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Thread: The 20th Century

  1. #51
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    The reason the pill will have such an effect in the 21st century is that many advanced societies will depopulate - with very few kids and lots of codgers. The prospects for western Europe and Japan are pretty bleak. Even China is going to have problems in a couple decades because of their one child policy.

    The end result will be that non-citizens will be brought in to do the work and support the old folks. Those people will bring new traditions and societal values and could change the ethics and culture of the host society.

    The U.S. is moving toward a white European minority (if one considers Hispanics non European - I'm not sure of that), but has been importing and assimilating young immigrants to service the old white folks.

    Assimilation may well be the issue of the future. European immigrants tend to end up in non-assimilated ghettos. American immigrants tend to assimilate in a short time frame.

  2. #52
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    The reason the pill will have such an effect in the 21st century is that many advanced societies will depopulate - with very few kids and lots of codgers. The prospects for western Europe and Japan are pretty bleak. Even China is going to have problems in a couple decades because of their one child policy.

    The end result will be that non-citizens will be brought in to do the work and support the old folks. Those people will bring new traditions and societal values and could change the ethics and culture of the host society.

    The U.S. is moving toward a white European minority (if one considers Hispanics non European - I'm not sure of that), but has been importing and assimilating young immigrants to service the old white folks.

    Assimilation may well be the issue of the future. European immigrants tend to end up in non-assimilated ghettos. American immigrants tend to assimilate in a short time frame.
    There's a lot to chew on here. I don't want to veer too far off topic. I think China's birth rate declined a lot in recent decades because of the one child policy and tax penalties for multiple kids, not because of any real penetration (sorry ) of the pill into their society as yet. Though I don't dispute that it may be a significant part of decreasing birth rates in coming decades.

    But I disagree with your larger point about it being a major problem to have an aging population. If banks are willing to help people pretend they have the money to buy a house, allowing them to buy it fractionally over thirty years, then surely our society can do something similar to pay for elder care. As demand for nurses goes up with better pay, more people will go into nursing. If we max out at 10 billion people in 2050, I think sub-replacement birth rates might be a good thing for a century or two. The renaissance was partially sparked by the sudden loss of population following the Bubonic Plague. Perhaps our culture will start to have more reverence for the elderly once again!

    Futher, what's the big deal if the ethnic composition of a country changes over time? India keeps slamming into Asia pushing up the Himalayas, and the Pacific keeps spewing out more islands in the Hawaian archipeligo. New Orleans and Venice fight rising sea levels. How inconsequential the generational migrations of different colored people around the globe is in comparison.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  3. #53
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    But I disagree with your larger point about it being a major problem to have an aging population.
    I don't think I said it was a "problem." It was an observation about the future in response to a 20th century phenomenon.

    One of the main themes in the U.S. at this point has been imported families. In particular, a lot of our children have been imported rather than born in country.

  4. #54
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    I don't think I said it was a "problem." It was an observation about the future in response to a 20th century phenomenon.

    One of the main themes in the U.S. at this point has been imported families. In particular, a lot of our children have been imported rather than born in country.
    Oh, ok, sorry.

    The wealthy have a higher opportunity cost in choosing to reproduce than do the poor (Heard this idea in my microeconomics class a few years ago). A wealthy family will have to spend much more on their offspring. But for the poor who only live at subsistence, having a kid doesn't entail nearly as much extra spending. But of course it's a vicous cycle. If the poor are more likely to have kids, they are more likely to stay poor, and the rich vice versa. I guess what I'm saying is that over time, as a family has been here longer and is more successful, they will feel less incentive to have as many kids.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  5. #55
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    There's a lot to chew on here. I don't want to veer too far off topic. I think China's birth rate declined a lot in recent decades because of the one child policy and tax penalties for multiple kids, not because of any real penetration (sorry ) of the pill into their society as yet. Though I don't dispute that it may be a significant part of decreasing birth rates in coming decades.
    One issue relating to their 'one child' policy is that the Chinese culture puts a premium on male children, such that killing female babies/aborting female feti is almost the norm in places. This is creating a sex imbalance that is beginning to rear its ugly head as all of those male children are reaching adulthood with a severe shortage of similarly aged females.

    BTW, although I have no article links, I read within the past week or so that Russia's population has dropped by approximately 1.5M so far THIS YEAR. The reason is a very high mortality rate from rampant alcoholism. Russians are drowning their sorrows in vodka while their fertility rate continues to plummet. My crystal ball is cloudy on Russia's future, other than that it will be bleak (wide parts of the country's more remote areas are simply returning to wilderness) until a population vs economic activity balance is finally reached. The 20th Century was not kind at all to that part of the world - the Soviet communists did a real number there.

    Mike

  6. #56
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    The date the Germans were able to chemically make phosphorous as a chemical product. It made larger and better conventional munitions possible as the most minimal byproduct of the process.

    The most improtant byproduct was the ability to bypass the natural limits of Malthus' thesis that populations are limited by thier least avialable resource. In the modern world, phosphorous synthesis is the equivelent of being able to surpass agrarian limits by artifically being able to fertilize crops, thus reseting to an artificial level the total suportable population of the planet.

    My second vote is for Duct Tape!

    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    ...... My crystal ball is cloudy on Russia's future, other than that it will be bleak ....

    The Russian future is ALWAYS bleak, Thier RUSSIANS for GODS sake!
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 29 Sep 2005 at 8:51 AM. Reason: double reply
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  7. #57
    Cyburbian
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    Bah.. Nothing important happened in the 20th Century before 1984, then all hell broke loose... and it's not because I was born that year.

  8. #58
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Bah.. Nothing important happened in the 20th Century before 1984, .
    Was 1984 the year the song "I wear my sunglasses at night" came out?

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