The Commons Will Not Stay Fallow
If the two U.S. trends—(i) middle class attainment via education and upwardly mobility plus (ii) below replacement fertility by the middle class—were to continue, then one could theorize that the United States would become a depopulated geographical land mass. Because an additional birth is an option, but death is a guarantee, the possibility of a tribe, mega or micro, which does not replenish its quite mortal citizenry, becoming extinct is quite real (e.g., the Shakers). If a tribe does erase itself, then it is possible that the land that it occupied would become empty of people. Empty land remaining empty is a logical category, but a terrible bet for an empirical category. There are many people in the world who would be delighted to move into otherwise unpeopled land. If one group will not sustain itself on the land, then there are surely other groups that would be most delighted at the opportunity. The question becomes: Which groups? Who would they be? Part of the answer entails some understanding of that mainstay of demography: the demographic transition.
KeywordsDemographic Transition Natural Increase Logical Category 23rd Century Reproductive Option
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