Tom Karst, national editor
Tom Karst, national editor

Kids — and by kids, I mean not just my own three adult kids but also all 20- and 30-something youngsters within earshot — it is time to step it up.

 I read this morning that the U.S. economy can only expect to grow about as fast as the U.S. population grows, and at last check that isn’t very fast.

 From Netrightdaily, the headline reads “Why demand is bringing down the economy

From the story:

The relationship is simple to understand, and based on laws of supply and demand. The faster the working age population grows, the more demand there will be, and the greater the consumption that will occur, all resulting in higher measured economic growth. And, as population growth slows, so too will demand soften, and less consumption will occur, resulting in lower measured growth.

In short, growth is lackluster because demand is low, thanks to slower population growth.

 later in the story..

 Aging populations and low fertility do not lead to prosperity. Some argue those trends might be offset with immigration, but if it only includes low-skilled workers, might be counter-productive to the health of the economy.

 Americans and everyone else need to start having more kids, establishing new businesses, and creating new jobs.

Otherwise, we may have to figure how to make do with less demand and thus growth in the future.


TK: We aren’t at a standstill of growth in the U.S. just yet. The U.S. Census Bureau now estimate the U.S. population at 320 million on Jan. 1, up 0.73% from the same time a year ago, and 3.67% from 2010.

Meanwhile, the projected world population on Jan. 1 is 7.2 billion, an increase of 1.08% compared with a year ago. By 2050, the global population will exceed 9 billion.

 The population of several developed countries is shrinking. Japan, for example, will see its population drop from 127 million in 2010 to 107 million by 2050, according to Census Bureau projections. Germany’s population will decline from 81 million to 71 million over that same period. Russia’s population will drop from 142 million in 2010 to 129 million in 2050.

The U.S. will grow to about 399 million by 2050, which would keep America in third place overall behind India and China.

In my view, slowing population growth in the U.S. and an aging society (the segment of the population over 65 years old will grow by 135% between 2000 and 2050) are solid reasons to assume a more generous immigration policy in the U.S.

We are instinctively conditioned to believe that population growth is a problem, sapping resources and adding to the chore of feeding the world in some far-off time.

Perhaps we need to leave that narrative behind, and remind “the kids” that the U.S. economy needs them to add to the future pool of youngsters who will demand more fruits and vegetables - and, of course, quality time with grandpa and grandma. Not neccesarily in that order.