Population - Archive

September – February 2014: Population



NEW! Why Normal People Should Care About “Baby Busts”

Eradicating the Poor: Why Are Billionaires Paying for Abortion and Pushing Population Control?

Russia’s Troubles Belie the Great Myth that Low Fertility Leads to a Healthy Society

Why Normal People Should Care About “Baby Busts”

Long, long ago, when Anne’s parents were in college (sorry, mom and dad), demographers made an observation: they saw that for most of human history, even though couples were having far more than two children, mortality was also very high. The result was that populations either stayed the same or grew very slowly.

Then, with the advent of modern medicine, our life expectancy doubled, and then doubled again. And, not unexpectedly, our population doubled, and then doubled again, as well.

Population alarmists saw this doubling as the harbinger of catastrophe: “The world is ending!” “We’ll breed ourselves to death!” “Famine!” “No more personal space!”

But demographers developed a theory: since fertility and mortality had complimented each other for most of human history, and demographers predicted that they would one day soon do so again. Mortality would fall first, and then fertility would follow. After a while, things would be back in balance.

For a while, this theory of the “demographic transition” seemed to work just fine. Countries modernized, mortality fell, and fertility, after a lag, followed the same downward path.

But instead of stabilizing at 2.1 children per couple or so—zero population growth—as the demographers expected, fertility continued to fall.

A growing number countries—Romania, Greece, Japan, Taiwan, and the Ukraine among them—now have fertility rates hovering between 1.1 and 1.4 children per woman.

For the first time in human history, otherwise prosperous and secure societies see their numbers shrinking: Russia is losing 750 people per day. Germany is losing over 600 people per day. Japan is losing 450 per day.

Demographers call this “lowest low” fertility, but they have no idea how “low” it will actually go. Nobody does.

Among the factors driving fertility downward is the radical redefining of human sexuality that has occurred over the past half-century. Don’t blame the demographers for failing to see this coming: it is something new in human history.

Over the last half century, the pill and the sexual revolution have changed the sexual dynamic so dramatically that previous paradigms no longer apply. Economic security and mortality, which once dominated reproductive decisions, now only play small, tertiary roles.  

Once upon a time sex produced children—unless you acted to prevent conception. Now, intercourse is expected to be sterile, unless you choose to deviate from the norm and stop contracepting. As Ron Lesthaeghe wrote in the 2010  Population and Development Review “during the first transition, couples chose to adopt contraception in order to avoid pregnancies; during the second, the basic decision is [whether or not] to stop contraception in order to start a pregnancy.”

Sterile sex is the new baseline. In countries going through this second demographic transition, having children is increasingly viewed as aberrant social behavior. This is especially true if a couple is having their second or third child.

The reasoning behind when to have children and how many children to have has changed as well. Couples once asked themselves: “Do we need to space our children right now?” or “How many children can we care for right now?”

This concern about the well-being of one’s present and future children has been replaced by an emphasis on self. As Lesthaeghe wrote, reproduction mainly occurs after, “a prolonged ‘process of self-questioning and self-confrontation by prospective parents. . .in which the pair will weigh a great many issues, including direct costs and opportunity costs, but their guiding light will be the outcome of self-confrontation. Would a conception and having a child be self-fulfilling?”’

The population controllers—who are still obsessed with the numbers—are now attempting to impose this indubitably flawed model of sex onto the women of less-developed countries. Perhaps if they looked gave an honest look at another set of numbers (namely, that half of the world lives in a society with below-replacement fertility) they would acknowledge it as a serious symptom of a larger social change. Instead, they continue to force this flawed part of our culture on less developed countries. They are undermining marriage, harming children, and compromising the long-term health of society as a result.

Don’t get us wrong.  We are not concerned with imploding fertility because we are obsessed with population numbers. In fact, we are bemused as governments attempt to bribe women into having children without realizing that the whole calculus of having children has changed.

We are concerned because imploding fertility has consequences far beyond the number of workers a country may or may not have in a certain year. It reflects a revolutionary sexual and social dynamic that changes everything, not just the number of children borne.

This new dynamic changes the age at which we have kids, whom we have them with, and our relationships with them. It changes the calculus of the long-term monogamous relationships that we call marriage; it means that ever greater percentages of children will grow up without one or more of their biological parents in the house; it isolates more and more people in one-person households; and it leads to more and more divorce.

We have not just lowered our birth rate or changed the way we view sex, we have, in a very real sense, dissolved the glue that holds society together.

That is to say, the family.
[Population Research Institute, 11 June 2014, Anne Morse ]




Eradicating the Poor: Why Are Billionaires Paying for Abortion and Pushing Population Control?

Most countries with access to legal abortion have spawned organizations who exist to pay for poor women to have abortions.



Russia’s Troubles Belie the Great Myth that Low Fertility Leads to a Healthy Society

Reports of terrorist threats, human rights abuses, and general economic incompetency have already marred the opening of the 2014 winter Olympics. These failings in Russia represent the face of the greatest myth propagated this past half-century

: that low-fertility creates a successful society.

Population controllers lure countries into population control programs with the promise of nice things; they promise democracy, economic prosperity, and increased longevity.1 Russia has incredibly low fertility—1.6 children per women—but the low fertility still hasn’t delivered the good-fortune which the population controllers promised.

Russia should be a population controller’s dream come true: it has had consistently low fertility, vast amounts of natural resources and a shrinking population—in fact, Russia has shrunk by 13 million people since the 1994 winter Olympics.*2

But instead of being the poster-child for the population control movement, Russia is instead a public health disaster.

    Russian women on average have 3 abortions for every 4 births, which is actually an improvement from their past; only since 2007 has the number of annual births in Russia outnumbered the number of annual abortions.3
    Russia has dangerous patterns of alcohol consumption: the average Russian consumes 10-12 gallons of vodka per year (that’s a half cup of vodka per day).4
    Suicide rates in Russia are 2-3 times higher than in the US or Europe: they have the second highest rate of male suicide in the world, and their female suicide rate is also among the top ten worst in the world.5
    The average Russian lives only 70 years. Russian men fare even worse with an average life expectancy of a mere 64 years.6
    Among countries with more than a million people, Russia has the highest divorce rate in the world.7

Russia remains a cold, desolate country, which population controllers like to ignore because it remains a glaring exception to their claims.

Population controllers claim that low-fertility promotes economic equality: they claim that having lots of children keeps a woman in poverty.8  They say rich women have fewer children, and having few children keeps a woman in prosperity. By giving contraception to the poor, population controllers claim that they can reduce economic inequality. Nowhere does this claim seem more ludicrous than in Russia. The per capita income in Russia is only $17,500, but inequality is thriving; 35% of Russia’s wealth is owned by only 110 people.9

Population controllers claim that low-fertility promotes democracy: population controllers claim that “populations with excessive numbers of young people invite a higher risk of political violence and civil strife."10 Yet Russia has had fertility below replacement level since 1965 and has endured an abundance of political and civil strife since the 1960’s.11 Even now, Russia is not democratic, but strains under rampant electoral fraud and a repressed press.12

When people think of the political and economic situation in Russia, their first reaction is not: “How odd that Russia has struggled, since it has had such low-fertility!” But they do think of the many problems Russia struggled with in the past half century: changing regimes, wars, rampant corruption, and deep economic depression.

This intuitive response to Russia’s problems stands in stark contrast to population control ideology, and it illuminates the reason why population controllers remain puzzled by Russia.

It also highlights the flaws with their most basic assumptions about fertility: population statistics are not like other statistics. Population statistics are simply numbers representing unique, unrepeatable individuals in the aggregate, and these unique individuals have their own intellect, imagination, and free will.

It is this human free will and ingenuity that makes humanity the world’s most valuable resource. It is also the reason why even countries with healthy fertility struggle; sometimes humans make really bad policy decisions. But low fertility does not ensure prosperity, democracy, or equality. Only humans can choose to ensure prosperity, and Russia is running out of them.

* The 13 million decrease is a natural decrease, excluding immigration. Since 1994, there have been 13 million more deaths than births in Russia.

1 Potts, Malcolm, et al. "Niger: Too little, too late." International perspectives on sexual and reproductive health 37.2 (2011): 95-101.

2 International Programs. – Information Gateway. United States Census Bureau, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <http://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/informationGateway.php>.

3 United Nations Statistics Division – Demographic and Social Statistics. United Nations Statistics Division – Demographic and Social Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2014. <http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/dyb2011.htm>.

4 Leon, David A., Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, and Martin McKee. "Alcohol and Russian mortality: a continuing crisis." Addiction 104.10 (2009): 1630-1636.

5 Pridemore, William Alex, Mitchell B. Chamlin, and Evgeny Andreev. "Reduction in male suicide mortality following the 2006 Russian alcohol policy: an interrupted time series analysis." American journal of public health 103.11 (2013): 2021-2026.

6 "Central Intelligence Agency." The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2013. <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2119.html#rp>.

7 United Nations Statistics Division – Demographic and Social Statistics. United Nations Statistics Division – Demographic and Social Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2014. <http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/dyb2011.htm>.

8 Kremer, Michael, and Daniel L. Chen. "Income distribution dynamics with endogenous fertility." Journal of Economic growth 7.3 (2002): 227-258.

9 Synovitz, Ron. "Russia Has Highest Level Of Wealth Inequality."RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rferl.org%2Fcontent%2Frussia-billionaire-wealth-inequality%2F25132471.html&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGSFIc288R8SgHNeEjqbDXv_mYPDQ>.

10 Cincotta, Richard P. "How democracies grow up." Foreign Policy 165 (2008): 80-82.

11 United Nations. Department of Economic. World population prospects: The 2004 Revision: Volume I: comprehensive tables. No. 244-246. United Nations Publications, 2006.

12 Fish, Steve M. Democracy Derailed in Russia. New York: Cambridge UP, 2005.
[7 Feb 2014, Anne Morse, Pop.org,  http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/russias-troubles-belie-the-great-myth-that-low-fertility-leads-to-a-healthy?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4eec55b6b2-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-4eec55b6b2-326232694