How stupid do you have to be?

The subject has fallen out of favour for a couple of reasons. One is that those apocalyptic predictions have, so far, proved wrong. The famines did not happen, the world is not running out of resources and the population curve did not move ever more steeply upwards. Improvements in technology meant that humanity got better at producing more with less, and population growth rates crashed in countries that prospered. South Korea’s fertility rate has fallen from nearly five to less than one in 50 years.

While Asia’s growth rate has dropped sharply, Africa’s remains high. That’s part of the reason why this subject has become toxic. As antiracism and anticolonialism have risen up the progressive agenda, so ideas that could be seen as even faintly tainted by the West’s shameful past became unacceptable. Talking about population pressures in Africa is uncomfortably close to saying that there are too many black babies in the world.

Asia grew, fertility fell. Africa’s fertility hasn’t fallen – well, it has, but not so much – so we must send condoms.

Umm, why not do what worked last time? Help Africa grow by buying stuff from them?

Especially since the standard analysis says that family planning affects 10% of actual fertility, it being desired fertility that explains the other 90%. And 90% solutions are better than 10% ones…..

12 thoughts on “How stupid do you have to be?”

  1. At the risk of being accused of racism and colonialism(*), I’d say increased trade is necessary but not sufficient – you also need the developing society to have got rid of its kleptocratic leaders, otherwise the increasing wealth is simply syphoned off into Swiss bank accounts. Autocrats are fine, as in South Korea as it started getting wealthy, but kleptocrats are going to bugger it up. Societies that produce leaders like Mugabe or Zuma do not fill me with confidence.

    (*) and every other -ism no doubt.

  2. AtC – your point is a good one but the problem hitherto has possibly been that official development assistance (the polite way of saying “aid”) has been directed at governments.

    Where the head of state is not the wealthiest individual in recipient countries, then it’s the guy in charge of awarding overseas sid-funded projects (possibly the same guy) and if not him, then the person appointed as anti-corruption commissioner.

    Aid is pretty much a total waste of money if the aim is to promote economic development rather than to allow the donor and his myrmidons to feel smug. The mystery is that right of centre governments in the developed world who ought to know that wealth is generated by the private sector persist over decades to channel money to public sector activity that quickly dwindles to rusting inertia and numbered bank accounts.

  3. Meanwhile Bill&MelindaGF own all public health officials, their institutions, their research funding, their career paths plus a couple of medical schools in sub Saharan Africa: always useful to keep a pandemic going. Btw South Africa with the fattest people in Africa-and the most fast food is still way behind Europe in Wuflu infections

  4. South Korea’s fertility rate has fallen from nearly five to less than one in 50 years.

    This is awful news and you’d need to either hate Koreans or hate humanity to welcome it.

    Re: the Hottentots, Zulus, Pygmy Negritos etc. Why should we want them to have fewer children? I’ve seen a map, their continent is bloody huge. Plenty of room for them to run about and enjoy themselves. Plus, they’ll have all of Asia and Europe in a century or two if the natives can’t be arsed making babies.

    Prince William should stick to subjects he understands, such as being Nice-But-Dim, opening sports centres in Northampton, and rapidly balding. The Royal Family already has one woke twat in America, we don’t need a royal reboot of the Chuckle Brothers.

  5. AtC & TMB. I agree with your opinions of aid – surprise, surprise!!! Aid may be useful if you wish to bribe the dictator or his minions, but it really doesn’t do much for their country.

    To actually get anywhere, they’d have to do as we tell them. Of course they’d then point out that we don’t do it either!!

  6. Has any african aid project resulted in anything other than Africans

    a) make more kids
    b) have those kids fight tribal wars
    c) export any overcapacity to Abroad

    Because reviewing the decades I’ve lived in, and remembering all the “starving children in Africa” shakedowns, from large NGO’s to things like Live Aid(s), I can’t really say any of those have improved things.
    In fact, the focus areas of those efforts are actually the worst pustules on the continent.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    Slightly OT:

    ” Autocrats are fine, as in South Korea as it started getting wealthy,”

    I didn’t verify it, but I saw a Tweet that claimed that after the death of former South Korean president, Chun Doo-hwan, every living former president is in prison.

  8. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    Family planning explains absence of fertility, not any part of its presence.

    At least half of the kids of my (typical European fertility levels, so median 1 range 0-3) acquaintances were unplanned, but that still says more about the degree of planning than the effectiveness of it.

  9. Vroom, vroom.
    I will be tough on birth rates to win more votes.
    Vroom, vroom.
    Except my own.
    You can trust me. Do you want to be a liar like me? Back me. Vote for me. Make Britain the liar that sleeps with your wife, and gives to the rich.
    Vroom, vroom. Me love Peppa Pig. Oink, oink.

  10. Note: This despite black being more at risk of death from Covid-19 due genetic predisposition as we’ve seen in Europe & US

    “With low vaccination rates, Africa’s Covid deaths remain far below Europe and the U.S.”

    Worth reading in conjunction with
    The return of the flu

    Hotentots etc may have lots of empty land, but they don’t farm it. They don’t need to, Foreign Aid gives them free food

    +1 the problem is illustrated by South Africa’s still incomplete power station: they won’t work more to live better. Once enough cash for weekly spend they walk off

    West has been installing clean water in Africa for ~100 years, still not solved. Why? They won’t maintain it or they deliberately contaminate it

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