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Alas, Poor Thanos

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Most Iconic Duo?

Batman and Robin
14
19%
Fertility Rates and Wealth
5
7%
Turner and Hooch (film)
1
1%
Death and Taxes
24
32%
Steak and Chips
6
8%
Turner and Hooch (Scrubs)
0
No votes
Dom and Family
0
No votes
Madonna and Child
3
4%
Spongebob and Patrick
22
29%
 
Total votes : 75

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Forsher
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Alas, Poor Thanos

Postby Forsher » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:13 pm

WORLD POPULATION GROWTH SLOWING

Sorry for shouting, but title is clickbait.

Researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2.4 in 2017 - and their study, published in the Lancet, projects it will fall below 1.7 by 2100.


So... something you need to be aware of... projections aren't the same as predictions. With a prediction you're saying something like "I think X will be true" whereas with a projection you're saying something like "if Y continues, then expect Z". It's a very important distinction (or, alternatively, a means of abrogating responsibility).

aka actually the article isn't really about slowly population growth either

Which is to say... your conclusion from the article should be something like "if we do nothing, we're fucked". To which the article helpfully points out:

Some countries have tried policies such as enhanced maternity and paternity leave, free childcare, financial incentives and extra employment rights, but there is no clear answer.

Sweden has dragged its fertility rate up from 1.7 to 1.9, but other countries that have put significant effort into tackling the "baby bust" have struggled. Singapore still has a fertility rate of around 1.3.


i.e. "we don't know what to do"

You'll notice that the particular set of policies (read: changes designed to ensure projections don't come true) mentioned here sound a lot like "how do we convince an intelligent person to have a kid" (no, Idiocracy is still stupid... but very funny). So...

Contraception is theft! Abortion is murder! Octomom 2020! #Catholicsftw

Hopefully you can see why people tend not to propose these kinds of solutions, but in case you don't:

The researchers warn against undoing the progress on women's education and access to contraception.

Prof Stein Emil Vollset said: "Responding to population decline is likely to become an overriding policy concern in many nations, but must not compromise efforts to enhance women's reproductive health or progress on women's rights."


Of course, maybe you disagree but the point I'm making is simply a lot of people agree with Vollset for the reasons Vollset's pointed out. Mind you, there isn't necessarily any reason to imagine those solutions would work, either... look at Ireland.

Anyway... what do you think about the impending extinction of the human race in... "a few centuries" (presumably Global Warming will get us first or maybe antibiotic resistance... projection, not prediction)?

Helpfully my thoughts are encapsulated by the article so I'll just quote it again:

You might think this is great for the environment. A smaller population would reduce carbon emissions as well as deforestation for farmland.

"That would be true except for the inverted age structure (more old people than young people) and all the uniformly negative consequences of an inverted age structure," says Prof Murray.

[...]

Who pays tax in a massively aged world? Who pays for healthcare for the elderly? Who looks after the elderly? Will people still be able to retire from work?


I have two additional thoughts... firstly, this isn't actually news (which, frankly, makes Endgame a quite mind bogglingly stupid movie) and secondly, when you look at China's aggressive policy of the last few years and compare it to a world where (a) its population might plausibly be smaller than Nigeria's inside 90 years and (b) the existing narrative of "getting old before it gets rich"... well there's a certain "make hay while the sun shines" aspect, I think.

General Talking Points

  • is it even a problem?
  • potential solutions?
  • usefulness of projections vs predictions
Last edited by Forsher on Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Diahon
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Diahon » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:31 pm

1. Yes. A slowing growth rate means an aging population in multiple countries, including all economic leaders, in the long run.

2. First, acknowledgment that it is even a problem; last, that intensified migration will be a part of the solution.
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Purpelia
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Postby Purpelia » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:57 am

Diahon wrote:1. Yes. A slowing growth rate means an aging population in multiple countries, including all economic leaders, in the long run.

2. First, acknowledgment that it is even a problem; last, that intensified migration will be a part of the solution.

No it will not. Migration at best shifts the problem around. And that's assuming it works. Remember, migration brings with it baggage that might not be beneficial to society as a whole such as changes in culture which might not make it worth it. All those old people might not want their retirement payment if that means they have to live in a society that has changed beyond recognition. The one and only proper fix for the aging population problem is to make those young people you do have more productive by investing in domestic industry and the automation thereof as opposed to outsourcing all your wealth production to China.
Purpelia does not reflect my actual world views. In fact, the vast majority of Purpelian cannon is meant to shock and thus deliberately insane. I just like playing with the idea of a country of madmen utterly convinced that everyone else are the barbarians. So play along or not but don't ever think it's for real.



The above post contains hyperbole, metaphoric language, embellishment and exaggeration. It may also include badly translated figures of speech and misused idioms. Analyze accordingly.

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Dumb Ideologies
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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:12 am

At least in the West we're past the era of governments taking deliberate action with a long term plan. We are run by vapid PR-merchants, not visionaries.

What I expect will happen is that we'll bumble along with gradually raising the retirement age, combined with moving to below-inflation increases (i.e cuts) to pensions. We will trot out the personal responsibility argument, blaming the elderly more for not having sufficiently saved for their own dotage, ignoring that the real cost of living has been increasing for ordinary people for some time. Each government will try to kick the can down the road to the next one

There's only so far you can push this before you start having lots of stories of old people dying in poverty and there'll then be a last minute moral and social panic as everyone claims they didn't see it coming but argh there's only so much we can do before the line goes down and we'll have even fewer resources.

This will then send a delayed social signal to upcoming generations to have more children hoping they will look after them now the state is no longer willing to do so. The rate will then slowly start going up again as social changes in mindset take time, and there will be increased poverty and misery in the interim possibly for several generations as the demographic pyramid gradually realigns.
Last edited by Dumb Ideologies on Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Purpelia
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Libertarian Police State

Postby Purpelia » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:21 am

Dumb Ideologies wrote:At least in the West we're past the era of governments taking deliberate action with a long term plan. We are run by vapid PR-merchants, not visionaries.

What I expect will happen is that we'll bumble along with gradually raising the retirement age, combined with moving to below-inflation increases (i.e cuts) to pensions. We will trot out the personal responsibility argument, blaming the elderly more for not having sufficiently saved for their own dotage, ignoring that the real cost of living has been increasing for ordinary people for some time. Each government will try to kick the can down the road to the next one

There's only so far you can push this before you start having lots of stories of old people dying in poverty and there'll then be a last minute moral and social panic as everyone claims they didn't see it coming but argh there's only so much we can do before the line goes down and we'll have even fewer resources.

This will then send a delayed social signal to upcoming generations to have more children hoping they will look after them now the state is no longer willing to do so. The rate will then slowly start going up again as social changes in mindset take time, and there will be increased poverty and misery in the interim possibly for several generations as the demographic pyramid gradually realigns.

Whilst I generally agree with your predictions I do not agree with the conclusion. That being that things will actually fix them selves eventually. I mean, how is having more children going to fix anything if there are no jobs for them in the economy or if most jobs just end up profiting some rich dude that may not even be in the country or paying significant taxes to it.
Purpelia does not reflect my actual world views. In fact, the vast majority of Purpelian cannon is meant to shock and thus deliberately insane. I just like playing with the idea of a country of madmen utterly convinced that everyone else are the barbarians. So play along or not but don't ever think it's for real.



The above post contains hyperbole, metaphoric language, embellishment and exaggeration. It may also include badly translated figures of speech and misused idioms. Analyze accordingly.

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Nevertopia
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Postby Nevertopia » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:26 am

I don't see a problem here. Overpopulation just took care of itself and immigration can take care of lower birthrate countries.
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Nuroblav
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Postby Nuroblav » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:31 am

Cool. I don't really see this as a problem as such. A lot of people as I gather have seen this as a chance to help the environment a bit - by forcing the population to decrease. That being said, using that as a method at first may be unnecessary (rather we should focus on using technology or investing in alternative forms of energy), but perhaps as a last resort. But let's get back to the topic in hand.
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New haven america
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Postby New haven america » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:31 am

Purpelia wrote:
Diahon wrote:1. Yes. A slowing growth rate means an aging population in multiple countries, including all economic leaders, in the long run.

2. First, acknowledgment that it is even a problem; last, that intensified migration will be a part of the solution.

No it will not. Migration at best shifts the problem around. And that's assuming it works. Remember, migration brings with it baggage that might not be beneficial to society as a whole such as changes in culture which might not make it worth it. All those old people might not want their retirement payment if that means they have to live in a society that has changed beyond recognition. The one and only proper fix for the aging population problem is to make those young people you do have more productive by investing in domestic industry and the automation thereof as opposed to outsourcing all your wealth production to China.

It's interesting how people who are against immigration tend use this argument all the time but never seem able to back it up with actual examples.
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Cameroi
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Postby Cameroi » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:37 am

examples of what? how many people there are and where they are standing have no logical nor visible connection to each other.

people who are against immigration are against any freedom that they don't expect to benefit themselves in some zero sum way.

its TOTAL human population that is the problem, not who they are, where they are, what they look like or any of that.

and its a problem because we are all used to consuming at a faster rate then nature replenishes what we consume.

that makes it a time limited state, which is what is meant by unsustainable.

economics and war are 'games' humans play with themselves.
the intersection between infrastructure and environment is part of the real universe of rocks and trees and galaxies.

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Last edited by Cameroi on Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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An Alan Smithee Nation
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:34 am

This is why we need robots.

What happened to Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?
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Purpelia
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Postby Purpelia » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:41 am

New haven america wrote:It's interesting how people who are against immigration tend use this argument all the time but never seem able to back it up with actual examples.

I am not against migration on principal. I am just against the idea that importing people will magically fix things and produce money out of thin air. More people is not a solution to anything. Not unless you can harness them to produce more value for the economy. Otherwise you're doing the equivalent of the farmer who buys 10 combine harvesters to work on his 1 acre field thinking he'll suddenly get 10 times the produce. Same thing with breeding. 10 workers per job does not benefit the economy be they local or foreign any more than 10 jobs per worker.

Also the argument does not need examples because it is a well known phenomenon called "human capital flight". And it is a serious problem for a lot of developing nations. When people from one country move to another for work all this does is shift the problem of which country has too few workers from the country of destination to that of origin. A simple google search would have told you that much.
Last edited by Purpelia on Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
Purpelia does not reflect my actual world views. In fact, the vast majority of Purpelian cannon is meant to shock and thus deliberately insane. I just like playing with the idea of a country of madmen utterly convinced that everyone else are the barbarians. So play along or not but don't ever think it's for real.



The above post contains hyperbole, metaphoric language, embellishment and exaggeration. It may also include badly translated figures of speech and misused idioms. Analyze accordingly.

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Forsher
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Postby Forsher » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:43 am

Nevertopia wrote:I don't see a problem here. Overpopulation just took care of itself and immigration can take care of lower birthrate countries.


Actually, it doesn't.

As a simple illustration... why would a young NZ couple behave differently in a reproductive sense if they're based in some country other than NZ? Usually, they're probably only going to move somewhere if they can expect greater quality of life (or, possibly, living standards) than what they get where they're already based. Which might seem like a great reason to start nesting but is it? They've got limited local knowledge of the stuff parents tend to care about (e.g. school systems), vastly reduced to no support networks (e.g. hard to get granny to look after the kids if she's in Auckland and you're in London) and there's probably a "gotta keep the job to stay in country" Sword of Damocles edge going on as well. And maybe the young couple want to enjoy their improved circumstances for a bit too.

And I don't think the analysis stacks up when we look at importing people from high fertility (read: lower income) countries. Such immigrants are more likely to face racism, language barriers, employment discrimination and all those complications that applied in the "well off" to "even better off" case. There's also an argument that freed of the factors that create high fertility in the exporting country that these immigrants are better able to realise their own values/personality in their life choices. I can't think of any examples where family size is a cultural preoccupation... even with Catholics it's usually a case of "can't use contraceptive" rather than "you only have two kids? what a loser".

Ironically (given an earlier post in the thread), immigration does help... potentially a lot... with productivity. Some would say this is just a matter of selection effects (i.e. basically you're only allowed to immigrate if you're more productive than the resident population is on average).

Dumb Ideologies wrote:This will then send a delayed social signal to upcoming generations to have more children hoping they will look after them now the state is no longer willing to do so. The rate will then slowly start going up again as social changes in mindset take time, and there will be increased poverty and misery in the interim possibly for several generations as the demographic pyramid gradually realigns.


Pensions are for Breeders! Three kids or you're out (on the street in your old age)! Support your community, breed local!
That it Could be What it Is, Is What it Is

Stop making shit up, though. Links, or it's a God-damn lie and you know it.

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Dumb Ideologies
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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:21 am

Forsher wrote:
Dumb Ideologies wrote:This will then send a delayed social signal to upcoming generations to have more children hoping they will look after them now the state is no longer willing to do so. The rate will then slowly start going up again as social changes in mindset take time, and there will be increased poverty and misery in the interim possibly for several generations as the demographic pyramid gradually realigns.


Pensions are for Breeders! Three kids or you're out (on the street in your old age)! Support your community, breed local!


Ha! But no, my point is broadly in agreement with what you said in the OP I think. People are unlikely to change their behaviour due to government signals or propaganda in the short term because we're used to the idea that the government should support our sacred lifestyle choices and sod the wider social impacts. Transforming entire narratives takes time.

The message would only really sink in I think once a pressing and present economic need to change behaviour was severe enough that people couldn't ignore it. And given the amount of time it takes for demographic changes to filter through the entirety of the pyramid this would seem to unfortunately mean a lot of shit hitting the fan first rather than a soft landing.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:26 am

This is the first good news I've heard in a while. Though given the slowness of the trend, it's hardly news.
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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:48 am

I think not only will population growth stop, but there will be a decline in population by the end of the century. A great die off, made possible in the global south in part by climate change.
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Duvniask
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Postby Duvniask » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:39 am

Forsher wrote:
Nevertopia wrote:I don't see a problem here. Overpopulation just took care of itself and immigration can take care of lower birthrate countries.


Actually, it doesn't.

As a simple illustration... why would a young NZ couple behave differently in a reproductive sense if they're based in some country other than NZ? Usually, they're probably only going to move somewhere if they can expect greater quality of life (or, possibly, living standards) than what they get where they're already based. Which might seem like a great reason to start nesting but is it? They've got limited local knowledge of the stuff parents tend to care about (e.g. school systems), vastly reduced to no support networks (e.g. hard to get granny to look after the kids if she's in Auckland and you're in London) and there's probably a "gotta keep the job to stay in country" Sword of Damocles edge going on as well. And maybe the young couple want to enjoy their improved circumstances for a bit too.

And I don't think the analysis stacks up when we look at importing people from high fertility (read: lower income) countries. Such immigrants are more likely to face racism, language barriers, employment discrimination and all those complications that applied in the "well off" to "even better off" case. There's also an argument that freed of the factors that create high fertility in the exporting country that these immigrants are better able to realise their own values/personality in their life choices. I can't think of any examples where family size is a cultural preoccupation... even with Catholics it's usually a case of "can't use contraceptive" rather than "you only have two kids? what a loser".

Ironically (given an earlier post in the thread), immigration does help... potentially a lot... with productivity. Some would say this is just a matter of selection effects (i.e. basically you're only allowed to immigrate if you're more productive than the resident population is on average).

Dumb Ideologies wrote:This will then send a delayed social signal to upcoming generations to have more children hoping they will look after them now the state is no longer willing to do so. The rate will then slowly start going up again as social changes in mindset take time, and there will be increased poverty and misery in the interim possibly for several generations as the demographic pyramid gradually realigns.


Pensions are for Breeders! Three kids or you're out (on the street in your old age)! Support your community, breed local!

You might be interested to know, if you do not already, that the viability of combating collapsing fertility and the subsequent problems of population aging with replacement migration is also not backed up by data (something I planned to make my own thread about, but alas, I have a life and it will have to wait, I guess):

Beaujot, Roderic (2003): "Effect of Immigration on the Canadian Population: Replacement Migration?"
Coleman, D.A. (2002): "Replacement migration, or why everyone is going to have to live in Korea: a fable for our times from the United Nations."
Lutz, Wolfgang; et al (2019): "Demographic Scenarios for the EU"

Essentially, people like Nevertopia here, whose response to population decline and aging is just "immigration will take care of that", don't know what they're talking about.
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Page
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Postby Page » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:18 am

Personally, no amount of money from the government could convince me to have kids, I literally wouldn't even consider it for a million dollars, so when it comes to people like me there's really no incentive that will work, and there are apparently a lot more people like me out there so I don't know what they're going to do about it.
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Diopolis
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Postby Diopolis » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:45 am

Forsher wrote:
Nevertopia wrote:I don't see a problem here. Overpopulation just took care of itself and immigration can take care of lower birthrate countries.


Actually, it doesn't.

As a simple illustration... why would a young NZ couple behave differently in a reproductive sense if they're based in some country other than NZ? Usually, they're probably only going to move somewhere if they can expect greater quality of life (or, possibly, living standards) than what they get where they're already based. Which might seem like a great reason to start nesting but is it? They've got limited local knowledge of the stuff parents tend to care about (e.g. school systems), vastly reduced to no support networks (e.g. hard to get granny to look after the kids if she's in Auckland and you're in London) and there's probably a "gotta keep the job to stay in country" Sword of Damocles edge going on as well. And maybe the young couple want to enjoy their improved circumstances for a bit too.

And I don't think the analysis stacks up when we look at importing people from high fertility (read: lower income) countries. Such immigrants are more likely to face racism, language barriers, employment discrimination and all those complications that applied in the "well off" to "even better off" case. There's also an argument that freed of the factors that create high fertility in the exporting country that these immigrants are better able to realise their own values/personality in their life choices. I can't think of any examples where family size is a cultural preoccupation... even with Catholics it's usually a case of "can't use contraceptive" rather than "you only have two kids? what a loser".

Catholics who actually follow the "can't use contraceptive rule"(and bear in mind there's also a big chunk which cheats on the rule, then claims that it's due to fertility problems or the rhythm method working unusually well) absolutely do sometimes act like that, albeit not phrased in that manner, at least on the more conservative end. You're not going to replicate that cultural model without also having significantly less liberated than in the present women, however(as a cultural if not legal norm).
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Postby -Astoria- » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:50 am

Page wrote:Personally, no amount of money from the government could convince me to have kids, I literally wouldn't even consider it for a million dollars, so when it comes to people like me there's really no incentive that will work, and there are apparently a lot more people like me out there so I don't know what they're going to do about it.
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Diopolis
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Postby Diopolis » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:56 am

Page wrote:Personally, no amount of money from the government could convince me to have kids, I literally wouldn't even consider it for a million dollars, so when it comes to people like me there's really no incentive that will work, and there are apparently a lot more people like me out there so I don't know what they're going to do about it.

The solution is to raise the fertility rate among people who do want kids enough to compensate, though. At least theoretically- it may not be doable if the "don't want kids, ever" group is big enough. But theoretically, if 1/3 of the population doesn't want kids, and 2/3 does, then the replacement TFR for that remaining 2/3 would go from 2.1 to 3.2. A norm where married couples have three-ish kids but not everyone gets married would probably do that quite easily.
Edit: fix a math error.
Last edited by Diopolis on Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Founded: Dec 12, 2019
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Region of Dwipantara » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:27 am

Will increasing the number of young people really help that much? I mean, with automation being a thing. At least here in my country (which I'm still not sure if it's a good idea or not), we're still trying to reduce population growth. Less kids means more resources per kids, a critical policy to adopt as according to the 21st century, 2 well-educated city kids are significantly more valuable than 7 unskilled peasants.

Really, the "problem" with old retired people is their loss of productivity, making them no more than a "burden" in the eyes of the global economic system. (And let's not forget that this "old people" is actually "ourselves", as we're talking about the future). The obvious solution would be to end aging, but the path to that is very uncertain.

Meanwhile, there will be a potentially irresistible urge to open the floodgates of immigration:
  • On one hand, developed countries may not even make it in the short term if they don't increase the number of younger population ASAP. The alternative would be Japanese stagnation and its 240% debt-to-GDP ratio, a.k.a. delaying the inevitable.
  • On the other hand, climate crisis and poverty wil drive hundreds of millions (especially from Africa) to migrate.

So both sides would have an incentive for a globalism-style immigration policy, especially when many liberal parties (such as the Democrats) will be greatly bolstered politically by that. Either way, y'all fucked.
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Stellar Colonies
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Stellar Colonies » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:37 am

Propping up the birthrate with increased immigration will only work as long as there are places to immigrate from which have a higher birthrate way above replacement levels. If the whole world becomes as developed as the West and the birthrate everywhere drops below replacement, an alternative will have to be found.

Page wrote:Personally, no amount of money from the government could convince me to have kids, I literally wouldn't even consider it for a million dollars, so when it comes to people like me there's really no incentive that will work, and there are apparently a lot more people like me out there so I don't know what they're going to do about it.

Same, I have no interest in having and raising children. Yes for assisting my siblings and cousins when they have kids, but no for having a partner and kids of my own. Maybe that'll change, but I don't know.
Last edited by Stellar Colonies on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Region of Dwipantara
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Founded: Dec 12, 2019
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Region of Dwipantara » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:50 am

Stellar Colonies wrote:Propping up the birthrate with increased immigration will only work as long as there are places to immigrate from which don't have a low birthrate. If the whole world becomes as developed as the West, an alternative will have to be found.


That's a big "if". Yet, if the whole world really bad comes as developed as the west, not only the population pyramid will be far more unsustainable, the strain on the environment will also reach a whole new level. Malthusians thought that overpopulation is a threat to earth's sustainability, while the real threat is actually overconsumption – primarily driven by high-income society.

Holy shit, Illuminati is right. We know that they want to 1) depopulate the earth and 2) gain immortality through those crazy occult stuff. But I've never realized that those two goals would be connected! If we limit world population growth through the development of poorer regions AND eliminate aging, human civilization might actually be sustainable.
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Latvijas Otra Republika
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Postby Latvijas Otra Republika » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:31 am

Page wrote:Personally, no amount of money from the government could convince me to have kids, I literally wouldn't even consider it for a million dollars, so when it comes to people like me there's really no incentive that will work, and there are apparently a lot more people like me out there so I don't know what they're going to do about it.

It’s natural and hormonal, can happen on accident. Choices like that aren’t definite. Mostly all parents didn’t want kids.

In the end I don’t just want to die alone in an old cold bed, never truly having given something of value to the world.
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Atheris
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Postby Atheris » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:36 am

I see this at the most a bit concerning.

That being said, the government can't convince me to change my sexuality, so good luck trying to make me have kids.

Latvijas Otra Republika wrote:In the end I don’t just want to die alone in an old cold bed, never truly having given something of value to the world.
I would rest easy, knowing I did what three generations of my forefathers couldn’t - be there. Taking responsibility. The people you love, not some made up career or beer bottle, that’s real responsibility.

That's why I'm happy I have siblings (both by blood and by friendship). I'm never gonna have kids, so being there for their children and helping them with what they need is more than enough for me.
Last edited by Atheris on Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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