What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster

What to Expect When No One s Expecting America s Coming Demographic Disaster We ve been told for decades that the world has too many people that overpopulation is the great peril of our age Thanks to people like Tom Friedman we take it as an article of faith that the earth i

  • Title: What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster
  • Author: Jonathan V. Last
  • ISBN: 9781594036415
  • Page: 157
  • Format: Hardcover
  • We ve been told for decades that the world has too many people, that overpopulation is the great peril of our age Thanks to people like Tom Friedman, we take it as an article of faith that the earth is hot, flat, and crowded that we are on the verge of a population explosion It s all nonsense In fact, the reverse is true We are on the brink of a demographic implosion.We ve been told for decades that the world has too many people, that overpopulation is the great peril of our age Thanks to people like Tom Friedman, we take it as an article of faith that the earth is hot, flat, and crowded that we are on the verge of a population explosion It s all nonsense In fact, the reverse is true We are on the brink of a demographic implosion For the first time in centuries, the world faces population decline And this time, it s not because of wars, famines, or plagues It s because people have simply stopped having babies.In demographics, the replacement rate is the golden number 2.1 When women average fewer than 2.1 children, Very Bad Things happen And American women have not hit the replacement rate in two generations Today, middle class, college educated women in America have about the same number of children as do Chinese women China s government bullies, taxes, and punishes their people with a One Child Policy In America, we do one child by choice.The fertility decline already shapes the way we live From Social Security shortfalls to Iran s attempts to build nuclear weapons, fertility is the key to understanding the world around us Fertility undergirds our politics and our laws our culture and our economy If you re under 40, fertility declines will dictate how you navigate old age If you re under 10, fertility declines will influence your entire adult life If we don t reverse this trend, economic systems will suffer, international affairs will be reordered, and innovation will slow in every sector except, of course, for healthcare.What to Expect When No One s Expecting explores how our fertility collapse happened, what the world it s creating will look like, and what can be done to stop it.

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    One thought on “What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster”

    1. According to the subtitle this book is about America's coming demographic disaster. According to Last, the fact that people are now having fewer babies than they used to will be terrible for America, and, indeed, the rest of the world.As I went through this book I got a growing feeling that Last and I would not be friends if we met. He seems rather more right-wing than I am, I suspect he is not a dog person, he is rather obsessed with racial differences, he flat-out disagrees with abortion and t [...]

    2. This will definitely be on the Best Books of 2013 list. I can't believe how America is still in the dark ages, as far as understanding what's really going on. Let me just say this once: There's no such thing as a "population explosion". If anything, we're teetering on the very of a world-wide collapse because there aren't enough babies being born.In other places besides the US, they are well aware of this. In German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the government is actually re-training prostitu [...]

    3. I just finished this book, and settled on three stars for two primary reasons; first, I felt that Mr. Last's casual and humorous writing style, while entertaining, detracts from the seriousness of his subject matter. Second, while the book seemed well-researched, with the requisite citations to support his premise (that populations in several industrialized countries have been decreasing overall for more than a century, and because we're less serious and our goals have shifted from having childr [...]

    4. Last starts the book by pointing out how wrong Paul Ehrlich was in his book "The Population Bomb," which warned readers of a coming population explosion. However, I feel that Last is doing the same type of fear-mongering that Ehrlich did. I have not read Ehrlich's book, but I imagine he had the same numbers and trends to back him up as Last does in this book.I felt the book was somewhat interesting. It's short, and It's filled with sobering statistics, trends, and anecdotes framing out coming de [...]

    5. I give it three stars based on the breezy and easy reading/ writing style. For logic and reasoning I'd give it half a star. Mr. Last is a writer for the Weekly Standard. For some reason, Conservatives have glommed onto the coming dearth of births in the first world as a crisis. Their primary concern, as one might expect, is economic and border line racist. At times Mr. Last's personal prejudices come through both explicitly and through politically charged word choice. If one were to completely i [...]

    6. Interesting book-length treatment explaining how European and North American birthrates have fallen, and why, from a conservative writer who thinks that this is a real problem. I disagreed with the author all over the place, but still thought the book was worth reading.I enjoyed his treatment of the Second Great Transition phenomenon (i.e. the widespread phenomenon of my generation deciding to have fewer or no children). I predictably disagree with much of his interpretation of the trends in coh [...]

    7. Data. Lots of data. In between, some pithy, interesting writing and conservative politics, but the argument is fairly compelling--world population will peak in the next century, and we need to figure out what we're going to do about it. Last claims not to be a doomsayer, but that simply isn't the case, and frankly, I'm not sure which fate is worse--Ehrlich's overpopulation or Last's shrinking humanity. Demography is history written on the largest possible scale, but Last finds lots of small-scal [...]

    8. I ended up reading every word of a book I only intended to skim because it was surprisingly witty for a book about demography and statistics. Jonathan Last provides compelling data and makes the convincing claim that population decline is quite difficult to recover from and is more fearsome than we may have thought. Of course, I'm an easy audience for this one as I look forward to my third child being born--I'm doing my part! I also come from Last's end of the political spectrum so I wasn't over [...]

    9. This is the most interesting, entertaining, and darkly humorous book you will ever read about demographic fertility trends and the decline of humanity. Last's inquisitive nature and anticipation of criticisms blends to give you a response to that nagging question you have at each turn. And what's wonderful is that he doesn't put some ridiculous gloss on the childrearing process in modern America - this is not a Hallmark card - but points out that it's exactly how unbearable and expensive childre [...]

    10. This book is really interesting. I grew up fearing overpopulation, but this book examines the coming challenges associated with the worldwide FALL in birthrates. I thought I might run into moralizing, or anti-feminism, but I found the book refreshingly free of that. Last doesn't claim to have all the answers, but he lays out the problem clearly, and even entertainingly. While he does turn some long-standing dogma on its head, it is not an ideological book.

    11. A recent Time Magazine article is what lead me to pick up this book which turned out to be a quick and easy read.The author did his homework. There's plenty of data and doomsday demographics but taken with a spoonful of sugar to end on a note of hope. Utah natives will be happy to find two or three references to our culture's high fertility rates, the capitol city's shift to a democratic vote, and that BYU is the only American college campus that offers married student housing to encourage prope [...]

    12. If you haven't read much about demographics and the importance of the total fertility rate of a society, this book is an eye opener. Last examines some of the societal and cultural influences that shape a country's fertility. The increasing secularization of western society has lead inexorably to a declining desire to have children and large families. Once a country's fertility drops below replacement rate, it is difficult if not impossible to reverse the trend. He examines how many countries ha [...]

    13. As a Reformed Presbyterian Christian who attends a church with more children (younger than 12 years old) than adults, this book gave me both joy and concern. It gives me joy to know that my fellow believers, with whom I'm covenanted in Christ, have not bought into the Left's assault on the virtue of raising large families. At the same time, I wonder if a new Pharaoh is forming, if God's people will be forced into a new state of servility as God's people were in Egypt prior to the Exodus. It's be [...]

    14. Overall a good read, but the author is a bit of a extremist insisting fertility is the cause of every malady mankind has ever encountered. I found it particularly distressing that he determined unrest in the Middle East and wars were caused by too-high populations of young, single, childless men and not, you know, corrupt governments or wealth disparity, but whatever. I enjoyed learning about population demographics related to fertility, but I was consistently annoyed by the author's political a [...]

    15. Good, easy-to-read & digest review of the demographic crisis of the West, the programs invented by various national govts to increase births, the failure of those programs and the consequences of low fertility. Well-written and informative; not in any way close to pedantic. Recommend it.

    16. I was inspired to read this book after reading Dan Brown's Inferno which warns of the looming danger of overpopulation of our planet and descending into a chaotic environment of flesh overcrowded by more flesh grasping for a limited supply of land, food, and water (Dante's version of Hell).Jonathan Last believes just the opposite: people are having too few babies and in the next generation our population will begin to shrink. It's already happening in countries like Japan (more adult diapers are [...]

    17. This is defiantly one of the best books of 2013. Mr. Last is a brilliant insightful thinker who gives a deep analysis of the decline of fertility. It's really interesting to know all the factors that pay a role in fertility decline. I've read many reviews prior to picking this up,and many people have said Mr Last is subconsciously imposing religious beliefs on his audience. I dont think this is true,I think majority of the factors he discusses are based on what society deems as moral or immoral, [...]

    18. What happens when people have smaller families? It used to be that people thought the world would be overcrowded, and we SHOULD have smaller families. But in fact the opposite is happening: The world population is due to shrink, it has already started in some countries, and the results are disastrous.Jonathan Last writes an intriguing book about the facts and consequences of a world where people are having fewer and fewer babies. People are having smaller families, and this causes numerous probl [...]

    19. This book was an interesting look at demographics across the world (including the U.S) and the significant decline in fertility. Our postmodern/secular culture has obviously not given this issue any thought, but many Christians probably haven't either. Either way, the decline in fertility unleashes many problems upon society.This book is about those problems, and Last doesn't offer many solutions until chapter nine, entitled, "How To Make Babies". Last doesn't reveal his religious influence eith [...]

    20. Demography isn't a sexy topic for someone who isn't a sociologist (or a self-describe would-be-sociologist-librarian). However, population growth (or lack thereof) affects big picture stuff like entitlement solvency, political stability, and a society's rate of innovation. And of course the big picture stuff affects the little picture at the individual. Last argues our society has gone through demographic transitions as time has passed. The First Demographic Transition (FTD) occurred as we shift [...]

    21. This is a quick, entertaining introduction to one of the most important trends of our time: declining fertility throughout most of the world. In a short time this will profoundly affect social welfare programs everywhere (not enough young people to support things like Social Security and Medicare); not too long after that it will cause actual population decline, with mostly unforeseen consequences, though Jonathan Last tries to outline a few.Most people are unaware of the 'Gray Tsunami'; those w [...]

    22. Birth rate statistics in hand, Jonathan Last is the most recent journalist (after the liberal-leaning Megan McArdle of the Atlantic and conservative Ross Doubthas of the Times) to posit that the United States is about to experience a population decline in the next 15 years. Against the seemingly illogical predictions of demographic heavyweights like the UN, Last tries to predict in cheerful and unalarmed tones what consequences the declining birth rate will have on the US. The outcomes he predic [...]

    23. This book offers a thorough rebuttal to the "population bomb" hype of the last few decades, showing that world population is slowing its growth and, if current trends continue, will enter rapid decline and graying in the latter half of this century. This is the central point, combined with the fact that no historical precedent exists for increasing wealth during a population implosion. Historical reasons for America's declining fertility are well researched and presented clearly. The author incl [...]

    24. First of all any book is made easier to read when it is written well and the prose in this work is certainly of a higher class, especially when one considers the mountain of data and statistics that overwhelm every page. However, this is why I downgraded it from four to three stars. The reader is drawn to consider (I concede it is necessary) demographic information on dozens of countries and even the author recognizes that at the end of the day these statistics are in fact, just statistics. Ther [...]

    25. Jonathan Last is a scholar and knows his demographics. He goes through the factors which have effected and do currently effect population in the U.S. Paul Erhlich proposed in the late 60's that the world population would explode like a bomb and it did not. So what is happening to world population and what countries are holding their population at its current levels and shall do so into the future.Without our immigration policies, the U.S. would be shrinking in population. J. Last goes into what [...]

    26. Full of statistics and concrete examples, this book makes outlines the decline in fertility around the world and the cultural correlations that accompany it. Last looks at the correlation between fertility and education, prosperity, political views, revolutions and events, both historically and modern-day. He also gives some optimism that the direction of the current fertility rate in America (which is currently below replacement level and dropping) can be reversed and some straight-forward poli [...]

    27. I really loved reading this book. I started it yesterday in the middle of the day and finished it today. I NEVER read non-fiction that quickly. I learned so much about demographic and other sweeping social trends in the world today (and in history). I checked it out from the library, but I think I might need to buy myself a copy for reference. I recommend it to everyone. It affirmed a lot of things that I have been thinking but with researched statistical data throughout to back it all up and ju [...]

    28. After years of hearing that we have too many people on this planet and that we have to decrease our population, here comes Jonathan Last to tell us that if we don’t start having more children, we’re in trouble. We’ll have a population of old people with no young ones to support them. This book is a slow read, a scholarly compilation of statistics that show the birth rate going down below replacement level in most first-world countries. Last blames it on many factors of modern life, includi [...]

    29. In the 1970's it was popular to believe the earth would run out of resources due to overpopulation, but the opposite has happened. There are not enough babies being born. Many countries (Italy, Japan, Singapore) are already seeing their populations shrink.The replacement rate is 2.1 children. America is at 2.0. Jonathan Last asks why are we having fewer babies. The more educated a woman is, the fewer babies she has. The increase in divorce. The expense of children. The decrease in marriage and u [...]

    30. Jonathan Last is always an enjoyable writer so it was no surprise that this book was an enjoyable read, even if it was, at points, a little dark.One should certainly read this book critically. I found a few ideas in it that I don't think add up, and I'm pretty sympathetic to Last's overall viewpoint. Nonetheless, his treatment of America's falling birth rate, its causes and implications, is as thorough as it could be without turning into an academic tome.Most importantly, I think that this book [...]

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