The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Demographic Decline - The Daily Beast

Our whole economy and social system are designed for a growing economy, and a growing population.  Without future growth, savings and investment become more necessary, but less attractive.  Without growth, people become less generous towards strangers and more unhappy about their own circumstances. And without the growth around which all of our modern welfare states have been structured, the modern safety nets that governments have spent the last century establishing may not be politically or economically sustainable.  

If you think that population decline is going to be a net boon to society, take a long hard look at Greece.  That's what a country looks like when it becomes inevitable that the future will be poorer than the past: social breakdown, political breakdown, economic catastrophe.  


Waronwomen! Waronwomen! There. Problem solved. --ts

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A War on Women would reduce the birthrates even more, wouldn't it?

Posted by: titan | Dec 6, 2012 2:53:49 PM

Simply allow greater immigration.

Problem solved.

Posted by: keynesian | Dec 6, 2012 8:53:58 PM

I think many intelligent, well educated adults think that economic growth can be brisk without population growth. That may be technically true but I doubt if it has ever happened. The lesson to be learned here is that, given that population growth has some limits, the "growing economy" mantra also has some limits and may be a less appealing economic theory in the the coming decades. I am thinking of the USA; some other countries may have more elasticity.

Posted by: Kieth | Dec 7, 2012 2:14:13 PM