Average parents of the 80-class in the advanced countries can’t afford the two children who are necessary to replenish their numbers and be able to afford a house, the basic stock of household goods and the obligatory annual holiday. The 20-class, though free of debt and, indeed, owning at least 90% of the wealth of the country, also can’t afford more than two children. In their case, however, it is not financial, but mainly due to their more extensive social life (and, often, second homes and multiple international travel) which gives them too little time to raise more than two children.
This has been going on for about two or three decades now in the advanced countries of Europe. Unless some new wonder drugs come along very shortly which will extend the life of the old by several more years, then populations will start to decline very steeply indeed within the next 20 years or so, and then a little less steeply in the following decades until Europeans become extinct or perhaps stabilize at a much lower figure when something between two and three children will be affordable and desirable again.
The top levels of governments have known about this for many years past, of course, and this is why, defying public opinion and party manifestoes, European countries have, for some years, been surreptitiously allowing the ingress of millions of poor migrants from Asia and Africa in order to keep up the tax-paying numbers. But public anger is growing in all the European countries and it is highly likely that the flood will have to be reduced to a trickle if governments want to remain both democratic and in power. Besides, immigrants who desire our household goods more than anything else soon adjust their own family sizes to less than replacement numbers once they’ve arrived.
For slightly different reasons (governmental or cultural diktat) China and Japan are also on the point of imminent steep decline. America, however, is 30 years behind both them and Europe because its declining fertility rate of the indigenous population has only recently dipped below two. With only a slightly longer delay so will the billions of surplus rural worker parents in the rest of the world who are now migrating into the metropolises of their own countries. Whether they find jobs or not, the evidence is already very clear that, by one means or another, their top priority, beyond basic food, is to buy TV, video players, dish aerials and the like — electricity being increasingly tapped into for free. The millions who are presently trapped in refugee camps will, presumably, have to remain and die there as aid from the advanced countries continues to be savagely reduced, at least from Europe and America.
The survival of man is really up to the 20-class in every country. This is the class which, in addition to being wealthy and enjoying the best fruits of the earth, also takes all the important economic decisions and administers the basic physical infrastructure of civilization — as well as ‘higher’ culture. Because of increasing automation they require steadily fewer workers from the 80-class from year to year. What looks like permanent unemployment among the young has already been building up for the past decade or so and will almost certainly keep on swelling as educational requirements for jobs keep growing.
But the 20-class will presumably want to continue. They have two remedies and there’s already evidence that both of these are now being sampled. The one is to select the brightest children from their increasingly dysfunctioning state education systems and to fast-track them into much better schools or universities and then so be able welcome them into their class to make up necessary numbers. (Harvard University, among others, is actually recruiting from a few exceptional state schools in England). The other remedy is mainly derivative (from what one picks up from the media) in that some of the 20-class are already beginning to have more than two children. This was very unfashionable only a few years ago.
We’ve probably got several catastrophes due to hit us in the coming years — world currency breakdown, mass starvation in many countries, explosive wars in the Middle East — but I can’t see how the underlying trends discussed above will not also steadily continue. After all, these trends will be mainly due to 80-class populations voting en masse as to the desirability of owning consumer goods versus the expense and bother of raising too many children.