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Low birth rates can actually pay off

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  • #16
    Originally posted by gunnut View Post

    I know women who don't want to have kids at all or just have one. I don't know why. Kids are wonderful. Usually these women are highly educated.
    How many kids do you have?


    • #17
      Originally posted by astralis View Post
      actually on a more serious note, pretty much the second TV and other forms of entertainment spread in a society, you see a very rapid slowdown of birth-rates thereafter.

      but even if you were planning it out, babies used to be a way to build capital in the long-run, now they're a massive capital drain.
      Never heard that theory before. Something to think about.
      "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
        How many kids do you have?
        Not a one.

        But I'm not a woman, and I do want to have kids.
        "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.


        • #19
          Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
          Capital drain for their parents, not necessarily for society as a whole. Hence you see the government budgets needing a lot of babies, while "standard of living" measurements say lower number of kids are okay.

          Well, presumably, I am not reading the report.

          I would argue that government budgets neither want nor need lots of kids. Kids are expensive. They require lots of infrastructure - creches, day care, schools, universities, specialized hospitals, playgrounds etc. They also eat into the productivity of the workforce, especially the more intelligent half of it. Worst of all, most of the lazy buggers won't start paying tax worth a damn until their early 20s. If they retire when most people do & die when most people do they barely spend half their lives as productive members of society. In an era when no one wants to pay taxes and 'government is the enemy' is virtually a mantra for a whole segment of society, kids are positively a drag on the place. As we have now shifted from describing ourselves as 'a society' to 'an economy' kids simply don't make any sense.

          Governments do, however, need people. People who generate wealth and pay taxes. People who are in the prime of their working lives & the peak of health. Kids are one way to get them, but an expensive one. Importation is WAY more efficient. Immigrants have lower rates of unemployment than the average; they will often work for lower wages or worse conditions; they frequently bring valuable skills & money with them; they tend to be of working age; and they drive demand for things like housing. The only downside is that a lot of the buggers want to settle down in those houses and have.....KIDS!!!! Its enough to make an economist give up in disgust. ;)

          Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C


          • #20
            It's definitely cheaper to import people. Foreign government pays all the money to train and you can suck the good workers right out of them. MMMMMM, Brain Drain!
            Definitely a competitive advantage for the US and other advanced Western economies. Universities regularly state that up to half (in some fields more!) of their graduate/doctorate/post-doc students are immigrants trying to make their way.
            I don't know how the study worked out, but they labelled a LOT of nations as having "too few" kids. My guess it that this is because they aren't producing enough workers to support their next generation of retirees. Kids definitely are a drain on budgets but without raising them you're definitely screwing your budget over 20 years down the line, when half your current force will be retired with NO replacements! Japan/Singapore/Italy seem headed for this route.
            I still refuse to read the damn report, mostly because I spent 15 minutes at work trying to find the original and failed. Stupid work internet. :(
            More flexible work arrangements, especially for women, and more affordable real estate, would probably make it a lot easier for young families to have kids (if that's something governments actually want).
            As an aside, I strongly believe that we are not good stewards or developers of human capital, and that we are not getting anything close to "ideal" output out of people. Working from that assumption, more people aren't a problem....if you actually leverage them :P

            But that goes into my pissing and moaning about corporate America and bad business culture and no one wants to hear about that.
            "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck


            • #21
              To a point a growing population is beneficial. Where the tipping point is would be debatable. I just don't see where continued population growth can be a good thing in the long run. Who really wants to stand in line all the time and have long commutes to work. Many parts of the world are already having issues with not having enough clean drinkable water. Each country needs to decide for themselves what kind of quality of life they want as far as total population and infrastructure needed. I see nothing wrong with a little elbow room but a lot of other people feel the need to have a hundred cities with 30 million people in each country before they even think about what to do with all those people. Its like they are planning for the best and hoping the worse never comes.
              Removing a single turd from the cesspool doesn't make any difference.