April 12, 2010

Alan D. Viard
Resident Scholar
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Alan Viard:
I appreciated your contribution to the documentary “Demographic Winter.”  Of course your interest is in the economic consequences of the fertility decline.  That is not the issue that strikes terror in my soul, but I accept its importance.  The logic seems to go no babies means no people; no people means nothing of value; nothing of value means total evaporation of any economy.

Of course we are right now only on the beginning of that process, but the documentary already uses the word “catastrophe” and the phrase “babies will cease to exist.” 

The biological principle at stake is little known but supported by a mountain range of evidence.  It is that when people stop marrying kin their fertility falls below replacement level in a few generations.  The evidence is on nobabies.net, the best summary being the March 25, 2010 entry.  I would imagine that the biology of something so important would be of interest to absolutely everybody.  Perhaps not, but the economic issue still remains.  It is not just how we can go extinct as gracefully and as luxuriously as possible.  The real issue is how the economics of the situation can be tweaked so that those who choose to marry kin, which means the ones who will be having children, are not marginalized. 

Take a look at the evidence and please let me know what you think.


M. Linton Herbert MD

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