There are folks who truly believe our sizeable planet, which is home to 7.9 billion human beings, is overpopulated and suffering exceedingly because of this overcrowding. They must be silently celebrating that the population of the United States, and other countries, has had its slowest growth in over 100 years.

But there's nothing to applaud when basic services decline because there are fewer people needing them; services like transportation, restaurants, shops, and hotels are forced to lay off workers.

The Gross Domestic Product is one of the most widely-used measures of an economy's output and production. If the GDP of a community debilitates because there are not enough people to fill the jobs, it's the equivalent of removing the innards from the economy.

No, the Green Panthers have nothing to applaud here. Nobody, in fact, should be beating the drum. As a nation, we're facing a future calamity. We have such a low birthrate in the United States because the younger generation isn't choosing to start a family right now. Plus, Planned Parenthood successfully provided lifesaving reproductive health care to millions of women, during the time that 61.8 million unborn Americans were terminated.

For how many more decades will Washington point to an unsolved, troubled immigration crisis? The pandemic jabbed us with its sting as well, all accounting for just some of the reasons we are not growing in the United States at a healthy rate.

What it boils down to is a population decline is incompatible with positive economic growth. We're in the midst of a twisted perfect storm, where we have a huge, very old population, but a very low birth rate. That imbalance in the population spells danger.

The time has come to give this problem a taste of its own medicine. We need public support for privately-run fertility and intrauterine insemination clinics, and lots of them.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Meet the Animals at Pine Meadow Alpacas in Mattapoisett

At any given time, Pine Meadow is home to right around 100 animals, from alpacas and goats to yaks and sheep. The animals have personalities that range anywhere from spunky to shy, but we can assure you they're all just as cute as the next. Take a trip to Pine Meadow and meet just a few of their fuzzy friends through the following photos.