A Forecast That Was Completely Wrong

No, I don’t mean the prediction of clouds for the eclipse. That is happening.

I grew up hearing (and being taught) that we were facing a “population explosion” and it sounded freaking terrifying.

We were told, by “scientists” with “modeling data” that thanks to modern medicine, insect control and Donald Trump (ok, they didn’t blame him only because they hadn’t heard of him), people were living longer and…that…was…bad.

I wanted my Nana to live longer. I loved her. Was she part of this problem?

Most famous was Paul Ehrlich, who wrote a bestseller hyperbolically called “The Population Bomb”—in maybe a decade’s time, we’d be starved into food riots and a dystopian kind of future. He actually urged the government to order movie and TV producers to always portray large families as evil and selfish. You know, like “The Brady Bunch”.

Most of the Malthusian self-designated prophets of the last 50 years have been all wet, and it’s mostly harmless. But the population predictions led to actual policy and that has been disastrous.

Food riots? No. Except in the bread aisle at H-E-B right before an ice storm.

Governments DID, however, take “population control” to heart—it felt good to the would-be fascists to bark out orders like China’s “one child” policy. However it was way more widespread than Communist China. Plus, the sexual revolution, preaching intercouse without conception, took on a weird kind of Ehlichian virtue. Feminists wrote about how noble it was to NOT bring children into the world. As a child, hearing this stuff was crazy.

In the last 50 years, the average woman in the world bears slightly less than half as many children as would the 1974 version of her. Even all these “men having babies” can’t make up the difference. Global fertility has crashed. The population replacement rate is totally inadequate in much of the world, and nearly so here in the US.

Meaning: populations get older, want more services and support, but there are fewer earners to pay for it, and fewer extended family members to help take careof the aged.

It turns out, and it’s kind of amazing to me that we couldn’t see this back in the day and throw it in Ehrlich’s face on all those TV talk shows he did, that what matters most isn’t the total number of people on Earth. What matter most is who they are. 

Are they young, active, taking risks and creating value? Or older, tired, taking no risks and not producing?

Now we hear the left trying to sell their purely political open borders scheme as an emergency population-replacement remedy. If that was really true, we shouldn’t wait for the caravans at the border, but send troops abroad to abduct and drag-back the most attractive able-bodied people we can find.

Governments are now, incredibly and ironically, trying to encourage and incentivize having more children.

Based on their track record, who’s going to believe them?

Listening to “experts” is the last thing we want to do.

 

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