Comments about ‘Family, fertility decline impacts economy’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, April 24 2011 4:26 p.m. MDT

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Laser
Iowa City, IA

The amazing part of this story is these numbers can be measured factually, meaning the trends are easy to identify. I'll be interested in follow up stories.

BobP
Port Alice, B.C.

If we LDS keep having big families, pretty soon lots of us, not so many of them and . . . (we take over).

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Maybe we need to redefine how econonmic sustainability is maintained short of simply producing more consumers.

Livingstone
Orem, UT

This is a terrible arguement. Based on this model, a society can only survive if more and more people are born, growing the birth rate exponentially until the natural resources--even space are exhausted. The socio-economic infrastructure may be relatively good here in the United States to handle a large birth rate at this point in history: with its huge open spaces and natural resources. In places like China, more people mean less for each, which leads to incredible poverty and pollution. If we were to get to that point in the US, the only solution would be to limit births lower than 2 children per couple to bring the population back down. This would cause a larger older population unsupportable by the smaller younger, and then we would have to metaphorically set the old out to drift on ice-flows like the Eskimos to unburden us.

I think we should take a lesson from Europeans. The United States is incredibly wasteful and uses its citizens as "capital" just to keep growing ad infinitum. This is not sustainable.

Lowonoil
Clearfield, UT

The inevitable conseqence of competitive human breeding is that everyone eventually loses. The quickest route to human extinction isn't underpopulation, it's overpopulation leading to overshoot, resource collapse, and die-off.

My2Cents
Kearns, UT

This report is noting new and our decline is inevitably. It is disheartening that Mexico will own and control the US by 2050 and the US will just be another splotch in the history books. The only problem with that scenario is who is going to fund welfare for the Mexicans when all the americans are out of work and not paying taxes?

The medical industry reported many years ago the decline in fertility in men because of environmental and food adulterations by the chemical industry in the US.

Then as you watch and see how the society has changed its breeding habits, the Americans have lost a whole generation of births. Men and women are not getting married and having families until they are middle aged and too late to create a family (biological clocks). Single child families are becoming the norm and many are by adoption because the women have become infertile by waiting too long. We used to start families about every 18-20 years, now its stretched out to 38-40 years between family starts. In 10 years living great grandparents and 4 generation of living family will not exist.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

So basically the premise of the documentary is that the global economy is one massive pyramid scheme that depends on new recruits to support the earlier joiners. Incredibly, instead of arguing that the pyramid scheme is unsustainable (as they all are), the documentary argues for even more recruitment. Bernie Madoff would be proud. As with financial Ponzi schemes, the way to avoid the inevitable crash with the least harm to participants is to stop the scheme early and find a new sustainable way to invest, not to keep expanding and put even more people at risk.

Article: "A species not replacing itself is maladapted, says one expert."
Not entirely true. All species' populations ebb and flow in response to resource availability. Sometimes the best way for a species to survive in the long run is to reduce population in the short term.

Article: "The world's modern economy requires a steady flow of human capital, people who are educated and able to be productive."
Economist and prominent Ehrlich critic Julian Simon has argued this. But most of the human capital is being produced in the third world where there are the least resources (e.g. education) to develop it.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

Article: "Benjamin Franklin predicted it would double every 20 years. It isn't doing that anymore."
Global population is still going up, just not at as high a rate as before. The doubling time is longer.

BTW, Franklin's 20-year doubling prediction is consistent with a population growth rate of about 3.5%, which was probably about right for his time. Approximate doubling times for any exponential growth (compounded interest rates, population, etc.) can be easily estimated using the "Rule of 70." Just divide 70 by the growth (interest) rate (as a percentage) to get the time needed to double (or, conversely, divide 70 by the doubling time to get the necessary growth rate). Mathematical sticklers will tell you that it is really the Rule of 69.314718..., but 70 is close enough.

The article fails to make a distinction between local and global over- and underpopulation or to account for levels of development, resource consumption, the demographic shift that occurs with industrialization (declining birth rates following declining death rates), and other factors that make population too complex to distill down to simplistic "birth dearth" gloom and doom.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

"The only problem with that scenario is who is going to fund welfare for the Mexicans when all the americans are out of work and not paying taxes?"

It doesn't really surprise me that the monitors would let such blatant racism pass.

You people of the freaky right are just too much anymore. Mexico take over the US in 40 years. Mexico better hurry and start getting their stuff together. Does Mexico even have an airforce?

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

Also the average age for first births in the US is 24.9 years old, according to NationMaster, 26.9 globally. Where in the world are you getting 39-40, my2cents? Just making it up out of thin air? Like everything else in your post.

As for the article, not everything can be based on economic growth created by a pyramid scheme. Population growth is a real concern in a world with dwindling recourses. The world population is close to 7 billion right now, it is estimated to add another billion by 2025, and then a billion more by 2040. Where in the world did this article and the "experts" of the documentary come up with the idea that the birth rate was in decline?

Two billion more people by 2040, nine billion people. Think that might put some stress on the planets resources? Haha, people really don't think that might be a problem?

Well, some people do love themselves a good ponzhi scheme.

Lowonoil
Clearfield, UT

"If you watch it (Demographic Winter), make it a double feature with Soylent Green" - an Amazon reviewer

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

Do you and each of you believe in (anthropogenic) "Economic Winter" but not anthropogenic "Global Warming"?

Please explain.

Lowonoil
Clearfield, UT

I had a couple of LDS missionaries ask me if I believed in evolution. When I said yes they asked me what I thought we were evolving into. I told them "We're evolving into whoever has the most babies. So I guess we're evolving into Catholics and Mormons"

Those who see the dangers of continued population growth and restrain their own reproduction will eventually be overwhelmed by those who don't. Kind of depressing when you think about it. Check out the film "Idiocracy" or the sci-fi short story it's based upon, "The Marching Morons".

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

Haha, lowonoil, unfortunately you are correct.

southmtnman
Provo, UT

Unfortunately, BobP is not joking. The aim of Mormonism is to "put all nations under their feet" and takeover the earth.

Having lived among so many Mormons in Utah, that really doesn't bother me, because if Mormons take over the earth, they will get exactly what they deserve!

greenman108
Petaluma, CA

There are signs that the numbers of humans are too great for the world society to happily handle. Its a very short-sighted point of view, to say that only if we have more and more people can we prosper.
On the contrary. There is more to life than level-marketing. The arguments of the article used to be those of the western kings, so there would be enough man power for war. We are fast approaching the day when the oceans will be fished out. We are fast approaching the day when CO2 and methane cause climate change at such a pace that mankind may not be able to deal with it. Those kinds of problems are only due to the huge populations the world now supports.

dalep2u
Herriman, UT

Lowonoil -

I hate to tell you, but Catholics and Mormon's aren't even close to taking over the world based on their birth rate.

At the rate that Islam (Muslems) are growing, in the next 100 years we will ALL be some sort of Islamic religion.

Somehow I don't think having a bunch of babies in Utah or sending two guys in suits is going to have a whole lot of impact on that growth.

Just call it a hunch...

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments