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What is better than Capitalism?
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Dog 3000
Dog 3000
4611 posts

Re: 3rd world birth rates
Sep 10, 2003, 19:21
"large families are necessary so that their are lots of children to look after the parents in old age. . . . assuming they live that long of course - another reason for large families, the tragedy of early death."

That sounds cultural to me -- in "old fashioned agrarian cultures" people want to have a lot of kids because, as you said, a lot of them die young so you play the odds and have more babies. A couple hundred years ago in Africa a couple might have 8 babies hoping that 2 or 3 would survive to adulthood. Today if you have those 8 babies maybe 5 or 6 will survive til adulthood. Having 8 babies is no longer a good idea, but the cultural imperitive to have big families persists anyway. In the "first world" the drive for big families has gone away for the most part, and that's a cultural change as well. "Religion" has nothing to do with it.

And before you go on about high death rates in the "third world" -- yes they are higher than in the "first," higher than they should be, etc. -- but the life expectancies in the "third world" have jumped by a huge amount in the last century due to medicine & technology. There is absolutely no doubt of this, just look at the demographics. That's whats driving the overpopulation problem.
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