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For years, we have been warned about the looming danger of overpopulation: people jostling for space on a planet thatâs busting at the seams and running out of oil and food and land and everything else.
Itâs all bunk. The Âpopulation bombâ never exploded. Instead, statistics from around the world make clear that since the 1970s, weâve been facing exactly the opposite problem: people are having too few babies. Population growth has been slowing for two generations. The worldâs population will peak, and then begin shrinking, within the next fifty years. In some countries, itâs 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. Chinaâs One-Child Policy has left that country without enough women to marry its men, not enough young people to support the countryâs elderly, and an impending population contraction that has the ruling class terrified.
And all of this is coming to America, too. In fact, itâs already here. Middle-class Americans have their own, informal one-child policy these days. And an alarming number of upscale professionals donât even go that farÂthey have dogs, not kids. In fact, if it werenât for the wave of immigration we experienced over the last thirty years, the United States would be on the verge of shrinking, too.
What happened? Everything about modern lifeÂfrom Bugaboo strollers to insane college tuition to government regulationsÂhas 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 Oneâs 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.
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