Published Dec-2022, [No.283]
Subject A nuclear bomb called Low Birth Rate


The people of South Korea, are told that We have two nuclear bombs on Our heads. One is nuclear warheads and missiles by North Korean leader Jong-un, Kim and the other is the fact that the country may disappear due to low birth rates.

The former issue, North Korean nuclear is clear, and the entire nation, including the president, desperately wants denuclearization, and the U.S. and other Western countries are trying to prepare for it, but the latter aging and low birth rate issue have not found a clear solution and the five-year short-term government is actually turning a blind eye. The latter budget was 34 billion dollars last year and 155 billion dollars was spent from 2006, but the total fertility rate has plummeted from 1.48 in 2000 to 0.81 last year and 0.7 this year.

Futurists are warning of a population decline as a catastrophe more terrifying than a nuclear bomb. If the fertility rate does not reverse, Korea's dynamism will disappear, innovation will be difficult, long-term growth will fall into negative, and eventually national power will weaken, making it difficult to survive among the powers and possibly the nation's existence.

The population decline will lead to a decline in national competitiveness due to a decrease in labor, a drop in consumption, and sluggish tax revenues, accelerating fiscal insolvency and leading to a crisis of depletion of health insurance and the National Pension Service. The future prospects of the Korea Economic Research Institute are making us feel creepy. Forty years later, it is estimated that by 2060, the population will be reduced by less than half, the productive population will be reduced by 48% and the school-age population (6-21) by 43%. Now, five productive people are supporting one elderly person, but forty years later, a terrible world will be created in which one young person is responsible for one elderly person.

We remember our childhood memories. At least three to seven siblings in one house, a total of more than 10 classes per grade when you go to school, and more than 50 friends per classroom can be heard buzzing, and when you go to the playground, you think of the days when children were overflowing. In 1960, the government put its life and death on the birth control policy, and in the 1970s, the birth control campaign "Let's have two children and raise them well" was changed from two children to one in the 1980s, and the movement "Let's live young and let's live wide in a narrow area." Now, there are less than 20 students per class, and the number of classes per school year is reduced to two to three, and most of the elementary schools of 100 to 300 students are located in the city center, not to mention the countryside.

The only son was exempted from the military, but now most of them are at the level of one son and are growing up being treated preciously at home, and it seems that Korea goes to funerals more often than weddings and is crowded with senior citizens center than kindergarten.

As children and young people decrease, consumption shrinks, production decreases, corporate investment shrinks, job losses, and a vicious cycle of population loss continues, we imagine our barren reality that there will be no more hope torture for future generations. The decline in fertility rates with social development is a universal phenomenon that occurs worldwide, and I think it's probably a 'cost of growth'. However, the reason why the fertility rate continues to fall after passing the extreme low birth rate in Korea alone is because the social value of "dating is a must, but marriage is an option" is spreading.

In a 2022 social survey released by the National Statistical Office a few days ago, only 30 percent of unmarried men and women (37% of men and 22% of women) think marriage should be "must be done" and "should be done," showing shocking results.

As information sharing over the Internet has become common and economic success is recognized as an important value, skepticism about whether a family can be a community or pedestal for success seems to be the main reason for delaying marriage.

Family psychological intimacy is gradually fading, and young people's unwillingness to marry and make a family is financially difficult, but "Can marriage and family communities guarantee happiness for themselves? It comes from a sense of skepticism.

Many of my friends' children around me are avoiding or delaying marriage even though they have good universities and envious jobs because they believe that single people are happier and can continue to enjoy their current freedom.

The structural reason for the declining birthrate is that the existing division of roles, "men are responsible for economic problems and women are responsible for the family," has disappeared and dual income has become common, and the opportunity cost of childbirth and childcare has soared due to women's participation in the labor market. If you give birth to a child, it leads to career break, avoiding childbirth, and even if you have a child, it will only be one person. Although Korean women have the highest ratio of higher education in the OECD and high economic independence, experts agree that there can never be a rebound in the fertility rate without breaking the social perception that "household labor and parenting are women's responsibility."

Another main culprit driving Korea's birthrate to the lowest in the world is over-competition. Who is willing to give birth in a society where diaper is competing to what brand, what milk powder should be fed, and what luxury goods should the stroller buy? What will you do with the burden of academy and lesson expenses from the age of kindergarten to college entrance, and how will you handle the stress caused by your children's school report cards?

In order to win through a funnel-like narrow process, the Korean reality, in which mothers must become competitive commanders, fathers must become supply officers, and children must be warrior. Birth recognized as "a sign of the start of war, not a blessing."

Experts analyze that the lower the fertility rate is in a society where parents are more inclined to take responsibility for their children's future and competitive social culture and values are ahead. The competitiveness and competitiveness of our people, who achieved the miracle of the Han River despite the ruins of the war, were excellent, but parents' excessive mentality to raise their children without causing them to suffer is to raise the quality of winning the competition with others by giving birth to fewer children.

Meanwhile, the marriage rate in Korea is 3.8 per 1,000 people, compared to the divorce rate of 2 people, and the high divorce rate of almost 50% is another reason that leads to childless and low birth rate. I just laugh at the interpretation that children can be an obstacle to a new start after divorce, not living with a man for life. In the old days, after graduating from the military, got a job, then get marry when you have a certain amount of financial income. They got married in their late 20s, but now men in their late 30s remain single, delaying their marriage to the point where the male unmarried rate between the ages of 30 and 39 exceeds 50%.

The Republic of Korea achieved tremendous economic growth as it said the miracle of the Han River, but the gap between the rich and the poor was bound to follow in the wave of capitalism. Due to the polarization of economic difficulties, more and more people are unable to marry and delaying marriage.

In addition, as neoliberalism spreads through industrialization and democratization, there is a sense of competition in all fields, and the concept of marriage is also spreading and happiness competition seems to be intensifying. Therefore, young people who have difficulty meeting high economic standards give up marriage.

Furthermore, the problem of 'work-life balance' is also emerging that individual freedom is recognized as an important value and that my life is more respected than my job. Rather than overcoming conflicts arising from living and communicating with family members at home through individual sacrifices, it seems to be transforming into a society of 'eating alone and drinking alone' by expanding values that focus on individual happiness.

People who live single or have no children or have only one child even after marriage raise pets and dogs to escape loneliness. Children without brothers are given emotional stability from pets which acting as friends or brothers, and it also helps the elderly to forget loneliness and psychologically think positively.

A while ago, I went out with my wife to see the botanical garden, and there was a place similar to a children's playground because there were rides in a fairly large place with a fence, and it was a pet park.

In the past, it used to be called "pet dog," but now the name "pet dog" is more often used, and unlike in the past, when dogs were treated as toys, it seems to reflect the times when dogs are cared for like family.

Even the term 'Companion human' is used, which deviates from the concept of a dog's master and is based on a horizontal relationship with a 'companion dog'. Food, fashion accessories, theme parks, and travel products for dogs are also explosively growing and luxurious, and Lotte Department Store has established a 'pet family event' system to hold a pet funeral like a family funeral... Unlike animal feed, the Pet Food market, a human grade feed that embodies safety and freshness that can be eaten by humans, is also growing rapidly, and it is surprising that more than 40 million wet cans of Dongwon F&B are sold annually. It is said that soju, beer, makgeolli, and wine exclusively for dogs are sold at the Online Store so that they can drink alcohol with their dogs.

I think it is a cheeky idea to mention the measures against low birth rates from small business CEO not national leaders or policy makers. However, I would like to make a few comments on concerns that the nation may be wiped out by population decline in decades, and that the manufacturing industry of Korea, which lives on processing and exports, will disappear due to labor shortages and loss of competitiveness.

Even if you avoid marriage and have children, the reason why you raise only one person is because of the cost of marriage, housing problems, and fear of living and education expenses that you have to earn for a lifetime. Therefore, the government policy should be a big push, not a small, and financial support should exceed thousands, ten thousands of dollars so that it can concentrate large-scale budgets on housing and childcare. Tax incentives also require significantly more drastic benefit than single people, giving the impression that marriage and childbirth can be an economic addition. Parents should also show their children that getting married, having children, and starting a family is the greatest happiness. It is necessary to create a laughing family where love should be filled, not conflict and friction between couples, and understanding and tolerance take precedence. Therefore, when we grow up, our children should believe that creating a Sweet Home like their parents is the greatest happiness and that is the way to live a successful life.

Children do not learn and practice with their heads, but act by seeing and feeling with their eyes. Looking at parents who love each other and live in a happy family, it would be their children's values for marriage and family to inherit according to their personality and atmosphere. You should have a belief that the happiness your child gives is valuable enough to gain at the expense of your life. The most fundamental reason why young people avoid marriage and even if they get married without children is excessive overprotection and lack of patience in the growth process.

In the generation of parents who have lived in difficulty, the obsession that their children should not suffer alone leads to overprotection of their children, and parents' wrong overprotection prevents children's independence and self-direction, and loses creativity and even sociality. Young people who have grown up in such overprotection are prone to anger due to lack of patience, have no strength to overcome any restrictions or hardships, and have a self-centered tendency to pursue only comfortable lives.

Overprotective children are unable to adapt to society due to lack of independence, and work life is not smooth, so they move from place to place, and they avoid marriage with the idea that they will lose their freedom. Even if they get married late, they split up due to friction and conflict between the couple... We should pay attention to the fact that the fertility rate in developed countries such as the United States and Europe remains above 1.8 is the root cause of raising children strongly and educating children without overprotection. Keep in mind that children's overprotection personally ruins their children and causes various social problems such as low birth rates, and that children's education with strong independence should originate from their families.

Although I have been in the small and medium-sized manufacturing industry for 25 years, I have experienced many difficulties such as sales and funds, but I don't think there is anything harder than 'hiring people'. As in the case of office technology workers, the hiring of female production workers has reached its limit, and it seems that we have come to the conclusion that it is no longer possible to operate the factory without foreigners. What will happen in 5 or 10 years, given the current situation? Perhaps the production site will have to produce products with foreigners who do not have enough communication with each other, but there is a fear that the realization of a "one hundred-year-old company through exports" will be nothing but a delusion. If young people continue to have low birth rates without marriage or children, what will be the future of Korea supported by manufacturing? The fate of the nation is so clear...

The low birth rate must be a scary nuclear bomb that will fall on our heads in the near future.


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