May 31, 2022

Japan's birth rate is a warning sign

As nations become more industrialized, birth rates decline. In fact they decline far faster than death rates which means that populations stop growing and start declining. It's happening in China and it's happening in Japan as Elon Musk points out.

This is not just true for Asian countries, Europe is suffering from the same problem and even in the United States the birth rate has declined significantly.  Many on the left are probably thrilled to hear about population decline.  There's this weird earth over humanity, global warming anti-human anxiety for many on the left. You need look no further than their stance on abortion. For some population control is a noble goal.

But it's not. Earth's capacity to handle more people is not an issue, even if you subscribe to the global warming hysteria.  Humanity is constantly innovating and coming up with ways to deal with new issues as they arise; be they manmade or natural phenomena.  

Food production is also not an issue, its poor distribution is the real problem. In addition to constant innovation in agriculture we can certainly produce enough food for everyone.  If you want to debate food allocation, that's a different discussion.

There is a real existential threat to humanity and that is declining birth rates. Yes, third world countries continue to have massive birth (and death) rates.  But since the 1950's thanks to capitalism, the industrialized world has grown to encompass hundreds of millions of more people, meaning the third world is, thankfully, shrinking. The threat of a declining population is not a good thing for humanity.  Look at the era of plagues and what it did for development (or rather to hinder it) in the affected populations.  

It can take centuries to recover.  And with birth rates falling below replacement rates in many countries, recovery may not be possible.  Not without a shift in thinking in many areas; abortion, birth control, the impact of humanity on the planet, and even the roles of men and women in society.  I'm not suggesting the answers just pointing out that these things need to be considered for the sake of humanity.

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