Designations for Real Estate
From the first paragraph of Mark Steyn's "It's the Demography, Stupid," Mark Steyn's magnum opus article for the New Criterion at the start of 2006, which inspired America Alone, published later that year:
Much of what we loosely call the western world will survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most western European countries. There’ll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands— probably—just as in Istanbul there’s still a building called St. Sophia’s Cathedral. But it’s not a cathedral; it’s merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate.
Designations for pieces of real estate you say? "As congregations shrink, more churches are selling properties to residential developers," the Wall Street Journal reports on America catching up with an ongoing European trend. "High ceilings and stained glass create ambience, but aging buildings make going from God's house to townhouse a challenge."
Actually, those issues are awfully minor compared with the challenge posed by America transforming itself into Europe Mark II.