Comments on: Demography as destiny: The vital American family Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: SimonAcerton Thu, 03 Jan 2013 05:25:42 +0000 You are missing a key component, a great many people in Europe and Asia do not have enough money to start a family. Land, even a simple flat is expensive there

Take Spain for example, 50% of young people from 18-24 or so have no job. We in the West may like to think that’s young and carefree but biology and society need people to be ready to start a family, No money, no kids.

And no, Social Democracy won’t cut it. No society can support that level of taxation.

If corporations and government want citizens who are part of the dominant culture, educated and skilled, they are going to have to employ them.

If they don’t, the people are not going to raise kids on famine rations in sardine cans for church and state like they did in the 19th century. They have options and they’ll use them to not have kids or not have as many.

Now if finding a way for people to have enough to enjoy life and get buy is too difficult, than the smart play is to accept demographic shrinkage until society stabilizes. If that means a much tinier population, mostly rural so be it.

By: OneOfTheSheep Thu, 03 Jan 2013 01:26:40 +0000 @bluepanther,

You presume, quite incorrectly, that the American way of life in the fifties is (1) sustainable and (2) desirable. Wrong on both counts.

Are you so contemptuous of American women that you would banish their life choices back to those of that period? Those women that left the farms and little towns all across the country and flocked to the “big city” during WW II proved quite capable of doing everything that men did and, in many cases, better. With the end of the war and the return of our servicemen, that window slammed shut.

It took a generation or more to pry it open again, slowly. What nation that would be truly “great” can afford to deny productive employment to half of it’s citizens by gender? Do you really believe that a majority of intelligent females want to spend their youthful years within a “world” defined by their yard with “conversations” limited to immature children and similarly isolated local “peers” and gossips? That is a prescription for intellectually stunted later years, whether “working” or not.

When I searched for a wife, I made it plain that I wanted a full partner on the journey through life and I did not want to share her time or affections with children. Every day I remain thankful that I succeeded as we near fifty years of wedded bliss. I pulled my weight and she pulled hers.

I grew mentally. So did she. We did not “grow apart” as do so many couples whose lives have little in common. We made decisions together. A direct result was lives more diverse and satisfying on relatively modest incomes than many with four to eight times ours managed to achieve. As but one example, I am a pilot and so is she.

To those who would ask: “What if your parents, or everyone had felt the same” I would ask another question. What if everyone chose to be an archeologist? A person not born is not a consideration to anyone anywhere. The reality is that there is sufficient diversity in what makes each of us “tick” that every male does not choose the same female, the same job, the same path, or vice versa. Silly, silly questions. One size does NOT fit all.

It must irritate those no end who believe man’s purpose on earth is to cover it with humans to learn that others not only perceived a choice between quantity of life and quality of life, but pursued such choice to a satisfactory end. It is not uncommon for such people to view honest attempts to improve our individual existence here on earth as interference with some cosmic “plan” no one can explain in terms a mere human can make sense of. They know who they are.

By: bluepanther Wed, 02 Jan 2013 20:06:53 +0000 “Conservatives also seem to have a hard time admitting that one major culprit ‑ particularly in the United States and East Asian countries such as Singapore ‑ is modern capitalism. Young workers building their careers can face consuming demands for long work hours and substantial amounts of travel. Many confront a choice between a career and family.”

An overlong article that dances around the essential truth that is contained and buried in a paragraph way down the page. When my parents were raising our family a single income provider could provide us a middle-class lifestyle. Who can say that now?

By: Dafydd Wed, 02 Jan 2013 14:07:11 +0000 Poor people breed. Rich people, in the main, don’t.

This is true all over the world. The more educated and rich people get, the lower fertility.

This is why the debate in the US is so strange. It is poor immigrant democratic voters that have the larger families. It is richer whiter rebpublican voters who have the smaller ones.

Getting a spin doctor to segment your population this way, that way, the other to prove the opposite is just silly.

America is a country that has lied to itself so much that now turkeys vote for christmas.

I hope you get real soon, because we generally follow what you do.

If population growth is what you want, lend some support to single mothers. The young ones have the helathier, more intelligent babies.

Promoting marriage can only help via side effect, with shrinking family size it may not help at all.

By: FunkNugget Wed, 02 Jan 2013 07:52:29 +0000 Robots and other automated systems are getting better by the day. How may checkout chicks/guys are left at your local supermarket? Or is it all self-scan machines now? Who is replacing those lost job opportunities for young people? Maybe all these kids this guy wants us to have will be able to get jobs at the local bookstore or DVD library? Oh that’s right…they’re all going out of business. Same with fashion stores. People are ordering online. Most welding is done by machines. I could go on and on. The point is that there will never again be enough jobs to go around. Some robot will be doing that. Why have kids when they will have no opportunity in their lives? Also what is the aim in an ever increasing population? To turn the planet into a crush of humanity like a Tokyo train station? To destroy the food chain and live on Soylent Green? How about we have less kids and value them more. Put more effort and resources into each one. Give them support and high education without crippling debt. Quality over quantity. It’s worth a thought

By: reutersreviewer Tue, 01 Jan 2013 21:34:16 +0000 Let’s see now. Take Germany as an example. Clearly Germany’s below replacement fertility has put their economy in the dumps, right? Demonstrably not. The assumption that below replacement fertility is a problem is false. Apologists for ever increasing population growth, like the author and many others, take as an article of faith that more people equates to a larger pool of creative individuals that will lead to more innovation to accommodate the ever increasing population. They are optimists that technology will address the stresses caused by the ever larger population. But they are pessimists in the other direction. What they fail to recognize is that innovative technology has, can and will address the dependency ratio implicit in aging populations through the well documented increased productivity of people in the working age bracket, as well as increased productivity of older persons beyond the conventional age bracket. It is an undeniable fact that, eventually, all countries will eventually need to achieve a fixed or declining population. The sooner they achieve this state the better for their long-term chances of economic survival. Is this demographic transition to a fixed size population easy? Germany has had many problems adjusting. But ultimately there is no alternative. All countries should aspire to reach a point where there is neither net growth nor net decline in population, a steady state where added annual births and immigration balance the number of deaths and out migration. Get over it. Aging populations are something to be celebrated as a path toward sustainable economies.

By: OneOfTheSheep Tue, 01 Jan 2013 21:21:19 +0000 @usagadfly,

Words are important when you debate. “Government” is an amalgamation of heartless bureaucracies with no loyalty and no meaningful accountability to those citizens who fund it.

“Societies” may or may not exhibit the compassion you so desperately look for. It depends on the philosophy of those “in charge” as a given time, and there is still no consistent, collective “soul” to appeal to.

You have made it absolutely clear you don’t like or respect the progress all races except the currently expanding immigrant ones have brought to America and the world. But, as 2013 begins, even you have shown “progress”.

Instead of preaching and calling for a domestic revolution YOU will not live to see, today you call for “reform”, “The sooner the better.” Maybe “we” won’t have to lock you up after all!

By: usagadfly Tue, 01 Jan 2013 20:52:21 +0000 No one should confuse a “people” with a Government. In the USA, the Government cares nothing for the various peoples who make up its population. Make no mistake! And very few outsiders, individuals who are not members of a particular “people”, care about the fate of that people, other than to mostly wish them ill for being different or being competitors or some other reason.

The USA will survive. It will just not look like it has up to now. The collapsing birth rate, and feminist “singlists”, largely belong to a “people” almost everyone would prefer to vanish from the planet. So be it! Let other, more sensible peoples take over this land. The sooner the better. Reform is beyond the comprehension of whites and the world will be a better place without them.

By: Lute Tue, 01 Jan 2013 14:00:01 +0000 I am a young and single male American just out of college. I never plan to have children or enter into any form of committed romantic relationship.

In my view the baby boomer generation was created under the mistaken premise of American hyper-prosperity after WWII had destroyed much of the manufacturing base in the rest of the world, leaving the U.S. at a distinct and unnatural business advantage for several decades. Now that the forces of globalization have reasserted the natural order of economic power in an incredibly obvious manner (and America has borrowed its way into severe debt in a desperate and needless ongoing attempt to maintain its former momentum), it is no longer appropriate for Americans (barring another fortuitous global cataclysm) to create humans for which there are no funds or means to support.

Worldwide, for many people, the internet now fills the role of companion better than other humans do, for the first time in Earth’s history we as a society no longer have to rely on others in our direct vicinity for constant intellectual (or “non-intellectual”) stimulation or exchange, and the complex and expensive social baggage that this has always previously entailed: 7/net-us-japan-love-game-idUSBRE8BG03120 121217

Simultaneously medical advances constantly push back human life expectancies.

Lowering our population levels in the light of these developments is wise and justified, I fear with this essay that Mr. Kotkin is merely proposing a non-sustainable pyramid scheme of human flesh where more people are brought forward exponentially with diminishing returns until the point civil unrest and pollution implodes our civilization completely.

By: Lothiel Tue, 01 Jan 2013 09:06:14 +0000 Wage inequality is most likely the main cause. As how can two parents who have low wages afford children.
The cause of wage inequality is advances in technology and outsourcing(less decent paying jobs for people with high school diplomas). Ironicly the solution is technology and time. With coming of 3d publishing I expect to see the end of outsourcing. In time old people will retire or die thus giving their jobs to a younger people and evenually they will need some one to take care of them thus creating jobs.