Washington—That thud you just heard was our downward spiraling economy hitting rock bottom. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the worst of our economic woes has ended with a gradual return to fiscal sanity in the cards.
That was the message delivered by veteran business journalist Stuart Varney during his Wednesday keynote address at the National Postal Forum. Varney, an anchor for Fox Business Network, combined his astute knowledge of world economy and British wit to retrace the steps that brought the U.S. to this point in an entertaining address.
“Someone from NPF called my agent and asked if I believed in free speech,” Varney told the audience. “I work for Fox News—doesn’t that answer your question? Then the person from NPF asked if I would give one. My remarks will be incredibly short.”
What will be the key to the American economy returning to, and sustaining, a vital economy? Two words, Varney said: “Fertility rates.”
Varney cited several developed countries around the world with aging populations – 45 are experiencing steep population declines – which has placed tremendous strain on health benefits and pensions. The fertility rates in these countries are below the “magic number” of 2.1 – a figure deemed necessary to keep a stable population.
By 2020, many of these countries, he said, will have more than 50% of their populations aged 65 and older living off pensions and health benefits provided by fewer working aged people. “We’ve come to the end of the era of wealth creation,” Varney said. “Now, we’re into wealth redistribution.”
So why will the U.S. stand tall in the years to come? Varney said that in 2020, the U.S. will only have every 29 out of 100 people aged 65 and older. “The freefall of the economy is over,” he said.
“We’ve never seen a cascade of economic developments like we’ve seen. We stuffed the banks with a quarter of a trillion dollars. We’re stabilized. We’re no longer falling off that cliff. The spiral down is over.”
A graduate of the London School of Economics and former host of CNBC’s Wall Street Journal editorial board and former co-anchor of CNN’s Moneyline News Hour, Varney has lived in the U.S. for 35 years and has six children. Before he ended his speech, Varney asked if the audience would give him a “thunderous” applause for his part in stimulating the U.S. fertility rate and, thereby, the national economy.