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Bill Gross & the deep demographic doo doo

socca

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You can read Bill Gross's latest market commentary here:

http://www.pimco.com/LeftNav/Featured+Market+Commentary/IO/2010/Gross+Privates+Eye+August.htm

I agree with him on the following:
+ there has been a decline in the rate of worldwide human population growth
+ the design of modern capitalism incorporates the assumption of expanding human population, consequent expanding demand, and consequent expanding industrial activity to meet that demand
+ modern massive deficit spending may be an unsustainable response to the decline in the rate of population growth by creating artificial demand (e.g., the Keynesian approach)

I disagree with him on the following:
+ there will always be sufficient production to meet demand. Sure, if you're a multimillionaire like Gross then the world seems awash in excess resources. However, a less biased look at the world quickly exposes horrendous human poverty directly linked to ridiculous levels of human overpopulation.
+ the decline in the rate of worldwide human population growth is a problem. In my opinion, the problem is with the design of modern capitalism, not with human reproductive behavior. My dream scenario would be a steady reduction in human population levels lasting for generations, until we get down to a level where there are sufficient resources for both human and non-human animals on this overburdened planet. We may need to substantially redesign capitalism to maximize general well-being in the face of a substantial ongoing reduction in human population.

Whether you agree with me or not isn't important. What's important is that this is a debate that I believe we should be having, but are not. Instead, we get clueless political and religious leaders who talk about growth (population, economic - take your pick) as if it is an unrestricted blessing. I'm sorry, but if you are grossly obese, then additional growth is not a blessing. In my opinion, we are not just individually obese, we are collectively obese; i.e., there are simply far too many of us. Where are the leaders willing to take a contrary-to-conventional-wisdom stand on this issue?

P.S. At the end of his excellent nature documentary, the Life of Mammals:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/life_of_mammals_complete_set/

David Attenborough states (paraphrasing), "We have spent centuries learning to control the environment for the benefit of an expanding human population; perhaps it is time to control the human population for the benefit of the environment." I couldn't agree more. However, voices like his are mostly lost in the wilderness.
 
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imagep

Villiage Idiot
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You can read Bill Gross's latest market commentary here:+ there has been a decline in the rate of worldwide human population growth
Does a decline in the rate of growth mean that there is negative growth or does it simply mean that we are not growing exponentially as fast. I would assume the latter. Left to nature, everything eventually reaches equalibrium. I would assume that eventually the size of our human population will reach equalibrium also.
 

oldreliable67

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everything eventually reaches equalibrium.
Actually, or at least theoretically, everything is always in equilibrium. States of dis-equilibrium are not observable, except on a classrom chalkboard. Yes, of course, systems make moves to new equilibria, but the transitions space over new intervening states of equilibria, not new states of dis-equilibria.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Does a decline in the rate of growth mean that there is negative growth or does it simply mean that we are not growing exponentially as fast. I would assume the latter. Left to nature, everything eventually reaches equalibrium. I would assume that eventually the size of our human population will reach equalibrium also.
Decline in the growth rate means the population is still growing, but at a lower rate

5% vs 10% for instance. So for a population of 100 million it would mean 10 million new people or 5 million new people (110 million or 105 million)
 
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