Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Declining population

There have been predictions that the declining population in European countries will cause problems in supporting the retired population, because there will be fewer people to support each retired person. Supposedly, prosperity depends on an ever-increasing population. This is, of course, ridiculous. At some point, all carbon atoms in the world would have to be tied up in human bodies! The population of the U.S. has been increasing, due immigration of young workers, supposedly a positive thing, but it hasn't had the positive effects the "experts" keep predicting.

I have not seen anybody figure in the fact that a declining population should lead to smaller housing costs. Of course, this will hurt some people in the immediate future, but will make it easier for young people and those who rent. Also, real wages would be expected to increase. Food costs should decrease. Less money would be needed for schools. Age discrimination in jobs should decrease. The net results of a declining population might end up being positive.

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