Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Unpopular Hypothesis

Another one so soon?? Yes indeed! I choose to post this even though every time I mention this to other people I usually get weird looks, even though it is not one of my usual highly contested political/religious 'hot button' issues, but hey, maybe somewhere out there is someone who agrees with me on this one. (If this is the first time you've checked my blog for a while because you know me and know i don't post regularly, make sure not to miss my last post, which is only a few days old)

Do you remember when you were in science class as a student and you had to come up with a hypothesis to test? You remember, the Scientific Method? Observe, Hypothesize, Test, Repeat. Well I’ve observed something that is commonly pushed upon the public as a ‘fact’ that I do not believe actually stands up to the Scientific Method. (And for once I’m not talking about evolution.) Now I will never have a chance (or at least it is extremely unlikely that I will have the chance) to test my hypothesis, but I can at least take the opportunity to share my observations and hypothesis with others.
Now its common knowledge that in the last generation skin cancer occurrences have greatly increased, we’ve all been told since we were children to slather on the sunscreen, stay out of the sun, wear hats and long sleeves, and in every way to minimize our sun exposure. Why? ‘Common knowledge’ will tell you it’s because sun exposure increases and/or causes skin cancer. Now certainly there is a proven link between SUN BURNS and an increased risk of skin cancer, but does sun exposure itself equal skin cancer? (For the purposes of this debate ‘sun burn’ means a painful reddening of the skin that emits heat and is sensitive to heat/cold/and touch. It may or may not include blisters or peeling.)
Like all problems and questions I always suggest approaching it from a logical basis, so let’s look at what we know.
1) Overall exposure to the sun has decreased greatly since our grandparent’s time.
2) Overall use of sunscreen has greatly increased since our grandparent’s time.
3) Occurrences of skin cancer have greatly increased since our grandparent’s time.
4) Racially (and historically) speaking the closer the race is to the equator, the lower its overall occurrence of skin cancer.
5) Sun exposure is greater the closer one gets to the equator.
6) Our bodies need the sun to produce vitamin D, a necessity.
7) Our bodies have a built-in filter that builds over time in response to sun exposure.
8) The race with the lowest occurrence of skin cancer world wide lives very close to the equator, at very high elevations, and participate in a daily sunning activity that exposes a large portion of their skin to the sun during ‘peak’ sun hours.

Given these 8 points one can immediately rule out general unprotected sun exposure as a causality of skin cancer. Logically life-long sun exposure should actually reduce ones likelihood of skin cancer. But we know that sun burns do greatly increase an individual’s likelihood of skin cancer, and we know the UV rays of the sun are (usually) responsible for skin cancer so, where’s the catch? Where does a healthy, beneficial, and necessary thing (sun exposure) suddenly turn into a (potentially) deadly disease?
My hypothesis is that skin cancer is on the rise because we intentionally remove our body’s defensive filters. When a babe is born he has smooth, soft, and pale skin (even darker races are paler as children than as adults). When he is exposed to the world around him, wind, texture, and sun, his skin automatically matures to help protect him from the world. (Remember two things, 1) we are in a fallen world and the fallen world is innately dangerous and 2) the purpose of the skin, the largest organ in the human body, is to protect.) It does this by becoming rough where it was once smooth, first calluses on the knees from crawling, then on the hands and feet from walking and working; firmer where it was once soft, like the general hardening of the hands or soles of the feet and the overall texture difference; and darker where it once was pale, producing more melanin in response to the sun, in other words, tanning.
All of these things are the body’s natural way to protect us from the world and what do we do? Intentionally use products to remove our body’s protection. Let us look at this from a slightly different angle for a moment to help put it into perspective. Remember a time where you had to do physical labor you were unaccustomed to for a time, let us use digging as an example. The first day, probably within the first hour for truly ‘new activities, you get blisters from the shovel. Your hands are unaccustomed to the texture and friction that goes along with both your grip on the shovel and the pressure caused by digging. Everyone knows blisters don’t last forever though, they’ll grow, painfully, eventually burst (if the activity is not discontinued), and the skin that grows back in afterwards is thicker, harder, better able to stand up to the texture, friction, and pressure of this now understood activity. If the activity continues, calluses will form over those initial pressure sores to further protect the delicate nerves, blood vessels, and musculature. What was once extremely painful is now painless due to our body’s natural protection. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
Now, image for a moment that every time that tougher skin started to grow you took a piece of pumice to it and ground it off until the skin was as smooth and soft as it had been before. Guess what’s going to happen the next day? Yep, that’s right, another painful blister because you just removed your skin’s protection. And guess what, if you continue to remove the stronger skin every time it tries to grow in, not only will you be in constant pain from blisters, but the repeat damage to the nerves and lower levels of the skin may cause permanent damage.
So let’s apply this logically to our skin cancer hypothesis. If the body naturally grows darker, firmer, and stronger skin in response to the sun and we continue to remove that protection what is likely to happen? Not only will you get more sun burns, but, as we see in today’s society, more occurrences of skin cancer. Makes sense right? So why would anyone in their right mind get rid of their bodies protections? For vanity.
We as a culture have a very aristocratic view on beauty, which means we find traits that portray a certain social standing, weather actual or perceived, to be more desirable as a cultural than reproductive beauty. Let me explain, because this is important and very few people really think about ‘beauty’ or what that means.
There are two distinct types of ‘beauty’ that the human mind registers, there is sexual, or reproductive, beauty, and then there is cultural, or social, beauty. Reproductive beauty is a trait that varies very little between different races, cultures, ages, or classes. Social beauty, however, varies greatly between races, cultures, ages, or (to a lesser degree) classes.
There have been many studies on what humans find sexually beautiful, and no ones really surprised by the results since its what nearly everyone will automatically recognize as a ‘good mate’. Men prefer symmetrical, mid-toned (tanned) young women with large breasts, wide hips, straight teeth, oval faces, mid range body fat (about 25%), and as close to ‘perfect’ proportions as possible. (for those of you who aren’t artists and don’t have the standard human proportions memorized the basic measurements *there are a great deal of more precise ones but this gives you an idea* for the human form are about 7 heads tall, females have a shoulder width of about 2-2 ½ heads, males about 3, the torso is 2 heads tall, thighs 2 heads, lower legs 2 heads, elbows to the inner curve of the waist, which is where the ribcage ends, feet length equal to lower arm length, hands the same length as chin to hairline and outstretched fingers the same chin to hairline measurement.) Females prefer symmetrical, mid-toned (tanned) mature men with facial hair, wide shoulders, square-jawed faces, straight teeth, mild body-fat (lower than for females, about 18-20%), visibly developed musculature, and as close to ‘perfect’ proportions as possible.
We intrinsically know these characteristics will make a good mother/father and caregiver/protector, and even at only a few months old babies will already choose people/pictures that portray these characteristics.
Reproductive beauty doesn’t care if you have crow’s feet, weather-chapped or ‘leathery’ skin, or calluses. Social beauty, however, looks at an entirely different set of markers.
Social beauty is defined by class markers specific to each society that indicates social standing and class ranking. It is learned, not automatic, and is more important in cultures that have advanced to a point where social standing has more to do with putting food on the table than physical ability. In our European based society social beauty is still largely based on the aristocratic markers common to the upper classes during the pre-industrial revolution era.
For instance pale skin is considered socially beautiful because it harkens back to the day when only the rich were able to afford the leisurely life that kept them out of the sun year round. In fact the term ‘blue blooded’ which we still use to refer to old-money, powerful people/families was a term for the aristocrats of Europe because their skin, unlike that of the working class, was pale enough for blue veins to be visible. Smooth skin is admirable for the same reason. Woman so thin the are nearly pre-pubescent in their forms touch on a few different aristocratic concepts but the most important ones are 1) the woman clearly were wealthy enough to avoid any labor, and 2) were wealthy enough to afford wet-nurses and nursemaids to rear their children so they could retain their ‘young’ appearance. I could continue, but you get the point.
We as a culture have been trained since early childhood that these social indicators, such as fair, fine, unmarked skin, are more important than natural beauty. From a very early age children are taught by the culture, heavily influenced by the media and grown-up interactions, that these social indicators make people more desirable as friends, peers, and even future mates. Peer-pressure to conform to these social indicators is tremendous and is further fueled by the rampant advertising campaigns of beauty product manufactures. The simple fact that it is much easier to change ones social beauty than ones reproductive beauty (moisturizers vs surgery for instance) and that changing ones social beauty can help them change social standing (or at least other people perception of their social standing) makes it seem almost illogical to resist this peer-pressure.
Which is why, I believe, no one in the general scientific community will ever question the actual benefits of such ‘beauty’ products as moisturizers and general ‘skin care products’. And, even though we are now seeing an increased number of American’s suffering from a lack of vitamin D or even vitamin D deficiency (especially among children and the upper classes), I highly doubt anyone is going to advise people to do the logical thing and go sit in the sun for a while because, as long as we as a society are obsessed with keeping adult skin in its immature ‘baby fine’ condition, we will continue to see nothing but an increase in skin cancer.
Of course, take it or leave it, it’s only a hypothesis after all, one I have no way of formally testing. If I could I’d ask a few thousand skin cancer suffers how frequently they used moisturizers or anti-aging/rejuvenating products and compare their answers with an equal amount of people (of the same age/race/latitude) that have never had skin cancer. Follow that up with a 10 year study of people who did everything they could to avoid the sun and keep their skin ‘young’ in comparison to people who spent time every day sunning themselves and avoided all such skin care products, and I think we’d have an answer to my hypothesis (and, I think, a new way of looking at cancer prevention and skin care). Unfortunately, such statistical gathering of raw data is far beyond my ability as a private citizen, and given the huge monies involved in skin care products, I doubt we’ll ever read such a study.
For me, logic rules and the choice is easy, with or without any further statistical data. The previously made 8 points is enough to convince me. So I get as much sun as I can, make sure I don’t burn, and avoid all moisturizers, any product that is supposed to ‘repair’ or ‘rejuvenate’ skin to a ‘healthy youthfulness’, and all anti-aging products. I also make the mental choice to ignore social beauty and look upon people with weather-worn tanned skin, callused hands, and healthy fat deposits with all the admiration that they, in their natural, healthy beauty deserve, looking forward to seeing the warm, natural beauty of my own features as I age, crows feet and all, perfectly happy to ‘look my age’. And I’m willing to bet that I’m far less likely to develop skin cancer than the 40 year old women who are slathering on anti-aging creams and sunscreens with equal abandon in hopes of looking 20.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cultural Suicide

So I’ve been putting off an entry because every time I started writing, the topic just felt off. Something finally clicked, however, and this is probably my most politically incorrect and charged post yet. Most of my topics are definitely politically incorrect, but they usually only anger one side of the political spectrum. This one, however, is likely to tick off people from both sides.
This post is about IVF (in vitro fertilization), fertility drugs, and population. First off, I know this is a long post, in fact 7 pages typed out, but it easily could have been twice that long. So please bear with me for the duration. And I may expound upon related issues (genetic testing, embryonic stem cells, and further abortion/population control) at a later date. That being said I want to start by stating a few fundamental points that I want everyone to keep in mind during the duration of this post.
1) The only population problem we are having is a lack of population. Over population is the last problem the earth is having. All the people on the planet could comfortably fit in standard apartment style family housing in the U.K. That’s right, those couple of small islands off the west coast of Europe could contain all of human population. Of course, the U.K. isn’t the nicest of places, climate wise, how about fitting the entire world’s population on the big isle of Hawaii? We’d fit. And that would leave the rest of the world for food production, animal husbandry, manufacturing plants, undeveloped natural habitat, and even future growth. Why is this important? Well apart from being a very interesting mathematical fact, it makes the point that all those ‘population control’ arguments are nothing but an attempt to blackmail the ‘breeding’ members of society to commit cultural suicide.
2) Since all qualifications for biological life are met the moment sperm and egg unite, since life is either classified as human or non-human (its biologically impossible to be ‘potentially’ human or ‘potentially’ canine for instance), and since murder is defined as ending human life without the justification of law or self-defense, therefore all destruction of human life in the pre-birth age group, unless for the express purpose of self-defense, is murder.
3) Every species that drops below replacement level in reproduction, without specific intelligent intervention, has suffered extinction.
4) Replacement reproduction is 2.7 children per woman. All the economic power countries in the world are below replacement level for their native women, and most are below replacement level even including immigrant women. Most third world countries are close to or below replacement levels as well.
5) The most common natural spacing of children for a healthy woman is 18 to 30 months (depending upon natural fertility and breast feeding), and human women most commonly reach sexual maturity between 13 and 16. They loose the ability to naturally reproduce between 40 and 45 years of age. That leaves about 25-30 years of reproductive ability, or, let us assume 36 months between children to be generous, between 8 and 10 children given normal human fertility. (No I’m not necessarily advocating women start having children as soon as they are capable, but historically, morally, and biologically speaking there aren’t any actual reasons against it as long as that women is in a faithful, lifelong marriage partnership, these are simply statistics.)
In this day and age, especially in first world countries such as America, we are being told some very contradictory things. First off, it’s the ‘right’ of every pregnant woman to murder her baby and become not-pregnant. At the same time we are being told every non-pregnant woman should have the right to use unnatural intervention to become pregnant. (Since both abortion and IVF/fertility treatments are usually covered by either insurance or governmental welfare programs, taxpayers are being forced to pay for these ‘rights’.) Then we are being told that it is the right of the woman (and possibly her spouse) to use those unnatural interventions to determine what kind of child they will or will not have, again having the right to destroy the child if it is not to their liking. While all this is going on hundreds of thousands of children are abandoned, neglected, raised on the streets, in ill-conceived orphanages, or under-supervised foster homes.
While the government makes it easier for people to destroy viable children, and unnaturally create children, on taxpayer’s money, while making it progressively harder to place children in permanent, loving, and safe homes.
In the interest of disclosure I will advise my readers that I am currently pregnant, and while it took longer than expected for me to get pregnant, I have never had to deal with infertility. (I do have some physical difficulties that have always made pregnancy a question, and may make future pregnancies more difficult or even ill-advised) Now I fully believe in every couples right to have as many children as they wish, even believe in the duty of couples to raise children. I know a couple must feel immense shame, heartache, and even failure at the inability to conceive. I know this because, throughout history and in every culture, being barren has been the great social stigma. Being ‘civilized’ as we are in our post modern industrialized age can not change such a deeply ingrained biological necessity or our response to it. Of course infertile couples should always be given societies help and encouragement to adopt or otherwise rear/help rear non-biological children.
Over all, however, the percentage of the population that is infertile is minimal, and has never been enough to hinder the survival of the species. Now, however, our infertility rate is climbing quickly.
This climbing infertility rate is directly linked to two things. The first is the rising use of IVF and fertility drugs. Before IVF and fertility drugs women, or men, who were infertile could not pass on their genes to future generations. Now these women, through artificial and unnatural means, are not only passing on their genes but, since they are more likely to have multiple births (or donate unused embryos to other women) they are now more likely to leave a greater genetic footprint than a healthy woman.
Since fertility and infertility are strongly (although clearly not fully) genetic, the more babies born to mothers through fertility treatments or IVF, the more future mothers will have to rely upon them. And, only a single generation past the introduction of these unnatural means, the need for them, our percentage of infertile women, has already noticeably risen. Are we as a society prepared to breed ourselves to the point where we can only conceive and carry through artificial means? Are we willing to so condemn future generations just to assert the so called ‘rights’ of the infertile minority? How can it be anyone’s right to deny nature?
We live in a fallen world, where sin has corrupted the natural order. We know it is unnatural for women to not get pregnant, only the sin cursed world we live in makes possible such a painful disruption of the natural order. Given that we do live in this world, however, where death and disease corrupts and genetic defects wreck havoc, just because we can change something, can do something, doesn’t mean that such a thing is a responsible thing to do.
The joy of birth for a previously barren woman must be weighed against the long term consequences of such an act. Not only are ‘fertility’ births more likely to be multiple births which pass on detrimental genes, the act of IVF has been shown to increase the likelihood of birth defects, premature birth, c-sections (which increases the risk of death and serious injury to both mother and child) and life-long brain, neurological, and physical impairments.
Further more nearly all IVF treatments destroy embryos, both those deemed ‘unhealthy’ and under most circumstances those deemed ‘healthy’ as well. Therefore even if all other IVF issues were ignored, it should be despised and rejected as another form of wholesale slaughter of the unborn. Given the number of humans destroyed to produce one successful IVF baby, it would be appropriate for an IVF baby to be considered to have survived IVF, or born in spite of IVF, as opposed to having been born because of it.
For those who aren’t genetically infertile, IVF and fertility drugs can be used by woman who are close to or have passed the natural age of conception. Assuming that these women are not naturally infertile (which may or may not be true given the situation of each woman) IVF and fertility drugs still pose a detrimental effect upon both the woman, and upon society. Fertility drugs have a long list of devastating side effects for the woman, not to mention the general emotional strain upon such women when they don’t succeed, are extremely expensive, usually footed by insurance companies which means every insurer pays for it through rising health care costs, and are more likely to cause multiple births (which are frequently ‘selectively’ terminated by doctors and/or mothers who don’t want more than one or two live children), and have been shown to increase the risk of pregnancy, including premature birth (although what percentage of those increased risks can be directly related to the drugs and what percentage related to the woman needing those drugs to get pregnant to being with is impossible to accurately determine). As far as the societal damage such drugs and IVF treatments pose there is a reason woman are only fertile for so long. Humans are not physically mature (depending upon your definitions of physical maturity) until around 16 for women and 20 for men; they reach cultural maturity (depending upon the culture) between sexual maturity, perhaps as young as 12 for some females, to upwards of the early 20’s. So, depending upon culture, children will be dependant upon their parents, especially their mothers, for an average of 15 to 20 years. In America parents are responsible for 18 years.
A woman during her natural reproductive years should be capable of physically, economically, and mentally caring for her children until they are adults. A 40 to 45 year old women who conceives via IVF or fertility drugs will be (in America) 58 to 63 years old before her maternal obligations are fulfilled, and that assumes that they do not help their children through the college years or early adult years. If they help until 22 (4 years of college after high school) they will be 62 to 67 years old.
By the time the mother has given birth, she has already significantly declined from her physical prime in which she is meant to be responsible for an active, growing child. By the time that child has come of age the women will be nearing retirement age, the age of a grandmother, and, under many circumstances, incapable of responding to the physical, emotional, or monetary needs of a teenager or new adult. And, somewhat more important societally speaking, a child new to adulthood is not capable of taking care of an aging parent.
Historically and naturally speaking children should be taking care of their parents once their parents can no longer work. Our current rejection of the historical and natural order of things has led to our dependency on completely inappropriate and inadequate governmental programs such as social security and medicare/medicade. Having children unnaturally late, or having a reduced number of children than biologically natural, while does on occasion happen naturally, is a perfect set up for an economic collapse, which is exactly what has happening in most first world cultures. Which leads into my next point.
Many completely fertile women have been convinced to delay marriage and/or birth and to intentionally limit the number of their children. Not only is this based upon faulty information- the over population myth- but its detrimental to society.
The US Census expects that there will be only 2 workers for every retiree within less than 20 years. Not only that but advances in medicine is extending life, usually at quite the premium, so the balance between working years to retired years is becoming more unbalanced and the retired years are becoming more expensive.
It is economically impossible for the government to support such an unbalanced populace, and with so few children born so late few retirees have family to fall back upon. Governmental debt is the least of the problems associated with an aging and unbalanced population. The lack of workers is far more dangerous and the slow decline of the middle class into poverty is equally as bad.
As the percentage of workers slowly decreases and the population ages fewer people are available to work an increasing amount of jobs. Thus our workforce is becoming reliant upon illegal aliens and the outsourcing of jobs, making an increase in overall jobs actually correlate to a rise in unemployment, which we are already seeing the beginnings of today. Illegal aliens are cheaper labor than legal citizens, which drives the wages down, making it all the more difficult for legal citizens, who bear the burden of taxes and social welfare programs in addition to familial necessities, to find and hold ‘living wage’ jobs. Which, in and of itself, is a downward spiral, more unemployment and below living wage jobs equal (in our socialist tinged society) more welfare programs which must be funded by a higher tax burden to the working class, which in turn means the ‘living wage’ must go up to compensate, etc, etc, etc. But that downward spiral is for another post, back to topic…
Outsourcing jobs, however, has nearly the same outcome as illegal aliens. As companies find cheaper labor elsewhere they will move more and more jobs elsewhere, and/or lower the wages on domestic jobs to try to keep up with companies who do outsource. Both leave a native working population, which remember must be making more per person (adjusting for inflation) than previous generations to fund the care of the aging retirees, with less jobs available for lower wages.
This is not theoretical, already, as the early baby-boomers are aging past working age, a 2 income household is not only the norm (at around 70% of households with two working parents), but nearly a necessity. Right now, with most families barely maintaining a living wage income on 2 incomes, the working class is supporting a parent generation which averaged just over 2.5 children and a grandparent generation which averaged over 3 children per woman. But the current working class has fallen to between 1.9 (for native American citizens) and 2.3 (including first generation immigrants) children. Welfare programs are bankrupt with a working class of 2.5 reproductive rate caring for its elderly. Exactly what will happen when the working class of 1.9 reproductive rate is forced to care for an elderly population that will contain not only parents, but grandparents, and, for the first time, a significant amount of ‘great-grandparent’ aged people (over 80)?
Add to the economic strain of caring for an aged population to the increased economic strain of children without parental financial support for higher education, (right now most outsourced jobs are entry level but as fewer parents can afford to help their children through college more high-end jobs will be outsourced due to lack of education, and the government funding of college-level education has already become economically unfeasible and governmental grants are dwindling each year) plus the strain of IVF, fertility drugs, (which is usually covered by insurance and as previously stated, will only become more and more necessary with increased use) and expensive medical life-prolonging advances and we are looking at a true economic collapse. And I’m not referring to one of those ‘nice’ depressions like the Great Depression or the collapse felt in the Soviet Union after WWII; I’m referring to the total collapse of an economic system as in the downfall of the Roman Empire which plunged the then ‘known world’ into the Dark Ages. Add to the complete economic failure a cultural collapse, since, as a culture, we are well below replacement levels, and American civilization will be as much a part of history as the Roman civilization.
To further compound the issue this is not just an American problem, in fact we are 10-15 years behind most 1st world countries/cultures. Japan, England, China, France, Canada, Russia, in fact nearly every European and Eastern European (former Soviet Union) nation are all below replacement levels in reproduction and faced with not only a rapidly aging population but an even worse lack of workers than we are dealing with currently. Japan is estimated to be ‘missing’ over 1 million workers from its currently maturing population.
Any logical person with access to only a few basic statistics (for instance birth rate, aging rate, replacement level etc) can arrive at the same basic conclusion, that the vast majority of ‘power cultures’ and first world nations are committing cultural and economic suicide. Some people would find this to be very appealing (from Muslim nations- one of the only populations still noticeably above replacement levels for the record- to human hating ‘green’ activists), some have buried their heads in the sands, too terrified of what it means to acknowledge it, but most people have simply been overcome intellectually, brainwashed by the over-population myth pushers and the ‘well-meaning’ human rights activists who push for the infertile minority’s ‘right’ to have a biological child.
But for those who look logically at the issue, who recognize biological, cultural, and historical trends, what can be done? Unfortunately given both the massive scale of the problem and the massive brainwashing campaign of the other side I will admit, very little on a large scale. But something can be done on a small scale; do not be a replacement couple. Do not feed the problem by avoiding children, and, if you have difficulty conceiving, give a loving home to as many adopted children as possible. Do not depend upon the welfare system for your retirement plans, and certainly don’t leave your parents to it. A true fix would require a significant mind change in the majority of the population, not something likely to happen in time. But those who are still of childbearing age have the choice to at least attempt to secure our bloodlines, and future security, (and I do not use bloodlines as a racial or racist concept, purely as a term for blood relatives) because even in the face of a cultural and economic collapse some people will make it safely to the other side. Those won’t be the rich, whose money will be useless once overwhelming inflation kicks in, it will be those with the familial structure capable of supporting them.
Switching from a purely statistical/logical stance and getting into more personal concepts, for those who haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a Bible believing Christian. In End-Time prophecy the world powers are listed, and America is not among them. Those who believe the Bible know America will suffer a collapse of sufficient magnitude to drop us as a super-power with world-wide influence. Due to various conditions in other areas of the world, mostly to military might or political make up, some countries have a chance to realistically pull something out of their own socio-economic collapse (for instance the European Union becoming a true government, an empire of sorts, when the individual countries begin to collapse as the increased combined population and cultural structure would be able to forestall, if probably not avoid, a continent wide collapse for at least a few generations, or the ‘million man’ army of Chinese bachelors, since China’s population problems are combined with its significant lack of females, able to sweep the smaller and crumbling societies of Asia and/or Eastern Europe to forestall their own collapse.) America has no such net. Joining or annexing our neighbors (as other countries may be able to do) would only hasten our demise as Canada is further along the economic decline than us due to greater welfare social services and Mexico (which is also below replacement levels in most of its population) is far worse off economically than we are.
While there are certainly other scenarios brewing that could also explain the eventual collapse of America as a super-power, this is clearly a facet that can not be ignored. As a Christian I have no expectation that we will, as a nation, recovering from a below replacement level reproductive rate. Nor even, realistically, a wish for such a thing as the removal of the U.S. from among the super-powers would only be further evidence of the immediate nature of the End-Times.
I do, however, wish for those with their eyes open to survive in a firm, Biblical family unit until the Rapture, which, given a Biblical timeline will most likely be after said U.S. collapse. It is my wish to have as many children as the Lord gives to my husband and me, and to further fulfill my duty as a Christian parent by adopting more children to help balance out what is, biologically, a late start (I’m 25 and have been reproductively mature now for 10 years). I urge others to do the same. God gave us a command, in fact the very first command ‘fill the earth’. Given that all the people in the world could fit in Hawaii, any attempt to halt our population at this time would be in direct contradiction to His command to us. Now I’m not against birth control in general, a newly married couple may fell like God would have them wait for a time, or physical and/or medical reasons may make bearing biological children dangerous to either child or mother. (For instance I know one dedicated Christian couple who can not have biological children due to the risk of extreme birth defects because of medication she took when young) There are legitimate reasons for birth control (as long as we are actually talking about methods that PREVENT pregnancy and not just terminate early term pregnancy), but I believe many Christians are either ignoring God’s prodding to begin reproduction, or have placed mankind’s fallible ideas about over-population, financial security, and human ‘rights’ ahead of ‘be fruitful and multiply’. And for those who can not themselves, for whatever reason, have biological children they should strive for a large, stable family unit of adopted children. (Adoption is perfectly Biblical; in fact we are God’s adopted children)
We must balance our pity and sympathy for those who are barren with our duty to be fruitful, and we must accept God’s Will and Word to fill the earth over man’s attempts to destroy the human population.