THE DEMOGRAPHIC BOMB

ThosStew@aol.com ThosStew@aol.com
Wed, 17 Oct 2001 21:20:40 EDT


In a message dated 10/17/01 5:19:46 PM, clay@shirky.com writes:

<< > She's right of course, the only way to win long term is to breed like
> rabbits.

Nope. The opposite. Its falling birthrates that correlate with rising
per capita income.  >>


In a message dated 10/17/01 5:19:46 PM, clay@shirky.com writes:

<< > She's right of course, the only way to win long term is to breed like
> rabbits.

Nope. The opposite. Its falling birthrates that correlate with rising
per capita income.  >>



You're both right, which is better than both being wrong. In pre-industrial 
economies, the economic pie grew negibly year over year. Productivity growth 
was almost nonexistent, and a lot of productivity was dependent on factors 
like this year's weather. it's a trait of ancien regime economies, fernand 
braudel (knower of all) wrote, that events like plague increased per capita 
GDP and wealth. Good time, which encouraged fucking and breeding, would 
decrease per capita GDP.

the great change in the industrial revlution was that economic growth and 
productivity really began to happen. One result, as economists will tell you, 
is that population growth is one of the fundamental factors in equations for 
predcting economic growth. sure, to some extent (we're seeing this in Japan 
now) a falling population ___> higher GDP per capita, but over all since 1750 
population growht has been good for both aggregat4 and per capita GDP.

You;re both right because a lot of these economies are pre-industrial. They 
are ancien regime economies. Famine and plague help per capita GDP for them. 
Population growth eviscerates it. 

But still: They live. and are poor. and are angry. and are ill-educated. And 
nothing writ anywhere says that we can't have a new dark age. 

Tom

Tom