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Old 12-30-2012, 12:35 PM   #291 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Wishful thinking, not supported by evidence. The US is a prosperous country, and has been for many decades. So are many countries in Europe. If this theory matched reality, shouldn't we be seeing significant population declines by now? Yet every census shows continued growth.
The devil is in the detail.

The growth in population in a lot of Europe is due to migration - the EU has added a number of countries in the East (the former soviet block) and those people can then move freely into the richer west once their country joins - they target the UK and Germany as destinations as well as France and Italy.

55% of the UK census growth is down to migration. The second main source is people living longer - we have that issue of an ageing population too.

"Local" people (say 1-2 generations here) are having fewer kids and having them later. Even the number of Jedis in the UK is on the decline which is bad news if the Empire Strikes Back

Combine census data from the west and the east of the EU - the population is stable. I suspect if you combined census data in the US (including illegals) with Central / South America then the population would also be stable if not falling.

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More questions than that. As for instance, why should we raise their standard of living? How does anyone's standard of living get raised in the absence of resources? What exactly is a standard of living? Who has a higher standard of living, the urbanite living in a few square meters, but with lots of techo-toys, or a Mongolian herdsman living in a yurt?
Good questions well put.

The simple answer is that "we" shouldn't. We also shouldn't need to. China got going on it's own and is about to outrun the EU and the US inside of 25 years - thats impressive. Same for India but they have very poor infrastructure - mostly the stuff we Brits left behind and they kept running - which will hold them back.

Africa has the potential to do to China and India what they did to the first world in the last 2 decades, which in turn will make them richer with no effort from us except to buy their stuff - which we will by default like we do with China's.

I'm happy to pay for something though - forget AGW, the fact that loads of kids don't have safe drinking water whilst the president of their country has a fleet of 50 Mercedes limos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabenzi) is disgusting on a world scale. I would pay for that to be sorted - And I hate taxes.

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Old 12-30-2012, 01:22 PM   #292 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by niky View Post
The United States government is rich. US Businesses are rich. Not all Americans are rich. Not all American citizens are rich. You'll find higher growth amongst lower income brackets, especially in terms of unplanned growth and pregnancies.
Unless you institute absolute socialism, there will always be income differences. The poorer Americans are still far richer than most of the world's population, therefore they should, according to this theory, be having far fewer kids.

I suspect what you are seeing here not cause and effect, but two not strongly connected things happening in some of the same places. Giving educated & liberated women access to birth control, and societal attitudes that make it acceptable, does reduce birth rates. Most of the places where this happens are prosperous, but one can easily find counter-examples: Ireland & Utah, for instance, have higher birth rates than many equally prosperous places, while many of the former Soviet republics have low birth rates despite not being particularly prosperous.

It's the attitudes that matter. Indeed, I suspect that the causality here runs in the opposite direction: having educated & liberated women who choose to limit the number children they have helps make a country prosperous.

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The recent US election is a good illustration of where all this population is at. Low income bracket and immigrant voters got Obama that big win.
Excuse the digression into politics, but this is a self-serving distortion pushed by the folks who like to play racial/identity politics games. What lost Romney the election - and it was far more a matter of Romney losing than Obama winning - was the Republicans' policy of driving away everybody who doesn't fit into their nuclear family model of society.And standard of living?

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Given that even the poorest of welfare mothers in the US can get decent housing and medical care where nomadic tribespeople are basically dead if they get the wrong bacterial infection, I'd think the answer is pretty obvious.
I don't think it's that obvious, since I don't see most of the middle & even upper class population having decent housing, let alone welfare mothers. (An urban apartment is not decent housing, even if it happens to be a penthouse on Park Avenue.) And exactly what is preventing our nomadic tribespeople from getting basic medical care? Not to mention the vast range of modern lifestyle diseases that the tribespeople will never acquire.
 
Old 12-30-2012, 01:30 PM   #293 (permalink)
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55% of the UK census growth is down to migration. The second main source is people living longer - we have that issue of an ageing population too.
This is evading the question, though. The population of the prosperous countries is still growing, isn't it? As is the population of the non-prosperous countries from which the immigration is coming.

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Even the number of Jedis in the UK is on the decline which is bad news if the Empire Strikes Back
So has membership in other religions been declining. It's not due to population decline, but to people giving up the religion.

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China got going on it's own and is about to outrun the EU and the US inside of 25 years - thats impressive.
Can't see as the standard of living in China has increased, unless you use the Mao years as a comparison. You have lots of people being driven off their land, forced into tiny apartments in mega-cities, or even Foxconn's labor dormitories. Not IMHO much of an improvement.
 
Old 12-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #294 (permalink)
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This is evading the question, though. The population of the prosperous countries is still growing, isn't it? As is the population of the non-prosperous countries from which the immigration is coming.
No it isn't - it is central to the question. Those who moved had fewer kids and later, those who remained still continued to have more kids all their lives. The migration is the growth in the richer countries, the continued poverty is the growth in the poorer ones.

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So has membership in other religions been declining. It's not due to population decline, but to people giving up the religion.
These are not the statistics you are looking for... /joke

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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Can't see as the standard of living in China has increased, unless you use the Mao years as a comparison. You have lots of people being driven off their land, forced into tiny apartments in mega-cities, or even Foxconn's labor dormitories. Not IMHO much of an improvement.
Thats because of your defintion of "standard of living". By most standards it is measured as deaths in childbirth, deaths per thousand at ages such as 5, 10 or 20 years, average age at death or perhaps in more developed places the number of people who receive state assistance. EDIT - also income per person, income per household etc.

The idea that industrialisation leads to a lower standard of life is a common myth. For example during the UK industrial revolution (the first one in the world) people who moved from the country to work in the "dark satanic mills" typically lived longer and earned more than those who remained behind. Often their earnings could be twice or three times as much. Both were utterly miserable lives by the standards of the western world today but the city dwellers were generally better off - longer lives, fewer childbirth deaths and so on.

Today China is the number 1 target market for any manufacturer in the world - cars, electronics, houses, even food and drink. In some cases they are way ahead of the US from being way behind in 1980. Those consumers didn't all migrate in, they came out of the economic growth there. And not all of them are the "super rich" we keep hearing about - they are normal folks who work in factories or offices just like us.

The FOXCONN episode is one of many where workers are mistreated. But now consumers know about it they can decide if thats what they want to support - sunlight is the best disinfectant.

China has serious issues which may hold it back - the no.1 issue (IMHO like Africa) is corruption. If they solve that with the basic ideas of everyone (including the government) is subject to the law, and the right to own property then they will leap ahead as foreign investors will pour even more money in with less risk of some party official deciding it belongs to them.

For comparison, imagine the US hadn't become industrialised since the mid-19th century and then deciding to do so now. Imagine just how rapid the growth would be there ? True some would move from open plains and farms into small houses and apartments, but they would have a better standard of living by those common parameters.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:11 PM   #295 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Unless you institute absolute socialism, there will always be income differences. The poorer Americans are still far richer than most of the world's population, therefore they should, according to this theory, be having far fewer kids.
Poor people in America have better support structures, but wherever they live, they would still be considered poor.

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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I suspect what you are seeing here not cause and effect, but two not strongly connected things happening in some of the same places. Giving educated & liberated women access to birth control, and societal attitudes that make it acceptable, does reduce birth rates. Most of the places where this happens are prosperous, but one can easily find counter-examples: Ireland & Utah, for instance, have higher birth rates than many equally prosperous places, while many of the former Soviet republics have low birth rates despite not being particularly prosperous.

It's the attitudes that matter. Indeed, I suspect that the causality here runs in the opposite direction: having educated & liberated women who choose to limit the number children they have helps make a country prosperous.
Education is indeed a strong correlation, but poverty and a lack of it merely propagate the status quo or worsen it. Part of it is how hard you have to paddle to stay afloat. If the children can paddle for you, you'll have more children. I already touched upon this in my previous post. If the cost-of-living
and education is high enough, most people won't have many kids. If raising kids is not expensive, and provides you with labor bonuses... bonanza.

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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Excuse the digression into politics, but this is a self-serving distortion pushed by the folks who like to play racial/identity politics games. What lost Romney the election - and it was far more a matter of Romney losing than Obama winning - was the Republicans' policy of driving away everybody who doesn't fit into their nuclear family model of society.And standard of living?
I'm not a conservative. More of a "centrist" (or what America calls "liberal" or left-of-center). Obama won the singles vote, he won the minority vote, he won the immigrant vote, he won the women's vote, he won the lower income bracket vote. I won't argue that the Republicans managed to piss all of them off, though, or that it was the Republicans who lost the election rather than the Dems winning it. I was just pointing out the changing shape of the voting demographic.

Then again, I am biased in favor of changing demographics. My work is in education, and labor export to the United States (in the form of migrant skilled workers) helped buy my house and our cars.

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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I don't think it's that obvious, since I don't see most of the middle & even upper class population having decent housing, let alone welfare mothers. (An urban apartment is not decent housing, even if it happens to be a penthouse on Park Avenue.) And exactly what is preventing our nomadic tribespeople from getting basic medic/al care? Not to mention the vast range of modern lifestyle diseases that the tribespeople will never acquire.
Uh... if there's no one to import the medicine, and no money to pay for it, where will it come from? Nomadic tribes lack the one thing necessary to buy medicines. Money. That's why a lot of them migrate to cities to become urban poor. Even living on scraps a day, they get access to better shelter and eats than they do out in the wild. And thanks to the social structures and missions built up in most countries, they can get at least rudimentary healthcare in cities.

Lifestyle diseases matter to us because we live long enough to get them. Unless your tribe happens to live in an exceptionally dry, hot place where pathogens fear to tread, most tribespeople don't.

No matter how bad conditions are, middle class people will strive to stay middle class in the cities rather than migrating outwards to become relatively unstressed farmers. That's because the standard of living (aside from the stress) is inherently higher, and they don't want to lose that, and they don't want their children to lose that.

Last edited by niky; 12-30-2012 at 11:55 PM..
 
Old 12-31-2012, 03:29 AM   #296 (permalink)
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jamesqf seems to try and bring up this "living space" issue a lot.

I know I'd much rather have my cramped apartment than be in the countryside with few conveniences and having to make a living by working the land or something like that. I spend most of my time in my chair/desk or bed anyways, and that's a total of maybe 50 square feet. Small is cozy, and a crowded urban environment brings convenience, efficiency, and excitement to life. Space is not needed for health, unlike what jamesqf said at some point, and I would argue that it isn't nearly as relevant as any other commonly considered factors when it comes to standard of living. It is a luxury.
 
Old 12-31-2012, 08:48 AM   #297 (permalink)
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Africa has the potential to do to China and India what they did to the first world in the last 2 decades, which in turn will make them richer with no effort from us except to buy their stuff - which we will by default like we do with China's.
Ain't gonna happen....food...water...clean air...other resources will run out way before Africa gets in on the Friedman craziness?
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:12 PM   #298 (permalink)
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Ain't gonna happen....food...water...clean air...other resources will run out way before Africa gets in on the Friedman craziness?
Too late, it already is.

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AFRICA'S ramshackle cities are wearing crowns of gleaming skyscrapers. Six of the ten fastest-growing countries in the world in 2000-10 were African; Angola grew faster than anywhere else on the planet
Only corruption

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Sadly, many countries are squandering their best chance in decades. Equatorial Guinea's elite hoards a fortune in opaque accounts. Chad channels wealth to bent officials. In Sudan they inflate the cost of infrastructure projects and siphon off funds. And state firms in Nigeria are “privatised” by handing them over to crony managers.
and vanity arms spending (probably on arms to be used to protect the corrupt rulers against their populations)

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Elsewhere, Africa's rulers have spent billions on their armies. Global defence spending has fallen by 35% since the end of the cold war: in sub-Saharan Africa it increased by almost a third.
seems to be holding them back. Which is why China is buying it all...

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:10 AM   #299 (permalink)
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US sends in it's military using borrowed $...China makes deals using ALMOST real money?

I hear agri land in Africa is being bought up quickly....mostly for industrial farming purposes...in a country with plenty of labor resources?

Population expanding....wildlife taking a hit.....
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:32 AM   #300 (permalink)
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Nope - China buys the land or offers an investment, they spend that on buying Chinese weapons - which are good enough for the Indians to buy as well.

Keeping people poor puts wildlife under more pressure as people move into newer areas looking for land to use.

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