Continued from last week,
Letter to N. Dignant
In many ways, the United States is in the same boat as China. We worry constantly about how long the social security system can hold out. There are more old people and fewer young people working; more of us geezers on fixed incomes, fewer up and coming tax payers. There comes a point when the math has to kick in. The crisis is already upon us.
Pensions are less and less sustainable in government, school and union jobs in the United States. Young people with good educations increasing find only part time work for which the employer needn’t provide the benefits to which my generation was accustomed. When looking at population it isn’t really helpful to look at the total population. One needs to look at the total number of three-year-olds in order to do any financial planning. Right now schools across the country are standing empty because there aren’t children to fill them. Universities are terrified. In about 14 years today’s three-year-olds will be applying for college. There aren’t enough three-year-olds to go around, and who will pay the tuitions that support tenured professors? (Tenure is a Latin word for “not having had a new thought in 30 years.”) The universities are already being sustained by foreign exchange students who come to learn math and science while we Americans are doing gender studies and getting our doctorates in Moldavian golden age literature. I imagine that soon the foreign exchange students will be doing gender studies too.
Young people with their doctorates in gender studies and Moldavian golden age literature are having a hard time finding work. Most of the young people I know are underemployed and glad to get a job that is somewhere just above minimum wage. This is because the world culture has entered the DEATH SPIRAL. Isn’t that a cheery thing to call it? The death spiral is really quite simple. Old folks like me don’t need much stuff. I have all the furniture I need and the plaid polyester leisure suit that was the height of fashion in the 70’s is still good enough for me. I don’t need stuff and am on a fixed income anyway. That means there are fewer jobs making the stuff I don’t need and that means there is less money to start a family and that means people have fewer children, so there are less consumers and still, fewer jobs, and that means less employment and that means less money to start a family and that means fewer consumers and that means fewer jobs and so on.
You see: the DEATH SPIRAL: fewer kids, less demand, fewer jobs, except of course in the gender study field. (Not.) “The average cost of raising a child born in 2013 up until age 18 for a middle-income family in the U.S. is approximately $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the latest annual "Cost of Raising A Child" report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Aug. 18, 2014” Who can afford kids on a minimum wage salary? There is a saying, “There is no unemployment on a farm.” There’s plenty of unemployment in cities, where, for some unknown reason, everyone is moving in the hope of finding jobs.
It seems that the year 2050 — just 35 years away — is pivotal for urbanization and population decline. That’s when the demographic car really goes over the cliff when we become a planet of dependent old people living in large urban slums. You think we have a struggle for resources now? Just wait.
Population doesn’t cause the struggle for resources. Population creates resources and in itself is a resource. Wars are the lust for power and for the ability to over consume. War wastes the world’s resources. Hunger doesn’t cause war, war causes hunger. War is caused by people wanting the stuff I have. War is theft on the grand scale. If the resources devoted to war could be used for the production of food and consumer goods we could probably sustain double the world’s current population. War kills exactly the age group that makes the chairs and milks the goats and plants the corn.
Soon we will be in the death spiral that is devouring Japan, China, Germany, Poland and about 20 other countries already. We weren’t generous enough to have large families. We limit our families by means of birth control. We kill children in record numbers by means of the crime of abortion and now we can’t have children. We can’t seem to muster up the will to put up with the inconvenience. It is estimated that at the current rate, the population of the world will reach 9 billion in 2050, the magic year, and then plummet to one billion in four hundred years and there is no reason to think that the decline will stop then, unless the world at some point changes its mind about the purpose of sex and the usefulness of children.
The sweater of humanity seems to be unraveling fast and not many are noticing it. A curious side note; the depopulation of humanity, the unraveling of the sweater started at 4901 Searle Parkway in a little town called Skokie, Illinois. It is where the Searle Company first mass produced the little golden pill that has made it possible for the great bulk of humanity to spend their old ages in loneliness. Most appropriately the factory overlooks a cemetery and a school that is closing for lack of children to fill it. It also overlooks a Catholic church.
People complain regularly about how mean God is in the Bible. God is not mean; he is just a bit of a literalist. In the Bible pharaoh said, “Kill the children of the Israelites!” God, taking pharaoh at his word sent a plague that killed the first born. “If you want dead children, then dead children it will be.” Thus saith the Lord.
We told God we didn’t want a lot of children and now our churches our schools; and our homes, are empty save for a few grey heads. We wanted things not families and so be it! We killed our children, the weakest, the unborn to maintain our standard of living and now we will face the rationing of health care in our old age. We geezers are now the weakest and there are not enough children to help us in our old age.
Do you think the strong will care for us, the new weakest any more than we cared for the children, the former weakest? No, I suspect that they will let us die rather than waste expensive health care on the old and useless. Besides, it will be better for us anyway, just as it was better for all those little babies who had no one to love them. Just as we mercifully and humanely ended unwanted pregnancies, I’m sure in the near future the few young and strong who remain will mercifully and humanely end unwanted old people, just as you Ms. Dignant have asked.
“As you measure out so it will be measure to you.” (Luke 6:38)