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The great crisis

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, catholic Italian economist, writes a long article, – where else ?- in the über catholic newspaper The Osservatore Romano, the official voice of the Vatican Curia. It starts with the following incipit:

"We should have the courage to affirm that the fragility and vulnerability of the Western economy are strictly connected, if not the cause, of the demographic crisis, which started 30 years ago and that presides over the sudden collapse of the rate of population growth, from more than a yearly 7% to almost zero. This crisis has provoked indirectly larger and more rigid public expenditure with the consequent difficulty of reducing tax revenues and, directly, a minor growth of the financial wealth produced by families savings."

Dr. Tedeschi, a respected economist, places the responsibility in the hands of insufficiently fertile Western couples for producing the Perfect Storm: current recession, banks crashes, underemployment, Stock exchange and market collapse. Maybe also, like GW, kidney stones, droughts, unusual rain, hurricanes, desertification, snoring and so on.

Unflinchingly, this dangerous propagandist for the Church's outdated doctrine of unrestricted rabbity activity, continues to ask rhetorically, why and how this crisis is connected to the demographic issue?

He delivers the usual lesson on population ageing, which we have all heard before, but adding a very sensitive argument: the plight of the Family, which has lost much of its strength (in numbers):

"The drop of family wealth has been of 2/3, while the vocation to consume of a growing portion of families has forced them to fall into debt. … The process (of running into debt) will worsen because of the demographic crisis... Imagine future scenarios: the hope of using the liquidity and wealth created in the big Asiatic powers like China and India are to be reappraised. These economies which generate a growth rate of their financial activities of more than 10-15% and that have in the past sustained the USA's public deficit, in the future will invest in the home market or to acquire a competitive autonomy by acquiring access to resources.

"To correct the demographic deficit by a politic of steady import of immigrants doesn't produce immediate or even medium term compensation. Leaving aside the problem of solidarity, immigration is necessary for acquiring a growing workforce, but for a long time will be represented by only a fraction of immigrants from European countries, who have a better capacity to generate wealth, but a limited capacity to contribute to the social expenditure.

"To increase fertility is an excellent programme, but it is too long term and its results will be seen only in 25/30 years. However, if families will be stimulated to have courage and bring forth a greater number of children, they will represent an engine of wealth creation, a capacities to overcome difficulties, because they will feel more responsible, they will save more and invest more ...."

from The Osservatore Romano, 11th September 2008

Now, we can together have fun in picking out the contradictions, the ignorance, the superficiality, from this masterpiece Maybe it is too easy.

For example, starting with the Stock exchange crisis, it started in the USA, the country in the Western world which is enjoying – so to speak - major population growth...

And the more the number of children per family, the less opportunity there will be to spend money.

But Dr. Tedeschi lives in another world and he hears only the bells of S.Peter in his head.

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