In 2012, I wrote a reply to an article by Steven Kramer regarding Demographic Decline. The scenario on which I am working proposes a decline in world population, beginning in 2100. The problem I am having is with what will be the effect of vast numbers of unemployable individuals during the period of decline. Remembering that half of the world’s population have a two-digit IQ, what do the members of Highly-Human JOBS offer as a solution to this problem?
In the “Baby Gap --- How to Boost Birthrates and Avoid Demographic Decline (May/June 2012) Steven Philip Kramer, proposed decline was not inevitable, Kramer concluded with:
Countries that fail to take low birthrates seriously do so at their own peril. Time matters. If they wait too long and get caught in the low fertility trap, they could find themselves in an uncharted era of depopulation that will be eerily different from anything before. And escaping that scenario will be difficult, if not impossible.
There is an alternative scenario:
Lower birthrates are not only inevitable but desirable. Countries must act now, putting into action, plans to take advantage of the economic and social benefits of lower fertility. This scenario assumes that the world population will peak in 2100 and begin declining to where in 2500, it will be about the size it was in 1800.
This will occur as the world's fertility rate approaches 1.0 per female, sometime after 2100. The driving force will be Demographic Transition, in particular: (1) the effect of the direction and magnitude of intergenerational wealth flows, and (2) the effect of widespread family planning programs in underdeveloped countries, including the increase in contraceptive technology.
Up to the present generation the flow of wealth has been from children to parents, that is from the younger to the older generation. (Wealth being defined as including money, goods, and resources.) In the future the flow will be from parents to children.
Wealth Flow Theory, as proposed by J. C. Caldwell, explained why new family values results in lower fertility rates. In 2011, it was estimated the cost of raising a child in the USA, from birth to age 18 for a middle-income two parent family averaged $226,920 (not including college). Is there any wonder why choosing to have only one child is becoming more desirable?
Over the next 100 years Artificial Intelligent Robots (AIRs) will have replaced the staff at most governmental agencies. Airport ticket counters, call-centers, and retail store check-out counters will be staffed by AIRs. As is happening in Japan, manufacturing workers (world-wide) will be replaced more and more by AIRs. Large standing military forces will be a thing of the past. As we proceed to 2100, an increasingly large underclass of two-digit IQ individuals will be unemployable in a high-tech society; there will not be enough job openings to handle the vast number of these unskilled individuals.
Kramer’s scenario, asking to boost birthrates, would only act to exacerbate what is certain to be a very serious problem in the future. Until fertility rates decline, a large unemployed underclass will persist and will need to be addressed. A partial solution to this has been proposed by Martin Ford, in The Lights in the Tunnel, published in 2009. Ford understands the dangers of not planning for the impact of accelerating technology. (A free copy of his book can be downloaded from the internet at: http://www.thelightsinthetunnel.com/)
Finally, a scenario covering a large decrease in the world’s population is desirable because of its effect on climate change. Less people will result in less need for energy, food, and would produce less pollution.
Considering the present trends in fertility rates, countries should act upon this alternative scenario as soon as possible.