I have been reading and listening to a guy named Peter Zeihan who spends a lot of time looking for trends and eventual outcomes. A great number of his premises are based on data accumulated on everything from gigawatts of power to bushels of wheat. He reaches conclusions that are compelling if not controversial. Fun to spend time on. 

One of his priorities has been the study of our populations and their effect on food, consumption and even global warming. Birth rate is the key number here in that we have x number of people being born per person and the corollary is y number of people dying. Sounds simple enough but not really. 

The numbers become very interesting when one looks into how many people are in each generation ranging from the current Gen Z to Baby Boomers and beyond. Simply put people are not having as many babies as before. In olden days with an agricultural economy you had a bunch of kids because they were cheap labor. Now with a more urban emphasis, kids are kind of expensive. 

Now when those Boomer families were young and growing we had a lot of jobs to fill with a lot of people. Now with less kids we are scrambling and it will only get tougher. Ah you say that is good for the economy. Yes and no. Sure wages will go up but you don’t have as many people paying taxes and contributions to Social Security. And as more and more people retire there will be an outsized hit on the existing and dare I say failing Social Security vault. 

Things are not as dire here as they are in older countries like Japan,Russia, Italy and even good old China. The latter’s recent drop in population was stunning in principle if not numbers. Their population went down by a million people. That is only going to accelerate, due to the long time one child policy. Big deal, why would I worry about China?

This little blue marble is powered not by oil/gas or alternative energy but rather the desire of people to have stuff. Our current economy is 75% consumer spending. People wanna have and gotta have, which is great as long as you are young and handsome. As you age you are not quite as worried about whether you are up to date. Sensibility overtakes lust. That old shirt or car works just fine. China’s burgeoning economy is starting to falter. Not only do they make a lot of goods, they are new to the scene and want a lot of the world’s hot shot goods from cars to jeans. 

This is both scary and interesting. Let’s for a moment thing about Russia and China with older populations. There is never going to be a better time to make your moves militarily because I don’t care how many tanks or ships you have built if you don’t have people to man them then what good are they? Now this is not just science fiction. You can’t create people out of nowhere. Wait, maybe you can.

We look at our border crisis as an ugly mess and it is. But think about the lack of labor in this country. These immigrants make money, pay taxes and yes, buy things. Our medical system right now is greatly understaffed because of COVID and retirement. There are a bunch of people sitting on that border with medical experience. The underlying premise that people want to come here is overshadowed by politics. 

You think they are all thieves and drug smugglers? Think again. They want to fill jobs that nobody wants. 

The older generations, Baby Boomers et al don’t contribute in a meaningful way. That is not dumping on my brethren but stating reality. Sorry about that. Financially we don’t really invest but rely on pensions and benefits to live. We eat up a whole lot of monies in healthcare. In the final stages of life it only goes up not down. We need a younger generation to support the older ones. We might might eke out a victory in the US but a big portion of the rest of the world ain’t so lucky. 

There is a move afoot to try to cut the costs of medicines by negotiation of Medicare pricing. Heretical you say. How can drug companies  do research and market? We are doing everything to prolong lives but at what cost and quality of life. Yep,I just ripped the band aid off that one. Should we spend money on old people’s diseases or on young ones? Personally I don’t want be 90 and bedridden or drooling. Holy shit, did I just say that?

I know some of you are here because of modern medicine and I applaud you and wish you nothing but well. I will bring up an ugly word called sustainability. I think we have done a rally bad job of utilizing our resources both in the ground and in our bodies. We consume so much without thinking about the damage we are doing. Not just the climate but for generations to come. 

Maybe I just see things in a different prism. We spend billions on octogenarians and yet stand by as we kill 10 or 15 younger people  at a clip. We shell out thousands for a concert ticket but do nothing about the homeless. We pay $100,000 for an EV and want a tax break. 

What has my study of demographics taught me? To look at things in a totally different way. The numbers and graphs are compelling. I can reset my priories and try to shape up my act but that is just me. We have to do it first and foremost  as a country and then as a planet. Numbers don’t lie unless we let them.

As always 

Ted The great 


Baby Boomers. 1946-1964. 72 million. Retired

Gen X. 1965-1980. 65.2 million. Soon to Be retired

Gen Y 1981-1996. 72 million

Gen Z 1997-2012 68 million

Gen A 2013 to now 48 million. This is our future suppliers of capital. 

Marriage rates are falling 

A couple of factors are behind this trend. When men’s economic prospects aren’t promising, their wages fall. With lower chances of marrying and supporting a family, men tend to work less. For women, access to a college degree allowed them to enter the workforce. As a result, women put off parenthood to tend to their careers. In addition, access to birth control puts them in charge of their fertility. With the ability to earn for themselves, women did not need to be married for economic survival.

Demographics can include any statistical factors that influence population growth or decline, but several parameters are particularly important: population size, density, age structure, fecundity (birth rates), mortality (death rates), and sex ratio

, Interesting dude. You don’t have t believe everything

I Wish…

Happy New Year to all. I sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” several times over the holiday. A wish can be an outcome  we hope for even though  many times it is an unattainable goal.  Stupid of course but it still feels good. We can also wish for some evil to befall our worst enemies. Revenge is so sweet. We are an equal opportunity donor for both good and bad. 

Sometimes we wish we hadn’t done something. A particular act or deed that didn’t turn out too well. A bad trade or a not so nice relationship. How many times do you ask yourself,”What the hell was I thinking?”. Or, “I wish I was dead?”  Really? Actually when you do something really stupid or find yourself in an impossible situation, death might be the more attractive alternative. Not really. 

Wishes have either future or past attributes. Real time is far too sobering. They are fantasies in a way and as such unrealistic. We spend a lot of time in the past. “If only” can rule our world. Second guessing becomes a way of life for some. Every now and then is fine but we tend to be somewhat obsessive. If I rethought every idiot move I have made overt he years I would never get any sleep. Possibly an early trip to the funny farm. 

This of course breeds victimhood or self pity.” I coulda been a contender” bemoans Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. His brother screwed him. The world screwed him. How many Terry Malloys have you met over the years?  

The other side is always thinking forward. We wait for a positive outcome. Good if you work your ass off to attain but bad if you lay back and wait for the lottery of fame, fortune or even golf to visit your domain. I would never want to rule out hope for any situation. But hope requires an honest evaluation of who and what you are to define achievable. That is elusive. 

Some of us are Pollyannas or partake in the Peter Pan complex. “I won’t grow up, no never not me.” Take yours truly. I like to have fun and joke around. Revelry could be my middle name. But when the rubber meets the road I tend to get very pragmatic and see the writing on the wall. Nothing heavy duty but realistic. And perhaps that is the crux of our problems today. 

At press time I am witnessing a come to Jesus moment in the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy is scrambling to find more pro votes. Doesn’t look like it is going to happen. Does he wish he had done this or that? Of course. Will he accept defeat? We will soon find out. 

The extremists on the left and right are dug in to the point of no return. They and in their person, we are dreaming the unreachable. We have to pay taxes but it is not a bottomless pit. We need to provide services but we have our limits. I would love to provide every citizen the most incredible healthcare but we can’t in a practical way do so. Money, facilities and medicine are finite. People have to be proactive in their own welfare. I don’t see that happening. Oh,I forgot we are going to have a special pill to cure all. 

We are witnessing the life and death situation of a young professional football player. In the worst of all worlds he was in the the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet nothing is spared to try to make it all good. We could not have responded and more quickly or competently. Can we do that for the rest of us? We can hope and wish but I think we know the answer. 

Putin wants Ukraine. China wants to rule the world. Musk and Bezos want to go to Mars. We have Republican and Democratic agendas. This area wants development while the locals want a quiet hometown. The military wants more and more weaponry. The progressives want peace not war. Parents want to have their children learn but on their terms. We want to end homelessness but not in my back yard. It almost seems the more we wish for the harder and harder it is to find agreement. 

I am going to hope, wish, dream or whatever you want to call it in 2023 that somehow some way we come to our senses. If we all took a long look at our lives, our relationships, our ethos, our position in our country and our world and were brutally honest how would things look? Not just it is wonderful thought Ted but really sat down and took stock. Parse out what is real and what is bullshit.

 Give up some of those sacred cows or at least question them thoroughly. Understand you cannot be 100% right all of the time. Bend no matter how bad it feels.  Forget about the past unless you are willing to learn from it. Look to the future after you have thrown away your rose colored glasses. That’s hope with a purpose. Thanks for listening to this poor schmuck for trying to make sense of this. 

As Always

Ted The Great 


“Unlike other animals, humans spend a lot of time thinking about what isn’t going on around them: contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or may never happen at all. Indeed, mind-wandering appears to be the human brain’s default mode of operation.”  Harvard Research Gazette

Humans think about other than the present about 50% of the time.

Conspiracy theories, wokeism, victimhood, extremism are part and parcel of our attempt to frame our world. The world is neither fair nor perfect. Wish it was but it ain’t.

Politicians will tell you how they can fix their opponents wrongs. They will weave dreams of the future. They take all the credit and admit no wrong. They rarely deal with reality and give you a candid analysis of the present. A vote you can believe in.