Our Economy Needs More People
Posted at 12:15 p.m. on Feb. 4
“For two generations we’ve been lectured about the dangers of overpopulation. But the conventional wisdom on this issue is wrong,” explains Jonathan Last, who makes the case for reforms that promote childbearing and immigration.
“Low-fertility societies don’t innovate because their incentives for consumption tilt overwhelmingly toward health care. They don’t invest aggressively because, with the average age skewing higher, capital shifts to preserving and extending life and then begins drawing down. They cannot sustain social-security programs because they don’t have enough workers to pay for the retirees.”
“Immigration has kept America from careening over the demographic cliff. Today, there are roughly 38 million people in the U.S. who were born elsewhere… To put that in perspective, consider that just four million babies are born annually in the U.S.”
“We’ll need smart pronatalist policies, too… Higher education dampens fertility in all sorts of ways…the real cost of college has increased by more than 1,000%… Improving the highway system and boosting opportunities for telecommuting would go a long way in helping families to live in lower-cost areas.”