Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Death of America, Happy 4th! & IWSG

"This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a whimper."

As we've been seeing lately, major countries and their decisions affect the world. We live in a global economy, and I for one think that's an amazing thing. The world feels a bit smaller, more accessible.

So what is my deal? Why am I calling America's demise?

History. And no, it's not what you think. Last month a friend posted about a negative population growth and asked people's opinions on the matter. The majority thought this was a great thing. More resources for the rest of us!

First of all, let's define a negative population growth: It means the current population isn't producing enough children to replace the current generation. Basically, Mom and Dad decide to only have one child. Or a fur baby instead.


A few years ago I attended a lecture given by a man whose job is to track population growth, decline, and the affects it has on the economy and every day life. (He works for the US government). Until that evening, I might have thought a declining population growth wasn't a big deal.

I WOULD HAVE BEEN WRONG. SO WRONG.

We're already seeing the results in many European countries. Their numbers dwindle, and so does their world influence, their financial status, and their ability to support themselves as a country. They begin taking on debts to stay above water, and then default on them or raise taxes beyond reason. How many countries are bankrupt at the moment?

When good people stop making proactive choices that benefit others, the world suffers.

Think about this: an educated, thriving couple decides not to have children, while the druggie on the other side of town ends up irresponsibly spawning 3, 5, 7 kids (whom they don't raise). Who is the future of that nation? What kind of future can the generation after that expect? What kind of country is this going to be in just a generation or three?

Jobs go empty. Pay increases for menial labor that no one cares to do, and then the cost of living skyrockets. Cities shrink and empty homes fall into disrepair. Because there are less producers, there is less national product, and the tax burden falls heavily on the workers who remain. There aren't enough doctors, police, firefighters etc. to support the populace. Out of necessity, high paying jobs go to other countries because the basics (like food production) must be covered on the home turf. That, or immigrants end up filling the vacancies. Roads, sewers, and electrical sources crumble because there aren't enough able bodied people and finances to maintain them. The wealthy find homes in more prosperous, less taxed locations, and after only a generation or two, we live in a second world country. Or third. 

The lecturer I listened to was sincerely terrified for the future of this great nation. He was raising the warning voice and asking us to raise it as well.

All things change. I get that, but please tell me there are a few other people out there responsibly and intentionally raising the next generation FOR THE SAKE OF THE FUTURE. (I'm raising enough to cover at least one and a half other families...which doesn't stretch a long way.)  

Let's not intelligence ourselves and our kids out of a prosperous future.

Happy Birthday, America.

And last of all, the IWSG question for the month: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

My overall writing goals remain the same: get out the rest of my tri-series and capstone book/series, then everything else. Basically, share all the cool stories burning through my brain. The timeline is different though. It's not a big deal if I can't get back into the stress of publishing for a couple years. I'm also more focused on what my writing is saying. What positive message am I planting in readers heads? How am I exploring the range of traumas & emotions we poor humans experience?

Huge thanks for hosting
Alex Cavanaugh
Nicki Elson, Juneta Key,
Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!

Last month Donna K. Weaver shared KINGS CROSSED LOVERS along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win an audiobook or eBook of SWING VOTE.

The game:

1. I was interviewed on TV just before the release of the last Harry Potter Book, Deathly Hallows.
2. I started school in Greece.
3. I flunked the second grade.

The lie: #2. Donna actually did flunk second grade. *gasp* But she's definitely made up for it since. Out of hard things we gain greater strength.

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Congrats, Sherry!

How is your summer going? How about a little mystery to spruce it up? Check it out:



A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary—not very romantic. A dead body on board—even worse.

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.

When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.

Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.

Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?

A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery - #1

Buy your copy now on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and sci-fi/fantasy stories. She is the author of the “Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery” series. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn't working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures at The Cynical Sailor. 

You might run across Ellen on the open sea, enjoying some tasty goat cheese, especially on crusty bread along with some prosciutto or Parma ham.

Ellen gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win an EBOOK of MURDER AT THE MARINA. (Open internationally.) DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT OR AN EMAIL ON YOUR PROFILE? No problem. EMAIL crystal@crystal-collier.com to enter.

You have until Tuesday, July 31 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on August 1st, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I once dressed up as Lt. Uhura from Star Trek for a scifi/fantasy convention.
2. I refuse to eat anything that has a wooden stick in the middle, like Popsicles.  
3. I'm allergic to tetanus shots and try to avoid stepping on rusty nails at all costs. 

So sleuths, which is the lie? What are your feelings on a negative population growth? Are you worried too? Have you met Ellen? Do you like clean cozy mysteries?

85 comments:

  1. I'm really surprised the population of the USA is falling. I had assumed the opposite was true. Perhaps the answer is to support and educate that druggies children, and give them the same opportunities that the only child in the nice part of town gets? Then it wouldn't matter quite so much who their parents were.

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  2. People who don't want to have kids should adopt the druggie's kids.
    Our population has been exploding for so long, it's weird to think that it's shrinking.
    I'd say the second one is the lie.

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  3. I've done my part, I think. I've raised 5 decent children, and have 3 grand babies with 2 more on the way. This is the first I've heard about a negative population growth. I wasn't worried before, now, I am...

    I'll pick #2 as the lie, because those wooden Popsicles bug me too.

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  4. I agree with Alex. I know so many people who are going to adoption route or who also give their time and attention to foster care kiddos who need life skills and love. I think number 2 is the lie :)

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  5. We were going to adopt but it didn't work out.

    I think there are just so many Baby Boomers that there's not enough of the upcoming generation to support them.

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  6. Thanks so much for featuring Murder at the Marina :-)

    I really like your idea of thinking about what positive message you can plant in a reader's head.

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  7. 7.5 Billion people on this Earth. I don't think a declining birth rate is one you have to worry about. The cities are polluting our world to death. Fewer polluters is not a bad thing. It is quality of life, not quantity.

    If countries are losing influence, its more about the loss of independence and freedom within.

    Europe lost half of its population during the plagues of the 1500s. Civilization didn't die. Didn't shrivel. Didn't miss a beat.

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    1. There are definitely seasons when natural disasters change the dynamic of the world. Change is the name of the game. I'm looking at individual countries and how they are evolving--whether declining or increasing in influence. I worry about America in this regard. Maybe I shouldn't worry, but it's kind of my nature.

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  8. As much as I like big families, I also understand the importance of a lower birthrate, particularly for women. When women in the developing world have fewer children, they're thus able to get more education, enter the workforce, and help their respective countries to modernize. This also hinges on women in those countries not getting married before they're adults, and having access to things like clean water and vaccines, so there's less need to have 10+ children in the hopes two or three might outlive childhood.

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    1. There are definitely other countries where changes are needed, but my focus is on 1st world countries and when people make conscious choices to diminish the family. Honestly, I think it's all about family. But truly, there are places where the cultural norms are not healthy for their developing populace.

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  9. A few years ago I had read about the declining population in Japan, and how in just 2 generations the population will be 1/4 it's current numbers if the trend continues. Just 2 generations! We're talking about my grand kids!!!

    But, when you think about it mathematically, with over 7 billion people world wide, 1/4 of 7 billion is still 1.75 billion. So, we're still good as a species.

    However, I did mention to my husband a few months ago when I started reading about the over polluted seas and sea life decline which is causing all these coastal phenomena like algae crowding and jelly fish beachings, I said, quite aloofly, that the world is heading for a major plague type of catastrophe if we keep this up.

    But that may be my writing mind concocting up crazy scenarios.

    Or is it? Hmmmm....

    I say #2 is the lie. Popsicles are harmless.

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  10. I'm with you on not having time frames for my goals - life is just on the far side of crazy so I'm doing what I can! :)

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  11. I've seen Ellen's book everywhere the past few weeks so it's nice to learn more about her. Congrats to her on a successful launch! I'm going with number 3 as the lie.
    Happy 4th to you and your family, Crystal. I get being a worrier - it's my nature too!

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  12. Hi,
    Your article on the United States is challenging and amazing. Since, I am living outside of the country as an ExPat, it was something I needed to read. Thanks for posting.
    As for your goals, one of my desires has been to write books that make people think and inspire them at the same time. So I understand where you're coming from when you talk about writing.
    Wishing you all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  13. I read a book on this same topic a decade ago and things haven't changed. Japan is much worse off, which helps me understand why they seriously consider things like 'marrying a robot'. Really? Yep. My daughter is like you--ready to raise a passel of children to offset the decline.

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  14. Hi Crystal - Russia is trying to boost its population - by offering incentives to child-bearing parents. We have a pension problem in the UK - not enough taxes to support pensions in the future - the trouble is politicians only think today, not forward for the future. It is a matter of choice - and who supports the children if there's not enough income ... it's a conundrum in this day and age - and China got it majorly wrong when they only allowed one child per family ... undone now. It's interesting and worrying to think about - thank you for having some children for me!! Cheers Hilary

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  15. I'm guessing #1 is the lie. This sounds like a really fun book. My writing goals change from time to time. Sometimes because of real life situations, other times because I change as a writer. Happy July!

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  16. I'd like to think my family has both ends of the spectrum covered. We've got the tech-savvy intelligence, plus my brother's six kids tending orchards, raising pigs, and cultivating bees.

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  17. Japan's in the same boat. I've read where dying towns are encouraging single women with children to move into them. I think the article mentioned these towns even offered to hook up men and women in an effort to increase population. With people living so much longer and fewer young workers to support them, there's a crisis brewing. Remember the good old Zero Population Growth days? The pendulum doth swing.

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  18. Don’t worry. :) If for no other reason than because we can’t control other people. It leads to frustration and stress and fear. But there are still more people choosing to have children than not. I know very few people without a kid or several. I personally can’t have children from a biological standpoint, but both of my siblings have kids. And there are plenty of children. What we really need is for more responsible people to adopt. The number of parent-less kids is heartbreaking.

    I’m going to give myself a small break from publishing stress after this fall. Breaks are good. :)

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  19. Happy 4th of July! Hope you have a great Independence Day:)

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  20. Maybe we just need more robots and AI to offset a decline in offspring. We'd also be better off if we got rid of money and worked towards an inclusive environment that benefits everyone, not just the wealthy.

    Good luck with your goals, Crystal!

    Congrats to Ellen! I'll guess #2 as the lie.

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  21. Sharing a positive message is a great place to come from. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  22. Happy 4th of July!
    I pray for our country and our world, regardless of whether I feel it's going well or not. I don't know what I can do other than that, and to try to spread love, kindness, and decency with my actions and words. I don't always succeed. I get cranky now and then, like everyone, but I do my best and I ask my family to do the same.
    As far as numbers of kids are concerned, I have seen those negative numbers for some countries in Europe and I think it's indicative of a negative attitude about life, in general. I could be wrong, but that's what it seems like. I am an only child and my parents couldn't have any more, but I like being an only. I've met other onlies and I can say we have our own language that siblings just don't get like we don't get sibling language (it's everything from body language to spoken language and group behavior). However, I have two daughters because I wanted my kids to have a sibling and to be able to interact with more confidence in the world of people with siblings. And, while I think some families are healthy with 8 kids and some are healthy with 1, I think there are a few families that are healthiest with none. (I come from an extended family which includes individuals who have drug and/or alcohol addictions as well as mental illness, and while I escaped those and my children have, too, I used to be nervous about having children because of all of that.) I had a Great-Aunt and Great-Uncle who refused to have children because of the abuse and the mental illness they had seen in their families. They lived into their 90s and they were happy and part of the extended family by visiting often and helping others.

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  23. I read something recently about the lagging population in our country, and it's a little troubling. Fewer people coming in at the birth end and more people living longer means a dwindling workforce to support things like Social Security and Medicare. (Two things very near and dear to me...) I've been thanking our sons for years for having so many younguns... all thirteen of them are smart, responsible kids who'll grow into smart responsible adults. Kids like theirs and yours are the future. So thanks to you, too, for doing your part so well. :)

    I'll guess #2 is the fib this week, but don't put me into the drawing. I already have Ellen's book.

    Have a bang-up 4th!

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  24. We all need to focus on projecting positive messages. Negative messages spring up like weeds, everywhere. Also, good for you in not letting the publishing stress run the show. That's really positive!

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  25. As a fellow sailor, I've been following Ellen's blog for a while and have seen her start, continue and rise as a successful writer. I think #2 is the lie, since it would mean she can't eat half of the ice cream varieties, and she'd have to skip most appetizers requiring a tooth pick at boat pot lucks. :-)

    Great topic for this post, Crystal. Problem is that it's usually the highly educated people who think ahead, and don't agree with how the world is being led or lived on right now, who decide not to reproduce. It's a catch 22, really. Is it better to raise a child in an unhappy world you have little faith in, or not raise a child in that world, and therefore influence its future negatively?

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  26. Crystal, that's an interesting theory. I've heard it before. End of Days? A scary thought.

    Ellen, I'm seeing you everywhere! Good luck with your release. I'm going to choose #1 as the lie ;)

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  27. The future is a scary place. Our six children are all adults and gainfully employed, 4 have college degrees. One of them is never having children, one is only having one, three don't have any yet, but may in the future. One son has one child and planning on a second. I don't know what this country will look like for my grandchildren.

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  28. I never thought about the future this way. We raised three wonderful sons and now have grandchildren and great-grands. Some families cannot have children through no fault of their own. This description of what can happen is scary. There is no easy solution, as I see it. Thanks for a great post, Crystal. Sure making me think.

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  29. So excited to win a copy of Swing Vote! Thank you!

    I don't know what our future is going to look like. What I know is that the depression and anxiety our kids are going through makes them not want to have kids of their own. It's an incredibly difficult world to live in.

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  30. Wow! You really articulated some of what I've been thinking about what it means when certain segments of our population choose not to parent. As a teacher, I've been watching the changes in the student population for 20 years, and I can already see huge differences in attitudes toward school and getting ready for the future. It's terrifying sometimes.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  31. Fertility rates have been dropping in all the advanced economies. While the emerging economies explode with overpopulation. There is no easy fix. A very thought provoking post. best wishes for the 4th.

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  32. I have no intention of having kids--and I know quite a lot of my friends also don't want kids for various reasons: not able to have kids, debt, lack of income, fear of bringing a child into a truly messy world, not liking or wanting kids. There are too many people on this planet. Our resources are not going to hold out.

    We need to make sure that, as a society, we are taking care of the children who are born and children who immigrate here, that we're educating them, that they have healthcare and housing and nutrition, that they have access to good careers when they grow up.

    Japan has a declining, aging population. Quite a number of younger adults in Japan are also disinclined to marry and have kids. Japan also has a crazy work culture, pressure to conform to society, and super stringent immigration laws. But they also have better techonology, medical care, and initiatives and innovations to help their aging population.

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  33. You make good points, Crystal. When I was young, I remember that some people advocated for zero population growth because of pollution and other ecological problems. I know quite a few intelligent young women who have decided not to have children.

    Love,
    Janie

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  34. #2 is the lie. Who would refuse to eat a popsicle?

    I don't think I've ever seen the word intelligence used as a verb before. Interesting article, although I don't necessarily agree with the idea that intelligent and/or wealthy folks are guaranteed to have hard-working intelligent kids. What is it called? Affluenza? And you might find some hard-working brilliant folks whose parents were nightmares.

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    1. Oh I agree there are some HORRIBLE well-to-do parents who don't bother raising their own kids. (I met some in NYC.) But the issue is that the middle class is subscribing to this idea. When we lose the middle class, economies crumble.

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  35. I did not expect the population to be on the decline either. I feel like we are so under sourced for those who live in the US already, it's hard to imagine what it would be like when we can't fill the necessary jobs. How do we keep up and still help those in need? Maybe Mama June has the answers...doubtful though.

    Elsie

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  36. That's some interesting points about population.

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  37. I see your points. I teach college aged kids. I hear many say that they don't want to have kids. They want to travel.

    I see two groups having kids: Evangelical and poor people on the wrong side of track so to speak.

    I do think smart, educated people do have a kid, but often when it's almost too late. I think they see it as the world is difficult to raise a kid in.

    If you think about it the generation in their 20s grew up with 911, and school shootings. It's just a sad state of affairs that we are in. I don't have all the answers. Take the guns away, you'll have stabbings, homemade bombs, or trucks driven into well populated areas. I think we could do with less guns.

    The only thing I think would help in my opinion would be if we went back to one parent working. It wouldn't have to be mom at home, and dad at work. It could be whatever. I just think kids would have someone to talk to when they get home. Someone to help with homework, make meals for them. The generation in their 20s - many didn't have that. No outlet to discuss things with.

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    1. I completely agree. That's part of the reason my husband and I have made that sacrifice throughout the years and lived on only one income, even when we had no idea how we were going to make it. (Which was pretty much most of the time.) My mom was home for me, and I believed it was the ONLY way to go. Not everyone subscribes to that point of view, and for many families (especially single parent families) that's not a possibility. But the health of the world really does boil down to the health of the family. Getting back to a healthy society would mean a huge sacrifice--of things, entertainment, and most especially time. The only way things get better is if these kids raised without that stable influence at home realize its necessity going forward.

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  38. A very happy hopeful 4th to you and yours.
    It is an interesting question you have raised. One which I don't have answers to. Unlimited growth has its problems too. And sadly we as a species seem to lurch from one extreme to the other.

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  39. There are a lot of areas that are overpopulated and concerns about the food supply. Your lecturer certainly had some strong viewpoints. I'm not sure everyone would agree with her though. Be worth doing independent research on that one to see what you can dig up with some critical thinking.

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    1. I don't know of anywhere in the United States that deals with food supply issues. The gentleman who presented the lecture spoke to us about 7 years ago, before the issues hit the news about Europe, China, and Japan. I did my research before writing this post to be sure what I had to say lined up with current trends.

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  40. I've always thought about how unfair it is that there are so many people who mistreat their children, whereas there are childless couples out there who would give their own children so much love. I don't understand why it's like that.
    I must admit, though, that I will most likely be one of those people who ends up with a "fur baby" than a human one. I'm 37 and unmarried, so it's unlikely that I'll ever get pregnant. I would like to adopt a dog, though.

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  41. Your wonderful thought to concentrating on writing good stories instead of pushing publishing reminded me of a comment I read on FB not long ago in one of the Writer's groups. It went something like this - "There's around 100,000 people in this group. If each publishes a story in the next couple of years, that's thousands of stories to flood the market each year. In other words, it's more important than ever to make the story you write count."

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  42. I like how you are focusing on your writing and your message more than how quickly you publish. And I know that your focus is on your family too and that keeps you really busy.

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  43. There may be problems with negative population growth, but the alternative is IMO even more untenable. The planet is, after all, finite. A lot of the troubles you mention seem to stem from economics, and economists have an incredible track record for royally messing things up for ordinary folks, so somewhere along the way we probably need to re-think our model for how we live. I don't know what that might look like, but people lived for thousands of years without the need for endless growth to power the flow of basics like food and shelter. It must be possible, but it would need a drastic shift in mindset.

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  44. You raised an interesting topic, Crystal. There are no easy answers. I don't think our planet can sustain unlimited growth or many more billions of people. Perhaps moving into space will help. Aging populations are a challenge, but immigration can help.

    I think it's great that you are focusing on what your writing is saying, Crystal. Written words are powerful, and I think it's important to make a difference with our writing.

    All the best to you!

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  45. My husband and I always wanted two kids, but we weren't able to get married until we were 35. Between the health risks of having kids at an older age and the cost of daycare (two kids would have negated my salary, and I can't stay home because I have the health insurance), we ended up with one, and we're happy that way. If we want to encourage more kids, we have to make it more affordable. Reduce the cost of daycare, provide a better education for everyone, and make college affordable. Although people were worried about feeblemindedness in the late 19th century and early 20th century, the average IQ has risen over time, in part due to a better health care system. I think if we provide all children with plenty of resources, they'll pleasantly surprise you.

    Good luck getting all of your cool stories into the world!

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  46. #2 is the lie.
    I'm glad you're still keeping your goals/dreams alive.

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  47. I read somewhere that the reason millenials aren't having kids is because they can't afford it. We got this way through years and years of mismanagement, and it won't turn around any time soon. But that's why immigration is so important. The immigrants make up for those who don't have kids.

    I'm going to guess the lie is #3.

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  48. I've been to many places in America and loved every precious moment spent there, I have some wonderful memories and the people were just great.
    Loved your July's post for the ISWG.

    Yvonne.

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  49. You're asking some serious questions. Our goals change with time. I'm with you on not keeping strict timelines for everything.

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  50. I like that your goals are more focused on what your writing is saying and the messages you are planting in readers heads. It's taking responsibility as a writer to the next level. Food for thought.

    Happy 04th of July to you and your family, Crystal!

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  51. That's quite serious. On the one hand we have people desperate to be parents, but can't be because of some genetic fluke. On the other hand we have people who have babies indiscriminately -- messing up their DNA through their own addictions and messing up their personalities through abandonment. And even if there's a happy ending, well, education isn't a high priority for some. I regularly get nightmares of the world ending up like that movie "Idiocracy"... On the bright side, it can end up like "Interstellar" first at the pace we're destroying the planet ;-) Yes, I've been watching too many movies :-)
    Good luck with getting your stories out there.

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  52. Happy 4th of July, Crystal!

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  53. That is a scary, scary forecast, but it makes sense - and that's why it's so scary. I feel good about the population in my small sphere of the world, at least - loads of good families with more than 2 kids per. Maybe we'll take over the world one day, heehee.

    "What positive message am I planting in readers heads?" - something we all should think about.

    I'm going w/ #2 as the lie. It just seems right that she should enjoy delicious popsicles while out on her boating adventures.

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  54. Interesting post and food for thought. I read article once about the huge population and the earth's ability to support it. Information on both sides of the coin, not sure what I think or believe.

    Great goals. Happy IWSG!

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  55. Murder at the Marina is my next read. I'm so happy for Ellen.

    Happy Independence Day, Crystal. ♥

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  56. “Cool stories burning through your brain” sounds awesome! I’m the mom of an only child so I haven’t so much done my part to populate the USA. I thought the one kid thing would have been more popular, but in our community there are just two other families with singletons. Must be different in other areas. I just be surrounded by the fertile dummies! ;)

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  57. Crystal,

    I never looked at the future possibilities that childless couples played on the world. The obvious solution seems simple, let those childless couples who really want kids to raise the drug-heads' kids. This does a number of positive things it places the children (hopefully) in a happy environment, allows them a better chance to succeed in life on many levels, and should get the drug dependent parents off the welfare system because they don't have kids anymore. I'm sure there are more positives but I haven't had my morning coffee yet so my brain isn't working at full capacity yet. :) Have a glorious day and thanks for popping in for a visit!

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  58. My country has just about eight million people, most of us crazy, and we'll be gone in about two centuries if not before :) Hooray hooray! But we did lose about two million in WWI and WW2 out of four million that we had at that time, which means history was always a bitch to us!

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  59. Wow. Certainly food for thought! Start breeding, people!

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  60. Now I have to get better at choosing the lie, for I so want to win one of these books. I'm going to say # 2 is the lie. But if it isn't, you are missing out on some wonderful treats, Ellen...like creamsicles, which I love.

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  61. I think some people don't have kids because they think there so many orphans and foster kids out there already. My husband and I both come from large families (they are helping to repopulate the world for sure). If we wanted and could afford to have a kid, we'd adopt. As much as we love and adore our furbaby, she's really expensive, and we refuse to be horrible people who treat her like a possession instead of family (yet we're not buying her clothes and outrageous toys either). Plus, we accept that we'll probably be the ones taking care of both sets of parents some day, since our sisters both have three kids to look after (even when they're grown). We both work in a health/care field, so for us, not having kids makes sense.
    I think #2 is the lie.

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  62. Interesting post! Alot to think about! I hope you had a great 4th of July!

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  63. (Real quick-- the page loaded wrong/ typo, so I got your error message.
    "Still searching for the cheese. Kindly shut the fridge and open it again. (Refresh.)"
    ROFLMAO!!!)

    Population decline has been a burden of my tribe, and other Native American tribes, for a long time. If you really want to cut the power to a people, and are willing to play the long game, it's a great way to do it. And if you want to put a cramp on that people's way to pick itself back up, then oppress the women and reduce the education availability of the adults who do the bulk of the child raising in early years. That's a proven way to make any civilization collapse, as historians can tell you. Breeding is down when those who carry children do not feel safe and supported. (True of all living beings, not just humans.) The book Freakonomics really explains that well, too.

    The current message by those in power isn't "have children, it'll be okay, you'll have all the care and support you need health wise, mentally, emotionally, and financially because things are fine." No, the message is, "have children and they'll die of treatable illness, they'll be scared and possibly killed if sent to school, they'll be harassed and targeted, and there's no job or future waiting for them, also we might kidnap them just because we can!" I'm not sure why the people in power want to put that message out there, but it's hard to interpret it any other way. But I am biased because of my roots.

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  64. What a thought-provoking post. I always just assume the population is growing everywhere and putting an increasing strain on resources, so it's scary to think the opposite could be true too.

    Congrats to Ellen. I'll go for #2. I don't think anyone's keen on stepping on rusty nails, tetanus or not!

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  65. I have fur babies...no kids. I would like a child or two, but that just might not be in my future.

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  66. Crystal, your predictions sound too much like an apocalypse sci-fi story. That they're realistic, makes it even scarier.
    I have to say: I did my duty for Canada's population. I have 2 kids.
    For Ellen's truth test - I think #2 is a lie.

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  67. Did you see the PW news about B&N developing a young readers space . . . a place for young readers to play games, discuss good books, learn about upcoming books designed to be their next favorite . . . ya know, it COULD be a great thing for kids . . .

    My writing goal is to get back to it . . . golly, i have allowed a lot of drifting away from the pier . . . gotta row back to shore and share some story.

    (my favorite local grocery offers smallish chunks of cheese for sale - cut from the wheel - or brick- pre-wrapped and ready to go. Some super smart cheese department lady tried it on a whim - and kept it up when she saw it was working for her. cool, hm?)

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  69. Great post. Very thoughtful and informative. I've heard about the decline of the population but until I read your post I didn't really get it. Thank you for taking the time to write about it and break it down.

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  70. There are many other factors involved in such a dismal future, and hopefully we can head off the problem. Many of those “troubled” children can grow up to be productive, though odds may be stacked against them. What scares me is if socialists ever get into power, then we are doomed for sure.

    Congrats to Carol! i think #3 is the fib!

    Tara Tyler Talks

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  71. I agree with many posts above about our 7.5 billion people worldwide. The earth has a limited carrying capacity, and we are depleting resources at a rapid clip. One idea is to support all children with a strong educational system. Another, is immigration.

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  72. I found this an interesting post, giving a lot of food for thought … thank you.

    I do hope your 4th of July was a good one!
    My good wishes

    All the best Jan

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  73. Current trends do not continue. People used to be worried about overpopulation in America. Now things may slim down for a while. You may look back at this post after ten years and be surprised what you were concerned about

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  74. It's a complex issue with no satisfying answer. I never wanted children, my own or otherwise.

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  75. I don't think its something to be worried about at this point.

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  76. No 2 is the lie. And congrats to Sherry for winning!

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  77. Congratulations to Ellen! I loved her book. :) Hope you had a wonderful Fourth, Crystal. I know the Millennials are deciding not to have children. That is a big fall in the population. What I have hope for is my son's and your children's generation. They are kind, conscientious, and smart. I believe they will make big changes for the better and help the world onto the path to a good future.

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Hit me with your cheese!