The Corner

Re: The More The Merrier?

Mark, I’m under the gun with a deadline today (Lowry is holding the pistol), but I’ll look forward to replying to you in full in due course.  As I suspect you know, there’s a great deal about which we agree. I argue that falling populations need not necessarily be a problem and you agree that “demographic decline doesn’t have to be an existential threat”.  But note that word “necessarily’. If the population is falling it will need to adapt. I wouldn’t deny that for a second. Maybe the difference between us is that I am more optimistic than you about humanity’s ability to adapt to such changes—even if it hasn’t made the greatest job of it so far.

That said, even if we disagree about the problems posed by a falling population, we clearly both think that mass immigration was not (and is not) the answer. And I am sure that we also agree that the idea that Europe’s postwar welfare states could have been preserved unchanged once the population began to fall was, quite clearly, absurd.

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