It is just like the irony of Toys-R-Us donating to Planned Parenthood and then going out of business due to a lack of babies.
A recent column at The Federalist website makes the point that a decline in the birth rate is going to shrink the nation’s tax base. It invokes the example of Toys-R-us because it cited a lack of babies as a reason it had to go out of business.
Ironically, Toys-R-us actually donated to Planned Parenthood. Doubly ironically, the U.S. government subsidizes Planned Parenthood with public funds. The government is using tax revenues to shrink the number of taxpayers!
The Federalist headline reads: “The Baby Shortage Downed Toys ‘R’ Us, And It’s Coming For Our Entire Tax Base.”
Of course, there is an inestimable, inherent worth and dignity to every human life, but we cannot ignore the social significance at play here as well. These invaluable lives-never-realized are a whole lot of missing customers. Not good for business. Not good. Nor will they be paying into social security or pensions to provide your part when that time comes either.
What if you’re in the toy business? Well then, this truism is super unfortunate seeing as your whole business model depends upon people called grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents. Others outside of these four types of folks are just not likely to pass through your doors. So you want the population of these four categories not only stable, but growing. The common denominator between all these folks is babies.
New, fresh-smelling little humans are what create grandparents, aunts, uncles and mothers and fathers. This is not a theoretical theorem. No one knows this better than the international toy giant Toys ‘R’ Us and baby supplier Babies R Us. They recently got majorly T-boned at the intersection of “Need for Growing Customer Base Avenue” and “Declining Birth Rate Boulevard.” Thus they are shuttering all of their U.S. stores. Putting it another way, Geoffrey the Giraffe had to be put down.
Of course, there were many market factors leading to the fall of such a long-standing and large company: Amazon, Walmart, increasing labor and union costs, impending tariffs, crumbling brick and mortar facilities are but a few. But the Toys ‘R’ Us brass noted the baby shortage as a major factor.
Their official statement noted: “Most of our end-customers are newborns and children and, as a result, our revenue are dependent on the birthrates in countries where we operate. In recent years, many countries’ birthrates have dropped or stagnated as their population ages” (emphasis mine).
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