The Washington Post (of all places!) correctly notes that the toy giant’s demise can be traced to the global birth dearth, and even admits that, due to our aging population crisis, we will be seeing more similar repercussions.
“Toys R Us’s baby problem is everybody’s baby problem.” So declares the headline of a March 15 article by Andrew Van Dam in the Post regarding the toy giant’s announced plans to close up shop. The main reason for the company’s demise says Van Dam: not enough babies.
Friday, March 23, marks the first day of Toys R Us liquidation sales at many of the company’s stores nationwide, with the remainder of its 735 stores joining the close-out sales in the days ahead. Some financial analysts have attributed the company’s woes to “the death of brick-and-mortar syndrome,” which is to say competition from Amazon and other online sources. Others see corporate mismanagement and bad financial decisions as the cause of the Toys R Us bankruptcy.
“There are endless reasons a big-box toy store would collapse during a retail apocalypse — and Toys R Us acknowledged a number of them in its most recent annual filing: the teetering tower of debt incurred by its private-equity owners, competition from Amazon, Walmart and Target,” writes Van Dam. “They even wrung their hands about app stores, labor costs and potential tariffs raising the costs of the imported goods they sell.”
“But one risk stood out,” the Post article continues. “Toys R Us said there just weren’t enough babies.”
Casualty of the War on Babies
Van Dam quotes a statement from Toys R Us acknowledging the global problem of the baby dearth. “The decrease of birthrates in countries where we operate could negatively affect our business,” says a company statement. “Most of our end-customers are newborns and children and, as a result, our revenues are dependent on the birthrates in countries where we operate. In recent years, many countries’ birthrates have dropped or stagnated as their population ages, and education and income levels increase. A continued and significant decline in the number of newborns and children in these countries could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.”
An iSTOCK photo of a baby in diapers in the Post article carries the caption: “Toys R Us was hurt by declining birthrates in the United States and other countries.”
Van Dam remarks that the birthrate decline “may not have been the biggest existential threat confronting Geoffrey the Giraffe (the store’s mascot), but it’s the one with the broadest implications outside of the worlds of toys and malls.”
“But it’s nonetheless apparent,” notes Van Dam, “that Toys R Us’s fortunes rise and fall with the population of its target market.” “And that’s why,” he says, “the company’s demise should worry the rest of us. Toys R Us focuses on kids, so it’s feeling the crunch from declining birthrates long before the rest of the economy. But it’s just a matter of time before the trends that toppled the troubled toy maker put the squeeze on businesses that cater to consumers of all ages.”
“In the end,” observes the Post policy analyst, “Toys R Us will just have been the first of many businesses of all descriptions facing the same hard demographic truth: Economic growth is extremely difficult without population growth.”
It is encouraging that someone at the Post finally recognizes the dire consequences attending the anti-child, anti-growth, de-population policies that the Post and its Big Media allies have promoted for decades. However, the common sense expressed by Van Dam is unlikely to be contagious in the Post’s editorial ranks, where Planned Parenthood is a sacred totem. Van Dam’s piece merely reflects that someone in the murky bowels of the Post can dispense a thought that doesn’t conform to the organization’s longstanding population control propaganda line. Van Dam’s article echoes the warnings that responsible demographers have been sounding for decades. The Birth Dearth, written by Ben Wattenberg in 1987, was one of the early (though hardly the first) popular efforts to warn of the coming effects — which we are now experiencing — of the antinatalist philosophy that permeates the media, academia, and much of our culture. A decade ago, a documentary entitled Demographic Winter laid out the somber reality about the calamitous future we should expect, unless the anti-life, anti-child philosophy that reigns in our government and our society is checked and reversed.