Thursday, October 07, 2010

America's One Child Policy?

Last week, my friend Napp Nazworth asked me to write a guest post on his blog, Learning About Politics. My post was on the declining birthrates in the United States. Here's an excerpt of what I had to say:
A very interesting article by Jonathan Last has a fascinating overview of population trends going on in the US and elsewhere around the world. While it gives some rather ridiculous policy prescriptions (more roads = more babies?) and overstates the comparison of changes in American birthrates to China's One-Child Policy, it is still very much worth a read...

I am highly skeptical of the government being able to incentivize people to have more kids and wary of attempts to do so... Many of the trends mentioned in this article are simply the expected result of increased prosperity, reliable birth control, and enhanced economic opportunity for women. I doubt any of these factors will change in the near-future. What this likely means for population, absent other exogenous forces coming into play, is slower growth and probable shrinkage. What this means for society, culture, and the economy is much less clear.

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Follow the link to read the whole thing. And while you're at it, be sure to check out the rest of Napp's blog.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Was just reading /Super Freakonomics/ the other night. Turns out, one of the quickest ways to solve global warming is a reduced population (or reduced consumption).

The industrialized world might solve its own problem, though the environmental effects of reduced population on the environment vis a vis carbon will take hundreds of years to realize.