Jay Evensen: Why a dropping fertility rate is bad news

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  • bernand0 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 16, 2018 5:16 a.m.

    Jay, so tired of articles like this. You mentioned technology heading off the "disaster" of overpopulation. What makes you think technology and innovation won't head off the "disaster" of dropping fertility rates?
    With AI and automation becoming more prevalent, the need for more workers will probably decrease. I would argue that having a larger population will just mean we have more unemployed/underemployed people as traditional jobs disappear and automation/AI takes over. For example, I just switched from a financial planner to a robot investor (sorry Edward Jones).
    Let's face it, not everyone is inclined to take on a technology driven job. And those that don't, might be left out.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    June 15, 2018 7:58 a.m.

    Jay - you just outlined a very good argument why our immigration policy is bad. Your premise is that the only way to build a population is by the local population replenishing itself. And in a more isolationist world, that could be true. Add to that, parents don't have and raise kids to have them become the "servant" class - we hope and pray our kids out do and have better than we have.

    Here is the problem with this argument. It subconsciously assumes that the only way for our society to replenish itself is for white families have more white kids. The idea that this replenishment could be achieved by little latin families legally coming to the states to start their climb up that ladder is not an option. They can't rebuild the tax payer base. They can't be part of our armed services. The idea of the US growing via non-europeans based growth isn't acceptable to many.

    There are millions of those who would love to come to this country LEGALLY to achieve the blessings we already enjoy. But that isn't on the table..... and we all know why that it..... either consciously or subconsciously.

    Not pointing a finger at Jay - it's just how our society works.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 14, 2018 7:29 p.m.

    "The entire world" is not going to lose population in my lifetime. Some bits of it might. The resources of this planet are finite. We have to come up with a different definition of success than more people, more consumers, more stuff.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2018 3:44 p.m.

    Some things to think about: 1) Karl Marx demonstrates is his work "Capital" that capitalism needs continual growth to survive (both GDP and population). 2) Capital in large part controls population and has successfully grown the global proletariat by 2.5 Billion people the last 30 years (mostly in Asia), so why is Jay worried? 3) However any great changes to population dynamics could create unexpected changes in economics and politics.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    June 14, 2018 3:26 p.m.

    US fertility hit an all time low in 2016, 2006 and 1976 depending on what measurement you use. Thos wishing to increase immigration use the one most favorable to their agenda. The truth is, from 1970 to 2010 our population grew by 100 million people.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 14, 2018 3:15 p.m.

    Simply put we live on a finite planet. Exponential growth forever is unsustainable and undesirable. We have to find an economic way to work with a stable population.

    Was a time I could go to my favorite camping area in the Uintas on Friday after work and find a decent spot. Now I need to go on Wednesday or I am out of luck.

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2018 11:47 a.m.

    "At this rate the world population will be over 30 billion people"

    Just because it's easy to deceive with statistics doesn't make it right. Every intelligent person realizes that the rate is not constant. That's a major point of the article, that growth has slowed significantly.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2018 10:58 a.m.

    I am sure that a declining population will have its challenges, and I agree with Jay the world has adapted better than it could have, primarily due to progress and technological innovation.

    But though population growth itself may result in economic benefits, surely this isn't all we should be thinking about? All would agree that population growth poses its own seeming insurmountable challenges (like Florida melting into the Atlantic by year 2100 due to climate change).

    Even if you don't believe in climate change (science), you still see the problems Utah faces as we see a more drought and an increasing population demanding water. These problems are not easy. So who is to say that a population decline will be any harder?

    A famous author once said, "growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell." Hopefully, humankind strives to be more than just a cancer.

  • Invisible Hand Provo, UT
    June 14, 2018 10:56 a.m.

    People tend to take a trend and extrapolate it to absurdity. Malthus did it and alarmists on both sides of this debate are still doing it. There may be some population contraction but it will stabilize. Some cultures will shrink dramatically before that happens while others will grow. European culture may be swallowed up by a more dynamic, growing Islamic society. It's cultural suicide to have a birth rate lower than replacement.

  • BestSolutions Orem, UT
    June 14, 2018 10:43 a.m.

    The family is the basic building block of our society. If there are no families then society disintegrates. Family life with a mom (female) and a dad (male) who are married and their children is the basis for a healthy society. Men who love their wives and are faithful, and women who love their husbands and are faithful, and children who are reared with high moral values and standards make our nation strong. Our nation needs to promote marriage between a man and a woman and to give incentives or substantial tax breaks for those couples who have children and specifically those who have more than 2 children. We need to become a family friendly nation. A nation that values stay-at-home moms who play a critical role in nurturing families and giving the adult supervision that all children need including teenagers. Another part of the solution is to make immigration happen with the stipulation that the immediate family comes and immigrates together, that way we have people who are surrounded by those they love and they will do better in society--less likely to end up in trouble-- and they will not be sending out all the money they make to their families in another country.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    June 14, 2018 10:21 a.m.

    Easy short-term (next 20 years) solution. Immigration (USA is the one country everyone wants to immigrate to, not from). But we need immigrants who will pay FICA taxes, not immigrants who take mon

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2018 9:45 a.m.

    In 1866 when my grandfather was born the world's population was about 1.4 billion people. Since then our population has grown to 7.6 billion. In recent years the population has been doubling every 50 years or so.

    At this rate the world population will be over 30 billion people in the life time of some our children, and definitely in the life our grandchildren!