So, lower fertility rates in the Middle East are a good thing. I think. This is embarrassing for a public health person to admit, but I’ve never really understood optimal fertility rates. It seems very strange to me that human society is a giant pyramid scheme, dependent on constant expansion, but that’s what most demographers seem to be implying when they talk about Russia or Japan. It seems to me that this Middle East decrease is a good thing, that it will help scarce resources go farther, but what do I know?