December 18, 2014

Carl Frey
Faculty of Philosophy
University of Oxford
Suite 1, Littlegate House
16/17 St Ebbe's Street
Oxford, OX1 1PT

Dear Professor:
I read with great interest your article (Carl Frey, The End of Economic Growth, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN vol. 312 no. 1 January, 2015 page 12).  It all comes down to babies, doesn’t it?  And the outlook for babies among the economically privileged is not so good.

The way I figure it is this.  Suppose I offer you a note that you can redeem from me in one year for ten dollars and tell you you can have it for nine, now.  There are a lot of factors involved in whether you do the deal, but the bottom line in a year is certainly one.  But suppose I say it will be worthless in a year.  Then it’s already worthless, isn’t it?

Well suppose All the babies who are going to grow up and produce more than a subsistence have already been born, or will be through being born within the lives of some of those now living.  Then everything is already worthless, right?  It’s just going to take the market a while to catch on. 

The evidence is very strong.  You’d think people would be interested.

Ah, but there is a bright side.  When people do catch on, and realize how to stabilize the population, than all things are possible.  Technology will, as it by right ought, simply increase everybody’s welfare.  It only kills you if it kills the babies.

What do you think?

M. Linton Herbert MD

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