Author Topic: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED  (Read 1287 times)

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Offline 2397

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2019, 11:17:25 AM »
I'm not sure who said it wasn't more complex, but indeed, contraception is just about making it easier to make the choices you want to make. Which includes not losing out on choice by having children by accident. Maximizing contraception knowledge and access means that the children who are born are very likely to have resulted from planned pregnancies.

So the other part is; do people actually want to have children, and how many children? What if they learn more about the world, what if you gave them more to do in life than to stay at home and raise children? What if they learned more about what it means to have children and what will be expected of them? Banning child labor, defining and banning child abuse and dedicating resources to fighting it, will add to the demands of the parental role.

What if they learn that their kids will probably die from drought within the next 50 years, or that the global society is likely to be far more chaotic as countries collapse and there are billions of climate refugees?

Offline bachfiend

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2019, 11:49:13 AM »
I'm not sure who said it wasn't more complex, but indeed, contraception is just about making it easier to make the choices you want to make. Which includes not losing out on choice by having children by accident. Maximizing contraception knowledge and access means that the children who are born are very likely to have resulted from planned pregnancies.

So the other part is; do people actually want to have children, and how many children? What if they learn more about the world, what if you gave them more to do in life than to stay at home and raise children? What if they learned more about what it means to have children and what will be expected of them? Banning child labor, defining and banning child abuse and dedicating resources to fighting it, will add to the demands of the parental role.

What if they learn that their kids will probably die from drought within the next 50 years, or that the global society is likely to be far more chaotic as countries collapse and there are billions of climate refugees?

The authors argue that having one or two children only might (actually will) become the global normal, which is far below the replacement level of 2.1 children per couple.  Once the normal becomes one or two, it’s very difficult for governments to increase it by financial incentives - which are very expensive.  And also don’t work in inducing couples who don’t want further children to do so.

As a result, it’s inevitable that the population of many countries will decrease, or at least the proportion of working tax-paying young people will decrease, who will have to pay the costs of the increasing proportion of old, (relatively) non-tax paying, non-working elderly, the increased costs of a degrading environment, and possibly the costs of financial incentives inducing people to have more children (which as noted don’t work).  And people who are under financial stress, which they will be, won’t have children if they can avoid it.

Perhaps the Republicans’ war on abortion is a sensible one (from their viewpoint)?  Abortion deprives them of the young who will provide for them when they’re old?
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Offline Shibboleth

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2019, 12:07:15 PM »
If it becomes financially advantageous to have more children people will start having more children again.
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Offline bachfiend

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2019, 04:06:11 PM »
If it becomes financially advantageous to have more children people will start having more children again.

I was reading the Melbourne Age this morning and came across this article:

https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/hungary-to-give-lifetime-tax-exemption-to-women-who-have-four-children-20190211-p50wwb.html

It’s an incentive to encourage women to have more babies to reverse Hungary’s decline in population.  But the women have to have 4 babies.  If women had an average of 2.1 babies (replacement level), then Hungary wouldn’t be having a population decline.  Not enough Hungarian seem to want (or can’t afford to have) even 2 or 3 babies, let alone 4.

I was going to note that it would be expensive and probably wouldn’t work, but I have just realised that it probably just not work.  There wouldn’t be many Hungarian women wanting to have 4 or more babies in order to have a lifetime exemption from income tax.  Their working careers would be heavily curtailed by being forced to have 4 or more children.  And their incomes too.
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Offline random poet

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2019, 04:31:30 PM »
If it becomes financially advantageous to have more children people will start having more children again.
This is categorically false. When a region's median income goes up, the birth rate goes down.

High birth rates are correlated with poverty and lack of education. Or rather, most likely, lack of education is correlated with poverty and high birth rate.
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Offline 2397

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2019, 04:43:26 PM »
I was reading the Melbourne Age this morning and came across this article:

https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/hungary-to-give-lifetime-tax-exemption-to-women-who-have-four-children-20190211-p50wwb.html

It’s an incentive to encourage women to have more babies to reverse Hungary’s decline in population.  But the women have to have 4 babies.  If women had an average of 2.1 babies (replacement level), then Hungary wouldn’t be having a population decline.  Not enough Hungarian seem to want (or can’t afford to have) even 2 or 3 babies, let alone 4.

I was going to note that it would be expensive and probably wouldn’t work, but I have just realised that it probably just not work.  There wouldn’t be many Hungarian women wanting to have 4 or more babies in order to have a lifetime exemption from income tax.  Their working careers would be heavily curtailed by being forced to have 4 or more children.  And their incomes too.

It'll only be worth it for those already rich enough to pay for someone else to raise their kids.

Perhaps the Republicans’ war on abortion is a sensible one (from their viewpoint)?  Abortion deprives them of the young who will provide for them when they’re old?

If they're deluded enough, sure. But there's no abortion epidemic, it's not abortion numbers going up that's reducing fertility rates, because they're not going up.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2018/11/21/number-abortions-us-hits-historic-low/
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 04:46:34 PM by 2397 »

Offline bachfiend

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2019, 10:58:57 PM »
I was reading the Melbourne Age this morning and came across this article:

https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/hungary-to-give-lifetime-tax-exemption-to-women-who-have-four-children-20190211-p50wwb.html

It’s an incentive to encourage women to have more babies to reverse Hungary’s decline in population.  But the women have to have 4 babies.  If women had an average of 2.1 babies (replacement level), then Hungary wouldn’t be having a population decline.  Not enough Hungarian seem to want (or can’t afford to have) even 2 or 3 babies, let alone 4.

I was going to note that it would be expensive and probably wouldn’t work, but I have just realised that it probably just not work.  There wouldn’t be many Hungarian women wanting to have 4 or more babies in order to have a lifetime exemption from income tax.  Their working careers would be heavily curtailed by being forced to have 4 or more children.  And their incomes too.

It'll only be worth it for those already rich enough to pay for someone else to raise their kids.

Perhaps the Republicans’ war on abortion is a sensible one (from their viewpoint)?  Abortion deprives them of the young who will provide for them when they’re old?

If they're deluded enough, sure. But there's no abortion epidemic, it's not abortion numbers going up that's reducing fertility rates, because they're not going up.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2018/11/21/number-abortions-us-hits-historic-low/

If the Republicans are deluded enough?  But you repeat yourself.
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Offline Shibboleth

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2019, 02:09:43 PM »
If it becomes financially advantageous to have more children people will start having more children again.
This is categorically false. When a region's median income goes up, the birth rate goes down.

High birth rates are correlated with poverty and lack of education. Or rather, most likely, lack of education is correlated with poverty and high birth rate.

You are reading what I said wrong. It isn't financially advantageous to have children right now in most situations. If that changes in any meaningful way in the future then you will start seeing more children again. My wife and I didn't have another child because we didn't want the extra expenses involved and we didn't want to miss out on more work.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Offline random poet

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2019, 02:50:01 PM »
If it becomes financially advantageous to have more children people will start having more children again.
This is categorically false. When a region's median income goes up, the birth rate goes down.

High birth rates are correlated with poverty and lack of education. Or rather, most likely, lack of education is correlated with poverty and high birth rate.

You are reading what I said wrong. It isn't financially advantageous to have children right now in most situations. If that changes in any meaningful way in the future then you will start seeing more children again. My wife and I didn't have another child because we didn't want the extra expenses involved and we didn't want to miss out on more work.
Your anecdote is irrelevant. The reality is that poor people have more babies.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2019, 02:55:25 PM »
If it becomes financially advantageous to have more children people will start having more children again.
This is categorically false. When a region's median income goes up, the birth rate goes down.

High birth rates are correlated with poverty and lack of education. Or rather, most likely, lack of education is correlated with poverty and high birth rate.

You are reading what I said wrong. It isn't financially advantageous to have children right now in most situations. If that changes in any meaningful way in the future then you will start seeing more children again. My wife and I didn't have another child because we didn't want the extra expenses involved and we didn't want to miss out on more work.
Your anecdote is irrelevant. The reality is that poor people have more babies.

Easy enough to test. Do the 1% have more babies than the 10% or 50%?
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2019, 03:01:50 PM »
Your anecdote is irrelevant. The reality is that poor people have more babies.

I think this is a separate track. 

Like, subsistence farming is a driver of high birthrates.  Societal abandonment of subsistence farming is associated with a major drop in birthrates.  Iirc, China's the example here.  Their birthrates didn't start dropping until their economy modernized and people started moving way from subsistence farming writ large. 

Rather than affordability, there's a, "kids as profit-center," angle (so to speak)
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Offline 2397

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2019, 03:05:59 PM »
Easy enough to test. Do the 1% have more babies than the 10% or 50%?

Or do the 0.1% have more children than the 1-0.1%?

https://qz.com/1125805/the-reason-the-richest-women-in-the-us-are-the-ones-having-the-most-kids/

Offline random poet

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2019, 03:06:59 PM »
If it becomes financially advantageous to have more children people will start having more children again.
This is categorically false. When a region's median income goes up, the birth rate goes down.

High birth rates are correlated with poverty and lack of education. Or rather, most likely, lack of education is correlated with poverty and high birth rate.

You are reading what I said wrong. It isn't financially advantageous to have children right now in most situations. If that changes in any meaningful way in the future then you will start seeing more children again. My wife and I didn't have another child because we didn't want the extra expenses involved and we didn't want to miss out on more work.
Your anecdote is irrelevant. The reality is that poor people have more babies.

Easy enough to test. Do the 1% have more babies than the 10% or 50%?
No need, we've been running the test already! The numbers are in.

This is worldwide fertility rate by income in 2016:
(Average number of births per woman.)
High income 1.68
Upper middle income 1.83
Middle income 2.33
Low & middle income 2.57
Lower middle income 2.76
Low income 4.63


Your anecdote is irrelevant. The reality is that poor people have more babies.

I think this is a separate track. 

Like, subsistence farming is a driver of high birthrates.  Societal abandonment of subsistence farming is associated with a major drop in birthrates.  Iirc, China's the example here.  Their birthrates didn't start dropping until their economy modernized and people started moving way from subsistence farming writ large. 

Rather than affordability, there's a, "kids as profit-center," angle (so to speak)
Yes, subsistance farmers are very poor, so they have more children. How is that different?
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2019, 10:40:18 PM »
Easy enough to test. Do the 1% have more babies than the 10% or 50%?
No need, we've been running the test already! The numbers are in.

This is worldwide fertility rate by income in 2016:
(Average number of births per woman.)
High income 1.68
Upper middle income 1.83
Middle income 2.33
Low & middle income 2.57
Lower middle income 2.76
Low income 4.63

Thank you for posting the stats. I knew this to be the case, but didn't have the chance to try to track it down.
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Offline Shibboleth

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2019, 01:29:24 PM »

Your anecdote is irrelevant. The reality is that poor people have more babies.

Yes, but that wasn't my original point. My point was that if having babies starts providing a monetary advantage people will start having more babies, not that having more babies gives you a monetary advantage. Most of the reason I believe that financially better off people have less babies is that having more babies would impact their quality of life. If that were to change they would have more babies.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

 

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