Tuesday, March 16, 2010

US may fare better than much of world because it sustains population replacement


Today, March 16, AOL News greeted its subscribers with this “opinion” “What America will look like in 2050”, when I would turn 107. (Link.) It was surprisingly upbeat. It says America is still replacing its population, although immigrant and minority groups are having more children than much of the upper middle class.

Many European countries have stagnant populations because parenting is taxing and expensive (even with all the state parental benefits) and because there is a certain despair about the future. Population replacement is particularly stagnant in Eastern Europe, Japan, and surprisingly Singapore. And China is living with the consequences of its one-child policy.

The "hard Right wing" has called this problem "demographic winter", and warns that it could destabilize Europe (as Muslim populations have more children than native Europeans) and even the US, as the entire western world depends on immirant labor for jobs it doesn't want to do. Even gay conservative author Bruce Bawer warned about this in his book "While Europe Slept" (2007, Anchor).

Author Michael Chabon is quoted as saying “In having children, in engendering them, in loving them, in teaching them to love and care about the world," parents are "betting" that life can be better for them and their progeny.” Chabon is the author of “Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son" (Harper, 2009).

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