The actor Morgan Freeman has declared he is determined to produce a movie based on the novel ‘Rendevous with Rama’ by Arthur C Clarke. Great Sci-Fi writers like Clarke are renown for their insights in to the possible future and this novel is no exception. After again reading this novel I realised the insights into possible future with regard to the human population is extremely thought provoking. Continue reading “Lessons from SciFi: Future Expansion”→
There is a life-time length lag or delay between any change in birth-rates, and those birth-rates being fully reflected in the population growth (or reduction) rate.
This can create the paradox where a country with low birth rates, may still grow in population for decades. It is also why the world population will continue to grow for decades, after birth rates a low enough to end population growth. Population growth is the difference between the number of people who are born, and the number of people who die. People enter the population pipeline at birth, and remain in the pipe-line their entire life. On the world average, people die at 73, which means death rates are determined by population of people who became parents 73 years, while births are determined by the population of who be become parents this year. This takes a full lifetime of 73 years, between a change in birth-rates, and population growth reflecting the new birth rate.
Tariffs have almost universally been declared a bad idea. My point is that while it may be true that tariffs do not normally produce positive economic outcomes, tariffs may be necessary to achieve positive moral outcomes.
Almost every regulation we place on business hopefully achieves a positive moral impact, but does come at an economic cost to business. Consider that the effect of every regulation is to place the business at an economic disadvantage compared to competitors in a country without that same regulation. No child labour, no pollution, or simply ‘use of this chemical is banned’? A tax system that funds a scheme to help those with disabilities, universal health care or education? Safety regulations such a fire prevention,
All such regulations create an economic penalty for those bound by the rules when competing against competitors without the same restrictions. Should our society give assistance to the disabled, even if this requires taxes that place businesses at a disadvantage compared to businesses in countries with no assistance for the disabled? There are times when one country has a natural cost advantage over another for a particular industry, but in this age of globalisation, can free trade simply move all the jobs to locations with the least regulation and moral aspirations? Is life really all about economics. Can free trade allow a double standard of committing to moral goals but eliminating the cost of those moral by consuming products produced elsewhere and avoiding the cost of those moral goals. Continue reading “Limits to free trade: moral outcomes”→
A friend was commenting on how her employer, a major ‘blue-chip’ employer, was transforming the workplace. The shift in emphasis is to less work needing to take place in the office, and more provision for people to work from home. The direction it is heading is for people only to attend the office for scheduled meetings. Why waste that commuting time just to sit and do the same work you can do from home? But if you can work from home, with today’s technology, home could be anywhere. It could be in another city or even another country. Globalisation results in jobs moving to the most cost efficient location on the globe. We know what happened when employers realised Call Centres and IT departments could be remote. Will this be repeat for the entire office. Will even wall st eventually be run from Mumbai? Or will the changes in the workplace actually save our jobs? Continue reading “Jobs in the ‘ECO’ age part1: outsourced & offshored?”→
If you are not aware that the rate of population increase has slowed significantly, then you can refer to some of the pages in this section. The red line on graph here may also help.
As you can see, although the rate of growth has dropped significantly, the global population does still continue to grow.
In reality it is very possible that the global population will actually eventually completely stop growing. The graph is accurate up to now, but speculative in the future. But even if growth does stop altogether, there is still a significant problem from an environmental perspective in terms of the number of people and not destroying the planet. The reduction in population growth is sufficient to complete disrupt our current society and economy, but insufficient to solve serious problems for the earth.
I have commented several times on how the ‘engine for global population growth’ has been switched off. Most of us will have noticed how family sizes have dramatically reduced in recent generations even if we have not linked this to population growth. Many of us have stories of families just one or two generations ago with 7, 8 ,9 or even over 10 children in family. How often to we see such families now? The reality is now the average is around two, almost everywhere in the world. The ‘ageing’ population is widely reported, even if it is less often explained how this ageing is driven by lower birth rates, and thus, lower population growth. Actual population growth is discussed in more detail here.
Those looking at the catastrophic impact the human population is having on so many other species living on earth, and seeing the human population still rising will despair that we are still growing our population. But as I have stated elsewhere, most of the growth we are still seeing is due to ‘lag’.
The Australian prime minister (Malcolm Turnbull) was interviewed on the ABC program ‘7:30’ answering questions on government policy regarding tax concessions for real estate investments. The Prime Minister spoke of the need to retain a specific tax concession because reducing the concession would reduce demand, and to reduce demand would result in lower prices. The point was put “it is basic supply and demand”. The same logic could suggest that restricting supply of housing would also be good policy, as that would also maintain, or even lift, house prices! But the key fact is that here is a national leader, committed to ensuring high, and even artificially high, cost of housing despite the resultant social problems. This raises some significant questions: what is the desired out come with respect to housing prices? Are political decisions exacerbating an international housing price bubble? Continue reading “The Housing Price Trap: A global bubble?”→
Surprising, global population growth is set to slow, because of changes to birth rates that have already occurred. Clearly families are not the size they were even 50 years ago. So why have we not already seen a change in growth? Is growth really going to slow down?
The answer is that we have not seen the impact of the change in the size of families because of a lag, but yes, growth really will slow down. In some place population growth has already halted or the population even started to contract. The impact is actually being felt already and we are not coping right in the places where the slow down is happening!
The key point here is that we need a rethink of our whole economic system, or it risks huge recessions and collapse as the system is currently effectively a Ponzi scheme. All Ponzi schemes collapse when growth halts.
A look at any graph of human population shows a flat line, flat line, flat line and then WHAM, population takes off around the year 1700. Most of us are aware of the huge recent growth, but what most are not aware of is that the engine driving that growth has already been stopped and unless it is restarted this population growth ship will come to a halt. As an individual there is little we can do to influence this, but the implications of this abrupt (in the scale of time 40 years is quite abrupt) halt will affect much of our life including economic decisions, education decisions and even where we and our children should live. Not just which country, but where in that country. The halt will also affect which occupations are the best choice for our children, and also provides a key insight into what investments are sound. Difficult to believe? Read more.This page is an introduction to a series of posts investigation future population from all aspects: economic, environmental, ethical.
When it dawned on me that global economy is effectively a Ponzi scheme, it felt was a ‘light bulb’ moment’. But has anyone else seen this? I did an internet search and was not surprised to find that it has, indeed, dawned on many others as well.
If you do a search, as I did, you will find many insights into this topic and that there are several different ways the global economy can be seen as a Ponzi scheme. Scary!