Actually We Aren't Leaving Debt To Our Grandchildren

...because we aren't having any.

The U.N. projects that world population could begin declining as early 2040. Those worried about global warming and other environmental threats might view this prospect as an unmitigated good. But lost in most discussions of the subject is the rapid population aging that accompanies declining birthrates.

Under what the U.N. considers the most likely scenario, more than half of all remaining growth comes from a 1.2 billion increase in the number of old people, while the worldwide supply of children will begin falling within 15 years. With fewer workers to support each elder, the world economy might have to run just that much faster, and consume that much more resources, or else living standards will fall.

In the USA, where nearly one-fifth of Baby Boomers never had children, the hardship of vanishing retirement savings will be compounded by the strains on both formal and informal care-giving networks caused by the spread of childlessness. A pet will keep you company in old age, but it is unlikely to be of use in helping you navigate the health care system or in keeping predatory reverse mortgage brokers at bay.

Even countries in which women have few career choices are not immune from the spreading birth dearth and resulting age wave. Under the grip of militant Islamic clerisy, Iran has seen its population of children implode. Accordingly, Iran's population is now aging at a rate nearly three times that of Western Europe. Maybe the middle aging of the Middle East will bring a mellower tone to the region, but middle age will pass swiftly to old age. China, with its one-family-one-child policy, is on a similar course, becoming a 4-2-1 society in which each child supports two parents and four grandparents.

The most depressing part of the article is the comments. I'm not sure if this fellow can even read:

Bravo and high Hosannas! The world is overpopulated and need less, far less humans.

And then:

I'm glad to hear this. This planet can't handle the number of people we have on it now. A 50% decrease would be best in the long run

What is the ideal number of persons? And how do we know?

And my particular favorite:

Does anybody think that India would not be a more pleasant place with fewer people? Haiti? Bangladesh?

Yes, because then white people wouldn't have to see anything unpleasant when we eco-tour there!


Only the most backward, immature societies continue to believe that slash and burn, of environment and other tribes is a birthright. We can, and must enter a new era where quality of life, not survival at any price , is the moral imperative.
Wonder what quality of life the gentleman expects to have when he can't retire and there are no social welfare programs because one young person cannot support two (and often more thanks to divorce and alternative lifestyles!) parents and multiple grand and step-grandparents? Enjoy your doubled-over-with-arthritis-no-one-to-help-me declining years, sir. As you languish in the state run facility with no young doctors in it --or out on the street-- rest assured someone will wistfully opine the world would be ever so much more pleasant without you.