“A.ge 70 is the new 60 ” proclaim authors at the United Nations Population Fund. This is not a new fashion post or even specifically a comment on life expectancy. This is the reason for the UN authors not to worry about the historically low birth rates in the developed world.
It is a popular counterargument against those who worry that the lack of young people, and therefore the aging of the population, could undermine economic productivity: we can compensate for the lack of people of working age by working much harder and longer than U.S. I used to do it.
People who are trained to look at things economically sometimes have a hard time understanding why it might be wrong for people to stop having babies. Sure, GDP will contract, but would GDP per capita really increase? And imagine the effects in 20 years on the unemployment rate and on wages when you no longer have more workers than jobs.
The concept that best makes economists care about birth shortages is the “old-age dependency ratio.” From a tax standpoint, this is the number of people who pay Social Security and Medicare versus the number of people who depend on it. If that ratio is too low, things could get ugly.
But here is a more fundamental imbalance: a society needs people to work so that people have things. Fewer farmers means less food. Fewer truck drivers mean you and your local store can’t get stuff. Fewer busboys means fewer hours at the local restaurant. We have all tried this during the pandemic.
So how to solve the problem of old age dependency caused by the reduction of the young population? Extract more work from all those on the left.
There is no need to worry about the economy of an aging population if we can achieve higher “participation rates among the general population and particularly among women” and “among the elderly,” according to the UNFPA report.
“Promoting employment among women, the elderly and others,” an independent report from the United Nations from 2019. report Put it on.
But American women already outnumber men in the workforce, with millions of them working more than they want. Online, if American mothers got what they wanted, they would switch from full-time to part-time work. I suppose the UN will have to straighten these women out.
And the elderly retire? That will have to wait.
If the 60s are the new 70s, surely we can squeeze another decade of hard work out of the baby boomers. After all, it’s not like they have so many grandchildren to play with, anyway.
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Original Author: Timothy P. Carney
Original location: Why have children when you can work to death?