Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Demographic Collapse

There continue to be posts about the below-replacement fertility of the countries of the West.   Japan, Greece, Italy, Germany, 1.4 children per woman.  Switzerland, Belgium (and China!) 1.5.  Scandinavia and the Netherlands, where they all love babies and pay big bucks to encourage them, 1.7.  (USA is right at replacement 2.1, somewhat immigrant and African-American driven). I wrote about that a few years ago myself, and it is a problem.  All you smart kids out there, stop incurring debt at college and go have children instead.

I don't read PJmedia that much anymore.  The percentage of stories that are right-wing cant without much thought, is great enough that wading through is a bit tedious.  That's a fault of my own short attention-span these days.  Lazy. Unwilling to delay gratification and all that.  I fear it will grow worse.

Because a lot of new and interesting things will show up on such sites.  Once something becomes mainstream - even niche mainstream - they have to start worrying about things being too far over the edge and not worth it.  See the excellent John Derbyshire, who occasionally cannot see his own blindspots but has the fearlessness of age and impending death, vs. the National Review, for example.  Way out on the fringes you will get those 10% of articles that are really groundbreaking and interesting, but you don't have to go that far.  Just over the edge, left or right, is where the fun is, if one is willing to do the work.

As I said, I'm not.  Hence, no PJMedia, even though sites I frequent link to some very interesting stuff there.  Let them do the heavy lifting.

So here is an article there from the long-anonymous Spengler, David P. Goldman, who turned out to be right on many things, and spectacularly wrong on only a few.  Not only is Europe - and to a lesser extent the caucasian Anglosphere except for evangelicals - well below replacement birthrate.  So are many Islamic countries. However much we think they are multiplying like rabbits and creating Eurabia, driving the growth of Western European countries desperate for young workers, that is an epiphenomenon. However oppressed the women are in comparison to their Western sisters, they are no longer having children at previous rates.  The game is changing, if we are willing to look at decades instead of today only.

It is one thing to have demographic collapse when you have a technologically sophisticated country, a diverse economy, and a lot of wealth.  It is quite another when you only have oil to sell and that is depleting, the average income is well below Western poverty levels, and all your ambitious and talented people are moving to the West.

1 comment:

james said...

About the only one I read over there semi-regularly is Wretchard (Belmont Club, and I know it was his cat's name). And I think I'll give his column up for Lent though. I read and liked one of Victor David Hanson's books.