U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 11-19-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Someplace Wonderful
5,170 posts, read 3,731,341 times
Reputation: 2546

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
I read a little bit on demographics when I can find something. Its interesting that the natural assumption is that declines in population are always bad. I don't think governments like them because it means fewer taxpayers. I don't think business likes it because it means fewer customers. But I guess there are some advantages to a declining population. Less need to use up natural resources. No need to build a lot more schools, homes, roads etc. I know Japan is going through this, and certain intellectuals are upset about it, but I'm not sure the common folks are. The more I think about it though, I don't see a problem with a shrinking population. Anyone want to set me straight.
Might want to check out What to Expect When No One's Expecting by Jonathan Last

Some reviews as found on Amazon:

Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum
The UN projects that world population, currently around seven billion, will peak over the next eighty-five years between ten billion and twelve billion people before starting a long and inexorable decline. Which is, Last argues, precisely the real cataclysm humanity faces. An extremely sharp writer with a great eye for telling details and revealing anecdotes What To Expect When No One's Expecting is a rich and detailed read, well worth the price of admission just for Last's cogent summarizing of long-term demographic trends. —Nick Gillespie

Review
"A powerful argument that the only thing worse than having children is not having them. I'm reading What To Expect When No One's Expecting aloud to the three little arguments for birth control at my house in hope they'll quit squabbling and making messes and start acting so cute that all my neighbors decide to conceive." —P.J. O’Rourke, Author of Holidays in Heck

“This book explodes old ways of thinking. Not moralizing, not blaming, Jonathan Last peers methodically ahead at the cold consequences of plunging global birth rates: aging and ever smaller national populations, the fatal destruction of the financial premises of the welfare state, disappearing military strength. He describes the comfortable, happy childlessness chosen by more and more highly educated couples—lives of personal contentment, yes, but with unutterably sad national consequences. We are left to draw conclusions ourselves: The use of sex is not simply personal; the future of the whole human race hangs on it. Those who missed Ben Wattenberg’s The Birth Dearth (1987) have another chance to be shaken awake by the earthquake rumbling louder and faster beneath us.”—Michael Novak, recipient of the Templeton Prize (1994), and author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

"Jonathan Last provides us with a well-written, well-argued description of one of the most profound, yet poorly understood phenomena of the 21st century: the world worldwide fall in birthrates and attendant rapid aging of the human population. He masterfully describes the key facts and concepts any literate person should know about the sea change in global demography and speculates wisely and soberly about the implications for the future of humanity. Avoiding the alarmism, sexism, and racial chauvinism that mars so such other writing on this subject, Last is an insightful and trustworthy guide." —Phillip Longman, Senior Fellow of the New America Foundation and author of The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity And What To Do About It
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-20-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Outer Space
1,525 posts, read 3,359,612 times
Reputation: 1788
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
In terms of world baby production it almost doesn't matter what an individual in the first world does. Have zero kids or four kids. It's a drop in the ocean. About 30% of the world's babies are born in China and India. Carrying capacity of overcrowded places like Pakistan and Bangladesh or the ability to feed children in Nigeria and Ethiopia are going to make the difference between what could potentially be one of the world's greatest catastrophe.

Births in 2013 estimates
24,708,999 India
16,532,427 China
6,767,402 Nigeria
4,591,356 Pakistan
4,365,163 Indonesia
4,325,693 United States
3,611,863 Bangladesh
3,573,898 Ethiopia
3,009,114 Brazil
2,743,936 Congo (Kinshasa)
2,602,842 Philippines
2,162,872 Mexico
2,029,153 Egypt
1,797,757 Tanzania
1,725,681 Russia
1,576,312 Uganda
1,531,433 Vietnam
1,469,312 Iran
1,389,559 Turkey
1,324,653 Kenya
1,214,770 Afghanistan
1,074,710 Sudan
1,047,293 Japan
1,042,111 Burma
True, but I was only giving my take on why the birthrate in the US is falling, not trying to save the world. Generally speaking though, first world children hog up far more resources than children born in some poverty-stricken third world hellhole. The amounts of resources this first world child will use over his third world peers is staggering. Not saying at all that these other countries don't need to get their populations under control, just realize that having a resource hogging first world child is just as bad as popping out a hamlet of the world's poorest people.

Use It and Lose It: The Outsize Effect of U.S. Consumption on the Environment: Scientific American
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2013, 01:50 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,684,765 times
Reputation: 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
In terms of world baby production it almost doesn't matter what an individual in the first world does. Have zero kids or four kids. It's a drop in the ocean. About 30% of the world's babies are born in China and India. Carrying capacity of overcrowded places like Pakistan and Bangladesh or the ability to feed children in Nigeria and Ethiopia are going to make the difference between what could potentially be one of the world's greatest catastrophe.
A catastrophe that I don't necessarily have to worry about, at least. Unless Pakistan, India, and China nuke each other...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2013, 08:10 PM
 
11,908 posts, read 14,386,346 times
Reputation: 7541
Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneOnegin View Post
What good are more jobs when you have more people applying for them? How is a higher population going to decrease the unemployment rate?

Especially when the people immigrating to the US are mostly from poorer countries and willing to work for low wages. Often willing to work tons of overtime or multiple jobs for low wages. And then they send much of those wages back to their home country instead of spending them in the United States. This sucks money out of the economy and depresses wages for unskilled Americans.

I've had a lot of Mexican friends who worked a couple jobs here for low pay and sent half their money back to their family in Mexico every month. Many of them saved up a lot of money here and went back to Mexico to retire or semi-retire. Where I work now it's the same thing only with Yemeni immigrants. Most of them work for a few years here and save up money, then go back to Yemen for a few years. When they run out of money they come back and do it again.

What would the unemployment rate be if we didn't have so many immigrants working 60-70 hours a week while contributing little to job creation in the US because they're not spending their money here? When they spend their wages earned in the US in Yemen or Mexico they create jobs for the Yemeni or Mexican economy, not the US economy.
I was not proposing further loosening immigration rules (or more accurately, continuing the non-enforcement of those already on the books.) I just meant that more children can create the demand we need to heal our economy. And if they grow up to actually get jobs, pay into the Social Security.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2013, 08:54 PM
 
3,942 posts, read 3,857,979 times
Reputation: 2198
Since the economy is based largely on consumption any potential curtailing of population growths will hurt the economy.


This is not to say that it is impossible to grow and economy with a population decline. However, it is much harder.

The larger issue can be said if building capacity is built for a large number and becomes financially unfeasible for smaller. Case in point what if only 10,000 went to Disney world each year? What if 747's only carry 40 people? What if buses or trains have 5 people on them? College classrooms of five etc.

Regionalization might be the key for services but that is controversial. I personally know a town where the school system shut down. It only had 75 students in the whole thing.

An example of decline can be seen with the post office. Areas that need it the least are probably those that have the highest margins (cities) but areas that need it the most make little profit (remote areas)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-22-2013, 07:52 AM
 
349 posts, read 414,396 times
Reputation: 467
A population decline is what every nation should aspire to. It's the end result of an economy that has matured and replaced low skilled jobs with higher skilled knowledge based ones. Since there is a limited market for highly paid professional, scientific and technical jobs, the labor force and overall population must decline as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-22-2013, 08:39 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,894 posts, read 57,997,675 times
Reputation: 29341
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdovell View Post
Since the economy (has been) based largely on (the assumption of an ever rising) consumption, any potential curtailing of (net purchasing power of) population growths will (tend to confound and distress) the (ordinary expectations about the) economy.

This is not to say that it is impossible to grow and economy with a population decline.
However
, it is much harder.
Everything worth doing is hard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-22-2013, 02:35 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,684,765 times
Reputation: 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Everything worth doing is hard.
Sex isn't hard... wait, no, actually, I guess it is.

*rimshot*
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-24-2013, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,798 posts, read 5,245,282 times
Reputation: 3108
Six of the seven continents are experiencing birthrates below the 2.1 'replacement rate'; China is going to be slammed by skyrocketing numbers of seniors alongside the current 1.55 fertility rate sooner rather than later, which will be doubly devastating considering what a poor country China is.

As Joel Kotkin points out in this morning's Orange County Register, by 2050 China will have 60,000,000 fewer citizens under the age of 15, while the number of folks over 65 will soar by 190,000,000. If that's not a recipe for sociological disaster, I don't know what is.

Kotkin went on to write that the US Census Bureau points out that China's population will peak in 2025, and that they'll have to shoulder the largest decline of children and workers ages 15-19 of any country on the planet, on top of having to endure their population age faster that any other except for Japan.

Countries which are successful including South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore & Japan will all suffer a similar day of reckoning pretty soon, although China's in much worse than shape than all of them, and the recently announced loosening of that 'one child' policy won't help all that much.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-24-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,615,444 times
Reputation: 24548
One way to assure the functioning of the US Social Security system is to eliminate the cap on taxable income and apply the tax to all income from all sources. A declining population does not automatically mean a declining economy. In the Great Woods of the Northeast the population decline has followed the loss of jobs as the paper industry moved away to somewhere (the rain forest?) else. Some of these towns have been nearly destroyed. In the Great Plains the intense mechanization of farming has allowed the economy to remain or increase prosperity as the lowered working population has effectively been nullified by the increasingly efficient farm machines.

We are actually harming our economy by importing low wage workers because they really do cost more then they produce. We should be importing highly skilled high paid very productive workers in very limited numbers to make up for the college graduates we are not producing. Automated farming and manufacturing do not need mobs of unskilled workers.

My point is the modern economy has become unhooked from the population level. Productivity is linked to investment and skill instead of raw numbers.

One thing that this discussion has effectively but not directly postulated is a steady state environment. The world can at this time support the current population. It will not, as illustrated in the 500's to 900's, as well as more recent times, be able to support near as many if the agricultural production is devastated by volcanic eruptions as violent as Toba or Tamboura in the recent past or as huge as the explosions that created the Yellowstone or Long Valley Calderas. If these happen all predictions are mute and all bets are off.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top