Baby boom sustains, boosts economies

It seems that when soldiers return home in droves from a year of service overseas, babies start showing up about nine months later. Experts are trying to figure out what’s causing it. Joking.

From March 1 through March 17, Fort Carson’s Evans Army Community Hospital has helped bring 182 babies into the community. That is more than 10 kids a day, about twice the rate of deliveries the hospital oversees during slow times.

Colorado Springs, Colo., and military communities across America could not be more fortunate. There is simply no downside to new human lives starting out in our community. Hopefully, if our foreign wars ever end, we’ll see a full-scale post-war baby boom throughout the country.

With a fertility rate that hovers around 2.05 babies per woman, the United States is roughly at replacement. We can thank the high fertility rates of immigrant families for that. Societies that fall below replacement fertility rates ultimately suffer devastating economic consequences. Most of western Europe has figured this out, as policymakers try to minimize the problem by allowing massive inflows of Muslim immigrants. Even China has learned that its one-child limit on reproduction is a recipe for social and economic collapse in the future. It’s a simple concept, really. Small generations of the young cannot support large generations of the old.

Local economies and the economies of nations are founded entirely on the productivity of humans, and nothing else. Oil and gold, without human need and innovation, have no value at all. The federal government has decided a human life is worth at least $500,000, which is the amount paid to survivors of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Insurance companies place the value of the average human life at about $50,000 a year.

Those are, of course, fairly arbitrary figures. It’s simply a fact that humans on average produce more than they consume. If they didn’t, the human condition would get progressively worse. Today, we have more people alive on the planet than at any time in known history. Even in a state of worldwide economic crisis, humanity lives at the highest standards in history.

But enough weighty policy talk. The fact is, babies are cute, and they bring joy to those who encounter them. They are the greatest asset mothers and fathers will ever have. So congratulations to the doctors, nurses and parents who are bringing an abundance of new military brats safely into the world. The more the better.