I do not accept the view that we need to engage in an immigration/population Ponzi scheme in order to maintain a growing economy. That is what we say about Social Security. In effect we divide the cost of maintaining our seniors by an ever shrinking workforce and despair at the arithmetic.
Instead, we should analyze these problems in terms of productivity of our machinery rather than productivity of our workers. Inevitably, we are going to have to substitute robots for people as we have already done in the world of information technology. The downside of the present system is to encourage sending our jobs to India and China. I think we have somehow got to think in terms of production overall instead of production per man-hour. We already have the tools, such as return on capital etc. but we are not employing them in the policy making arena.
Essentially, I am asking why should we try to maintain our population? Why not let it shrink? I sure would like to be able to use the nation's highways without traffic jams, or visit a national park without waiting in a queue.
Essentially, I am asking why should we try to maintain our population? Why not let it shrink?
Maintaining sounds fine, and it won’t take much real effort to do given the current trend. Same with population decline. The issue is that of assurance that so many people will make their own proper decision to keep the overall fertility rates just right. I agree with the line that decline wouldn’t be inherently bad, however, the details become confusing given that to make the fertility rates at the range you are suggesting, from 1.90 - 2.11 births/woman, you would need to have some families with three or four children to balance out those individuals and families who have one or zero, again, plenty of people don’t like the idea of assigning people like computers, especially when the full ramifications are discussed. Although I might agree with you on the fact that nature and human decision will follow the route of population decline. It’s just a tough balancing act given the details.
I actually agreed with Jenny Granholm on her idea of letting some roads return to dirt. After all, if you don’t have a tax base to maintain a paved road, why do it? If the tax base and traffic increase, then they can be repaved.
I reached that realization as a result of watching them pave all the dirt roads around my hometown more than 20 yeas ago. They weren’t paved because of an increase in traffic, they were paved because oil infrastructure was going in and the heavy trucks were trashing the roads. Once the infrastructure was finished the traffic on those roads returned to the dozen or so cars per day. Yet here we are more than 20 years later, maintaining those paved roads as if they were major highways at a high cost. I live on a dirt street and its not killing me.
My point is that as a nation, we think about this stuff ass backward. We have this idea that we need to keep growing the population to feed an economy (state and federal revenue) when the reality is that revenue and spending should follow population.
Are you opposed to 1. high birth rates, 2. immigration, 3. both?
If you answered 2. then you are less wrong (but still wrong) than if you answered 1. or 3.