By Hal Herring
You could say that I’m reading it so you won’t have to. The book is The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050 by Joel Kotkin, a professor at Chapman University in California, and a scholar of economics, sociology, and the history of cities. The Next Hundred Million celebrates what to some of us will be a disturbing fact: the US is one of the only industrialized "First World” countries that is experiencing rapid population growth. By 2050, the US will have a population of 400-450 million people.
According to Joel Kotkin, we are moving into a new golden age, where our economy, based on the needs and the production of so many human beings, and based on the freedoms that our citizens enjoy, will make our country the most competitive and powerful nation on earth.
There are a lot of questions raised with Kotkin’s view - water supplies, the loss of agricultural lands, and how the new society- which he sees as living mostly in vast suburbs- will be supplied with energy for its homes and cars. Kotkin does note that greenways “could provide a break from the monotony……and ideal sites for the preservation of wildlife.”
Nowhere in the book is hunting or fishing ever mentioned. That is not Kotkin’s subject. His subject is a US thriving with 400 to 450 million people.