Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Financial Times gives bleak analysis of how a declining world population will affect the economy

The Financial Times offers a rather gloomy analysis “free” on Facebook (if you answer one ad question), “The Cost of a Declining Population”, by Robin Harding, link.

The article argues that lower interest rates leads to higher housing prices even with fewer people, and companies prepare for fewer consumers.  It gives Japan and South Korea as examples of how the spiral works, with eldercare costs becoming crushing.

You could say that hyperindividualism contributes to this process, and anti-tribalism, where “elites” feel less connected to others and more focused on their own identities and self-chosen purposes, the self becoming its own best friend.
But a more straightforward explanation seems to be that affluent people wait longer to have children, past education and dual career employment, when biology starts to work against fertility, even for male sperm. (That may be a surprising point.) 
The piece seems to ignore factors like climate change, which can suppress population further. 

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