April 22, 2006

What does this MEAN?

Washington Times: Russia's population is declining rapidly, with almost half of Russian families childless, a senior member of Russia's lower house of parliament has said.

Yekaterina Lakhova, chairwoman of the parliamentary committee on women's affairs, said Thursday, "Today, almost half of the country's 41 million families have no children at all," RIA Novosti reported.

Addressing parliamentary hearings on family policy, Lakhova said that 34 percent of Russian families have only one child, 15 percent have two children, and less than 3 percent have more than two children.

She added that the Russian birthrate is 1.34 children per woman, which is below the replacement rate of 2.14, causing a steady decline in the population growth rate.

U.N. statistics say that at this rate Russia's population will be 101.5 million by 2050, shrinking by almost half from the over 143 million population of today.

What is this telling us? What does it mean?

This is destruction worse than the Black Death!

And what do left-leaning people say about it? I've never read any serious thoughts from them (Desperate attempts to wave it all away, yes.)

Us right-wing nuts have lots to say. And they add up to a harsh condemnation of the underlying ideas of the sort of people who read the NYT, listen to NPR, and go to "anti-war" protests. But they never respond on this level.

Do they think about it? Do they dare?

And "libertarians." What does their philosophy say? Demographic collapse in Europe seems to correlate with many things they seem to favor. Freedom, unhindered by public or government morality, to buy drugs and pornography and prostitution, to obtain divorces, contraception and abortions, to commit suicide, to live alternative "lifestyles," to mock and ridicule traditional institutions and values...These are all things that governments, perhaps closely allied with churches, have often forbidden in the past.

So libertarians have, in many developed countries, have got a lot of the things they want. (Or seem to want--I'm sure libertarians will leave comments about how misunderstand they are.) Are we better off? Isn't it time for some assessment of results?

Posted by John Weidner at April 22, 2006 9:32 AM
Weblog by John Weidner