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Elon Talking About Birth Rates and Ramifications

MichFin

Member
May 8, 2015
303
61
Detroit, MI
Well I feel that it's a good thing to lower the population because the world has limited resources and the world is already over populated. Look at India which is about 1/3 the size of the U.S. and has 3 times the population has terrible poverty even though they are an emerging economy.
 

wdolson

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Jul 24, 2015
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Well I feel that it's a good thing to lower the population because the world has limited resources and the world is already over populated. Look at India which is about 1/3 the size of the U.S. and has 3 times the population has terrible poverty even though they are an emerging economy.

I agree the world is above it's long term carrying capacity. Many of the ills of the world are connected to the massive population.

Musk's point is also a little off the mark. It is true for developed countries, but not true for the developing world where birthrates are still very high. Economically a shrinking population is not a great thing in the short term, but will probably be a good thing over the long term.

A slow reduction of the population over a long term is harder on the planet and bad for economies, but not as traumatic. A shrinking population is hard on an economy. A major contributing factor to Japan's economic malaise over the last 20 years is their last large generation are retirement age. They have too many retired people and too few people working. That's a problem facing all economies with shrinking populations due to low birthrates. Japan is just the first country to go through this problem and they will likely stay in economic limbo until the older generation has largely passed on.

Because of the one child policy, I think China is facing the biggest economic hit when their last large generation retires. They have the biggest generational reduction in the population of any country.

Of course a quick reduction in the population (war, disease, or some other disaster) is very traumatic for people and very disruptive as well as just plain scary.

It's an issue most people are scared to talk about because eugenics is a pretty horrific subject when you start getting into it. (And I'm not advocating any method of reducing the population in case anyone is wondering.)
 

Grendal

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Jan 31, 2012
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There was another thread on this about a year ago. I totally disagree with Elon on this one. Could it become a problem? Sure. Is it a problem? Absolutely not. There are over 7 billion people on this planet. Those seven billion all want shelter, food, and safety. That creates a lot of waste which creates a lot of the problems that Elon is fighting. Would there be a global warming issue if there were only 1 billion people on the planet? Unlikely. Would we be having the environmental and resource issues with only 1 billion? Also unlikely.

The reality is that human beings like to procreate. In urban environments with ample opportunity for birth control you see less children being born. That is natural too. In urban environments where you are surrounded by other human beings there is less drive to fill up more space with even more human beings. In less urban environments a human being will naturally have more children.

A simple adjustment to tax codes could probably generate millions of new babies at any given moment. Right now it is an economic burden to have lots of children.

So I totally disagree with Elon on this one.
 

apacheguy

S Sig #255
Oct 21, 2012
5,090
1,247
So Cal
Yeah we all need to recognize resources are limited and any environment has a carrying capacity. Can't say I'd agree that we are heading toward a population implosion either.
 

wdolson

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Jul 24, 2015
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There was another thread on this about a year ago. I totally disagree with Elon on this one. Could it become a problem? Sure. Is it a problem? Absolutely not. There are over 7 billion people on this planet. Those seven billion all want shelter, food, and safety. That creates a lot of waste which creates a lot of the problems that Elon is fighting. Would there be a global warming issue if there were only 1 billion people on the planet? Unlikely. Would we be having the environmental and resource issues with only 1 billion? Also unlikely.

The reality is that human beings like to procreate. In urban environments with ample opportunity for birth control you see less children being born. That is natural too. In urban environments where you are surrounded by other human beings there is less drive to fill up more space with even more human beings. In less urban environments a human being will naturally have more children.

A simple adjustment to tax codes could probably generate millions of new babies at any given moment. Right now it is an economic burden to have lots of children.

So I totally disagree with Elon on this one.

It isn't so much urban environments, but when women get educations and careers. Women with college degrees usually want to have a career and usually don't want to be tied down with a lot of children.

In the book I mentioned above, Elon is quoted with the belief that smart people should have a lot of children. He also said he wants more with Telulah. That might be contributing to what he said in that video.
 

Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
5,968
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
It isn't so much urban environments, but when women get educations and careers. Women with college degrees usually want to have a career and usually don't want to be tied down with a lot of children.

In the book I mentioned above, Elon is quoted with the belief that smart people should have a lot of children. He also said he wants more with Telulah. That might be contributing to what he said in that video.

I'll go a little off topic to say that Elon is probably not the best dad. He works very long hours and that has to cut into his time with his children. I think his relationship with Telulah and Justine are probably indications of his difficulty with relationships. That aside, the guy is an incredible inspiration to a million or more children around the world. His personal ethics and desire for a better world for humanity and being a spokesperson for his noble sentiments has got to have changed the world for the better. I'm sure he has inspired an entire generation of children to become engineers.

Well rounded smart people should have more children.
 

wdolson

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Jul 24, 2015
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I'll go a little off topic to say that Elon is probably not the best dad. He works very long hours and that has to cut into his time with his children. I think his relationship with Telulah and Justine are probably indications of his difficulty with relationships. That aside, the guy is an incredible inspiration to a million or more children around the world. His personal ethics and desire for a better world for humanity and being a spokesperson for his noble sentiments has got to have changed the world for the better. I'm sure he has inspired an entire generation of children to become engineers.

Well rounded smart people should have more children.

I think his success may inspire children to go into science and engineering and he might go a long way towards reviving the US manufacturing industries, at least to some degree. There are some people out there who idolize Elon Musk just like some people idolize Steve Jobs. He is one of the most brilliant and productive people in the world today, but he's also a flawed human being too, the two are not mutually exclusive. People that far out on the bell curve of humanity usually have some quirks/flaws that may make them successful in some areas, but not so hot in others.

Whether to have children or not should be a personal choice. Some people are cut out to be great parents and some people, even well rounded ones, are not wired to be parents.
 

Bgarret

Model 3 ownin' Michigan scofflaw
Supporting Member
May 10, 2013
1,175
3,865
Michigan
I agree the world is above it's long term carrying capacity. Many of the ills of the world are connected to the massive population.

Musk's point is also a little off the mark. It is true for developed countries, but not true for the developing world where birthrates are still very high. Economically a shrinking population is not a great thing in the short term, but will probably be a good thing over the long term.

A slow reduction of the population over a long term is harder on the planet and bad for economies, but not as traumatic. A shrinking population is hard on an economy. A major contributing factor to Japan's economic malaise over the last 20 years is their last large generation are retirement age. They have too many retired people and too few people working. That's a problem facing all economies with shrinking populations due to low birthrates. Japan is just the first country to go through this problem and they will likely stay in economic limbo until the older generation has largely passed on.

Because of the one child policy, I think China is facing the biggest economic hit when their last large generation retires. They have the biggest generational reduction in the population of any country.

Of course a quick reduction in the population (war, disease, or some other disaster) is very traumatic for people and very disruptive as well as just plain scary.

It's an issue most people are scared to talk about because eugenics is a pretty horrific subject when you start getting into it. (And I'm not advocating any method of reducing the population in case anyone is wondering.)
While The continent of Africa, the Middle East and the region of Northern India still have high birth rates, the global birth rate is declining fairly dramatically.

World - Birth rate - Historical Data Graphs per Year

I agree that the level of education attainment of women is the greatest single contributor to smaller families and lower birth rates.
Germany just passed Japan as the country with the lowest birth rate, threatening their long-term workforce and this may be a reason to encourage immigration from higher birth rate countries in N. Africa and the Middle East.

On on the day the FOMC is mulling a rate increase I would echo the comparison to Japan's lost decade(s) of low growth and extrapolate that globally. It is going to be very difficult to stimulate global growth enough to overcome demographic headwinds. An aging population spends less and a decreasing workforce produces less. One of the major drivers in the drop in Unemployment in the US has been a drop in workforce participation.
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
8,745
21,493
San Diego
Actually the biggest issue is cultural implosion. For the foreseeable future, the western world (Europe, America, Japan) does not have replacement birth rates. The longer we go, the less native born people we will have. Our populations, however, are not declining because of mass immigration. Fifty years from, finding a native German of European ancestry with German cultural traditions will be hard to do.
 

Electroman

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 18, 2012
6,342
6,646
TX
The Muslim societies all over the world have very high birth rates. Even in India much of the population explosion is from the Muslim community.

Muslim population growth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Muslim population growth refers to the topic of population growth of the global Muslim community. In 2006, countries with a Muslim majority had an average population growth rate of 1.8% per year (when weighted by percentage Muslim and population size).[1] This compares with a world population growth rate of 1.02% per year.[2] As of 2011, it is predicted that the world's Muslim population will grow twice as fast as non-Muslims over the next 20 years. By 2030, Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the global population. By the year 2100, about 1% more of the world's population would be Muslim (35%) than Christian (34%).[3]

Globally, Muslims have the highest fertility rate, an average of 3.1 children per woman – well above replacement level (2.1), the minimum typically needed to maintain a stable population. Christians are second, at 2.7 children per woman. Hindu fertility (2.4) is similar to the global average (2.5).
 

mdevp

Member
Sep 30, 2014
538
87
nj
I think the one point Elon made about Japan is true. A couple years back I read that a Japanese Minister predicted a ~30% drop in Japan's population in 25 years b/c of the low birth rate. He also mentioned if this occurred, there is no way the younger population could sustain Japan as a whole. He then concluded that if Japan isn't taking this more seriously it will be a catastrophe for Japanese society and may mean its demise. I thought this was an exaggeration but maybe not.
 

HVM

Savolainen
Oct 30, 2012
1,220
2,224
Finland
The Muslim societies all over the world have very high birth rates. Even in India much of the population explosion is from the Muslim community.

Muslim population growth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Muslim population growth refers to the topic of population growth of the global Muslim community. In 2006, countries with a Muslim majority had an average population growth rate of 1.8% per year (when weighted by percentage Muslim and population size).[1] This compares with a world population growth rate of 1.02% per year.[2] As of 2011, it is predicted that the world's Muslim population will grow twice as fast as non-Muslims over the next 20 years. By 2030, Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the global population. By the year 2100, about 1% more of the world's population would be Muslim (35%) than Christian (34%).[3]

Globally, Muslims have the highest fertility rate, an average of 3.1 children per woman – well above replacement level (2.1), the minimum typically needed to maintain a stable population. Christians are second, at 2.7 children per woman. Hindu fertility (2.4) is similar to the global average (2.5).



But remember Swedish Academy is tainted with Social Justice Warriors. IOW: Feminazis and Multiculturalism ;)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
5,968
7,492
Santa Fe, New Mexico

But remember Swedish Academy is tainted with Social Justice Warriors. IOW: Feminazis and Multiculturalism ;)

Excellent video. Thanks for sharing. It paints a very clear picture and Elon should watch it to have more clear picture of the future. It is not bleak and there is little chance that there will be some great reversal of population. If anything there will be a new stabilization.

Historically population was very stable for hundreds of thousands of years as humanity lived as hunter-gatherers. Population was affected primarily by the environment. The creation of the plow 5000 years ago has put humanity on the path of industrialization which can lead us eventually to the stars. The Earth is a limited resource and it will be a fascinating test to see whether we succeed at a sustainable future. 10 billion is probably as much as this world can take without causing huge problems even worse than what we have now.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

wdolson

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,745
10,560
Clark Co, WA
While The continent of Africa, the Middle East and the region of Northern India still have high birth rates, the global birth rate is declining fairly dramatically.

World - Birth rate - Historical Data Graphs per Year

I agree that the level of education attainment of women is the greatest single contributor to smaller families and lower birth rates.
Germany just passed Japan as the country with the lowest birth rate, threatening their long-term workforce and this may be a reason to encourage immigration from higher birth rate countries in N. Africa and the Middle East.

On on the day the FOMC is mulling a rate increase I would echo the comparison to Japan's lost decade(s) of low growth and extrapolate that globally. It is going to be very difficult to stimulate global growth enough to overcome demographic headwinds. An aging population spends less and a decreasing workforce produces less. One of the major drivers in the drop in Unemployment in the US has been a drop in workforce participation.

I wasn't aware the average world birthrate was approaching break even (2.1 per woman over her lifetime). Over the long term, that is a good thing for the planet and the human race.

Reducing the population through low birthrate is the least traumatic way to reduce the world population, but it takes about 4 generations to completely work itself out. Japan will pull out of the economic doldrums when the currently retired generation passes on and the population is approximately even in size for each generation. The rest of the world has to lump its way through this too. China is facing the biggest challenge because the one child policy has created a huge decrease from the generation reaching retirement now and those in the workforce.
 

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