I just read 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America

Ok, I actually read it a while ago but meant to write something about it so here it is. I think I can draw a few quick things I thought about while reading the book without spoiling it. This post isn’t so much a book review for the most part. It details some parallels I see between our current economic situation and the plot of the book.:

      • The plot involves a scenario which builds on the issues of demographic winter. It creates a scenario where the ratio of people depending on support greatly exceeds the number of people contributing to the coffers to give support.

        Photo credit: earl53 from morguefile.com

        In America this has been created by a combination of the baby boom followed by wide availability of contraceptives and abortion and increased spending (both personal and government). We had a rapid expansion of the population followed with a period of stagnation in the population replacement rate and promises of big support were made without a way to pay for them. Actually we would have seen the population replacement rate turn negative if it weren’t for immigration.In the book, it is a different event that causes the situation but the effect is the same. The story in the book revolves around society’s struggle to deal with this reality.
    • In our age, demographic winter is creating an undue burden on the younger generation to contribute more. It causes economic decline, particularly for the youth.

      Photo credit: tecnico from morguefile.com

      The older generations do fairly well as we see in hiring trends. The occupy Wall Street movement was front page news at the time I read the book which made it more interesting and relevant. What I saw was largely the youth trying to come to grips with the effects of demographic winter.  Again, this theme is magnified in the book. The main struggle involves the youth and their point of view.Occupy Wall Street
  • As in modern life, the youth don’t seem to have solutions to the problems they face. I have heard older people wondering why the people in the OWS movement don’t just stop complaining and get jobs. (Answer: many older Americans have delayed retirement so there are not only fewer jobs due to the bad economy but there is also less attrition). On the other hand it seems the OWS movement can’t quite figure out why they are getting the short end of the stick and just blame “the rich”.In the book, the anger of the youth isn’t directed toward “the rich” but instead “the olds”. But this really doesn’t gain the youth anything, it’s merely striking out in anger against “the olds”.

    Photo credit: cohdra from morguefile.com

So would I recommend the book? I think so. It’s not the kind of thing that makes you feel good but hopefully makes you think about our current situation. There isn’t anything we can do about the past but maybe there are some things we can do about our future to improve things.If you are younger and the book speaks to you, the answers to the issues raised are to reject the cultural “norms” of today and go back to what we know works, families. If you’re called to be married, get married and stay married.  Stable families are the sine qua non for a thriving society.


Photo credit: earl53 from morguefile.com

Be open to life. Our society can support itself but we need people and we need family and cultural stability.If you are older and the book angers you, try to understand the youth. Try to understand how demographics plays a role in the amount of effort someone needs to expend for success. Find a way to pass on your skills and knowledge to the youth. They have been a generation without guidance in far too many cases. Also realize their future is different than yours. Frugality and responsibility will be more important for younger generations. They will not be able to rely upon societal structures as much and will need a bit more of self reliance. They could use your help.

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