James Wilson’s recent piece on population linked to an article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs in which Phillip Longman describes a grim future where the number of elderly grows significantly while birthrates fall. The social and economic implications are not pretty. He concludes, though, with a bit of hope:
So is there a third way? Yes, though we aren’t quite sure how to get there. The trick will be restoring what, in the days of family-owned farms and small businesses, was once true: that babies are an asset rather than a burden. Imagine a society in which parents get to keep more of the human capital they form by investing in their children. Imagine a society in which the family is no longer just a consumer unit, but a productive enterprise. The society that figures out how to restore the economic foundation of the family will own the future. The alternative is poor and gray indeed.
In short, FPR is the future.