The Chateau considers the question:
After Randall Parker gazed in the crystal ball and saw chaos and decay in America’s near future, commenter “Jim” contributed a sound bite worthy of the coveted CH Freelance COTW.
Places like Brazil and the Congo have enormous economic potential just based on geography, climate, and natural resources. A place like Japan is mountainous (only 3% of the land area is arable), few natural resources, not located near major trade routes, subject to frequent catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis. But Japan has the Japanese people who are more valuable than all of Brazil’s natural wealth.
Doesn’t that get right to the beating heart of all our loud, violent, useless social discourse?
whatever happens, japan has got
the japanese, and you have not
Those who look at today’s birth rates and leap to erroneous conclusions are forgetting that the future does not proceed from the present in a linear manner. Nigeria may have far more Nigerians than in 1950, but it is less able to feed itself than it was in 1950. On the other hand, while there is a lower percentage of young Japanese than there were before, in quantitative terms, there are more young Japanese than there were in 1914.
The one thing we know for certain about the future is that it will not look like today.