[saymaListserv] Future Population Decline: What Are Our Responsibilities As Friends?
jhminshall at comcast.net
Wed Aug 18 15:26:03 JEST 2004
Hi Again Nancy Winfrey, I love the artwork you add to the messages
No, You're right. Population is not yet declining in Third World
Countries. But the rate of growth is slowing significantly. Stan
Becker (an MD demographer who works at the Johns Hopkins School of
Public Health and used to be a member of Atlanta Meeting) handed out
a series of graphs at the FGC Gathering. He gave me a printout when
I met with him. It shows the rate of world population growth
declining from nearly 2% in 1950 to the point where it is now a
little over 1% and projects a decline to about 1/2 of 1% (.05%)
within the next 40 years (Stan used the figure of 75 million per
year for current world population growth in our conversation
recently, but it is falling, not rising or just flattening as Stan's
graphic projections apparently show.) As I indicated in my previous
messages, world population is expected to reach the point of
equilibrium in from 45 years to 75 years depending on which sources
you accept and what happens with mortality from war, disease, famine,
natural disasters, and ecological changes as well as "lifestyle
factors" such as obesity, drinking alcohol, smoking and using street
drugs between now and then. Stan's numbers on population after 1999
in the graphs are all projections, not accomplished fact. According
to 2002 UN Population Division figures the population in much of
Western Europe is already in decline, as is the population in Japan.
The population of European descent in North America is already at or
below equilibrium or replacement. Relatively new demographic
information which I shared with Stan at the FGC Gathering puts the
decline in population in Russia at nearly 1 million people a year as
birthrates are moving lower AND mortality rates are moving higher.
Let me stop here and give a couple of references for those of you who
need to go look it up and see for yourselves:
"Europe's Baby Bust", the National Geographic magazine, by Scott
Elder, September 2003.
The UN Population Division projections from 2002 are graphically
illustrated. They show nine European countries with projected
declines in population of more than 20%, seven European countries
with declines of 10% to 20%, and nine European countries with
declines of less than 10%. The last paragraph of this article is:
"Without babies to replenish the labor force and pay taxes, Europeans
will be hard pressed to fund the pensions of longer living retirees,
To stay in the black, governments will need to take unpopular steps,
such as raising the retirement age, cutting benefits, hiking taxes,
and increasing legal immigration. says Chamie (Joseph Chamie,
director of the United Nations Population Division): "There's no way
out of the demographic box".
"The Coming Baby Bust" , Foreign Affairs, by Phillip Longman, May-June 2004.
Summary in the Table of Contents previously cited in my message "Is
Population Decline A Bigger Threat Now Than Population Growth?"
"Abnormal Demographics", Foreign Affairs , by Mark Lawrence Schrad of
the University of Wisconsin, July-August 2004 Letter To The Editor
"These dramatic figures (of a population decline in Russia
approaching 1 million people a year) represent the largest peacetime
rate of population loss in Europe since the plagues. And the trend
has no discernible end in sight. Goskomstat (Russia's state
statistical agency) projects the Russian population to shrink between
77 and 126 million by 2050, and Murray Feshbach, the United States'
foremost demographer of Russia, estimates that it (Russia's
population) will drop by more than a third, to a mere 100 million."
Schrad writes further: "Male life expectancy has continued to decline
significantly since 1998....In fact, Russians have the lowest life
expectancy of any post communist nation....This demographic implosion
continues at both ends: not only are Russians dying at an increasing
rate, but fewer Russians are being born every year, and even fewer
are being born healthy....The percentage of children born healthy
today in Russia is lower than before the discovery of penicillin."
Nancy, I agree completely with you that immigration to and refugee
resettlement in the US should be increased significantly. I have
made that suggestion in previous messages. I appreciate your
response adding to the discussion.
Best Regards, Janet Minshall
>This is a Fine Predicament!
>What I am not reading here in your analysis is the following:
>Population is not reclining in third world countries! Our
>immigration policies are contributing to the lack of population
>growth in this country as current inhabitants age and birthrates
>This country's growth until the 20th century depended on immigration
>from poorer countries. This policy of today, of "I've got mine, you
>go get yours" that underlies restrictions on immigration cause more
>problems than aging, stable population.
>1. Opportunities for those in third world economies aren't
>available to those who would immigrate and increase and offset our
>aging population, except with strict limitations.
>2. The gap in wealth between have-nots and those in power is
>increasing daily here.
>3. The need for unskilled labor is not being adequately met -
>traditionally met by immigrants who will then educate their children
>for a better life and productive citizenship.
>All of these shortcomings due to restricted immigration are coming
>to a head also. As the "equilibrium" you cite approaches, it can be
>at least alleviated by an overhaul of our immigration policies,
>a. Relieve the overpopulation stresses of third world countries
>b. Give those who are motivated to immigrate a decent chance to
> improve their lives and those of their children
>c. Help ease the dilemma of caring for our aging population.
>d. And last, but not least, fulfill the promises etched on our
> Statue of Liberty.
>I realize that care must be taken to restrict immigration for
>criminal purpose, but putting numbers quotas on different countries
>seems to me to be discriminatory, self serving for the wealthy of
>this country, and harmful to our coming imbalance in population.
>I hope you will consider the above when debating this issue.
>Nancy A. Winfrey
>Clemson Worship Group
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