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1 wrenchwench  Sat, Feb 16, 2013 7:26:54am

Whether Mr. Last is selling doom or not might depend on your point of view, or your gender. From the end of the article:

The problem in the United States is that the people who are freaking out about fertility are those who tend to oppose immigration, working mothers and state spending. Mr. Last, the American author, squares this ideological circle with proposals that include raising university tuition fees to as much as $100,000 a year as a deterrent (because “higher education dampens fertility in all sorts of ways”), building highways so people can live in big suburban houses, and encouraging more religion, because the faithful are fecund.

This is all a tortured way of evading the real issue: economic health, which not only makes population shrinkage more affordable, but causes people to have more babies. Working women and higher education aren’t obstacles to solving the fertility problem – they’re major parts of the solution.

We should plan for the consequences of the individual choices that make up demographics, not try to force individuals into different choices.

2 aagcobb  Sat, Feb 16, 2013 8:15:25am

Ban Abortion! prohibit contraception! Keep wimmins out of college and the workforce! They needs to be home making babies!

The United States, unlike Japan, is not facing a population decline anytime soon. There are hundreds of millions of people who want to immigrate to the US; all we have to do is make it a little easier to do so to keep our population growing at a healthy pace for a very long time to come.

3 calochortus  Sat, Feb 16, 2013 8:21:44am
“Declining populations have always followed or been followed by Very Bad Things. Disease. War. Economic stagnation or collapse. And these grim tidings from history may be in our future,”

I’m guessing it’s not quite that absolute, but it is a meaningless sentence anyway. “Followed or been followed by”? That’s a pretty broad brush he’s painting with. Once you eliminate things like the plague ravaging Europe or smallpox, etc. wiping out native Americans, which are completely irrelevant to the argument he is trying to make, you’re left with a rather small sample.
Furthermore, the population wasn’t declining last time I looked. (Oh, that population… well, carry on then.)
In any event, since we can effectively control fertility for the first time in history, we’re talking apples an oranges in any sort of parallel to 14th century Europe anyway.

4 JABaker  Sat, Feb 16, 2013 9:32:03am

Declining fertility followed The Pill? Does that make The Pill a ‘very bad thing?’

I’m guessing you can’t force the next generation of prospective parents to procreate unless you can promise them a planet where their children do not have to breathe methane.

We are exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth given our current sociological and technological capacities.

5 subterraneanhomesickalien  Sat, Feb 16, 2013 10:54:20am

God forbid the Earths human population come down to a reasonable enough level over the next 100 or so years to the point where famine could be a thing of the past through advanced agricultural technology.

Oh and a little thing called labor scarcity that could make sure people are paid what they are worth wouldn’t be so bad either.

These population decline concern trolls always come off in my minds eye as nothing more than corporate shills trying to influence governments to make sure that there will always be enough hungry mouths around to exploit. Making sure that in the future the only wage outside of their little aristocratic circle is the minimum wage. That is if they haven’t leaned heavily enough on whatever puppet governments they control at the time from eliminating even the concept of a minimum wage.

Indentured servitude for all.

6 FemNaziBitch  Sat, Feb 16, 2013 2:12:45pm

We could adopt babies from population dense countries?

God Forbid we actually try to help children who are already here.


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