Monday, June 24, 2024

There are enough people

I recently came across yet another doom-and-gloom article about declining birth rates, this time from a "liberal" at Vox who has three kids and plans to have three more.

Now I understand everyone wants their views to be "right" and popular. But arguing that it is bad that there aren't more people is simply bonkers

Since the end date here, global population has increased to more than 8.1 billion. Where is the emergency? 

As I discuss in both "Fight the Power" chapters of Losing My Religions, I think that our genes, families, and society "conspire" [sic] to pressure us to have children. This is not to say that no one should reproduce, but simply that we should question whether reproducing would make our life better and also provide a good existence for another person.

But on the macro level - there are enough people. When I hear people talk about declining birth rates, I can't help but hear "not enough white babies are being born." (Or Japanese, or Korean.) 

Despite a lot of progress, many hundreds of millions of people live in terrible poverty right now. Instead of trying to convince educated yuppies to have more babies, we should create policies that help people who already exist - through greater immigration and / or aid + trade.

(I get the political obstacles of trying to help non-white non-Americans. But working in this difficult area seems much much better than complaining about car seats.)

1 comment:

NonZeroSum James said...

I can't help but hear "not enough white babies are being born." (Or Japanese, or Korean.)

This is exactly what I hear. I've tried to explain to a friend of mine that the "wrong" people having babies (whether it's foreign babies or the poor and uneducated in your own country) the solution is not coercive eugenics, but building a healthy, sustainable culture, that is appealing to all, diverse and robust—then it doesn't matter where babies are born, if the system they are born into helps them reach their potential (which is the same potential as those of us currently in the position of being highly educated/wealthy yuppies).

One thing's for sure encouraging surplus kids is going to exhaust resources and cause environmental degradation at an even higher level. Incidentally my next post (which is finished but not up yet) is about how saving lives actually reduces over-population in developing nations. Also did we forget that everything's going to be produced by robots in the future? None of those new young people are going to have jobs, right?

Great post Matt :)