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US population growth saves Social Security?
Old 05-04-2009, 06:48 PM   #1
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US population growth saves Social Security?

I have for years labored under the illusion that Europe and the US are spiraling downward with less than replacement level birth rates. This article in the Wilson Quarterly puts that to rest. Birthrates are modestly rising in Europe and North America and falling rapidly in China and the mid-east. According to the article US births could equal China's by mid-century. Of course China could probably change that with a policy shift. While immigrant birth rates in Europe and the US are higher than "native" rates, native rates are increasing while immigrant rates drop to the local level within a couple of generations. Lots of interesting information in the article. For example, it predicts dependency rates (i.e. the number of non-workers, young or old, to workers) in both Europe and the US at sustainable levels. The difference is that more of those "dependents" will be old rather than young. The article closes with this:

The world’s median age is 28 today, and it is expected to reach 38 by the middle of the century. In the United States, the median age at that point will be a *young*ish 41, while it will be over 50 in Japan and 47 in Europe. The United States will be the only Western country to have been in the top 10 largest countries in terms of population size in both 1950 and 2050. Russia, Japan, Germany, Britain, and Italy were all demographic titans in the middle of the 20th century. Today, only Russia and Japan still (barely) make the top 10. They will not stay there long. The world has changed. There is more and faster change to *come.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:45 PM   #2
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China will be interesting, as the one child policy (enforced mainly in cities there is some leeway in the country) has a generation of people who each have two parents to care for in a society that assumes elderly parents move in with the kids.

That means you get married and have four parents counting on you for a home someday. Imagine that!
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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In the United States, the median age at that point will be a *young*ish 41, while it will be over 50 in Japan and 47 in Europe. [/I]
I used to work at an "established" megacorp where the median age was in the early 50, my age now. My god, these people looked ancient. A few even dropped dead at work due to heart attacks. It was grim.

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China will be interesting, as the one child policy (enforced mainly in cities there is some leeway in the country) has a generation of people who each have two parents to care for in a society that assumes elderly parents move in with the kids.

That means you get married and have four parents counting on you for a home someday. Imagine that!
I have read that Japanese and Chinese young women do not want to get married for that reason. Who can blame them for not wanting to take care of 4 elderly parents?
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:14 PM   #4
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For example, it predicts dependency rates (i.e. the number of non-workers, young or old, to workers) in both Europe and the US at sustainable levels. The difference is that more of those "dependents" will be old rather than young.
It's nice to know that the replacement ratio will keep things stable, but they should also factor in the people not part of this board who are planning to work until they drop...
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:01 PM   #5
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We really need to open up immigration to well educated young adults, ideally with a child or two. Not only should they earn money to help fund the system, their children are likely to do the same.

People who decry the education of children born in the US of undocumented aliens are short sighted. Give those kids a chance to support us, as well as their parents and the village their parents fled.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:29 AM   #6
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Brat, not to hijack the thread, but it would be interesting to see how many of those go back to their home country with their new education. I have no clue, just wondered when I read your post.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:53 AM   #7
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List of countries and territories by fertility rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Population growth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I didn't read the article - too many words. The key ratio to watch regarding SS is the number of workers per SS receipiant. It is a cash flow issue.
I think for those over 50 SS will be there for them.

But the issue with population growth is that it will be 9.2B in 2050. The majority of that growth will be in the poorest, parts of the world. In other words a large number of very poor people with nothing to do. A formula for political unrest. Think Al Queda on steriods.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:55 AM   #8
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Brat, not to hijack the thread, but it would be interesting to see how many of those go back to their home country with their new education. I have no clue, just wondered when I read your post.
I've no clue either but thinking from their perspective... you put in years of your life for an education at an American university. After graduating do you go home to earn the salary of someone in Delhi/Beijing/Manilla/etc. or do you earn a hell of a lot more money here?

I would think the latter is the better option, especially if they are being counted on to support extended family.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:18 AM   #9
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I didn't intend to imply that the immigrant needed to graduate from a US university. There are many fine schools abroad. IMHO we should encourage great minds from around the globe to work here.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:56 PM   #10
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I didn't intend to imply that the immigrant needed to graduate from a US university. There are many fine schools abroad. IMHO we should encourage great minds from around the globe to work here.
Our solons are doing that right now, with the H-1B cap. USCIS - Cap Count for H-1B and H-2B Workers for Fiscal Year 2010

What we want is busboys and fruit pickers; engineers and programmers stay home!

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Old 05-05-2009, 09:00 PM   #11
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My thought was they could stay here where they are a small fish in a large pond, or go back home and be a big fish in a little pond, where opportunity for a college educated local is far greater than for a college educated illegal in this country.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:14 AM   #12
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Speaking of population, there is an interesting thread on the YouTube website titled Muslim Population. If you want to see some startling stats, go to YouTube and hit on that post. Maybe this would be worth a separate topic.
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