1 July 2017     home | more politics

Fewer Births and a Population-Taxation Imbalance

The Washington Post had an article yesterday concerned with the US fertility rate having hit "a historic low." Demographers, it writes, "are freaking out".

Someone not freaking out comments:

... for the past 500 years the world's economies and financial systems have been predicated upon endless expansion and interest-bearing investment fueled by ever-upward population growth. Once there are fewer and fewer people to consume goods and invest (sometime around 2075), this longstanding economic paradigm will vanish and something new will take its place. The current concentration of wealth within smaller numbers of people is merely one early symptom of that ongoing change. Other, different symptoms will soon follow, but little has been publicly done to plan for this inevitability. 

I see on my World Population Chart that for the year so far births are running more than double deaths. The new population growth for the year, at this moment, is 40,861,838.

The worry suggested by the article is that young couples in the US having fewer children will eventually produce an imbalance: fewer working people to tax in order to take care of the older people. Japan has had such a problem, but there are balancing mechanisms.

Someone writes:

The Japanese are developing life-like robots to solve this problem.

Robots can't be taxed, but their owners can. But Republicans are showing themselves slow or reluctant to do this.

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