marriage. What is the cost to the nation, not just to the individuals, of just one broken marriage, or of children suffering the disadvantages, educational and psychological, of being reared in households where there is no husband, no father. The very real economic costs incurred by these sad situations has to be borne by taxpayers, including businesses.

The Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, located in Michigan, USA, is an unusual think-tank because it aims to integrate Judeo-Christian truths with free market principles. Many Christian academic institutions emphasize moral truths while conservative foundations focus on freedom and the benefits of the 'invisible hand' of the market. The Acton Institute combines both these ideals and is animated by principles of respect for the dignity of the person, the social nature of the person and the importance of social institutions, the rule of law, the subsidiary role of government, and economic liberty.

We need an Acton Institute in Australia because Big Business is also indifferent to the high abortion toll, not realizing that killing the young - and their energy and creativity - destroys wealth. Japan, with more people over 65 than under age 15, has been in the economic doldrums since its birth rate plummeted below replacement level. Europe, which has a cradle-to-grave welfare system - and may soon have more graves than cradles- is experiencing economic stress and would have labour shortages if not for immigration from Muslim countries.


Top Italian economist Ettore Gotti Tedeschi said on Vatican Television's Octava Dies, "the true cause of the crisis standing at the heart of the worldwide economic recession is not banking practices, but the low birth rate that has resulted in zero population growth in Western countries.

“With the decline in births, there are fewer young people that enter the working world. At the same time, there are many more elderly people that leave the system of production and become a cost for the collective increasing social welfare costs that a shrinking proportion of taxable young workers will have to sustain."

Tedeschi also explained that young people not forming families “that have a certain number of commitments to children” have adversely impacted the amount of savings necessary for a
healthy economy. Instead of putting away money for the future, young people without families have been opting to liquidate their income rather than save it.

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About the Author

Babette Francis, (BSc.Hons), mother of eight, is the National & Overseas Co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc. an NGO with special consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the UN. Mrs. Francis is the Australian representative of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer - She lived in India during the Partition of the sub-continent into India and Pakistan, a historical event that she believes was caused by the unwillingness of the Muslim leaders of that era to live in a secular democracy.

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