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Demographic Doom Podcast

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Demographic philosopher Glenn Campbell looks at life and tries to predict the future through the lens of demography, or the study of human populations. Not content to predict humanity's long-term future, Glenn seeks to change it by introducing a new family structure called the "Post-Nuclear Family".
60 Episodes
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Glenn Campbell on what is predictable and what isn't, based on demographics and macroeconomics. They place a hard ceiling on future economic, but they don't tell us what will happen below that ceiling. The wildcards are human politics and human behavior, which escape easy predictions. Glenn illustrates these limitations with three results of the pandemic that he never would have predicted: (1) a rise in stocks and asset markets despite a failing economy. (2) Race riots in the midst of a pandemic. (3) The current labor shortage despite high unemployment. — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the YouTube version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_dontknow [ep 60, 15 June 2021]
Glenn Campbell reveals the connection between UFOs and human demographics: There isn't any! [Expanded description coming soon.] — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the YouTube version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_ufos [ep 59, 10 June 2021]
Glenn Campbell reviews the 2020 documentary "Spaceship Earth" about the 1990s ecological experiment Biosphere 2. In September 1991, eight "astronauts" were locked in sealed greenhouse in the Arizona desert, where they were expected to produce their own food, water and air. It was a utopian system destined to fail, but Glenn sees lessons in it for his own speculative system, the post-nuclear family. — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the YouTube version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_biosphere [ep 58, 24 May 2021]
Glenn Campbell summarizes the humanity's greatest demographic threat—a shortage of babies in the developed world—and his proposed long-term solution: a system he calls the "post-nuclear family". Speaking without a script (and on video), Glenn first describes the global baby bust and the financial crisis it is creating. Although the population is getting older and less productive, governments are spending money far more money than they are collecting in tax. This condition has to end in tragedy. At 40:00, Glenn begins to describe his theoretical family system and how it would work. He proposes bringing back big families: between 9 and 18 kids in one household. The only way this can realistically be pulled off is by a number of adults joining forces. — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the YouTube version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_doom [ep 57, 3 May 2021]
For two decades now, the US government his spent far more money than it collects in taxes, and the pandemic has only accelerated the process. Before Covid-19, the government borrowed one of every four dollars it spent. In 2020 and 2021, the deficit is one of every two dollars. The shortfall has been made up by government borrowing and ultimately the printing of new money. A mystery among investors and economists is why all this money creation hasn't resulted in staggering consumer inflation. Glenn Campbell thinks he has the answer: The extra money has been drawn into asset markets, where it will ultimately be destroyed. Starting with the recent $1.9 trillion Covid Relief Bill, Glenn describes the mechanisms behind his "Zero-Inflation Theory", where markets collapse but the U.S. dollar holds its value. Glenn also discusses the role of index funds and passive investing in accelerating a coming stock market collapse. — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_zeroinflation [ep 56, 31 Mar 2021]
The world is heading for a massive monetary collapse due to runaway money printing. Glenn Campbell has said it before on this podcast, and he'll probably say it again. This time, however, he has a witness—or at least someone with public stature who is saying the same things. Glenn begins this episode by playing a 4-minute edited clip from Jim Rogers, a 78-year-old investor who has warned about a coming calamity for several years. Rogers says government money printing is out of control and can only end in disaster. After the clip, Glenn presents his own case that government debt is the economy's biggest threat—even a threat to civilization as we know it. Governments can finance their massive debts only through the creation of new money, which will eventually result in a debasement of the currency and unpredictable shocks to the rest of the economy. That fact that stock markets are close to all-time highs at the time of this episode shouldn't be taken as reassuring. The whole system is deeply dysfunctional and can only end in an unthinkable outcome. — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_rogers [ep 55, 19 Feb 2021]
[13 min] Continuing the discussion of his proposed post-nuclear family, Glenn Campbell explains the critical role of "parentification"—or having older children care for younger ones. To child welfare workers, it is often considered child neglect when an underage child is found to be caring for their parents or siblings. Glenn seems to be proposing the same thing, except that in his system there are still responsible adults on duty. They just don't do the dirty work. Children are expected to handle nearly all of the routine tasks of the household—commensurate with their ability. This includes changing diapers, preparing meals, cleaning house and teaching younger children basic skills. This isn't just a labor-saving device for the parents but an important socialization exercise for the older children. One of the main aims of family life is to build strong emotional bonds between the siblings so they remain loyal to the family for life. There is no better way to do it than to give children important tasks in caring for each other. — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_parentification [ep 54, 13 Feb 2021]
In a "dramatic reading" of his webpage, Glenn Campbell lists 15 key characteristics of his proposed post-nuclear family. In this system, between 9 and 18 children are raised in a single household by a consortium of parents who do not live there. Glenn begins with an overview and a list of five issues the structure is intended to address, including the high cost of parenting. He then lists the 15 "defining" features followed by a dozen "implied" ones. The implied features are not essential to the system, but Glenn believes they are likely offshoots of his main proposal. Finally, Glenn lists a series of "policy" issues that the founding parents must address before the family begins. Glenn is reading from the webpage: DemographicDoom.com/postnuclear  — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_fifteen [ep 53, 4 Feb 2021]
Glenn Campbell returns to his predictions of dire economic collapse using a new device: imagining a world without money. If society had no dollars, euros or yen, would the economy still be in trouble? It could be, says Glenn. —— Without currency, people could still trade with each other through direct barter and the next-order alternative: an exchange of promises. Instead of trading one product for another, you could trade one product for the *promise* of another, written on a piece of paper. For example, a chicken farmer could sell printed coupons that entitled the bearer to received one chicken at a future date, and these coupons could be traded like cash is today. The only problem arises when the farmer promises more chickens than he can produce. Then you would have a bubble that must eventually collapse. —— So why is the world economy in so much trouble today? Simple: There are far more outstanding promises than can possibly be fulfilled. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_withoutmoney [ep 52, 19 Jan 2021]
At the end of 2020, Glenn Campbell offers a review of the past year and makes some predictions for coming years. The pandemic is the obvious bombshell of 2020, but Glenn focusses more on his own personal year—defeating cancer once again—and on the bigger macroeconomic picture beyond the pandemic. Glenn spent the first few months of the pandemic in cancer treatment, and he tells us about his adventures. He also describes his surprise in watching the stock market RISE in the face of an devastating economic downturn. In Podcast #22 in Dec. 2019, a month before  the pandemic became known, Glenn predicted that a "black swan" would crash the economy. The pandemic seemed to fit the bill, but it didn't crash the stock market, which, at year end, is flying higher than ever. Glenn explains why this is bad and why our economic crisis won't end with a vaccine. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_2020review [ep 51, 31 Dec 2020]
In his fourth episode on the "post-nuclear family", Glenn Campbell talks about where the babies come from to populate his proposed family structure. The family may be started by a consortium of three or more couples who create babies in the traditional way. This works for the first couple of decades, but eventually the fertility of the founding mothers runs out, and the family has to look elsewhere for new babies. In the world of 2048 and beyond, many fertility methods will no doubt be available, but all of them will require relatively young women to bring an embryo to term. Glenn sees three potential source of new mothers: (1) new women or couples recruited into the family, (2) paid surrogates, and (3) using the family's own daughters to bear new children. Glenn discusses the pros and cons of each method as well as the fourth option of adopting unwanted children from the outside world. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_babies [ep 50, 13 Dec 2020]
About two weeks after Joseph Biden was elected President of the United States, Glenn Campbell analyses the demographic damage caused by Trump and makes some predictions for the Biden Administration. Although the President of the United States will no longer be actively damaging the country, most of the macroeconomic problems of the Trump era will continue into the Biden era. The US Government has accumulated more debt than can possibly be paid back, and even the most competent administration can't make it go away. Conceptually, the Titanic has already hit the iceberg and is waiting to sink. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_biden [ep 49, 21 Nov 2020]
In his third episode on his proposed "post-nuclear family," Glenn Campbell describes how this large family structure would educate its young. Since "software programming" is the main function of the family, it is not taken lightly. While public education is a possibility, most post-nuclear families would probably prefer home schooling. With 9-18 kids in one house, supported by many adults, the household could afford to hire a teacher, but this person would do less teaching and more managing. Much of the work of early childhood education would fall on older children, who have time for the intense one-on-one tutoring of language and motor skills. Older children would get their learning from a variety of sources, including textbooks, online classes and mentoring by adults. The curriculum is a community project, negotiated among the parents. The teacher is the conductor, implementing the education plan and making sure benchmarks are achieved. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_culture [ep 48, 9 Nov 2020]
Glenn Campbell responds to comments on his previous episode suggesting that his post-nuclear family is "Communism" and is destined to fail for the same reasons. Glenn compares his system to two different kinds of 20th Century "communism": Soviet Communism and the kibbutz's of Israel. Every family is inherently communistic: "From each according to his abilities. To each according to his needs." However, the socialism takes place only within the childrearing unit. In the post-nuclear system, adults remain independent and don't try to share everything with each other. The family is supported in the same way as a community church: with voluntary contributions in time and labor from its members. Apart from this, adults maintain their own assets and pursue their own lives. More interesting than Soviet Communism is the kibbutz system of 1960s Israel, which tried to raise children in large groups. It didn't work out, and Glenn explains why. Finally, Glenn defines the "Westermarck effect", which was first identified in the kibbutz system. It will be referenced in a later episode on sexuality. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_communism [ep 47, 30 Oct 2020]
Glenn Campbell describes his proposed family structure, the "post-nuclear family", intended to address the shortcomings of the traditional nuclear family. Instead of one or two adults raising 1-3 children, Glenn proposes 9-18 kids raised under one roof by a consortium of adults who do not live in the home. The advantages of this system are economies of scale and the "captive labor force" of older children caring for younger one. Although the household is supported from the outside and there's usually an adult on duty, most of the routine work of parenthood is performed by children. This is not unreasonable, since the children's ages are evenly spaced and the oldest are essentially adults. Children prepare all the meals, change all the diapers, teach basic skills to the‏ir youngest siblings and perform whatever maintenance duties they are capable of. Teenagers are essentially the parents of their younger siblings, both practically and emotionally. Older adults provide financial support and serve as household supervisors on a scheduled basis; otherwise, they are free to live as they wish separate from the main household. There are many complex aspects to the system which will be covered in future episodes. This episode is only an introduction. This new series is intended replace Glenn's earlier episodes and videos on the "modular family" (the same system but renamed in June 2020). If you are interested in exploring the post-nuclear family, this is the first episode to listen to. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_postnuclear [ep 46, 23 Oct 2020]
On Oct. 8, 2020, after 4½ months on hiatus, Glenn Campbell returns with a new podcast, recapping what has happened both in the world and in his personal life. While there has been plenty of "news" over the past four months, not a lot has changed in the big picture. The pandemic is almost certain to accelerate the birth collapse in developed countries, which will be confirmed by birth statistics in December. While the long-term prospects haven't changed, Glenn is surprised by three "insanities" he wasn't anticipating: (1) The dramatic rise in stock markets despite a crumbling economy. (2) A labor shortage despite massive unemployment, and (3) Reversing of the long-term trend toward urbanization, at least in the biggest cities. Glenn says the true crash has hardly begun. He predicts another Black Swan will be needed to make people take the first Black Swan seriously.  — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_winkle [ep 45, 8 Oct 2020]
In coming months, the world is due for a major collapse of real estate prices. The lockdowns prompted by Covid-19 have exposed the inherent weaknesses of most forms of "place". Offices, retail stores and expensive homes just don't have the same intrinsic value that they did five months ago, and a painful reckoning is at hand. With many employees and college students working successfully from home, it is becoming clear that knowledge work doesn't require a special location. The virus has given a huge boost to telecommuting, and once these wheels have been set in motion, they can't be turned back. The victims of the change are landlords providing office space and colleges forced to maintain expensive buildings that aren't being used, as well as all the workers who construct and maintain these facilities. Homeowners in major cities will also face losses as telecommuters flee to less expensive cities. Knowledge workers may have easier lives, but anyone who are already invested in real estate may face devastating losses. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_realestate [ep 44, 24 May 2020]
In a single episode, Glenn Campbell reviews the entire economic history of the United States from the end of World War II to the current economic collapse. Recorded on May 10, 2020, when stock markets continue to defy the crisis, rising in the face of bad news. Glenn identifies five processes over the past 75 years that have made an economic crisis inevitable: (1) The rise and fall of the Baby Boomers. (2) Our expanded longevity due to advances in safety and medicine. (3) The "inflation of tastes" which has turn our economy into a frivolous one. (4) The explosion of debt in all sectors of the economy that cannot possibly be paid back, (5) Desperate attempts by the Federal Reserve to rectify to previous four processes through destructive monetary policy. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_practices [ep 43, 10 May 2020]
Glenn Campbell discusses a basic dilemma of modern medicine: whether you should spare no expense to save one patient ("best practices") or ration medical resources in such as to save as many patients as possible ("triage medicine"). While he has benefited from best practices as a high-expense cancer patient, he has misgivings about its benefits to society at large. By giving perfect care to just a few patients, a society may end up killing more of its citizens in the long run. Replaying a 6-minute portion of Episode 37, Glenn expands on this dilemma and how it will play out in the future. Mankind may have already achieved "peak medicine" where advances in medical technology do not improve the longevity of the general population. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments, corrections & links to other resources: j.mp/dd_practices [ep 42, 29 April 2020]
On April 26, 2020, as most communities remain in lockdown for COVID-19, Glenn Campbell looks back on a video he released a year earlier called, "The Vanity Economy: The First Casualty in the Next Recession". This video was prescient and is rebroadcast here in full. Although Glenn knew nothing of any pandemic back then, he knew that a crash was coming and that it would start with a collapse in the market for nonessential products and services. Everyone needs food and medical care, but they can live without spa treatments, sports equipment, home renovation, new cars and countless other ego-motivated items. In a crash, those are the first things people eliminate from their budgets. Purging things you don't need may seem good for the soul, but it is devastating for a modern economy, which has come to depend on this discretionary market. This episode replays the original 10-minute video (visible on the YouTube version) followed by a commentary bringing it up to date. — Website: DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See the video version of this episode for notes, comments & corrections: j.mp/dd_dontneed [ep 41, 26 April 2020]
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