[extropy-chat] [SALT] The DEpopulation Problem, this Friday (for forwarding)

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Thu Aug 12 07:08:10 UTC 2004

Do you think this (depopulation caused by people choosing to have less
children) is a function of the cost of having children? In the west,
and probably in most poorer countries except where children can pay
their own way, cost of raising children plus easy reproductive control
(actually a lot of people had this already using various native
methods, you can also include infanticide here) means people will have
less children. An economist might predict this. I'm assuming readers
understand the fact that all the people of the world understand how
babies are made, and make economically driven decisions about family

The same economist might look at the looming greying population
problem, and say that it'll turn around (with lag) because the value
of money compared to human labor will change, with more money buying
less labor, because we'll have more people with money and without the
ability to labor. So, children (-> young teens -> yound adults) will
be able to earn more, and become profitable again (the way they were
for thousands of years). You would predict worldwide labor shortages
and subsequent labor and services price rises to lead to relatively
unsubtle subsidisation of breeding and child rearing, eventually.
Personally as part of Gen X I like this scenario, given that the
boomers will be wanting services (my services!) and have the money.
Maybe our parents are spending the inheritance, but we get it one way
or another :-)

The economist from the preceding paragraphs is short-sighted of
course. None of the analysis takes into account indefinite healthy
life extension, or robots, for example. And I'm not even going to
mention MNT... (oops, sorry)


http://emlynoregan.com   * blogs * music * software *

On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 08:42:16 +0200, Patrick Wilken
<patrick.wilken at nat.uni-magdeburg.de> wrote:
> On 11 Aug 2004, at 23:08, natashavita at earthlink.net wrote:
> > Pretty darn reliable.  Birthrate is going down.
> Its not going down everywhere. Its going down in some places.
> The basic result is that when women have a choice they tend to choose
> to have less babies. Wow. Something the demographers could never see
> coming when they predicted the population explosion. I wonder what
> other obvious points they are now missing in the predicted population
> implosion?
> best, patrick
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