ON-Lion Letter

For years, we have been warned about the looming danger of overpopulation -- people jostling for space on a planet that's busting at the seams and running out of oil and food and land and everything else. 
It's all bunk, according to Jonathan V. Last's new Encounter Books paperback, What to Expect When No One’s Expecting:  America’s Coming Demographic Disaster.  The "population bomb" never exploded.  Instead, statistics from around the world make clear that since the 1970s, we've been facing exactly the opposite problem -- people are having too few babies.

The paperback contains a new preface by Last, a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

Population growth has been slowing for two generations, ne notes.  The world's population will peak, and then begin shrinking, within the next 50 years.  In some countries, it's already started.  Japan, for instance, will be half its current size by the end of the century.  In Italy, there are already more deaths than births every year.  China's one-child policy has left that country without enough women to marry its men, not enough young people to support the country's elderly, and an impending population contraction that has the ruling class terrified.

And all of this is coming to America, too, according to What to Expect When No One’s Expecting.  In fact, it's already here.  Middle-class Americans have their own, informal one-child policy these days.  And an alarming number of upscale professionals don't even go that far -- they have dogs, not kids.  Were it not for the wave of immigration we experienced during the past 30 years, the United States would be on the verge of shrinking, too.

What happened?  Everything about modern life -- from Bugaboo strollers to insane college tuition to government regulations -- has pushed Americans in a single direction, making it harder to have children.  And making the people who do still want to have children feel like second-class citizens.

What to Expect When No One's Expecting explains why the population implosion happened and how it is remaking culture, the economy, and politics both at home and around the world.  Because if America wants to continue to lead the world, we need to have more babies.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.

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