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Will China introduce forced fertilisation? Xi Jinping will do anything to avoid population decline

Comrades, go forth and multiply! (Zhang Yong/China News Service via Getty Images)

Comrades, go forth and multiply! (Zhang Yong/China News Service via Getty Images)


September 29, 2021   5 mins

Have you ever achieved a goal in life only to find it’s not what you wanted after all? Have you made great sacrifices — and trampled over other people — to get to somewhere that you don’t in fact want to be? If so, spare a thought for the Chinese Communist Party.

In 1979, they imposed a one-child policy on their citizens. It was brutally implemented. There were forced sterilisations, forced abortions and crippling financial penalties on families with unauthorised children. In some areas, family planning officials — effectively a secret police force — punished non-complying parents by demolishing homes and kidnapping excess children.

It was all for nothing. The long-term population trends would have been similar without Beijing’s campaign of anti-natal terror. Birth rates across East Asia have plummeted, despite the fact that only China had a one-child policy. 

Furthermore, Chinese birth rates have stayed low despite the end of the policy. Worryingly low, in fact. In recent years, the Government hasn’t just eased up on population control, but now wants families to have more children. There was the shift to a two-child policy in 2015 and, earlier this year, to a three-child policy. 

But the biggest sign of panic came this week, when the State Council announced a ban on abortions for non-medical purposes. It was the clearest proof yet that China is hurtling towards a demographic disaster that the Government is desperate to stop.

We can tell that they’re worried because the official figures are so misleading. This is what usually happens when a communist regime has something it wants to hide: whether it’s a poor harvest, inadequate production or mass murder.

Based on government statistics, the World Bank puts the Chinese total fertility rate (TFR) — the average number of children born to each woman over her lifetime — at 1.7. The rate required to maintain population stability is 2 (plus a bit more to compensate for child mortality).

So a TFR of 1.7 is well below the “replacement rate”. However, according to demographers like Lyman Stone, China’s real fertility rate is probably much lower — perhaps as low as 1.1. This matters, because the mathematics of demographics are merciless. 

To see how important these numbers are, think about a sequence of three generations. If the TFR falls below replacement, then each new generation will be smaller than its predecessor. For instance, a constant TFR of 1.7 means that your children’s generation will be only 85% as big as your own, and your grandkid’s generation 72%. That’s a significant decline, but manageable. 

Now try a TFR of 1.4 — this brings down the generation size to 70% of the starting point within just one generation and to less than 50% within two generations. We’re talking about proper depopulation here: schools closing down; businesses struggling to find workers; villages and towns inhabited by no one but the elderly — and, in time, only by ghosts. 

It’s already happening in some places. The village of Nagoro in Japan is famous not because its population decline is unique (sadly, it isn’t), but because its departed residents have been replaced by life-sized dolls. Created by Tsukimi Ayano, the effigies work in fields, wait at bus stops and fill the classroom of a school that closed a decade ago. Whether one finds the display poignant or eerie, it’s a haunting reminder of what’s happening right now in left-behind communities across the developed world — and what might happen to the rest of us in the decades ahead.

At a TFR of close to 1 — the goal of the one-child policy — we enter into the realm of country-wide demographic collapse. Each generation is roughly half the size of its predecessor. Over several generations, a nation basically disappears. If you want to know what that future would be like, don’t read Nineteen Eighty-Four or Brave New World, but P.D. James’s The Children of Men.  

And this is a prospect that is already hitting some countries. According to the latest figures, the TFR in Singapore is 1.14, in Hong Kong it is 1.07 and in South Korea a terrifying 0.86. North Korea doesn’t have to nuke its southern rival — just wait for it to empty out. 

If China’s real TFR is in this ballpark, then the apparent panic of its government is no surprise. Xi, after all, will be well aware of what happened to Japan thirty years ago. In the 1980s, the Land of the Rising Sun was where China is now — the emerging economic superpower and number one threat to America’s pre-eminence. Back then, Japan was at the cutting edge of modernity — a neon-lit vision of the future that the West could only aspire to. 

The buzz — or, more accurately, the hype — was reflected in Japanese share and property prices. By 1989, the Japanese stock market accounted for over 40% of all the stock market values in the world. The country’s real estate was worth more than all the land in the US (despite America being 26 times bigger). 

Then there was the most mind-blowing statistic of them all. The Imperial Palace in Tokyo sits on a plot less than one square mile in area. Yet, at the peak of the property bubble, the grounds were valued at more than the entire US state of California. 

Of course, it couldn’t last — and it didn’t. In the early 1990s, land and share values collapsed, plunging Japan into its “Lost Decade” (more like two or three decades) of economic stagnation. 

It’s significant that the peak of the bubble — 1989 — coincided with the “1.57 shock“. This wasn’t an earthquake, at least not literally, but the news that Japan’s total fertility rate had declined to a record low of 1.57. By today’s standards, that’s really not that low; but at the time it caused national dismay. Might it also have contributed to the bursting of Japan’s economic bubble?

The decision to have children is an expression of faith in the future. Without that faith — and certainly without a rising generation of producers and consumers — it’s hard for a country to sustain a rapid rate of economic growth. It’s even harder to sustain a bubble economy, especially one based on a property boom. What is the point of building all those new homes if there aren’t enough people to live in them? Sooner or later, investors look beyond the hype and ask the obvious question.

It’s the question that Xi Jinping will be fretting about right now. The immediate worry is Evergrande, China’s second biggest property developer, which is teetering on the edge of collapse. But it’s not just one company in peril, but the entire economy. Over the last decade, Chinese property prices have doubled. The country is building five times as many new homes each year as in Europe and America combined. And despite China’s prowess in manufacturing, the real estate sector now accounts for more than a quarter of the country’s GDP. The whole thing is built on a mountain of debt — including the $300 billion borrowed by Evergrande. 

Xi will be pulling on every lever to stabilise the situation, but what he really needs is for his people to go forth and multiply — and fill all those empty homes. 

Can he persuade them to do so? Other countries, including Japan, have tried to reverse declining birth rates — offering parents tax breaks, benefits and other forms of support. But, at best, these pro-natal inducements have had limited success.   

Of course, Japan is a democracy. China is not. Where he sees fit, Xi Jinping has no trouble interfering in the private lives of his citizens. His party once compelled Chinese families to have fewer children, so might it now compel them to have more? In place of forced sterilisation, could we see the state pursue a policy of forced fertilisation? 

If its survival depended upon it, this is a regime that would bring back its two-child policy — only this time as a minimum. 


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

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peter lucey
peter lucey
2 years ago

My letter to the Spectator: they printed an edited version. (I know it owes a lot to Mark Steyn)

“Sir,

Professor Latham notes China’s population challenges (Letters 15/5/21). The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) killed at least 2 million Chinese in the Revolution, 40 million in the Great Leap Forward, and another 2 million in the Cultural Revolution. (Of course, all these Marxist policies caused enormous destruction of capital and culture, as well). It may be, however, that the most serious state-sponsored catastrophe inflicted by the CCP was its One-Child Policy. For the last two generations – 40 years – every Chinese child has been a singleton. No brothers or sisters, no cousins, nieces and nephews; the abolition of family. No-one has ever tried that on humans before and I’m unsurprised that it affected the birthrate: we are animals, not machines and families cannot be switched off and on. It may be that the CCP has wrecked China’s breeding process: Marxism has not just seized the means of production – it has smashed the means of reproduction, as well.”

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  peter lucey

You can strongly oppose China’s Marxist-Leninist government, but this is all rather besides the point.

China’s one child policy may have inflicted a lot of cruelty but it didn’t make an enormous difference to birth rates. Fertility rates have been falling for decades now, as argued here, in all developed East Asian societies, as well to a lesser extent in Europe. And fertility is falling in Africa and Latin America as well.

This is my view is not a tragedy. We are usually worrying about the world being overpopulated!.

If we don’t want the population to grow indefinitely, or actually fall through mass famines or real ecological catastrophe, we do need this to happen. (It is interesting how in fact we seem addicted to doom-mongering, if we can almost simultaneously run scares on two opposite phenomena!) But, this is what a reducing population looks like.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago

China is indeed facing a demographic crisis, in many ways showing very similar signatures as other advanced economies. And while I think the regime will indeed try and interfere in the bedroom to increase the number of children, I doubt such attempts can succeed. In any case I agree the government there could well try and pressure its population on population (so to speak) but I doubt it would be for very long, and I think they would hurriedly drop the idea after a very few years. Because alongside the demographic crisis, which is coming to all advanced economies, something else is coming too.

To someone looking at not just the post-Covid skills and expertise shortage, but the general, across-the-board shortage in workers and labor of every sort, now forcing rapid rises in salaries, not just here but across the globe, what I am talking about will sound stark staring bonkers. But anyone paying any attention to technology and developments on the verge right now can see: we are looking at a large scale adoption of automation which leads to a series of cliff edges in employment across the advanced nations over the coming decade, with the first of those cliff edges potentially as little as half a decade away. In that situation the last thing any nation should be looking at is means to increase (rather than decrease) the population – such a move would rapidly lead to disaster.

Last edited 2 years ago by Prashant Kotak
Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Yes, it looks like Japan is poised to be one of the few countries to benefit from the increase in automation, as well as being the country at the forefront of driving it forward.
In Western countries, we too keep getting told that we’re in a demographic decline, whilst our population numbers are constantly increasing due to mass immigration. We’ll be hit the hardest by automation because of it.

Matt M
Matt M
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Is it possible that automation, combined with strict immigration controls (as seen in Japan and maybe soon in Britain) could lead to a rebound in the birth rate? Wages rise, “working class” jobs become more lucrative and bring higher status, housing becomes more affordable, public services less congested – all these things may be conducive to people wanting bigger families and starting having babies earlier.

After all, no one predicted the late 20th century falling birth rate trend.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt M
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt M

Isn’t the main driver for women having babies a lot later the fact that much larger numbers of people are staying in education into their twenties? I recall in the 70s while I went into A levels, three quarters of my cohort left school after O levels at 16.

Matt M
Matt M
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Yes, I think that is a part of the puzzle. I would say a lot of it is to do with young people not wanting to settle down to marriage and babies in their twenties as was common in the 1970s. Certainly settling down wasn’t popular when i was in my twenties in the 1990s. Though my wife was telling me that that is changing with the younger generation who are more conservative and family-oriented. Maybe she is right – the wheel always turns.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt M

Well, I think it’s possible, but it seems to me that the pressures are less economic (though of course it’s a factor) and more social.
The constant inference for women is that having a family means you’ve wasted your education, even wasted your life.” Have a career, it will be more fulfilling and empowering” is the message. It’s rubbish, of course, most people don’t really have careers, they have jobs. And there’s nothing ‘fulfilling’ or ’empowering’ about what is essentially office work, it’s just a way to make a living and can’t deliver what is expected. Too many leave it too late to change course.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

It’s remarkable that even Indian and Bangladeshi (though not Pakistani at 3.5) birthrates have dropped to just above replacement at 2.2.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago

Indeed. Even in Islamic countries the picture is mixed – Bangladesh as you say, but also for example in Iran birth rates have dropped very rapidly over the last fifteen years – appears to be a direct consequence of universal education for girls all the way to degree level.

Last edited 2 years ago by Prashant Kotak
Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

Indeed. With a few exceptions, such as Egypt, Muslim reproduction rates also seem to have crashed. Iran is well down below two children per woman where it used to be seven. Turkey — at least among ethnic Turks — is crashing too, so much so that on present rates, the Kurds will be 50% of the population within thirty years.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Where does your prediction come from? As someone who has worked in automation of various kinds, I don’t see actually see many huge potential projects that are stalled simply due to the cost of labour, and that’s what you’d need to create a sawtooth/cliff edge pattern.
Even if you take the classically zeitgeisty example of self-driving trucks/taxis, it’s kind of disappointing. Really only one company has demonstrated serious capability there (Google/Waymo) and after over a decade of blank cheques with the top people in the world on it, they have a novelty taxi service that apparently can’t break out of its trial city or launch for real for various reasons.
Automation efforts are complicated, risky and frankly most of them fail. And that’s the ones that don’t require new technological breakthroughs, just ordinary IT work! In many kinds of jobs there’s been remarkably little progress on automation over the past 30 years compared to what people originally expected. And when it does occur it normally leads to redeployment of existing labour to other tasks rather than actual reductions in workforce size. Economists even treat this as a so-called productivity mystery: where did the productivity benefits of computers go? It’s hard to see in the stats (though this may simply be a problem with how productivity is calculated of course).

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

“Where does your prediction come from?’

A great question and great points which deserve a proper response, so I will post why I think that this evening after work – and hopefully expand the debate.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

As someone working with (mechanical) engineering innovators , I could roughly define the two types of business development from innovation as: problems looking for a solution, and solutions looking for an application.
Exponentially more money gets thrown at the former, but I’d say I’ve had more luck with the latter, and often the successful application isn’t what was first envisaged. A new machine starts out as one that could conquer the world but eventually finds a more specific niche.
I expected, and maybe it’s already happened, that the first automation leap in driverless road trucks would be some kind of convoy application where a series of trucks could be daisy-chained at constant speed for trunk sections of a journey (i.e like rail) but that in itself probably requires hundreds of small adaptations.

Matt M
Matt M
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Good comment.

I think automation is often less eye catching than the advances you mention.

In 2017 I spotted an ordering screen at a McDonalds in Knightsbridge – I assume it was a pilot in a very busy restaurant. By 2019 they were in all McDonalds. This summer I went to a fish and chip shop in Cornwall that had two. All of these screens replaced staff as no one takes orders in these places. Whether they led to an overall staff cuts or productivity gain I don’t know.

Also you could argue that these innovations – like self-checkout at supermarkets and pay-at-the-pump at petrol stations – push activity from employee to customer rather than employee to robot.

Still I think these things are rolling out quickly and probably driven by the new immigration rules.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt M
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

“Where does your prediction come from?’

Like you I am a worker in tech, with a very long coalface background in both electronics and software. I have become increasingly alarmed with the medium term implications of the effects of automation on employment since the 2008 crash, with what looked to me like unregarded evidence that the reason we did not have a ‘traditional’ global recovery from that crash was the pernicious effects that the ever increasing use of software was already having on wages. On top of that the evidence has started to mount that the next generation of software will be ‘adaptive’ as opposed to static with a very clear endpoint which is that this will cause an end to pretty much all current economic and governmental paradigms in short order – because such software is pretty much impossible for open society governments to tax – we can debate this point further if interested.

There is right now mounting evidence that around 50% all work globally is *already automatable* but hasn’t for a range of reasons, been automated yet (eg a McKinsey study from around 2017), and to me this can only mean one thing – a ratcheting of pressure followed by a cliff edge (or rather a series of cliff edges as different technology streams go mainstream.

The reasons why automation take-up is slower than it might be include the fact that entire societies appear collectively but silently to have reacted by forgoing expected ongoing increases in living standards over time, and have instead traded that off with keeping employed at lower stipends. What is ignored though is that entire ecosystems of skilled and semi-skilled work have nevertheless already disappeared – for example software has killed off swathes of clerical jobs in the finance industry, and increasing use of software driven black-box assemblies in vehicles has pretty much killed off small repair garages – because diagnosis is now driven by software at the dealer and repair is a slot out/slot in operation.

Other sources like the Economist Carl Benedikt Frey whose work on automation I admire, indicate that automation in the advanced economies is following paths like employment in agriculture over the 20th century, which went from around 40% of all people employed in 1900 to under 2% now. Where I disagree though is on speed and scale – this time I believe *all* employment sectors will be affected simultaneously, and instead of spanning a century, I believe an accelerated flip spanning a couple of decades has already begun – with the end result of most work now around disappearing completely by around 2040. People reacted to the dying of agri employment by shifting to office based urban work – but this time there is literally nowhere to run to for most people.

Automation is like pulling on a large heavy brick with a rubber-band. For a long time nothing seems to be happening, but the tension is ratcheting up. And just when all those economists expect the brick to start creeping towards you, it will instead zing through the air – and smash us in the face.

Last edited 2 years ago by Prashant Kotak
chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Not bonkers – however who is going to buy stuff ? It still looks as if some king of ‘degrowth’ is in order.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago

A communist country attempting to forcibly increase fertility is nothing new. Just look at Romania under Ceaușescu in the 70s and 80s.
The problem with the government trying to increase this directly (as opposed to indirectly tax benefits, or cultural attitudes etc.) is that it usually has a negative effect on the population. If someone really doesn’t want to have children and they have any degree of intelligence or cunning then it is not difficult to outwit a lumbering governmental bureacracy. Especially when these people are better connected anyway.
So usually this policy has a profound negative effect on the population as the people who will be pushed into producing more children will be the stupid, drug addicted and/or petty criminal class of people. This is almost exactly what happened in Romania as the orphanages filled up with the babies of the socially maladjusted and irresponsible who couldn’t properly raise their children and had to have them taken away.
The only real way to increase population sustainably is to have a culture and future for which people actually want to produce children.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ferrusian Gambit
Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago

So are you a produce of those stupid Romanians who continued to reproduce?

Rob C
Rob C
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Croitoru

Why this stupid ad hominem?

Maighread G
Maighread G
2 years ago

These articles about individual countries and their dwindling birth rates seem really short sighted to me.
Two hundred years ago the world’s human population was about one billion. Now it is almost eight billion. There are too many of us. We drain the world of its resources. Paradoxically, humanity (including Chinese humanity) has a far better chance of thriving and surviving if we our reproduction rate continues to decline.

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago
Reply to  Maighread G

Two hundred years ago the world’s human population was about one billion. Now it is almost eight billion. There are too many of us. We drain the world of its resources. Paradoxically, humanity (including Chinese humanity) has a far better chance of thriving and surviving if we our reproduction rate continues to decline.
Great point. I thought this article was a hopeful vision of the future as human population declines.

Ellen Olenska
Ellen Olenska
2 years ago
Reply to  Maighread G

Thank you. Agree. Instead of planting dolls in fields, why can’t Japan plant trees?
Forgetting about 3rd World population growth for a moment, the post-WWII Baby Boom created an artificial baseline for future population growth when it basically was a rare event that caused that boom and it lasted for just a few years.
Europe, Japan and the U.S. are fully settled and populated countries. There is no need for continued high levels of population growth. In fact, signals from society have encouraged women to have way fewer children. Yet leaders in Europe and the U.S. insist on increasing population through immigration. Japan has taken the wiser action by limiting immigration. Hopefully, China will see that low population growth is a blessing.
Economic systems need to change to adapt to low population growth and reduced resource consumption – systems that can provide good quality of life for the world’s human population without overcrowding.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

It is hard to imagine that a great and ancient civilisation like China might dissolve into nothing. But, of course, it would be wrong to underestimate the destructive forces of certain ideologies that have gripped modern nations.

Sue Whorton
Sue Whorton
2 years ago

What has not been mentioned is sex selection. With the one child policy came an excess of aborting female foetuses

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago

Lyndon Stone’s fertility estimates are not really accepted by anybody else. China is probably about 1.7 and getting back to 2.1 or so isn’t that difficult. In fact it looks like the Chinese have worked out that high costs of housing is a hinderance and hence the lack of financial support for evergrande. The west can’t do that, however, as real estate is a huge part of the economy.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

I think population decline is normal in societies where women are expected to study and work. They have more options than just childbearing and rearing. For those who believe that the planet needs saving from human overpopulation surely this is a good thing. If China is fearful of population decline, perhaps the country can open its borders to migrants from the Middle-East much as we do here in Europe and the US.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

They are much too ethnocentric for immigration, much like Japan.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago

Historically, outside of elites, I doubt that people had children because of faith in the future: it was because sex without contraception produces children. Now we have contraception, but with an awareness of the costs of childcare, the economic need for most women to be in employment and the loss of time to do other things So, with these three considerations adults are choosing to have fewer children.
Anyone care to work out the financial costs of raising pay so that it is sufficient to raise 2 – 3 children with ease and allow mothers to give up full-time employment?

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

The mathematics of demographics are merciless. In that sentence is encapsulated the whole social history of the supposedly “developed” world for the last century. China, as the world’s biggest socialist country is, of course, the worst offender because — being socialist — it is completely wedded to the unquestioned notion that you can micro-manage your entire society with science and politics. And, of course, as leftists, a) the more they micro-manage, the worse it gets and b) they simply will not learn so they will go right on trying to micro-manage.
The west, of course, is not really in a position to carp at them because of sixty years of the pill and sex training for children in the schools. Sorry, sex education. When you completely divorce sex from procreation, this is the absolute rabbit hole you end up sliding down, just as the Catholic Church has warned for decades. Ironic, then, that under the Jesuits the Church is trying to join the party as everyone else is looking at their watches and trying to figure if it’s time to leave. But that’s the Jesuits. The dad dancers of Catholicism.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago

China seems to be doing ok. Maybe more statism is needed.

J Hop
J Hop
2 years ago

In a sick way, Covid helped with this trend, removing a lot of elderly from the population. I hope it doesn’t give the CCP any ideas.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  J Hop

Maybe that was the CCP’s idea all along? 😉

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

No “maybe” about it. Covid is doing exactly what it was designed to do – eliminate as many non-productive members of society as possible.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

I say ‘maybe’ not because I doubt the evil of their intentions, but because I am not convinced of their competence to achieve their goals.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

The Chinese are vastly more competent than the west. Hard to see how this could be in doubt.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

Someday we may see innovation from China. But if failures continue to be punished and great success is also punished the path to mediocracy is well in place.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

I’ll bite here. If the idea was to get rid of the old, why the lockdowns? Seems to me that society has bent over backwards to protect older people.

Peter Branagan
Peter Branagan
2 years ago

More anti Chinese hate-mongering from Franklin. He berates a government that, over the past 40 yrs brought over 600million people from grinding, abject poverty to middle income quality of life. Never in human history has a government increased human wellbeing so much in so short a time.

I would argue that if any government can overcome the frightening bubbles in the property and stock markets (right across the world BTW) and the huge demographic problem he correctly highlights, it is the CCP – as it is intelligent, balanced and immensely competent – in sharp contrast to Western ‘democratic’ governments who’s every waking hour is consumed by the single thought ‘what do I have to SAY (not DO) to get reelected.
As to the so-called values and freedoms we’re meant to enjoy in ‘democracies’, the reaction to Covid by governments has shown conclusively to any even vaguely rational person that it’s all a big con. Our freedoms are wholely contingent – dependant on the whims of any fanatical cult, like the ‘public health’ establishment, that can capture the ear of our incompetent politicians.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

over the past 40 yrs brought over 600 million people from grinding, abject poverty to middle income quality of life. Never in human history has a government increased human wellbeing so much in so short a time.” – Quite agree. Perhaps the only government that could make such a transformation. Of course, that progress was totally dependant on creating an export economy with western partners eager to support a ‘new China’. The investment in plant and training was part of that partnership. The Chinese government was more than willing to employ armies of near slave labor to fill those factories. The capitalists were more than happy to export troublesome union labor and jobs in exchange for considerable wealth. And as long as growth made it a non-zero sum game all was well. Then a series of growth shakeouts in the west created a citizenry angry over the collapse of their towns and jobs arrived. Worst the Chinese could grow internally as had other nations but still use mercantile tactics externally. The collision arrived for the world to deal withy.

Ellen Olenska
Ellen Olenska
2 years ago

Overpopulation is overrated.

digitĂŒrk balıkesir
digitĂŒrk balıkesir
1 year ago