The De-Population Bomb 

Hoover Institution
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Recorded on June 14 at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.
In 1970, Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich published a famous book, The Population Bomb, in which he described a disasterous future for humanity: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” That prediction turned out to be very wrong, and in this interview American Enterprise Institute scholar Nicholas Eberstadt tells how we are in fact heading toward the opposite problem: not enough people. For decades now, many countries have been unable to sustain a #population replacement birth rate, including in Western Europe, South Korea, Japan, and, most ominously, China. The societal and social impacts of this phenomenon are vast. We discuss those with Eberstadt as well as some strategies to avoid them.
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Publicado em


13 Set 2022



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Comentários : 607   
@primalsmash5801 Anos atrás
I'm 30 and all i do is work and I'm broke. Every woman I talk to is busy working and being broke. This late stage capitalistic society is taking everything from us so much that we can't hardly sleep let alone settle down enough to have children.
@ZetaReticuli_ Anos atrás
One of the issues raised here that I don't think gets talked about enough, is how all of these factors affect the human heart, and how instead we are treated like robots. Good interview.
@craigwillms61 Anos atrás
Let me say this, Peter is a consistently wonderful interviewer. I get more out of these podcasts than any other. Cheers.
From what I can tell, just about everything has failed in one way or another. It's like everything was designed, NOT TO WORK. Basic Health care is the top of the list. They have no answers for most problems, then they expect you to pay for "no answers". Many in my
All this resonates with me. I completed my third Masters degree over 10 years ago and have had nothing but grief from employers in Canada and the US since. I now earn a living as a construction worker.
The problem is rooted primarily in economic policy but also current history. I am a baby boomer. I graduated from the Cal State system with no debt and bought my first home when I was 30 having one child by then. I have two grown children. The first thing to occur is 9/11 which equivalent to Pearl Harbor for my son's generation except the war last 20 years. He did two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. He married but decided not to have children but does own his home. My daughter graduated from UC right after the financial crash of 2008. She could not find a job for a year or so. She still has approximately $40,000 in student loan debt. She does not own a house. Her partner still needs to do a residency before his income is substantial. Quite simply, my daughter wants children but will not until she is out of debt and can afford a house.
I turned 18 in 2008, at the height of the great recession. I graduated college with a degree that was essentially useless, 100k of debt. Years behind already from lack of job prospects due to a shitty economy. I'm married, own property, but have fertility issues that make having children difficult. Not impossible, but it's definitely a choice. Up until a year ago the job I had was so stressful I was convinced I would miscarry if I even tried. Now I have a great job, but it's in tech and that's where all the layoffs are happening. I'm approaching an age where I will be too old to have biological children on my own. Let me know when I have 9 months to fit this in around all that.
@visnuexe Anos atrás
Even in the 70's the prospect of higher education was crowded with candidates for the same job. So much so many of us Boomers sought alternative routes, filling opportunities our BAs and BSes minimally qualified us, but where there were fewer people skilled in those allied fields. People began to realize a Masters or PHD in Aeronautic Engineering meant being over qualified for any job. Employers wanted to groom their candidates to their ways with internal training, so they could pay them less as an undergrad. By the 80's a higher degree meant you filled an administrative role rather than the very thing one became educated for doing, and wanted to pursue. If one didn't enter such admin role, the employer, and I mean any employer, simply wouldn't hire you FOR ANYTHING. One couldn't even work in a mail room. At least that was my experience. So the market was very tight through those years for high education slots within a company. Many went to work for the government as the expansion of bureaus needed very skilled people. So the whole system of advancement by educational attainment was a fairy tale for all but the highest GPAs. People like Steve Jobs, dropped out and started their own businesses. That gave many people hope through the 90's with Silicon Valley scooping up the brightest of those who could learn their way through computers and networking at a visceral level. The same for the pharmaceutical industry. The rest of us ended up in the service industry, the largest employer out there at widely varying capacities and potentials for advancement. This last recession taught workers that no job was secure, as massive layoffs and downsizing harshly taught. People became disaffected about their employers, hopping from one job to the next to seek the highest pay or benefits without any loyalty at all to any employer. So really the problem of education and lack of excitement in the workforce was the result of unsolved problems in the workplace being kicked down the stairs from one decade to the next. The folks down at the bottom of the payscale just got the worst of all these poor decisions by employers who no longer cared if the employer succeed or not.
@zenosgrasshopper Anos atrás
If there was any discussion of the mainstream media’s role in producing fear and nihilism in our society, I missed it. The media has played a starring role, and people too often overlook its culpability.
@corinnejordan5863 Anos atrás
Great and enlightening interview. Millennials watched their parents-who worked their whole life and the entire family made sacrifices for-lose everything during the financial downturn. This is not just in the US but also in many other countries. In China, they have a 12/6 workweek and they have one of the largest populations of homeless people! Additionally, they watched their sandwich generation parents struggle under the weight of supporting aging parents, grandparents and also their children with “someday we will be happy if we just work hard enough” dangling carrot that never came. Millennials are not dumb, they know things have not changed and they don’t wish to suffer the same fate as their parents nor put their kids through what they, themselves, went through. The view of paying off costly education and obtaining solid financial footing prior to having children has been an on-going topic in many of my conversations with people of that generation and, the resounding answer is they have learned from the past that it’s better to pay off school, create solidity and time for their kids prior to having them. I find this responsible and if we can’t support these thoughts or affordable housing, they aren’t going to bring children into an unstable environment. Also, lets face it, they also know people who target kids (1 in 3 girls are targeted sometime in their life) are not prosecuted or obtain light sentencing and the school system is failing. This is really not a population problem, it’s a foundational problem and the first step to solving that is to understand you are not going to get them to lose their heart, nor their personal morals for a failed system with a lack of transparency or hope.
Growing up in the 60's and 70's, all I heard from leaders and "professional egg heads" was that world population growth was out of control and we should stop having kids. So much for conventional "wisdom."
Great conversation. Rent hikes, educational debt... healthcare.. huge issues. Children are a luxury. Maybe one day... maybe not. Life is precious but if the Govt. won't create legislation that encourages economic growth and caps housing greed then that trickles down to the wallets of 90% + of people. People are desperate. Desperation does not foster futures. Not a hopeful climate. Dire times.
" The purpose of a university is to make a son as unlike his father as possible" - Woodrow Wilson
something to think about, but captive animals dont tend to breed either.
@blafonovision4342 Anos atrás
Do you think maybe, possibly, the transition from a rural to an urban society might have something to do with the birth rate?
I listened to about half of this interview as these men went on and on about how the USA is in danger of being "depopulated" because there aren't enough children being born here. What planet do these guys live on? Every day thousands of "immigrants" cross our borders both legally and illegally. It adds up to millions of people every decade consuming water, electricity, land, etc. Our cities have people living on the street, our highways are clogged and the infrastructure isn't adequate for the current population.
@gerardkiff2026 Anos atrás
Peter Robinson is 1000 times more intelligent that I am but he asks questions and then repackages it so I can understand. He’s so amazing at what he does.
I wonder if either of these men would be willing to live the lives young, non-wealthy, people these days? Would either of them work a second job, so they could afford to have a family? Would they share in the laundry, the cooking and cleaning because their wives are also working full-time? Would they put their kids in daycare, which for those who are not fairly well-off, is often substandard? Would they have time to help their kids learn their multiplication tables and stay home with sick kids, perhaps risking their jobs? I think both of these men are somewhat out of touch with the reality of the lives of the lower half (or perhaps even the lower 2/3) of our country.
My advice to the younger generation: Don’t think twice about having kids. Think three, four or even five times.
This is one of the most ridiculous conversations I have ever watched, especially the part where they surmise people aren't having babies "our civilization no longer likes life... why?" Obviously neither of the speakers have worked near the poverty line. And often those making a good living are working in high profile / high pressure jobs such as medicine, law or accounting that require a lot of their time. And then there are those who make a barely decent living working in fields like advertising or architecture.
The End of the World Is Just the Beginning