March 23, 2005

It's The Demography, Stupid

Another smart piece by Mark Steyn. (ellipses mine -Ed.)

Almost every issue facing the EU - from immigration rates to crippling state pension liabilities - has at its heart the same glaringly plain root cause: a huge lack of babies... Most 20-year projections - on global warming, fuel resources, etc - are almost laughably speculative. They fail to take into account the most important factor of all - human inventiveness...

...But human inventiveness depends on humans - and that's the one thing we really are running out of...

...Since 1945, a multiplicity of government interventions - state pensions, subsidised higher education, higher taxes to pay for everything - has so ruptured traditional patterns of inter-generational solidarity that in Europe a child is now an optional lifestyle accessory. By 2050, Estonia's population will have fallen by 52 per cent, Bulgaria's by 36 per cent, Italy's by 22 per cent. The hyper-rationalism of post-Christian Europe turns out to be wholly irrational: what's the point of creating a secular utopia if it's only for one generation?

Posted by dan at March 23, 2005 12:26 AM