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Babies are Good vs. Babies are Bad February 2, 2013 6:00 PM | Tagged as demographics population economics
WSJ 2/2/2013 page C1 – "America’s Baby Bust" by Jonathan V. Last
As a baby boomer, The Biz Bucks Guy was taught by our 60’s culture that babies are bad. Pseudo-scholars like Paul Ehrlich who wrote the Population Bomb encouraged my generation to stop having babies because we are all going to starve. Ehrlich was wrong. Julian Simon first proved him wrong, academically. Norman Borlaug proved him wrong in practice as he taught the world to feed itself. Ehrlich was a modern-day Malthus, the 18th century English economist who wrongly predicted world starvation.
But because so many believed Ehrlich, we are now engulfed in a more serious cliff…the “under-population” cliff. Demographers, who study population economics, insist that we need somehow to change. Without at least replacement fertility of 2.1, we are headed for economic malaise that will last for decades. 97% of the world lives in a country with fertility below replacement. The US is currently about at replacement (2.05), but if you strip out immigration, the core of the country is at 1.5, about the same as most European countries.
Japan is a perfect example. Declining fertility started early in Japan. In the 80’s everyone thought that Japan was taking over the world. However, tacking into the wind of lower fertility, they have had a lost decade plus five more years.
Look for Jonathan Lust’s book, What to Expect When No One is Expecting.
Perhaps we will soon see the US government advertising on billboards as Australia is doing. Have “2 for the family and 1 for the country.”
Babies are good. Common sense and now population economists say so.
Posted in Demographics | 0 Replies
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