Death by Demographics

Death by demographics: A new novel by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner suggests a dark future when longer life spans meet lower birth rates

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KURT BRUNER: What we’re trying to do in the novels is move forward 30 years and depict where all these trends unquestionably have been going. And they’re accelerating. So, we’re trying to now depict the world in which those trends come to full fruition. Some of them are already happening around the world — like today Japan has the oldest average citizen in the world and they are already in the Z population tipping point and are already feeling the crisis it’s creating for their economy in terms of becoming a decaying population. And, just a couple of anecdotes from Japan. It interesting. In the last few weeks, in fact, they’re new elected leaders — one of them their minister over the economy (Finance Minister Taro Aso) — said let elderly people “hurry up and die.” Because why? They can’t afford it anymore. The safety net is tearing because there not enough young (people) fueling the economy. Also, last year was the first year Japan sold more adult diapers than baby diapers. So, it gives you a little snapshot as to where the world is heading. The demographic trends are creating a crisis. More and more news (outlets) are reporting it. We hope that by setting it forward, in a dystopian way 30 years hence, it will be easier for people to see where it is we’re heading.

JWK: What do you hope people do with the information you’re conveying?

DJD: Well, there’s a lot of hope in the books. Most of it will be in the third book because we are at this time laying the foundation for where we are headed as a country. People in the United States tend not to be aware of this or they’re just becoming aware of it. In other countries — France, Russia, Germany, China and, of course, Japan — there are anxieties about it. Governments are actually offering incentives for people to have more children.

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JWK: China’s one-child policy is actually becoming a growing for the Chinese government.

KB: That’s come under recent attack internally because they see where these demographic shifts are driving them. A couple decades hence it will be a distant memory when we thought China was taking over the whole world economically because they’re going to be into this crisis like no other nation in history.

JWK: Because of the one-child policy?

KB: Well, yeah, but this is another interesting note. The one-child policy which has (included) draconian measures to suppress birth, to punish those and fine those who have more than one child, all those things that have been coming to bear have brought the fertility rate down to…roughly 1.6 in China but among college-educated affluent women in America it is also 1.6. We’ve done it to ourselves for completely different reasons. But it’s true across the globe and across the demographic categories economically. The driver of what’s happening in our future is fertility. It’s whether or not marriage and family are upheld as God designed it. I mean (the) fiscal cliff, all those things are symptoms (related) to the larger issue which is a demographic crisis. In these novels we attempt to depict where it’s going based on current projections. These aren’t outlandish speculations. This simply projecting 30 years (forward) where we’re heading and what is likely to occur — what conflicts will emerge.

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