Monday, May 24, 2010


In Germany last year, 651,000 babies were born and 842,000 people died. Enough immigrants arrived to keep the population steady, but the low birth rate has become a major political issue. Despite an ongoing budget deficit the government recently increased the "parent money" (Elterngeld) they pay to new parents to more than 25,000 Euros for most couples.

I take issue, though with the Weekly Standard's headline about "Germany's Dire Demographics." I think that it would be great for the planet if the human population would decline. Obviously there are challenges to an aging and shrinking population, but they are in principle no more difficult than the problems created by a rising population. We are just not used to solving them.

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