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The red ink of a greyer future, Doomed to grow old alone

Original post made by Sharon on Apr 5, 2009



"The International Monetary Fund estimates that among the Group of 20 nations whose leaders meet in London this week, the industrialized members will have increased their national debts by an average equivalent to nearly 25 per cent of gross domestic product between 2007 and 2014.

That is a heavy burden.

But, to 2050, the cost of this crisis will be no more than 5 per cent of the financial impact they face from the ageing of their citizenry. As the IMF says,
"in spite of the large fiscal costs of the crisis, the major threat to long-term fiscal solvency is still represented, at least in advanced countries, by unfavourable demographic trends".Web Link

It's interesting to recall how, in 1968, Paul Erlich wrote a bestselling book predicting a "disaster for humanity due to overpopulation and the 'population explosion'.
That book predicted that 'in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death', that nothing can be done to avoid mass famine greater than any in the history, and radical action is needed to limit the overpopulation."
It's ironic to read this now in the light of the actually emerging demographic tables, but in its heyday the idea of the "population bomb" was as popular as today's belief in Climate Change or the Y2K bug or Nuclear Winter of recent memory.

It will take another 20 years of graying for Europe to become as elderly as Japan's population is today.
The rest of east Asia is in a race to get rich before its people get too old to work.
South Korea is currently well placed, with six citizens of working age for every pensioner.
Yet thanks to a collapse in its birth rate, it will be one of the grayest countries on earth by 2050.

Comments (3)

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2009 at 6:12 am

Yup, I noticed that the outcome was as is typical of a world without reason: a failed IMF, which causes more dependence and poverty in every country it touches, got a tripled budget to do triple the harm to struggling countries.

This is an amazing and consistent result of a certain way of thinking; to conclude that the reason a program isn't working is because it isn't getting enough money, instead of studying the results of years and billions of dollars and instead changing the way the program works.

But, it feels good to throw money at a problem, so let's just keep doing it. More debt for us and the "helped" countries? Who cares? Better that than do real reform which allows people to work and a growing interdependent economy!


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2009 at 7:54 am

With its strict "One-child only" family planning policy parents in China often have used abortion as a family planning measure if the first expected child was a girl - particularly since the early 1980s.

This is "dark side" of China's successful family planning policy is often ignored by family planning advocates.

The deficit of female births in China will haunt the society in coming decades.
China is expecting, and already experiencing, a massive "marriage squeeze", where millions of young men have no chance of finding a bride to start a family.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2009 at 8:13 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

As I have said before, if we don't have children, others will.


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