Thursday, February 15, 2007

Europe is Dying

Brad Wardell, creator of the Galactic Civilizations series and lead AI programmer for the version I know and love (among other things), is a hard working business and family man. His latest blog reveals something true:

Europe is dying. Or more accurately, several countries in Europe have a declining birthrate, and within several generations, if the trend continues, the existing population may find immigrants no longer a small minority.

What's insightful is what Brad attributes to be the cause of the problem:

"My opinion is that it is entitlements. Consider this: Why have children? What is the incentive other than biological urge, to have children?

Or more to the point, what is the incentive to have more than one child? Maybe you have a girl and want a boy so you have 2?

In the time before cradle to grave entitlements, people had children for a very specific reason: Because they needed them. They needed them to work the farms. They needed them to help out in the household. They needed them to take care of them when they became old and infirm.

But now? What do we need kids for? Mother government will provide for us. The more urbanized, the lower the population growth. All those government services are so convenient. It takes a village right? And when you get old, you don't need children anymore. No, the government will pay for your medicine, house you if necessary, and provide money to allow you to live pretty well."

Read the entire blog /article.

My comments? I agree, and with four children I'm currently out producing Brad by 2 to 1! Hah! But we can't have any more due to Maria developing worse complications each pregnancy, and Brad can raise my bet by "I have a company with more than 60 employees," at which point I fold.

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