Can our demographic disaster be averted? If so, how?
Absolutely. I’ve got a 59-point plan in my book and if the policy establishment would just follow my suggestions, we’ll be five-by-five.
Not really. We’re screwed.
One of the lessons of looking at this demographic stuff is that most people are hostage to their own experiences. Well-meaning liberals on the Upper West Side mostly think that we can solve our demographic problems just implementing the policies they like—such as government-subsidized daycare and mass immigration. And nice conservatives often think that we can fix everything by reforming the tax code and returning to traditional values.
But there’s a lot of research on this stuff and the data suggests that neither approach is particularly effective.
What I suggest in the book is that if we’re going to make any headway, we need to start by looking at the data. Then we make Nate Silver “Czar of Baby Making.”
In a way, do you consider Octomom a hero?
Some would say she’s the greatest hero of all. And when she finally gets her Cinemax-style, soft-core three way with Kate Gosselin and Michelle Duggar, American men will stand up and salute as one.
Isn’t America’s demographic problem far less problematic than the demographic problems faced by European and Asian countries? Our fertility rate is relatively high comparatively and we do a better job of assimilating immigrants than Europe, no?
Sure, I suppose. In the same way that a woman who just got knocked up is less pregnant than a woman in her second trimester.
Look, the Europeans are ahead of us and the Asians are ahead of them, but we’re all on the same curve and that curve runs straight to Doomsville.
Here’s the thing about America’s relatively high fertility rate—it’s due entirely to Hispanic immigration. Strip out our Hispanic immigrants and we look exactly like Europe.
And Hispanic immigration presents—from a demographic perspective, put other considerations to the side for now—two big problems. First, it’s not going to last. All the countries of Central and South America will have fertility rates below the replacement rate in 20 years. Which means they’re going to stop sending us immigrants. Second, the fertility rate of Hispanic-Americans is falling even faster than it is for everyone else in the U.S.
They’re not going to do the heavy demographic lifting for much longer.