Karl Arnold Belser
25 March 2018

The article The Most Important Economic Charts /// Aren't Economic Charts in Econimica was eye-opening for me, It shows that the population of the Earth is coming to a constant value and that the birth rate is dramatically shrinking in all regions except Africa. I have copied several charts for reader convenience.

     US Population vs year     Europe Population vs year

      E Asia Population vs year   India Population vs year

      Africa Population vs year    Global Population vs year

There will be fewer younger people in the future. Since these young people will be the major consumers, global consumption will shrink. Since consumption is a large part of global GDP, there will be global economic shrinkage. Note that consumption in Africa is so small that it is irrelevant.

The stabilization of world populations will be good for the survival of humanity but it is going to bring with it huge economic problems.  

Global debt is at an all-time high today, and debt is just future consumption brought forward. This means that today's debt will have to be paid off by fewer, younger people. So it appears to be true that the older population today is "screwing" the younger population so that this older population can have a great life style.

Not only has the US borrowed a lot (at his writing about 100% of GDP), but it has made welfare promises that are in excess of ten times the US GDP. Maybe the debt never has to be repaid. I don't know. But I think something has to give. Either the US defaults on its debt or on its welfare promises. Either of these latter possibilities might cause a huge disruption to the United States.

As usual the future is uncertain.
Last updated Msarch 25, 2018
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