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Summary

Look around you and think for a minute: Is America too crowded?

For years, we have been warned about the looming danger of overpopulation: people jostling for space on a planet that's busting at the seams and running out of oil and food and land and everything else.

It's all bunk. The population bomb never exploded. Instead, statistics from around the world make clear that since the 1970s, we've been facing exactly the opposite problem: people are having too few babies. Population growth has been slowing for two generations. The world's population will peak, and then begin shrinking, within the next fifty years. In some countries, it's already started. Japan, for instance, will be half its current size by the end of the century. In Italy, there are already more deaths than births every year. China's One-Child Policy has left that country without enough women to marry its men, not enough young people to support the country's elderly, and an impending population contraction that has the ruling class terrified.

And all of this is coming to America, too. In fact, it's already here. Middle-class Americans have their own, informal one-child policy these days. And an alarming number of upscale professionals don't even go that far - they have dogs, not kids. In fact, if it weren't for the wave of immigration we experienced over the last thirty years, the United States would be on the verge of shrinking, too.

What happened? Everything about modern life, from Bugaboo strollers to insane college tuition to government regulations, has pushed Americans in a single direction, making it harder to have children. And making the people who do still want to have children feel like second-class citizens.

What to Expect When No One's Expecting explains why the population implosion happened and how it is remaking culture, the economy, and politics both at home and around the world. Because if America wants to continue to lead the world, we need to have more babies.

©2013 Jonathan V. Last (P)2013 Jonathan V. Last

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  • Terlaw
  • 03-06-17

Good Read, But Dismisses Obvious Questions

This book definitely has conservative leanings. It actually helped me understand the conservative mindset in modern America. The book constantly admits that immigrants are the only reason why birth rates are increasing in industrialized nations, but never explores the reason the native population's birth rate is falling outside of social issues. Why is there an increase in IVF? Also, why are only ethnic groups that practice social and genetic purism seem to be the only groups suffering population decrease? What about the rest of the world? Why are many experiencing population booms with less resources, but with constant GDP growth? The book was well research, but never seemed to answer the really hard questions. I'd still recommend it as a good read. Just so you can understand the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism in many industrialized countries.

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  • TBremer
  • 15-01-17

Factual and timely

The author comes to the topic with a clear stand point, but that doesn't matter too much, because he makes his arguments with painstaking factuality - always basing his claims on numerous studies and statistics.
It's a topic that will dramatically transform human societies in our lifetimes, but that few people have become aware of. This book including the detailed comparison of possible policy measures and their effect are therefore very timely and relevant to anyone interested in the future fate of the world and its people's.

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  • Evan Tishuk
  • 13-03-14

Opinion piece masquerading as objective

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Religious people who want to justify their beliefs.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Annoyance and disappointment. I had hoped this book would lay down a foundation of facts and perhaps extrapolate from there and provide some insights. Instead, it became clear the author was trotting out examples to support his opinions and not much else.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your time if you happen to be a critical thinker. You can learn more in 55 minutes of Googling.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 16-04-15

We are in big trouble

I thought this was a great book, but I thought there should have been more emphasis on abortion being a, or the, prime contributor to the West's ultra-low fertility rates (for example 13 murders of the innocent for every 10 live births in, if I remember correctly, Russia and/or Singapore). Goodbye healthcare. Goodbye old age pension. Goodbye entitlements.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer PM
  • 07-05-15

Holy Crap - we are doomed. Very interesting

If you could sum up What to Expect When No One's Expecting in three words, what would they be?

Of all the problems humans can have, most of them are caused by humans, most often those in positions of power.

What does Jonathan V. Last bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

So much is brought to light in this book that it must be experienced to understand.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

The author did not touch on the epidemic of homosexuality and the effects it has on population growth.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful