Which is all very well and good, but something else altogether jumped out at me. Read this:
"At the end of the day, the US remains the only major power still producing babies a rate high enough to survive through the 21st century as a dynamic society."Babies? You mean, we need people? For thirty odd years, and perhaps longer, we have been taught that the world had too many people. I remember sitting in an Environmental Science class in college and having a class discussion on the overpopulation problem. Not surprisingly, much of the problem was blamed on religious people, specifically Mormons. Apparently, big families were dooming the planet. We had an entire section devoted to this crisis, and what must be done about it.
Problem is, they got it wrong. Hard to believe, I know.
According to the UN, the developed world is facing an underpopulation crisis. Seems all those "too many people" lessons in college really hit home and we all stopped having babies. Japan's running out of people, Europe's running out too, and Russia recently had a "Conception Day" designed to remind people to, you know, reproduce when they have sex.
A major part of the Telegraph's reasoning for US economic optimism is based on the underpopulation crisis:
"China's workforce will peak in 2015. The country will then tip over into the steepest demographic decline ever recorded. It will be old before it becomes rich, doomed to second-tier status.It sure would have been nice to have had this data handy in that class discussion a fews years back. As one of the few "Big Family" Mormons in the group, I could have been hailed as a planet saving hero.
Japan began to shrink in 2005. Russia will shrivel to 104m by 2050, on UN data. Germany, Italy and Spain are all going grey, succumbing to that status quo outlook that comes with age. Their economies may even start to contract. Yes, birth rates can rise, but only by cultural revolution, and with long lags."