That is a population pyramid. I picked it randomly. There are lots of places that look the same. Spain and Slovenia and Singapore and China and lots of places here in America.It made me think of the Great and Spacious building. It’s a pyramid that almost doesn’t have any base any more.
There are no good pictures of the Great and Spacious building where you can see the bottom of it. I think nobody knows how to draw a building that has no base. Maybe they should make it look like a population pyramid. A society without kids is pretty much the same as a building without a foundation.
In evolution, the point of being in the elites is you can have lots of kids. Lots of places are like that. There is nothing puzzling about them. They say that in medieval England, it was the knights and burghers who left most of the kids behind. That makes sense.
But sometimes you get people who scramble to get on top of the society, but who then don’t have any kids.
In the Late Republican times, the Roman elites stopped having kids. Greece before that: one reason Rome conquered Greece was lack of manpower.
In Medieval England, almost all the great noble lines died out.
The Spartans were unmatched in caliber. They were heads and shoulders the best troops of the ancient world. When they were brought down at the end, it was because there were hardly any of them left.
In the US and Europe, all the high-status people, who have good jobs and good education, have no kids:
Here is a chart, from this good post:
The birth rate for people with high income isn’t as bad, but is still lower.
The Spartans trained so much to be bad hombres that they kept their own men from marrying and having kids. A lot of them died young in fighting or in training or from exposure at birth. They were all bad hombres, but they dwindled.
The Norman aristocrats all killed each other off.
The Romans and Greeks were more like us. Having kids was not fashionable or hedonistic. They were a bit like the Normans too though. In the civil wars and proscriptions of the late Republic and of the Empire, they kept killing each other off.
All these are examples where the fight to get or keep status has eliminated the purpose of having status–having posterity.
In our day, we scramble and scramble to get to the top of the status pyramid. We go to long periods of schooling, we go into debt for it, we then keep scrambling from one career enhancing opportunity to another–and none of that means having kids. When we do have kids, why, the pyramid is there for them too, so they have to receive plenty of education at the best schools, which means the most expensive schools. (Public schools are expensive too, since you have to buy a house in a “good” neighborhood.) Everyone worries about their kids being high status, no one worries about their kids being able to marry and raise a family.
The Great and Spacious building is all about status. Everyone there is dressed nice and spends their time mocking others who are lower status. But the building has no foundation.
Our modern elites spend their time getting status, but they have no kids.