Friday, June 30, 2017

U.S. Fertility Rate Hits Historic Low. Are Some Demographers Freaking Out??

Eh...according to the headline...but not according to anything in the actual story...
   It does irk me that every time there's news that we might not be headed straight to overpopulation hell, people start freaking out (the Post, if not actual demographers...) But I'm not a freak about this one, I don't think. I just wish that there would be some acknowledgement that we need to aim to--kinda soonerish rather than laterish--aim to get the population down a bit lower. So I get nervous when there are references to a "growing labor force" that seem to suggest that we will always need a such a thing to make the economy and the welfare state work...because...uh...everybody sees the problem there...right?
   If we do need to cushion the blow in the shorter term by making up for any possible-but-not-yet-really-so-much-actual shortfall with increased legal immigration, nobody will be happier than me. My own suggestion has always been: take in more refugees from violence and political tyranny. Though, in general, I tend to favor overall lower birth and immigration rates...y'know...when we can get around to it.
   I'm just trying to keep Soylent Green off the menu, people.

5 Comments:

Blogger The Mystic said...

That seems like it shouldn't be described as "fertility rate" but "birth rate."

I was expecting the former, and expecting that the fact that we're horrifically unhealthy was contributing, but it seems the claim is really that more people now aren't having babies, not that more people now are incapable of having babies (i.e. infertile).

9:13 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Oh yeah, you're right...that does seem weird... I didn't even notice that.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Aa said...

I debated not getting into this one. But China has now revised its 1-child policy to 2-child policy. They were getting into a situation where there were not enough working people to support the rest of the family (parents, grandparents, etc). One person might be responsible for two generations (plus their own spouse and child but the spouse would also be working, and their family...). Plus, of course, for those who could only have one child if something happened to that child...well, many of them told me that was one reason for the push to a 2-child policy. Expect an explosion bloom...in China.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, such a policy is totalitarian bullshit. And I do realize that it'll cause problems--but the population simply cannot grow forever. We've got to figure out something, because that's a fact that is extraordinarily unlikely to change, even with super-science-fiction-y space travel.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Pete Mack said...

Um. It's totalitarian all right. But it's not Bullshit. China is having huge problems with desertification and pollution. Overpopulation is a genuine national security problem there. The One Child rule may have been brutal, and certainly may have been a bad decision. But it's not "bullshit."

9:02 PM  

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