Europe’s Painful Farewell: An Essay on the Decline of the Old World

Europe is a continent in crisis. The financial problems of many European economies became visible to the rest of world when Greece only narrowly escaped bankruptcy in May 2010. Ever since, more unpleasant data about the state of public finances in Europe have emerged, putting pressure on Europe’s common currency, the euro. With the focus on finances, it is easy to overlook that many of Europe’s current problems are not purely economic. They are the result of some basic construction errors of the European project. [...]

German polemic has resonance for West

When a German language book causes a global stir, it must be of relevance beyond the narrow national confines. This explains the scores of articles dedicated to Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany abolishes itself). Written by former politician and central banker Thilo Sarrazin, it covers topics such as the effects of the welfare state on the country's underclass, demographic change and the ageing society, the failure of public education, and the problems of integrating Muslim migrants. [...]

Population bomb still a fizzer 40 years on

Worshipping their new goddess nature, the environmentalists have forgotten something. We human beings may not all be cute and cuddly, but we deserve at least as much love and attention as our distant relatives in the animal kingdom. [...]

That fabled ‘Big Australia’

Unfortunately, the commission’s ‘Big Australia’ report alloweth only one conclusion. It is with deepest regret that we commend to order Captain Arthur Phillip to turn back his fleet and set sail for England, our green and pleasant land. [...]

State the obvious in big Australia debate

For Australia as a nation, population growth is an opportunity. Many other developed nations in Europe and Japan would love to swap their problems of population ageing and shrinking for our task of dealing with growth. But we need to ensure that our growth is properly managed. Fixing the relation between Canberra and the states is a necessary first step. [...]

The small Australia nightmare

As one of the very few rich countries that still has a young and growing population, Australia should embrace this opportunity and continue to grow. Other countries may well abolish themselves but Australia should not. [...]

Populate and Perish? Modelling Australia’s Demographic Future

should stop pretending that they can control what Australia’s future population will look like. Instead, they should turn their attention to the real policy issues that will be affected by population growth and ageing: housing, roads, pensions and our natural environment. [...]

Australiens Platzangst

Wahlkämpfe sind selten die beste Gelegenheit für nüchterne Bestandesaufnahmen. Australien ist da keine Ausnahme. Nach dem Sturz von Premierminister Kevin Rudd infolge einer Palastrevolte Ende Juni benötigte seine Nachfolgerin Julia Gillard dringend ein Feld zur Profilierung bei den anstehenden Neuwahlen. Sie fand es in der Furcht vor einem weiteren Bevölkerungszuwachs. Seither wiederholt sie mantrahaft, dass sie sich kein grösseres Australien wünsche, sondern ein «nachhaltiges». [...]

Baking a recipe for migration

If Germany needs an example of the human potential lying dormant in its Turkish community it should study the case of Ahmet Yaltirakli closely. And if Australians need reminding why migrants can be a great benefit to society, they should look at his case, too. [...]

Big Ideas Forum 2010: The future of Europe

In many ways, Australia today reminds me of Europe in the first decades of the post-war period. We are full of optimism ... our population is growing ... our economy is booming. But make the wrong choices about the size of government now, ignore the challenge of population ageing, gloss over temporary problems with public deficits, and just a few decades later, we will end up like Europe – under different stars, but with the same destiny. [...]