msinaisuhtlaM

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Hugh Akston
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Chinese birth rates are at their lowest since the revolution
The National Bureau of Statistics of China released the new data on Friday, the same day it announced that the country's GDP growth has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 30 years.

Last year, there were 10.48 births per 1,000 people, the lowest birth rate since 1949, the year the People's Republic of China was founded. The number was down from 10.94 the year before.

The one-child policy was put in place in 1979 by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who feared that the country's exploding population would hold back economic development.

However, by 2016, China's leadership came to realize that the policy had been too successful and officially relaxed it.

Experts say that improved education and higher incomes in China have led to delayed marriage and childbirth, and that once-strict government restrictions on births have made one-child households the norm.
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Douthat on Chinese fertility

First, China will have to pay for the care of a vast elderly population without the resources available to richer societies facing the same challenge. Second, China’s future growth prospects will dim with every year of below-replacement birthrates because low fertility creates a self-reinforcing cycle in which a less youthful society loses dynamism and growth, which reduces economic support for would-be parents, which reduces birthrates, which reduces growth …

The Times’ report on China’s birthrates also reminds us that this trap is cultural, quoting a young Chinese woman who remarks of her one-child-policy-shaped generation, “We are all only children, and to be honest, a little selfish … How can I raise a child when I’m still a child myself?” This is the glib explication of a real problem: Having kids, inevitably one of the harder things that humans do, feels harder still in a society where children are invisible, siblings absent, and large families rare; where there aren’t ready exemplars or forms of solidarity for people contemplating parenthood.
In all this, what China is experiencing is part of the common demographic decadence of the developed world, which is enveloping developing countries too. As Lyman Stone writes in the latest National Review, the human race is increasingly facing a “global fertility crisis,” not just a European or American or Japanese baby bust. It’s a crisis that threatens ever-slower growth in the best case; in the worst case, to cite a recent paper by Stanford economist Charles Jones, it risks “an Empty Planet result: knowledge and living standards stagnate for a population that gradually vanishes.”
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Between low birth rates, low immigration, and a coronavirus death surge, the US is flirting with its first ever negative population growth
A sharp and steady decline in the birthrate since the Great Recession means births are no longer such a powerful driver of growth. Immigration, which would typically pick up the slack, is down sharply too. And deaths are rising as baby boomers age and drug overdoses surge. Now there is the added threat of the coronavirus, which is particularly lethal for older people.

Births fell to 3.79 million in the year ending in July 2019, while deaths jumped to 2.83 million. That difference — the natural growth of the population — is now less than 1 million for the first time in decades. When combined with immigration, which fell to a net gain of 595,348 people — down by nearly half since 2016 — the United States had a population increase of just 0.48 percent.
The new census data offers details about the populations of counties and metropolitan areas. Dr. Johnson calculated that deaths now exceed births in about 46 percent of counties in the country, far more than at the start of the decade, when the pattern held in just 29 percent of counties. Now large swaths of New England, Western Pennsylvania, Central Florida and much of Appalachia glow red on his map of counties that exhibit the pattern.
All of this has had a dramatic effect on the populations in cities and towns. Large metro areas had the steepest decline over the course of the decade, Mr. Frey found in an analysis, with the growth rate down by nearly half. Rural areas, in contrast, grew slightly by the end of the decade, though that followed several years of declines.

Places that had once been popular destinations for young people — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — ended the decade with some of the biggest declines. New York began losing population in 2017, and last year it registered a loss of more than 60,000 people, the biggest population decline of any American city, Mr. Frey found.
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Right as the Boomers are hitting SS and Medicare age
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Don't get my hopes up, Hugh.
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Americans Aren’t Making Babies, and That’s Bad for the Economy
In June the Brookings Institution released a study predicting the U.S. is headed for “a large, lasting baby bust.” Its researchers forecast there will be 300,000 to 500,000 fewer children born in the U.S. in 2021 than there would have been absent the crisis, which amounts to a decrease of roughly 10% from 2019. That means the number of babies never born is likely to greatly exceed the number of Americans who’ve died from coronavirus, which is now about 150,000. The effect on population will be longer-lasting as well: Many of the babies who aren’t being born would have lived into the 22nd century.
Also, when the pandemic broke out, birth control providers reported an increase in sales from people stocking up in case of shortages. Some sources have also seen a bump in demand for long-lasting forms of birth control. The Pill Club Holdings Inc. logged a 65% increase in June in new patient requests for Annovera, a vaginal ring that prevents pregnancy for up to a year. In the U.S., contraception has generally been available to those who need it, in contrast to the situation in poor and middle-income countries where disruptions in access to birth control may result in as many as 7 million unintended pregnancies in just half a year, according to an April estimate by the United Nations Population Fund.
For the economy, fewer future workers will entail a bigger burden on each one to support future retirees. Every two-tenths decline in the total fertility rate (that is, two fewer children per 10 women) necessitates an increase in the Social Security payroll tax of about 0.4 percentage point, according to a table in the 2020 annual report of the trustees of the Social Security trust funds.
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I obviously respect to the utmost any individual's decision not to bear children. But in the aggregate? I WANT TO SEE MORE BABIES. MAKE BABIES, DAMMIT
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Fewer high school kids than ever are having sex
What this year's report shows is yet another drop in that activity, consistent with the more or less continuous trend since 1991. Closer examination reveals that most teens are having less sex and delaying sex longer, and that sexually-active teens have fewer lifetime sexual partners. That confirms other data indicating that American teenagers are far more risk averse than their parents, challenging the popular media representation of an increasingly sexualized adolescent life.

In 2019, some 38.4% of high schoolers reported that they had ever had sex, down from 39.5% in 2017, 46% in 2009, and 54% in 1991. (The YRBS only tracks frequency of "sexual intercourse" and does not ask about other sex-related but non-intercourse activities.)

Boys were slightly more likely (39.2%) than girls (37.6%) to self-report having had sex, a disparity that appears across most surveys and likely represents response bias. Just 27.4% of teens were currently sexually active, a decline from 28.7% a year ago, 34.2% a decade ago, and 37.5% in 1991.

As shown in the figure below, sexual intercourse has declined across racial groups, although for some more so than others. In particular, black high schoolers are less likely than ever to have had sex, dropping from 81.5% in 1991 to 42.3% today—statistically indistinguishable from both white and Hispanic students. Shares of those currently sexually active have similarly dropped, converging around 30% for black, white, and Hispanic students.
This is all pre-covid data, and part of a larger trend away from sex and intimacy
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Hugh Akston wrote: 04 Sep 2020, 11:01 Fewer high school kids than ever are having sex
That confirms other data indicating that American teenagers are far more risk averse than their parents, challenging the popular media representation of an increasingly sexualized adolescent life.
I think the risk-aversion is the key. Not just the 'health and safety' part of it, either. I think boys in particular are scared of being accused of sexual assault.
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I doubt that most 16 year-old boys know about Title IX excesses.

I think it's more about video games and weed.
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And the prospect of angry helicopter parents, and easy access to porn that takes the edge off and makes the whole thing seem less all-consuming.
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Yeah, a bunch of things are inclining kids towards low-risk, solitary amusements rather than in-person shenanigans, sexual or otherwise.
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Re: msinaisuhtlaM

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thoreau wrote: 04 Sep 2020, 11:24 I doubt that most 16 year-old boys know about Title IX excesses.

I think it's more about video games and weed.
There was plenty of weed when I was 16. No video games but plenty of what would be called incels now siting in their basement bedrooms alone or with other male teens to 20-somethings hitting the bong and listening to loud music all day.

But, yeah, there just wasn't the fear factor at any level, more especially regarding STDs than feminist or legal backlash, and there were only telephones which people used just to talk to each other and when people were together in large or small groups they weren't staring at smartphones.

If you go back to the earliest days of Grylliade, you'll find me questioning how in the world males and females ever did manage to come together socially in pairs, let alone sexually. Dating conventions were already gone. The vagaries of hooking-up struck me as the mating equivalent of Brownian motion. And from a distance, it seems that women still expect men to make the first overt move toward mating, which in the absence of understood rules, rituals and norms, or norms that seem to get more precarious for males as time passes, means only the more assertive and self-confident and/or sociopathic guys are going to be willing to play. That leaves a lot of guys between those extremes in a sort of social limbo.

I guess dating apps addressed that somewhat, but still.... My older son has been in a long-term relationship with someone he met through mutual UVA friends. My younger son's forays into much of anything non-virtual have been few, far between and entirely unsuccessful, so he retreats even more behind the screens. I think he's more typical than is healthy for society in that regard.
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I still believe in my theory that the changes to drivers licensing rules are a factor.
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I wonder if it's also tied to a general lengthening of childhood. People used to leave childhood and schooling, and enter the workforce, much earlier than they do now.

Here's a diagram showing average age at first marriage; it hit a low around 1955 after what seemed to be a long-term trend, and has since reached higher than at any point in the last 130 or so years.
https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Cens ... s/ms-2.pdf
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JD wrote: 04 Sep 2020, 23:13 I wonder if it's also tied to a general lengthening of childhood. People used to leave childhood and schooling, and enter the workforce, much earlier than they do now.

Here's a diagram showing average age at first marriage; it hit a low around 1955 after what seemed to be a long-term trend, and has since reached higher than at any point in the last 130 or so years.
https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Cens ... s/ms-2.pdf
Not to sound like the antagonist in an abstinence-only after school special, but what's marriage got to do with sex?
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Shem wrote: 05 Sep 2020, 10:12
JD wrote: 04 Sep 2020, 23:13 I wonder if it's also tied to a general lengthening of childhood. People used to leave childhood and schooling, and enter the workforce, much earlier than they do now.

Here's a diagram showing average age at first marriage; it hit a low around 1955 after what seemed to be a long-term trend, and has since reached higher than at any point in the last 130 or so years.
https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Cens ... s/ms-2.pdf
Not to sound like the antagonist in an abstinence-only after school special, but what's marriage got to do with sex?
As an indicator that childhood is expanding. It doesn't take much to convince me kids today are remaining immature longer. But I'd have thought that would mean more irresponsible teenage sex. It's not like puberty is being delayed right? In fact, I thought I read puberty is happening earlier now; because of better nutrition, or else hormones in the meat, which.
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Warren wrote: 05 Sep 2020, 10:29
Shem wrote: 05 Sep 2020, 10:12
JD wrote: 04 Sep 2020, 23:13 I wonder if it's also tied to a general lengthening of childhood. People used to leave childhood and schooling, and enter the workforce, much earlier than they do now.

Here's a diagram showing average age at first marriage; it hit a low around 1955 after what seemed to be a long-term trend, and has since reached higher than at any point in the last 130 or so years.
https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Cens ... s/ms-2.pdf
Not to sound like the antagonist in an abstinence-only after school special, but what's marriage got to do with sex?
As an indicator that childhood is expanding. It doesn't take much to convince me kids today are remaining immature longer. But I'd have thought that would mean more irresponsible teenage sex. It's not like puberty is being delayed right? In fact, I thought I read puberty is happening earlier now; because of better nutrition, or else hormones in the meat, which.
Historically, marriage has little to do with childhood and almost everything to do with economics. People in the US in the 1800s waited until their early to mid 20s to get married because it took that length of time to become economically settled. Men in Renaissance Italy waited until their mid-to-late 30s to marry because it helped their father to maintain economic control for as long as possible (the family estate was maintained under him until marriage, at which point he lost varying degrees of control over it). The early marriage of the 1950s was a result of economic conditions as well (the industrial explosion of the postwar era, which created good-paying jobs for anyone with little training required), and was viewed as being non-ideal to the point of somewhat creepy by adults of the period. (Which turned out to be correct, since it was the early marriages of the Silent Generation that fueled the explosion of divorce in the 70s). Leading into today, when people put off marriage because A) college adds that much more time to get economically settled, and B) the economic situation is such that it takes into the late 20s to early 30s to be solid enough in a career to make starting a family seem worthwhile. Provide the widespread means to start a career earlier, and the average age of first marriage will go down with it.
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Also birth control.
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Hugh Akston wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 12:11 [VIDEO]
Good find.
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Discovered in the news today: back in 1995, a young Wired writer named Kevin Kelly made a bet with the writer Kirkpatrick Sale, along the lines of the Simon-Ehrlich wager, with the winner to be decided at the end of 2020. Kirkpatrick's position was basically "technology is terrible, and civilization is going to collapse (and Real Soon Now, too), and this is a good thing, since it should collapse." Kelly's position was basically "you're a moron and you're wrong."

They agreed on a sum of $1000, an arbiter, and three terms of the wager:
- an economic disaster that would render the dollar worthless, causing a depression worse than the one in 1930
- a rebellion of the poor against the monied
- a significant number of environmental catastrophes

Come the end of 2020, and...well, I'm sure you can imagine how the ultimate outcome went. I actually think the arbiter went way too easy on Sale: point 1 clearly went to Kelly, point 2 was judged a wash, and point 3 went to Sale; with the overall win going to Kelly on the grounds that Sale had predicted all three, not just one or two. And then Sale declined to pay up (to a charity!), claiming that he had really won anyway.
“I cannot accept that I lost,” he wrote to Patrick. “The clear trajectory of disasters shows that the world is much closer to my prediction. So clearly it cannot be said that Kevin won.”
So Sale is not only a moron and wrong, he's a cad and a cheat and intellectually dishonest.

I think the judge was way too easy on him, as I said, although I also think the terms may have been way too vague. "a rebellion of the poor against the monied" - what does that mean exactly? Short of worldwide Marxist revolution, what would be a clear case of that being true or untrue? The arbiter seems to have said there are "devastating statistics on income inequality" and "undeniable social unrest, even in the United States, with Trumpites taking to the streets with semiautomatic weapons, and massive protests against police abuses". And that's enough to give Sale half credit? When hasn't there been income inequality and when haven't there been protests? Arguably the income inequality might mean that the rebellion is coming, but that's not what Sale argued; he said it would have happened.

And for "a significant number of environmental catastrophes" - what is "a significant number"? What is a "catastrophe"? Without specific definitions, this boils down to "how does the arbiter feel about the environment today?" Again, the arbiter said "With fires, floods, and rising seas displacing populations; bugs and diseases heading north; ice caps melting and polar bears with no place to go; as well as the worst hurricane season and the warmest year on record, it’s hard to dispute that we are at least ‘close to’ global environmental disaster." I feel like you should have to point to something specific and major to count as a "disaster". "Polar bears with no place to go" is unquestionably bad, but a catastrophe? I'm with Kelly, who said that if these are "catastrophes", they haven't shown up in any of the metrics that clearly affect people.
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JD wrote: 06 Jan 2021, 13:45I feel like you should have to point to something specific and major to count as a "disaster". "Polar bears with no place to go" is unquestionably bad, but a catastrophe? I'm with Kelly, who said that if these are "catastrophes", they haven't shown up in any of the metrics that clearly affect people.
And, you know, impact the existence of civilization when the argument is about the supposed collapse of human civilization.

The judge was ridiculous, and Sale is just a crank with no honor.
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Come for the stuff you've heard before. Stay for the subtle suggestion that we kill old people and take their houses.

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Hmm...why am I reminded of PJ O'Rourke's old quip about population complaints, "Just enough of me, way too much of you"?
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