Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

China is Doomed


From a recent FB post:

China has committed slow motion suicide.

The WSJ reports that China’s population shrank last year for the first time since the early 1960s when Mao’s insane policies led to the deaths of tens of millions. India is on the cusp of displacing China as the world’s most populous country. From this point on China’s population will continue to shrink. Again, insane CCP policies are the culprit. The CCP’s one child policy has resulted in an inversion of the population pyramid. Instead of more young people, today there are more people in their 60s than in their 50s and more people in their 50s than in their 40s and so on. China’s population implosion is almost certainly irreversible. Only time will tell how it will play out, but one thing is sure; it won’t be good.



I am curious about 1. When a population size becomes unsustainable, and 2. After the current population painfully implodes, whether the population will stabilize, thus making the “new normal” (in a non-Faucian sense) stable and prosperous, albeit perhaps giving the Chinese regime less economic power on a macro-level. Wouldn’t this theoretically benefit the US? Maybe this doesn’t make sense or is naive. I’m not an economist.

MY RESPONSE: Drew, good questions. The answer to your first question has a very long history and here is a very short over simplified answer. 220 years ago Malthus predicted imminent population catastrophe when the world’s population was around 1 billion. He was wrong. Now the population is 8 billion and the vast majority of those people are living longer healthier lives than ever before in history. In the late 60s Paul Ehrlich predicted 100s of millions would die in of starvation in the 70s. He was wrong. The population of the world has doubled while calories available per person have increased. Population doomsayers have always been wrong because they have always underestimated humanity’s ability to increase the food supply through better tech and better ag methods. BTW, this is the same mistake climate doomsayers make. So the answer to your question is there may be some absolute limit the planet earth cannot sustain, but we have not reached it and it does not appear likely that we will reach it before population peaks at around 10 billion in the middle of the 21st century and then start’s to decline

No, the new normal is unlikely to be stable and prosperous. It is not a matter of stabilizing the population. It surely will. The issue is the inversion of the population pyramid. Modern societies are built on the idea that old people can retire because for every old person there are lots of young people paying taxes to support them. For example, in 1960 there were 5.1 taxpayers per Social Security retiree. Now there are 2.8 and that number is dropping fast because Boomers (the largest age cohort in history) are retiring and the age cohorts that follow them are much smaller. At your age you should not count on Social Security in its present form being around when you retire. Everyone knows that the way we have done it for nearly a hundred years is coming to an end. Now multiply that problem by millions and you have the problem in China (and many other countries, but China will be hit the hardest). We don’t know what will happen when the full effect of the inversion is felt, but the social disruptions that will occur when younger generations are unable to bear the cost of supporting hundreds of millions of older people will likely be catastrophic. Add to this the fact that China’s one child policy created a situation where there are far more men than women in the generation born after 1990. This is because tens of millions of girls were killed in the womb because families who could have only one child preferred a boy. What is going to happen when tens of millions of men literally have no one available to marry? No one knows, because an artificial catastrophe of this nature has never happened before. But, again, my prediction is that they have sewn the wind and they will reap the whirlwind.

We all expect nature to restore the balance between men and women. The question is at what cost? Origenes
Considering the preference of having boys, the moment a one-child policy was put in place without balance between the sexes, was the moment China began to die. It is a slow death, but the people are dying. The legitimate government of China, Taiwan, is thriving, and will take China into the future. The CCP will lose power hopefully in a few decades. BobRyan
re 1: I think we are seeing the problem right here in the US. The bulk of the mass killings have been by young white males alienated from women: so called incel (involuntary celibates.) They have no positive sexual relationships. I think the same problem pervades the Middle East, with lots of young men who, due to how their culture treats women, do not have satisfying sexual relationships. And by sexual relationships I don't just mean physical sex: I mean emotionally warm and intimate relationships that have a physical component. It's called "making love" for a reason, when done in the right context. Viola Lee
China is Doomed? Seriously? Baloney. I was there during The Sexual Revolution. Job one? Detach sex from married love. Use the birth control pill, get an abortion if that fails. Sad but true for too many who were raised better but fell for the lies of Total Strangers. Oh, and smoke dope. They - meaning the descendants of Total Strangers - are trying hard to make it legal everywhere. There are good reasons for it to stay illegal. No sex before marriage. relatd
>What is going to happen when tens of millions of men literally have no one available to marry? No one knows, because an artificial catastrophe of this nature has never happened before. So far, keeping them busy with video games (the latest opiate of the people) seems to keep them pacified here in the US. I didn't think that was going to work, but so far no uprisings...--half kidding, half serious there. Yes, this is yet another "experiment" that has been undertaken, with nothing to go by in predicting what the outcome will be. And with the Left's other "experiments" like the Sexual Revolution, where they basically failed to foresee any troubles at all, does not give one any comfort that having tens of millions of unmarried men won't have very bad consequences too. Evil leaders have a knack for scooping up such people and giving them a pseudo-"purpose" for their lives, and that can end very badly. EDTA

Leave a Reply