Sometimes I fear for us all.  In an otherwise-interesting article on the world’s “vanishing countries” which talks about how China’s population growth is slowing, we also see examples of foolishness such as this:

China is relaxing its one-child policy — but it may be too late. In addition to lacking workers, a fifth of China’s homes are empty, reported Bloomberg news — more than 50 million apartments and houses have no inhabitants.
Fertile countries have a far brighter future. They are a good place to invest your money, said Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor and demographic “prophet” who died in February.
“You will find an emerging China in Africa,” he told the BBC in a final interview. “Go there to invest if you want to earn money, if you want to have nice pensions when you retire, place part of your capital there because there you will see fast growth.”

Clearly, Rosling never set foot on the African continent, where there’s never been a shortage of workers, only a shortage of honest government.  Allow me to revise his statement for you:

“Go invest in African countries if you want to lose money, if you want to have no pensions when you retire, and place part of your capital there if you want to see fast growth in African politicians’ bank accounts and not in yours, and to see no tangible results from your investment.”

That’s the reality of investing in Africa.

It reminds me of that old, withering observation:  “Your suggestion is so stupid, so devoid of commonsense and logic that it could only have been made by an academic or intellectual.”  (Note that the latter two are not synonymous.)

And these are the people who are regarded as the intelligent ones, who advise governments and tell us how to run our lives.


  1. Let’s see, the CHICOMS manpower pool of potential cannon fodder is decreasing, and they are dumping a lot of capital into and entangled with the sucking vortex of Africa. Hard to see a downside there.

    Having grown up in the 70’s when the “Population Bomb” was a major mainstream line of thought (along with the coming Ice Age as the planet cooled), I now am amused more than alarmed as the “oh no the population is shrinking!” meme becomes fashionable.

  2. “more than 50 million apartments and houses have no inhabitants.”

    How much of that is Chinese people investing in second, third, fourth homes because they feel real estate is safer than the banks? China’s full of ghost cities that are being built and left empty, solely to bump GDP.

    1. Reminding one of the almighty Japan, Inc of the late 80’s- China’s heading for the same kind of economic crash, and for the same reason.

  3. China claims a 52-48 male-female percentage. That’s not true, it is worse than that, especially in the younger ages. Unofficial word is that it is a LOT worse. As in they have screwed themselves with their one child policy, as a large percentage of females were aborted to end up with a male to support the parents in their old age per Chinese custom. China has screwed the pooch. Interesting times ahead. Lots of unattached males , so this may be one of their drivers for their current aggressiveness in the Asian area.

    England claimed a 48-52 mix following all the young men who died in WW1, and that screwed up the demographics badly. (I’m not sure how accurate that was, might have been worse-Governments lie, obviously, and England is noted for it) That was the end of their Empire, basically, especially with the follow-on of WW2, as they lacked sufficient time to recover prior to it.

    Rick C:
    The Chinese are buying up all the available homes in Silicon Valley and nearby areas. CA is awash in Chinese, and other Asians, buying property for investment, as they feel this is a safe area to stash their money, and gives they a place to move to, if necessary.

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