In many developed countries—Japan, South Korea, Italy, Spain, Germany, Canada, and the United States among them—fertility rates are below replacement rate. It’s far from cause for alarm despite claims by “birth dearthers” that we face social and economic catastrophe due to lower birth rates. With global population still growing at a rate of 1.1 percent, the world continues to add some 83 million people a year.

Offering insights and guidance from prominent academics and journalists, The Good Crisis: How Population Stabilization Can Foster a Healthy U.S. Economy (Population Connection; 2016) takes on one of today’s most pressing challenges: keeping our aging population healthy, productive, and prepared for today’s technologically-focused jobs. At the same time, today’s youth must be prepared for productive futures through education, skills training, and delayed parenthood.

Dispelling anxieties about the impact of slowing population growth on Social Security, commerce, and society, this collection of essays presents innovative and practical solutions to issues from labor shortages to fossil fuel dependence. Backed by extensive research and real-world examples, The Good Crisis presents a path to a more productive, sustainable world.

Chapters explore

The payoff of investing in our aging population—and how older workers deliver exceptional value.

The proven links between a quality education, increased productivity, and shared upward mobility.

How employer sponsored wellness programs can save health care costs, cultivate productivity, and increase worker engagement.

Why it’s important to expand and improve the labor pool by integrating disabled people and others into the workforce.

How population stabilization is one key step in the direction of a more sustainable world at a time when natural resources are being depleted at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate.

How to reduce unplanned and teen pregnancy—with the help of peer counseling, comprehensive sex education, and access to birth control—to allow women to maintain control over their lives.

The Good CrisisShattering myths about our supposedly imperiled population, The Good Crisis introduces remarkable possibilities for the well-being of our nation—and our planet—that don’t depend on population growth.

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Contributors:

Herman Daly

Robert D. Plotnick

Lori Hunter

Alan Weisman

David E. Bloom

Jay W. Lorsch

Hal Marcovitz

Ronald Lee

Brian Czech

Noah Berger

Peter Fisher

Matt L. Huffman

Authors:

John Seager

John Seager

John Seager is President and CEO of Population Connection, the nation’s largest grassroots population organization. He regularly speaks to environmental, religious, and community groups across the country. Seager has been a guest lecturer at more than 50 colleges and universities, including MIT, Duke University, Brandeis University, University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA. A veteran political strategist, Seager was chief of staff for a Democratic member of Congress. Before coming to Population Connection he was at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has authored numerous op-eds and articles on various aspects of population dynamics and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Seager holds a B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

David E. Bloom

David E. Bloom

David E. Bloom is the Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health. He also serves as Director of Harvard’s Program on the Global Demography of Aging and as a Faculty Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. As the author of more than 300 articles, book chapters, and books, Bloom is one of the foremost experts on the impact of population dynamics on health, education, labor, and economic growth. Bloom is a member of the Board of Directors of PSI (formerly Population Services International), and the Board of Trustees of amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. He began his career on the public policy faculty at Carnegie-Mellon University and later served on the economics faculty at Columbia University and Harvard University. Bloom holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a PhD in Economics and Demography from Princeton University.