Millennials, all together when we go:
There is a timely special section in the Economist (Generation Uphill, Economist vol. 418 no. 8973 January 23, 2016 special section following page 42 and for the time-challenged of us a nice summary Young, Gifted and Held Back on page 12 of the same issue) on the young people referred to as millennials.  The position taken is that young people, late teens and early twenties, are oppressed, and this should stop.

They take a global perspective and make a good case that the phenomenon is global.  What they would like to see, as always, is people should have unrestricted freedom to move within and between countries.  This, they aver, would double the world’s gross domestic product – and you thought another America would overwhelm the ability of the environment to support all us fatties, to absorb our trash and to supply us the natural resources we demand. 

There are other issues, such as old people hogging the good jobs, demanding government support, making education useful instead of just time and money consuming, violence (it’s always the young who are violent – I can attest to that) and how nice it is that young people are postponing their families (if they ever are to have families, of course).  They point out that thanks to nutrition, the brain development of this generation at this age is better than of any cohort before and they do spend more time getting educated, to boot.

The section is decorated with nice personal stories of what these young are finding in the world; I can only writhe in envy at the journalistic skills the excellent publication can bring to bear.  And they point out that sooner or later those who are now young and those who follow them will be all there is left; us present ogres can’t clutch on forever, can we? 

Of course I look at it like this: there is some optimal size of social pool.  A smaller one will show exponential growth unless it is crushed down to inbreeding, a larger one will show decline.  But if it is very large, the decline will be catastrophic.  And of course a zero growth rate is the only tolerable one; anything else ends in tears.

I read the whole section with one question: does this lead us toward a sane world of viable populations?  The answer is a resounding no.  And this time it really does look global. 

It’s a good read.  It’s offered with good intentions.  I don’t know how to fix it, but it’s not going to be fixed if the problem remains unknown.  Give me a bit more time. 

There have been 221 visitors over the past month and YouTube has run “Babies Triumph over Evil” 202 times, mostly me checking to see how it’s doing. 

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