Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Babies! At the end of the world

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford on the low birth rate in Spain, world overpopulation, and paella. Mmmmmm, paella, or "shrimps 'n rice" as my Spanish friends call it.

I have recently returned from Spain. Spain is sultry and delicious like spicy paella at midnight; Barcelona is like San Francisco with a sexier accent and better sangria, warmer and bigger and messier, a million outdoor patios and nightclubs that won't even look at you until 2:00AM.

It's a basic, insane truism of economics: Population growth is what makes for a thriving economy. Not population stasis, not population contraction, not population oh-my-God-there-are-way-too-many-people-in-this-room-right-now. Only growth, endless and forever, will keep the world from imploding. How very preposterous.

Sound obvious? Sure it is. But it's also sort of tragic, this collision course with imminent implosion. We're like the bus in Speed or the boat in Speed II or the quantum rocket ship in Speed III -- slow down even for a second, and Sandra Bullock gets it.

The thought of Sandra Bullock "getting it" is ... but I digress.

This much we know: No one is walking through the slums of Mumbai or Sudan, no one is stuck in traffic in LA, coughing up a lung in São Paolo or just trying to cross the street in downtown Cairo and saying, "Hey, you know what we need? We need more people. We need to procreate ourselves out of this problem. After all, it's what God wants." Because God, apparently, is a complete idiot.

Yeah, the ancient charlatans who conjured up an imaginary sky monster to scare people into doing what they want and makes them go by what He says made Him in their own image. Whatever works, and it does.

More. Enjoy the paella.

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