The End is Nigh, Well in 2050 Anyway

sanyal pic

Conservationists understand the culling of a population is sometimes necessary, particularly when the habitat can no longer sustain the species. Nature steps in, sometimes man, and helps the species by killing some of its members.

And even if local populations sometimes need culling, biologists measure the success of a species by its growth and argue that population decline can be a sign of danger and even cause for alarm.

For some time experts have asserted that the global population of mankind will peak in the coming century and then begin to decline. The UN has been saying this for going on 20 years. In a new report issued to the clients of Deutsche Bank, noted economist Sanjeev Sanyal says this is going to happen a lot faster than the UN thinks.

Sanyal says the global fertility rate will fall to replacement level in the next 15 years and even though the population will continue to grow, “reproductively speaking, our species will no longer be expanding.” Let that sink in.

The UN projects that global population will rise from current levels of 7.2 billion to 9.6 billion by mid-century and to 10.9 billion by 2100. Sanyal says these outcomes are “very unlikely” and that the country projections are even more unbelievable.

The UN argues that Nigeria, for instance, will grow from 159 million today to 913 million by 2100. Sanyal believes that Nigeria will not be able to maintain its current high fertility rates upon which these numbers are based. Even now, Nigeria’s high numbers have begun to decline.

The UN also projects that the US population will grow from the current 312 million to 462 million in the coming century even though the US fertility rate is at or slightly below replacement. Sanyal calls such a prediction “truly remarkable.”

The Deutsche Bank economist thinks such projections are doubly odd since the UN also projects urbanization will increase from 52% to 67% by 2050. Sanyal calls urbanization “the strongest contraceptive known to man.”

Total fertility rate is the number of children expected to be born in the lifetime of a woman. Replacement fertility in advanced societies is considered to be 2.1. Poorer societies need a higher number due to infant deaths and other factors. The replacement level globally, according to Sanyal, would be 2.3 children per woman.

Total fertility rates within countries have simply fallen off a cliff in roughly the past 60 years. Brazil went from 6.15 to 1.82, and this in the largest Catholic country in the world. Mexico fell from 6.7 to 2.2. South Korea went from 5.05 to 1.32. Russia already had a miniscule rate of 2.85 in the mid-50’s and has fallen even further to 1.53.  The Muslims have not escaped either. Turkey went from 6.62 children per woman in 1955 to 2.05 today, and Iran went from 6.91 to 1.93.

Sanyal looks at China and India and sees only bleakness. As the world’s two largest countries, they also have an outsized effect on the global demographic picture. China went from 6.1 in 1955 to 2.69 in 1985 to 1.66 today. Given the demographic picture in China’s Asian neighbors, it is certain China would still be below replacement even without the one-child policy. India is in much the same boat as China. India fell from a fertility rate of 5.9 sixty years ago to 2.5 today.

For all these reasons, Sanyal, who calls himself a “rogue demographer,” believes the global fertility rate will fall below replacement by 2025. He predicts that global population will peak in 2050 at 8.7 billion and decline to 8 billion a mere fifty years later. This is half a century earlier than what the UN predicts and fully 2.8 billion people below UN projections.

Sanyal calls this a turning point in history. You bet it is. No species has ever consciously determined not to reproduce itself. Only Man could make such a bone-headed decision.

The magic makers at the UN thought mankind could float softly down to replacement levels and stay there, that there would be an ideal number of total population we could all arrive at and stay there happily forever after.

But this is tricky business, far trickier than theorists at Turtle Bay could imagine. Indeed, there was an expert group meeting at the UN fifteen years ago that pondered the question “how low can fertility go?” Ominously this group of experts answered that they did not know.

The theory is that we will reach a magical equilibrium where overpopulation ends and a new era of peace and prosperity begins.

And on our way to this utopia, the bodies pile up like they always do with utopian schemes, this time in the hundreds of millions. It is a breathtaking hubris to sit in quiet and carpeted rooms in New York, Brussels and other capitals and cook up schemes directing the lives of every man, woman and child on the earth and not just them, their descendants, too. No authoritarian or totalitarian in Berlin or Moscow ever cooked up such a scheme.

No one knows what will happen when we peak. No one knows what happens when we begin to slide backward. We will reach nirvana when we hit 1960 levels again? That would be 3 billion. Or how about 1800 levels? That would be 1 billion. Would there be no more war then? No more disease, or hunger on those far depopulated shores? Or would something far worse await us there?

I don’t know about those things and neither do you and neither does Sanjeev Sanyal.

What I do know is that babies are a wondrous thing to have around the house. They are remarkable just to watch.  I know why people keep having them, smart people anyway. And I know this, too: it is a monstrous thing, whether they know it or not, for a married couple to consciously decide not to have any children, or even to have only one or two. Their happiness counts on something far more generous than that and so does the world’s.

Editor’s note: Pictured above is noted Deutsche Bank economist Sanjeev Sanyal.

Austin Ruse

By

Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of C-FAM.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    A shrinking population will be a rapidly ageing one and the trend becomes irreversible as the percentage of women of child-bearing age diminishes. The economic and social effects of that are obvious enough.

    The best case-study is Japan, which has traditionally had little inward or outward migration. As the population aged, it began to spend less and save more for retirement. That is, demand shifted from present goods to future goods, that is, securities. The price level of present goods fell. The price of future goods rose, that is, the compensation for waiting for the future declined, and the rate of interest fell. The ageing population traded surplus present goods for future goods, that is, they exported goods and purchased securities with the proceeds, shifting the current account balance to surplus. The exchange rate rose. In other words, deflation and a stagnant economy, supported by overseas investment income. In poor countries, the picture will be much bleaker.

    • smokes

      Great point. At some stage, the xenophobic Japanese will have to turn to Manilla and beg for millions of immigrants because the Japanese woman refuses to reproduce. Japan will become Catholic later in this century, just as America’s percentage of Catholics increases daily.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        Not a long-term solution for Japan. Fertility rates in the Phillipines have declined from 6.5 in 1963 to 3.1 in 2012 Only Muslim Mindanao is bucking the downward trend

        • smokes

          Like the Euro and American populations, the Japanese are deciding to eliminate themselves. It’s a non-propagating hari-kari.

      • ColdStanding

        People from the Philippines adapt very rapidly to the mores of, speaking of what I know, the local culture. There is little functional difference between them and the average Canadian with in ten years of arrival. Depending upon immigration to bolster the numbers on a spread sheet, which is what the bright realtors and real estate lawyers that run this country do, leads to a pay off for those that are positioned to benefit, but is no long term solution.

        • smokes

          What’s the option if Japanese women refuse to reproduce? Robby the Robot is not really an option. Chinese and Koreans are less than willing to move to Tokyo given the history of East Asia.

          • ColdStanding

            The last time Catholics attempted an intervention in Japan, the results where not good (or very good and the counter action was very severe), and that was when there was a robust culture of missionary workers to draw upon. The Japanese are on there own.

            The facts are that Japan, should that nation regain the desire, replicate itself with in a generation. Everything is in place to do so. Biology has not changed.

            • smokes

              Biology changes if too many women are barren, CS. Time marches on. Japanese women are sterile.

              The Pope ought to have a Spanish-Japanese language missionary team ready to go. Jesuits deserve first shot, God Bless them!

              p.s. America does NOT replicate itself and is as happy as punch with immigrants doing the heavy lifting for the next generation.

              • Freedom Hayak

                America is not as happy as punch with immigrants doing the heavy lifting. The reason why traditional Americans do not reproduce at the same rates as immigrants is because they are the ones who have to pay for the immigrants children’s via taxes that pay of the welfare state. It’s called “fertility opportunity” – The idea that couples (or individuals) seize upon apparent opportunities for childbearing builds upon or is consistent with microeconomic decision-making models (Becker 1960, 1992; Davis 1963; Demeny 1988; Easterlin 1962, 1971, 1975; Stokes 1995). It also assumes the correctness of Patricia Draper’s observation (1989, p.147) that “the critical factor affecting reproductive decision making is the individual’s perception of resource quantity, rather than absolute resource quantity…. Cultural understandings about the availability and location of resources appear in many cases to be a more powerful predictor than are the ‘actual’ resources themselves.” Perception and motivation are, thus, key variables.

                A great variety of circumstances can create a perception that the resources needed for raising children are scarce. People appear to learn to value a particular standard of living, including leisure time and educational opportunity, so perceptions about the adequacy of resources for raising children reflect aspirations. They are not only subjective, but also culturally specific. Perceived resources, optimism or trepidation about the future, and estimates of the cost of raising a child all influence desired family size. The decision to allow or delay childbearing appears to result from interplay between the natural predisposition to reproduce and socioeconomic factors, with the implicit goal of providing offspring with the best start available given the alternatives.

                • Art Deco

                  The total fertility rate in Mexico was 2.28 in 2011. That in the United States was 1.89. The American rate has been fluctuating about a set point since around about 1970 and is usually higher than that. Please note that the tfr for Mexico in 1960 was 6.78 while that in the United States was 3.65. The gap between the two has declined in magnitude by 90% in the last fifty-odd years.

                  Students of Mexican fertility contend that Mexican immigrants to the U.S. have higher fertility than their home bound relations because of higher wages. It is a reasonable wager that this effect lasts but one generation. We do not have much of a fertility problem in this country and Mexican immigration will do little to ameliorate what problems we do have.

                  • Freedom Hayak

                    Higher wages including what they get from the welfare state. At any rate the other issue is that as the recent test results in California show, Mexicans lag far far behind Asians and non Hispanic whites in math, science, English, you name it. It’s not because they are “less affluent” or don’t go to preschool. I’m tired of those old canards. All population experts say the US will be majority Hispanic, which means we will be majority not very bright either.

                    • Art Deco

                      Your point is what?

                    • Freedom Hayak

                      my point is that the American Government with the help of the Catholic Church is helping to elect a new people who is not as smart as the original one – and who will depend on a bigger more bloated welfare state that they themselves won’t be able to subsidize. The US will become a third world country – but it will be Catholic so I guess that’s the important thing. Unless, of course, it becomes Muslim first. Either way the jokes on you.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “but it will be Catholic”

                      Don’t be so sure. Hispanics are targeted by Evangelicals and they have their share of CINOs as well.

      • newguy40

        Hardly. The Japanese are at the forefront of service robotics. Expect an increasing amount of automation and electronics to support their aging citizens. Japanese are xenophobic as you have noted and will do anything to keep the gaijin away.

        • smokes

          What if the robots are xenophobic about the Japanese?

          • newguy40

            Well, I suppose the solution would be to call in of those “bladeunner” fellas to help persuade them, eh?

    • FrankW

      Excellent example. Back in the 1980s, Japan had what was considered a roaring economy. Since then, their declining population has led their economy downward.

      The most staggering statisic? Last year, there were more adult diapers sold in Japan than baby diapers.

      • Adam__Baum

        And if you are old enough, you can remember the 1988 election where aspiring tank commander and Taxa, er I mean Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis’ campaign floated the idea that because Japan had state industrial planning in the form of the MITI, Japan was going to rule the world, economically speaking.

        Another idea from the statist left found wanting…

  • Bedarz Iliaci

    “India is in much the same boat as China.”
    Which boat?. As the article itself says, India’s fertility is above replacement while China’s below. India has no state-sanctioned abortion policy.

    Do you realize how crowded India and many other poor nations are?

    • smokes

      And they still have time to hunt and murder Christians, same as our Muslim competitors.

    • Rock St. Elvis

      That boat would be declining fertility rates. While India is currently still at replacement levels, it is on a sharply downward trend and likely will fall below replacement levels within a decade or two.

    • JERD

      Yes, India is crowded.

      So is Japan; so is South Korea; so is Israel. These nations are “crowded” yet extremely prosperous. Why? Because until recently they were demographically dominated by youthful, industrious populations.

      The tragic myth perpetrated by population controllers is that poverty is caused by over-population. That is not true. Poverty is caused by other innumerable variables – lack of natural resources, poor education, stifling politics, etc.

      Efforts to bring down the fertility rate has the effect of steadily reducing the number of the productive young. Lower fertility rates eventually make nations poorer, not richer.

      • Adam__Baum

        Obviously, Bedarz Iliaci hasn’t even been to Hong Kong. One of the most crowded places on earth, also one of the most prosperous.

    • jpct50

      The population density of India is approximately equal to that of the U.S. state of New Jersey.

      • smokes

        It’s NOT the numbers. It’s the ability of each of the citizens that counts.

        America’s collective IQ is in a tailspin, heading to the mid-80’s Full Scale.

        • jpct50

          Actually it is the souls of those citizens that counts! “It is always better to be than not to be.” St. Thomas Aquinas People are not commodities.

          • smokes

            So, we should aim dumb? Brilliant! Do you bet on the slowest horse at the racetrack, too, jpct? Who knows? Perhaps a jackass can win the race, eh?

          • Bono95

            “It is always better to be than not to be. -St. Thomas Aquinas”

            Sounds like old Bill Shakespeare was Thomist. :-D

  • Deacon Ed Peitler

    We must always remember that the the Statist/Left is not averse to using science to bolster their political arguments. Only problem is that they falsify the science in order to advance their politics. If anyone believes that the UN (certainly a Leftist/Statist organization) does not use science to promote its political philosophy, you must think that Al Gore is a prophet.

    Overpopulation is a meme used to alarm the ignorant and use them to support more State intervention in their lives done for their own good because the dolts have no idea how to govern themselves.

    • Adam__Baum

      “Overpopulation is a meme used to alarm the ignorant and use them to support more State intervention in their lives done for their own good because the dolts have no idea how to govern themselves.”

      One of the great losses of the last few years was the death of Julian Simon, an economist who devoted his life to this mission. He regularly used alarmists like Paul Erlich as pinatas.

      • Bono95

        “He regularly used alarmists like Paul Erlich as pinatas”

        There’s an image that appeals to both my baser instincts/sensibilities and my higher ideals. Quite a paradox. Someone get me a book of Mr. Simon’s economics and a baseball bat or dowel rod, and don’t bother with a blindfold. I can borrow Mr. Erlich’s.

        • Adam__Baum

          His “homepage” has been preserved. I didn’t realize he was gone fifteen years. Tempus Fugit.

          Start here:
          http://www.juliansimon.com/

          • Bono95

            Thanks

  • smokes

    Dumb people are propagating while the brighter members of our species abort or contracept. Worse, the dumb then replace the brighter child never born and demand a sustenance they can never produce themselves. The cure, of course, is for mothers and fathers to have more children in America ( and Europe) rather than to work overtime to provide for the “single mom” and her Reign of Bastards, supplemented by massive immigration from the nether regions.

    • Kevin McCormick

      Do you rank yourself among those of the “brighter” persuasion or are you one of the “dumb” ones?

      • Adam__Baum

        Before you dismiss smokes with sarcasm, consider that even the secular types are catching on, even they are unfortunately indifferent about the use of cohabitation.

        http://www.nber.org/papers/w19413
        From the abstract:

        “Cohabitation became an acceptable living arrangement for all groups, but cohabitation serves different functions among different groups. The poor and less educated are much more likely to rear children
        in cohabitating relationships.

        The college educated typically cohabit before marriage, but they marry
        before conceiving children and their marriages are relatively stable.”
        They of course aren’t addressing the relative difference in the number of offspring.

        • Kevin McCormick

          Pardon the sarcasm but it was a restrained reply for a post which reeked of arrogance. What exactly is “bright” about aborting and contracepting? If persons are choosing to do so it reveals a short-sighted and very self-focused perspective. The world is not population by the “dumb” and the “bright.” The comment reveals at the very least a poor choice of words.

          • Adam__Baum

            There’s nothing “bright” about contracepting and aborting, but there’s nothing bright about conceiving prior to economic self-sufficiency and outside of wedlock as well. Both are short-sighted and self-centric.

            I remember reading an article a few years ago by an OB-GYN who described the most frustrating part of his practice as when some woman in her late 30’s or early 40’s sat in his office in tears due to her her inability to conceive and he had to explain that nature doesn’t wait until you’ve managed to burnish your resume or CV.

            He went on to explain that they would inevitably talk about
            some 40+ celebrity becoming pregnant and giving birth, unable to fathom that there was an element of luck (and often extraordinarily expensive and immoral fertility techniques) involved in “elderly primigravida”.

            I tend to think that intelligence is a multidimensional attribute rather than a unidimensional scalar, and there’s plenty of “bright” people who never publish a paper and plenty of idiots who do.

            That having been said, the “bright” and ambitious are busy working, saving, investing, starting and running businesses-and working harder and longer and less productively because of a government that constrains them and conscripts the fruits of their labors and they are reducing or foregoing participation in the gene pool to support others, who can reproduce without cost or choice.

            • Kevin McCormick

              As the father of teen-agers I’m well aware of the dangers posed by non-marital sexual activity and unexpected pregnancy. However if married couples all waited for “economic self-sufficiency” before having children I do believe that our population would vanish in a heartbeat, at least in the West. Most people in the world think that they have less money than they need. The terms being used lack clarity and are based on presumptions which cast a net so widely over such large groups of people that they are meaningless. But then maybe I’m just one of the dumb ones.

              • Adam__Baum

                “However if married couples all waited for “economic self-sufficiency” before having children I do believe that our population would vanish in a heartbeat, at least in the West.”

                You misunderstand. I’m already expressing concern that childbearing is being postponed to some indefinite future date in the expectation that there will be some plentitude.

                “Most people in the world think that they have less money than they need”

                Of course. Enough is “just a little bit more”. The first rule of economics is all goods are scarce.

                Economic self sufficiency isn’t pletitude. It simply means that you are no longer a dependent of somebody else. I’m objecting to children having children, not suggesting that you have to attain some surplus (which is imaginery) to reproduce.

                • Kevin McCormick

                  It sounds like we are in agreement to a certain extent. However my original comment was to a post which implied that there are the “dumb” people reproducing like rabbits and “bright” people postponing parenthood. While certainly it would be better for these “bright” persons to share their progeny with the world I find it at best extremely uncharitable to presume that those children born to the less educated do not have the potential to contribute to community and society. Without a doubt we should welcome all children and hope that they will fulfill their calling as children of God. Every child born is a blessing no matter who determines them to be “dumb” or “bright.” I find “Smokes’s” original post to be un-Christian in its outlook. Such perspectives are shared by those who invariably place themselves in the “bright” column. Margaret Sanger had similar ideas.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    I’m extremely sensitive to the label “dumb”, having been so labelled as cognitively impaired by a child psychologist as a first grader, mostly because I had a rather pronounced preference to draw rockets than to repetitively trace cursive letters.

                    Good thing I was in a parochial school and that charge was dismissed and I was allowed to continue unlabelled. Too bad the SO* is long gone and I can’t shove my graduate transcript in his face and perhaps down his piehole. But I digress..

                    Art Deco might be inartful, yes. But it is accurate that the present government favors thoughtless reproduction and punishes the responsible. I know tons of “nice, smart girls” who did all the right things (school, job, etc), but in subordinating motherhood, sacrificed it. They are out of the gene pool, forever.

                    The irony of Sangerism is that among other “benefits” it supposedly would deliver was “mental hygiene” and it may be dysgenic.

                    That having been said, I don’t want any “experts” playing favorites and I object to the costless and shameless reproduction by anybody who isn’t ready. You breed ‘em, you feed ‘em is a good control on irresponsibility.

                    • smokes

                      “You breed ‘em you feed ‘em” was a good control until King LBJ decided to place folks he called a lot worse than “bastards” on his Democrat Plantation. It’s been a social disaster for everyone, except Democrat pols who get 90% of that captive vote.

                      Stigma has a place in society if it is to remain a functioning one. Robbers hurt a society; rapists hurt a society; and, yes, single moms destroy it. Mary Catherine and McCormick obviously disagree. Yet, when “single moms” make up @ 25% of a city like Detroit or Camden…it stops functioning as a city. That’s stern reality. Then, of course, the poor fatherless child suffers,…forever.

                  • smokes

                    I find your defense of illegitimates extremely un-Christian. You curse the fatherless child to a welfare existence, a lousy education, a crummy neighborhood, no job opportunity and a host of health problems from STDs to drug abuse. It often culminates in death or imprisonment. Hardly Christ-like Mack. What’s that saying about the road to Hell?

                    p.s. Write to Merriam-Webster to delete “bastard” as a word. You do know it has a bad connotation on purpose, I hope?

                    • Kevin McCormick

                      Once a child is born it is legitimately a child of God and worthy of love and care. You are reading all kinds of political assumptions into my comments which I assure you are unfounded. However your arguments are perilously similar to those who advocate abortion.

                    • smokes

                      Utter nonsense. You’re losing the argument, don’t embarrass yourself by claiming your opponent wants to murder unborn babies. That would be a pathetic lie.

                    • Kevin McCormick

                      Which part was utter nonsense?

                    • smokes

                      Sadly, all of it. Social work cannot replace the integral family. The proof is in Detroit, Camden or East St. Louis.

                    • Kevin McCormick

                      I’m confused, perhaps you can clarify. I made three statements in the previous comment. If all of it was “nonsense” in your estimation then what I’m understanding from you is:

                      1) You do not believe that every child born is legitimately a child of God? If so, then as I posted above, you are not offering a Christian perspective for the teaching of the Catholic Church is that every human life is sacred and worthy of equal respect.

                      2) You are not reading political assumptions into my comments? And yet I have not yet once mentioned anything about social work, socialism, government intervention or programs or anything related to politics. I encourage you to carefully re-read our conversation.

                      3) Your original argument is not similar to those who advocate abortion? And yet, Margaret Sanger, early promoter of contraception and eventually abortion in the US and founder of Planned Parenthood, argued that the poor were poor because they were stupid and therefore should not be propagating. In this way she believed that the world could be rid of “undesirables” like Catholics and blacks. Her ideas were welcomed by Hitler.

                      The odd thing here is that that you and I would agree about some things like the need for personal responsibility, openness to life, and a government which does not try to play nanny to its “subjects.” However your tone, anger, and word selection indicate a hostility which is unhelpful to your cause and does not sound very Chirst-like to me. First and foremost Christ ministered to the outcasts of society and this is part of our priestly calling (as priests, prophets, and kings).

                      If you believe that I am missing something here then I welcome your reply. I just ask that you do so charitably.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      One can understand widespread illegitimacy is a social pathology without imputing blame to an individual child.

                    • Kevin McCormick

                      One cannot embrace another person with Christ-like love whom he has labelled as “dumb.” Words matter. “Dumb” and “bastard” may have legitimate denotations but their connotations have the intention of insult to the person. A child born to illiterate, unmarried parents is owed the same dignity as the child born to a king. When we downgrade others by our language we intend to lessen their humanity and label them as “other” instead “neighbor” as we are called to do by Christ.

              • smokes

                Without immigration, America would be disappearing before your eyes. We’ve aborted some 55,000,000 and contracepted many more. We’re well below the 2.1 replacement level. The 55,000,000 have simply been replaced with Mexicans, Arabs, Poles and Chinese adding up to…….55,000,000 since Roe.

                Let’s remember the sin of consumerism is rife among the one or no baby crowd. I guess many of them suffer from a form of narcissism.

                • Art Deco

                  No, the total fertility rate for the United States fluctuates a bit but is usually around 2.05. That is sufficient for population maintenance.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Who said that’s the goal?

                  • jpct50

                    barely!

                  • smokes

                    To be fractional, replacement rate is 2.1. We need more people with brains.

                • Adam__Baum

                  Ayn Rand was wrong about Atlas, Atlas didn’t shrug, he was exhausted and is eating he seed corn.

            • jpct50

              “But increase you and multiply, and go upon the earth, and fill it.” Gen 9:7
              Where’s the part about economic self-sufficiency?
              “But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.” Matt 6:29

              • Adam__Baum

                That sort of exegesis doesn’t belong in a Catholic website.

                Try Love your neighbor. Would you really want to be quoting that passage at judgment when God asks you why you conceived out of wedlock, imperiling innocent children and not providing them a home with two loving parents?

                • jpct50

                  who mentioned out of wedlock?

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Try to follow the thread.

              • smokes

                Exactly!

          • smokes

            I’ll stick with the choice of every single word, but you may have to eat them. Can you explain why we have a 50% “illegitimacy” rate?
            Could it be…single moms? Do you think it’s good to support and encourage illegitimacy with grants, housing allowances, special job training grants, college ‘scholarships:” and Food Stamps? All on the shoulders of working stiffs with families of their own to support.

            In short, why do you insist on re-enforcing negative behavior?

            I know communist theory derides the very concept of “family”. Are you in that camp? Do you look forward to the day when all children are dependent on the state?

            • Kevin McCormick

              Well you certainly have an axe to grind with someone but it isn’t me. I made no reference to any government agency at all. You may have intended to convey all of the above in your original comment but instead you made the assumption that everyone reading your post would know what you were talking about. All that came across to me was that you were pretty sure that you knew the “dumb” from the “bright” and clearly the wrong ones were reproducing. Many statist demagogues have argued as much in order to maintain murderous dictatorships. Similar arguments also were used by anti-Catholic agitators pushing contraception and abortion in the 20th Century.

              Seeing as Crisis is a Catholic publication it would seem that your comment is at least in the wrong forum. For Catholics, every child is to be welcomed no matter who the parents are. If you find this to be challenging you might read some of Mother Teresa’s writings or JPII’s Theology of the Body.

              I would agree with your point that the nanny state has exacerbated the problems of the family, but single motherhood is not a one-sided equation–dead beat dad’s hold just as much if not more of the blame. And while the “bright” may appear to delay child-bearing until marriage, there is a reason that Planned Parenthood opens “clinics” near college campuses. The statistics do not convey the whole picture

              • smokes

                What’s to be construed from your comments? You approve of illegitimacy, you condemn it or you take no stand? I suspect it’s the last. When illegitimacy springs from 50% to 100% will it be good for society? The late Sen. Daniel Moynihan PhD, a good Catholic, suggested “benign neglect” when the rate was 10%. Otherwise, he predicted calamity. I agree with his theory of benign neglect so that negative behavior ceases to be inter-generational.
                His conclusion is as Catholic as an Easter egg and fully deserves to be part of the debate…even though you arrogantly suggest it is not. In parting, I suggest you read the Ten Commandments about stealing from others. What is illegitimacy today, if not a form of theft?

              • Walter

                JPII will be known as an anti-pope…Pope Pius XII would be more valid.

                • Bono95

                  “JPII wil be known as an anti-pope”

                  Not to me or Mr. McCormick or all the other Catholic clergy and lay people who will celebrate his upcoming canonization this December.

                • Art Deco

                  Whatever happened to Gerry Matatics and Mario Derksen?

    • MaryCatherine

      It’s really cruel and unChristian to describe children as bastards, particularly given that they have no choice in the manner in which they came into the world. Moreover, some women aren’t “single moms” by choice. My sister-in-law is a single mom because her husband abandoned and divorced her. She works all the hours she’s given at a thankless low-paying job, but it’s still not enough to take care of her and her son. The people you look down on are made in God’s image and have names and faces and stories.

      • Adam__Baum

        It’s really cruel and unChristian to describe children as bastards

        Oh lighten up. It’s no such thing.

        “Moreover, some women aren’t “single moms” by choice.”

        And here is the tragedy, that is the nonjudmentalism of the term “single mother”.

        Your sister’s situation is not the same as the thousands of case files I read as a Medicaid auditor, where teenagers would announce to their dioctors and their case workers that they intentionally became pregnant. One particular case I remember was a sixteen year old in a large East coast city (where she wouldn’t be terribly unique) who, after spontaneously aborting, refused grief counseling and told her caseworker that she fully intended to become pregnant again the following year because she was sure that she could handle “high school and a baby” at the same time. But we dare not use the term “unwed mother” as it conveys the type of social disapproval that is so unfashionable these days.

        As an aside, she should get more vigorous legal representation in order to obtain a better support order.

        • disqus_TvoTw0wy2j

          Mr Baum, that’s a really sad case. I can imagine that one becomes somewhat hardened – or maybe just despairs – after hearing so many such cases. I have to wonder what kind of poverty – and I think it doesn’t have to be material poverty – have we brought up our daughters in that girls and women think and act this way. I know that many girls who have had abortions forced on them try to restore what was taken from them – the life that they were carrying – and ‘make up for it’ by becoming pregnant again, to ‘do it right’ this time, to ‘protect this baby, even though I could not protect the other one.’

          Our culture has become so poisoned by the sexual revolution, and our men and women so damaged, so far from God’s design for love, sex and marriage, that it seems one can only cry out to heaven for mercy on all the many people who seem to be damaged beyond repair: the men who (thanks to the Pill and abortion and feminism) have grown up with no respect for women, reverence for the mystery of motherhood, and no clue about their own dignity and how profoundly necessary they are as fathers. The women who grow up thinking of themselves as sex toys; the girls who have no idea what love and marital commitment are like, have never seen it, and so want to have a baby the way they might want the latest smartphone; the young people who are commitment phobes, thanks to easy, no-fault divorce tearing their families apart; the young people who try marriage, but have no sense of ‘to death do us part’ because they so seldom see it upheld as a cultural value…

          When I think of the world so soaked in sin, so devastated by the consequences of sin, the consequences reaching down to the children’s children, I wonder if our demographic suicide is paralleled in something that goes back further than ancient Rome, to the time of the flood. God promised that he would not wipe man from the face of the earth by water; he did not promise that man would not wipe himself off the face of the earth through his own sins.

          • Adam__Baum

            “and I think it doesn’t have to be material poverty – have we brought up
            our daughters in that girls and women think and act this way.”

            Agreed. This is why trillions of dollars have been spent on the “war on poverty” (with no signs of any abatement) and it has gotten worse.

            When you see case files with mention of 30 year old grandmothers, you only begin to understand how ruinous the social policies of the last half-century have been.

      • Art Deco

        Your conception of ‘cruelty’ is bloated. One thing we can do with less of is prettifying language.

        My regrets about your sister-in-law. However, the last time I checked the descriptive statistics, close to 70% of the divorce suits among couples with children were initiated by wives. Fathers seldom get custody unless the mother is a falling-down drunk. As for women with bastard children, how did they get from here to there? What were they seeking when they lay down for that chap, who did they reject on the way there, and how realistic was their assessment of him?

        Mr Badger on one Miss Klausner:

        But that she does, approvingly quoting Julie Klausner’s “I Don’t Care
        About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders,
        Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters and Other Guys I’ve
        Dated” – a documentation of the pervasive depravity of young urban
        women’s sexual decision-making.

        Klausner says “we are sick of hooking up with guys,” but like
        Hymowitz, acts as if these men passed through a membrane into her bed and that she had nothing to do with who she chooses to date and who she decides to screw. Amazingly, one woman’s decade of slutting it up indicates a crisis of American masculinity.

        Klausner is an idiot, and unfortunately all too typical in today’s
        SMP, falling in with the strangest of characters for the slightest of
        reasons and apparently expecting they will magically transform into
        suburban family men on her whim. (You didn’t have to buy Klausner’s
        book, though – a good review of field reports from game websites will
        tell you the same thing.)

        I do not doubt Miss Klausner has a name and face and story.

      • smokes

        So, hurrah for a 50% “illegitimacy” rate? I suppose not legitimate has negative ripples, too, for you? You need to study kung fu or something to prepare for the nasty times approaching…often started by a gang of bastards on a street corner hunting one person as though it were the Serengeti Plain. (Check out Liam Flaherty’s reports on these terrible attacks on innocents.)

        • Adam__Baum

          smokes, MaryCatherine doesn’t distinguish the difference between an abandoned mother and an unwed one, because the culture insists on the term “single mother”.

          I realize unwed fathers often escaped public opprobrium in the past, so I understand the impetus not to heap all the guilt on the female, but I’m not sure we’ve lost more deterrent than we gained equity.

          • smokes

            I have a relative who was a social worker. He’d knock on the front door and then sprint to the back door to see the “star boarder” crawling through the window. All Democrats. You can’t make it up.
            Higher ups ordered that no one be held responsible for the bastards….aside from you, me and McCormick (who seems to enjoy it).

    • Adam__Baum

      “Dumb people are propagating while the brighter members of our species abort or contracept. Worse, the dumb then replace the brighter child never born and demand a sustenance they can never produce themselves.”

      Brilliantly satired in the film “Idiocracy”, especially the scene where the one couple postpones their reproduction for a variety of transient concerns.

      The simple reality is the “reign of bastards” is intentional. Politics in contemprary America is all about a new feudalism, where the ruling class (to borrow Angelo Codevilla’s statement) acquires greater amounts of control from the masses in order to protect them from threats.

      In the old days, the protections of his castle walls that protected an individual from the rape and pillage of marauders were exchanged for ever greater exactions from the masses, until they were subjects i.e., chattel.

      Today the federal lord promises to protect you from the “vissisitudes of fortune”. The more the threat the more you’ll seek protection.
      If you are a statist politician and you see fifteen year old girls seeking unwed motherhood, you aren’t concerned, you are delighted. By the time she’s in her mid-twenties, she’ll be clamoring for food-stamps, general assistance, subsidies for healthcare, transportation and daycare-unable to raise her brood, it’s likely that they’ll be causing mayhem in the streets, diquieting the civil peace and creating calls for a police state.

      • smokes

        Exactly.

  • http://renewthechurch.wordpress.com/ Thomas R

    It would be interesting, and relevant, to see an analysis of the effects on a modern culture of increasing median age. As the relative number of the young and strong (the workers) diminishes, and the relative number of the elderly and sickly (the dependent) increases, at what point does society collapse and become non-functional? I can see several possible outcomes, all are challenging, but at extremes: either to the point of selfless heroism and renewal, or to the point of inhuman cruelty and brutality, and self-destruction. Any way (and perhaps there will be pockets of different variations) it looks very painful.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      You can see it already in Japan – Rising rates of saving, high levels of overseas investment, deflation as consumer demand falls and a rising exchange rate.

      • http://renewthechurch.wordpress.com/ Thomas R

        Thanks, Michael, but I was more interested in the “human economy” – the flow of human charity among the persons in the new demographics. What will happen to food distribution, to health care, to housing provisions and distribution, and so on. Will we begin to see, “because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold”? (Mt 24:12) Can a human society of exchange of goods and services in justice be held? Or will the darker possibilities of survival of the strongest take over, in the fears that will surely be inflamed?

        In other words, I can see the conflict between the culture of life and the culture of death become very sharp – and personal individual moral decisions become stark, even naked, impossible to hide from oneself and others.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          “What will happen to food distribution, to health care, to housing provisions and distribution, and so on”

          Well, in Japan, the over-65s make up over 20% of the population, but they own over 60% of the assets. Not surprisingly, jobs are declining in the manufacturing sector, most of which has been relocated overseas and jobs in the service sectors have increased. Housing costs have fallen, with 3- and 4-bedroom apartments unlettable. Obstetrics and paediatrics are in decline, whilst geriatric medicine is booming

          Of course, much depends on the condition of the country before the demographic winter. The outlook for the elderly in Iran, which will run out of young people and oil at about the same time will be pretty bleak. The mullahs may also decide that, if they are to achieve their regional ambitions, they better do so now, when there are enough men of military age to make it feasible..

          Places like Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic states are seeing an exodus of working-age people exacerbating the falling birth-rate.

        • tamsin

          PD James performs this thought experiment in her book, Children of Men, and it is different from other dystopias which presume continued “teeming” — either people keep having babies or babies are manufactured.

  • Michael

    We will have an aging population, but the aged will be much healthier and more productive. Retirement age is going to have to be moved upward to keep productivity constant.

    • disqus_TvoTw0wy2j

      But why should older people retire, if they’ve got most of the wealth in their hands? I’m not asking to be provocative. I’m asking because I don’t know, and because of what I’ve read above: that the aging population (at least in Japan) is ‘hoarding’ resources for its own retirement. So even if they are healthier, if they are also wealthier, wouldn’t the elderly prefer to have a ‘golden’ retirement using their ‘productivity’ on leisure pursuits and related spending, rather than continuing to slog away to keep the economy turning over for a future generation? Seems to me selfishness doesn’t vanish when you hit 65.

      Of course, who can predict the future? And where in the past can we look for an example of what’s happening now, exept perhaps declining Rome.

      • David_Naas

        Why retire? You must be an office worker. for us blue-collar wretches, the body begins to break down after 40+ years of dealing with insane bosses who do not regard us as flesh and bone, but as “fungible assets”. For those who don’t have a job that involves skinned knuckles and dirt ground under fingernails, you don’t know how good you’ve got it.
        Seems to me idiocy doesn’t limit itself to those over 65.

        • disqus_TvoTw0wy2j

          Wow. Doesn’t this forum have any standards for civility? For assuming the other person is well-meaning? Or is that behavior only confined to people trying to be Christ-like.

          I should have written, ‘why should they NOT retire’? If you had read the whole post before jumping in to be rude and insulting (and assuming that a complete stranger doesn’t know what hard work is), you would see what I wanted to know about:

          Someone said that older people will have lots of wealth in their hands; someone else said that the retirement age would have to be pushed up. I wanted to know how those two things go together. Seems to me, if you’ve got a cushy nest-egg, you don’t keep working longer, you enjoy life while you still can (as my post explained). It seemed to me that the two ideas contradicted themselves, yet both people were talking about an aging population and came to different conclusions (apparently to me).

          I was not asking the question to be provocative. I was asking so someone could resolve the apparent – to me – contradiction between an aging population that has lots of money and an aging population that would ‘have to’ keep working later than the current retirement age.

          But since you bring up the idea of blue-collar workers’ bodies breaking down, I know all about that: I come from a family; I can look around. I have seen that happen to – for example – a brother who used a jack-hammer breaking up sidewalks for several years. I have another brother who goes from blue-collar job to blue-collar job in part because he has a hard time coping with inhumane bosses who treat him like an idiot.

          In any case, your sufferings as a blue-collar worker are not an excuse to be rude and insulting.

          But before you assume that office-workers have no physical degeneration, tell it to my sister-in-law who worked as a secretary all her life until she had to take early retirement because things like carpal tunnel syndrome and back problems made her work too painful to do. Tell it to my website developer friend whose arms and shoulders are so damaged by keyboard and mouse use that she can no longer do her job – and has a difficult time doing normal things around the house anymore -long before ‘official’ retirement age.

          We all suffer somehow. It doesn’t make us privileged to be rude and insulting to others whose jobs/lives seem to us to be easier than our own.

          • David_Naas

            We all make mistakes. I assumed that, taken in context, your statements were intended as a clear provocation, when you say, “Seems to me selfishness doesn’t vanish when you hit 65.”, disclaimers to the contrary. My most sincere apologies, inasmuch as it was absolutely not my intent to be rude or insulting. However, I am operating off what you said, not what you meant. Perhaps I should have waited for your explanation of what you truly meant.

            Now, when you proclaim to the heavens that I have been “rude and insulting” three times, and also proclaim your own self as merely “trying to be Christ-like”, methinks thou dost protest too much. I am eager, in fact, to have a respectful dialogue with any person, but not when I think someone is doing a special pleading — in this case, playing a victim — in order to circumvent the discussion.
            If you are under the impression I did not read your post (thereby demonstrating disrespect for your opinion), such is not the case. I was focusing on what I perceived as a rather blatant attack on older people. You say that such was not your intention, and I accept your good faith in this matter. Now, have you the “standards for civility” to extend that good faith to myself? If so, we could have a most engaging conversation.
            Again, my ‘reaction’ to what I saw as a clear provocation does not seem, to me, to warrant your ‘reaction to my reaction’, but such is life. It is entirely probable that both have miscommunicated, and seen evil intent where there was none. For myself, repentance is in order. So, shall we start over?

        • Adam__Baum

          You think offices aren’t full of the same type of bosses?

  • Pingback: The Catholic Hour » The End is Nigh, Well in 2050 Anyway

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Contradicting the theory, recent history shows that those developed countries with declining fertility are far from a new era of peace and prosperity actually has its days numbered.

  • msmischief

    One issue is that by 2050, all those of child-bearing years will be the children of those who had children nowadays or later. This may affect the projection.

  • Proteios

    I would recommend not fighting this. Why? The same reason as when Rome became Christian. Romans were wealthy and privileged. Did not want children and often left infants to die outside the city. Christians had big families and adopted the abandoned infants. Well. Guess what happens when you math it out. Number. Roman population went down as it fell and as it couldn’t maintain it’s empire. Christians outnumbered the Romans and the reason Rome became Christian wasn’t some decree or benevolence or political correctness. It was political smarts when you see an overwhelming population grow in power. Sme here. Let them all depilatory. The traditional Catholics and their big families will by good catches is and devotion eventually over centuries…yes, it took 3 to 4 entries in Rome. But in centuries the faithful will reclaim Gods providence by their faith. Gods in no hurry. He is timeless. Bt we know He wins.

    • smokes

      You mean Catholics should have more kids?

      • Mymomchoselife

        Sure,why not!

        • smokes

          Exactly!

  • Pingback: No hay vuelta, la especie humana ha decidido dejar de reproducirse [2013-09-17] | Foros de la Virgen María

  • Freedom Hayak

    One problem is who is having babies and who isn’t – which is a topic carefully avoided by the Catholic Church. As long as there are prosperous welfare states to send high fertility rates peoples to, in the form of bogus refugee programs, everyone is happy, right? Because the Catholic Church would rather the welfare state conduct the business it used to be in, charity. No one wants to discuss why smart Western people have fewer children – exactly the people who we should be encouraging to have more children. Africa’s growing population rate is scary – and the more we feed these people without teaching them to successfully feed themselves, the more children they will have, and the more children will starve and die when they realize they cannot feed themselves without social engineering of western countries.

    • Art Deco

      I think we take in about 80,000 a year classified as ‘refugees’, bogus or no. It is a small component of the total migration stream.

      The fertility tanking has been global and, in the last twenty years, much more pronounced outside of the affluent countries than among them. It has been less intense with regard to tropical and southern Africa, but still measurable.If you extrapolate from the experience of the last 30 years, African fertility may fall to replacement levels in another 40 to 50 years.

      • Freedom Hayak

        Does that mean we need even more refugees in Lewiston Maine and other places, refugees who are not Catholic and who have no plans on ever becoming Catholic, even though they are brought in with the help of the Catholic Church in hopes of getting converts? Of course, the refugee racket also makes money for its enablers. The Catholic Church is now the main importer of refugees. Last year the US Catholic Conference MRS brought in 26,000 refugees—putting up pennies, if not actually netting a profit, for every dollar of taxpayer support for the refugees. The African refugee program, which is certain to be the largest and longest running in U.S. history, has been plagued by fraud with both UNHCR officials and U.S.-based voluntary agencies involved in schemes to allow individuals to crowd into the U.S. refugee program by falsely claiming family relationships to refugees already here. (Nothing new in queue-jumping. A retired FBI agent recently told me that in the 1980s, you could look out of the Consular office windows in Moscow and see known mobsters “managing” the line of intending refugees, in which they might have stood for days, to get their own people in first.)

        It is hard to believe that public opinion will remain unmoved if the African AIDs epidemic is imported to the U.S. on the refugee program. And recent data from the Minnesota Health Departmentreport show that, although African immigrants make up less than 1% of the state’s population, they accounted for 16% of new HIV infections reported in 2001.

        Apologists point out that the number of new AIDS cases in Minnesota is small in absolute terms. Minneapolis is a resettlement center for known HIV positive African refugees, so the state might be expected to show higher than normal HIV infection rates for immigrants and refugees. But the newly arrived cases were not included in the state study. Including known HIV positive arrivals makes African immigrants’ contribution to the state’s rate of HIV infection 25 to 30 times higher than their proportion among the states population would suggest. Further, most of the state’s African population is from Somalia, a country that has been spared the higher infection rates found in some other African countries. In South Africa, for instance, the AIDS infection rate is 10 times higher than the rate found in Somalia.

        • Art Deco

          It would not surprise me to discover that there are people granted refugee status who do not merit it. Sorry you’re hostile to the remainder.

          • Freedom Hayak

            It does not surprise me that there are people who keep their head in the sand about what is happening in the United States – they must feel there is no end to the bankrolling of the Welfare State.

      • smokes

        Let’s give them each a pressure cooker upon arrival at Kennedy.

    • Art Deco

      According to this:

      http://www.gao.gov/key_issues/international_food_assistance/issue_summary

      The U.S. government spends about 1.3 billion dollars a year in food aid co-incident with disaster relief and about $700 million in chronic food aid. There are $900 million people in tropical and southern Africa, and we are spending $0.77 per person per year feeding them. Let us posit that we are the source of 20% of the international food aid. Were that the case, Africans would be receiving about $3.70 per year in free grub from the affluent countries, bar disaster relief. Somehow I suspect African peasants are more productive than that.

      • Freedom Hayak

        You suspect wrong. For the first time ever, for example, the once fertile farm lands of South Africa now lay barren and food must be imported.

        • Art Deco

          Per the World Bank, agricultural output in South Africa amounts to about $8 bn, or $156 per capita. That is somewhat in excess of $3.70 per capita.

          • Freedom Hayak

            Obviously you haven’t been to South Africa lately and depending the WB as your only sours of facts, well, it’s like depending on the Pope as your only sours of spiritual information.

            • smokes

              I’ll go with the pope but know the WB, IMF and UN are crappy, Leftist, institutions. Harry Dexter White would agree.

  • smokes

    If intelligent Catholic women deign to have children again, all will be well. If not, EVERYONE will go to Hell. That’s fair.

  • Diego Fernando Ramos Flor

    I would like to read the whole report, anybody knows where can I find it?

  • Dan McCall

    Statism depopulates, but women entering the workforce does as well. Simply put, women with the opportunity for personal achievement choose that over raising 3 to 6 children nearly every time.

    The only way I can see this changing is if societies begin to eschew the state, and the economic and social chaos it causes. Make the economic strain of having children less costly, and more women on the margin will be likely to raise multiple children.

    I don’t see birth rates as a problem. I see how children are raised as the problem. Parenting, by and large, is still in the stone ages.

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