Monday, January 16, 2012

Population Control 8: People and Economic Growth

This is my article yesterday in the online magazine,

More population means more workers, more entrepreneurs, formal or informal. And an economy or a country will have faster growth on average. Some people though will take a more pessimistic view and argue that more population means more poverty, more resources to be diverted from hard infrastructure to soft infrastructure like public education, healthcare and housing.
I will say that the former view is more realistic than the latter. And the latter is held mainly by people who think that the poor are mainly welfare-seeking and dependence-minded people who can hardly be expected to become high productivity workers someday.

Meanwhile, CNN’s business blog posted this article by Kevin Voigt, World’s top economies in 2050 will be...  And here is their observation and list:

By 2050, the Philippines will leapfrog 27 places to become the world’s 16th largest economy.
Notice the countries which are projected to leap frog several notches higher: they are mostly the high population countries: China +2, India +5, Brazil +2, Mexico +5, Turkey +6, Philippines +27, Indonesia +4, Egypt +15.

Some big population countries are expected to slide down in global rank, but only in very small increment: US -1, Japan -2, and Germany -1.

As argued above, more population means more workers, more entrepreneurs. But somehow sadly, more population would also mean more bureaucrats too, especially in LGUs, people who say that any form of entrepreneurship and job creation is prohibited and a criminal act, unless people will first get endless business permits from the barangay to sanitation to electrical to mayor's permit.

The people from the slowly-sliding economies of Europe should also be happy that there are high population countries like the Philippines and India. Soon, millions of old people will be taken cared of not by robots, not by government and UN personnel, but by the "surplus people" due to "unwanted pregnancies" of high population countries like the Philippines.

I heard of some Filipinos who lived for several years in the US then went back. They miss having helpers, nannies, drivers, etc. Here they can work late or party late at night without worrying who will feed the kids their dinner at home, wash them up and bring them to bed. Some guys they hired who could be products of "unwanted pregnancies" do those jobs for them. This should also be one of the reasons why many expats love staying here.

If one will visit the parks of expensive villages like Bel Air, Dasmarinas Village, or Forbes Park, one will see lots of white kids, or kids from North Asian parents (Japanese,  Koreans, etc.) -- with nannies and drivers, some even with bodyguards -- while parents work or travel. The dogs also have their own yayas or yayos when they walk around the villages. The expats can't have such helpers in the US or Europe, unless they are super-rich.

These things allow many middle class and rich people, locals or expats, to increase their productivity, they can work 10 hours or more each day without worrying much about the kids at home or at school.

Some couples do not have kids, or some people stay single and do not get married, and do not have kids either as "single parent/s". If many people have this fate, then Philippine population will soon decline.

Some people opted to become single parents with one or two kids only. Others who have few kids would sadly lose them in accidents, in man-made catastrophe (crimes, kidnapping), or in some deadly diseases (dengue, etc.). If many people have this fate, then future Philippine population will just stabilize from its present size, if not slowly decline.

So it is really the people who have plenty of children (five or more), rich and poor alike, wanted or unwanted pregnancies alike, who push Philippine population upwards. Nannies, family drivers, helpers, cooks, security guards, taxi drivers, etc. often come from poorer households who have plenty of children. So the rich and middle class, including those who push hard for government-sponsored population control, must  thank the poor for giving them those workers and helpers. Without the latter, we will be like many Japanese and Europeans  who think that having kid/s can cause net diswelfare in their personal, social and professional lives.

People who have less worries about raising children, or less worries about who will take care of their ageing and/or sickly parents, grandparents and other family members, thanks to the nannies, helpers and drivers to help run the household, would be able to concentrate more on their work and businesses, and their productivity keeps rising, and so we have more economic growth than many other countries.

So more "unwanted pregnancies" can be a blessing and a positive thing, not negative. Instead of looking at the poor as people who will need endless subsidies from the government, the latter should instead allow the poor to improve their own lives, to become self-reliant and independent from state welfare, by not giving them lots of bureaucracies, by not requiring them to submit lots of permits and certificates, and not requiring them to pay lots of taxes and fees each year, when they put up entrepreneurial activities.


See also:
Responsible Parenthood cannot be legislated, April 05, 2011
Responsible Parenthood cannot be legislated, Part 2, April 06, 2011
Responsible parenthood cannot be legislated, Part 3, May 22, 2011
Responsible parenthood cannot be legislated, Part 4, July 21, 2011
Responsible parenthood cannot be legislated, Part 5, August 08, 2011

Population Control 1: Ageing population, Globalization and the RH Bill, September 10, 2011
Population Control 2: Big Government and Climate Alarmism, September 11, 2011
Population Control 3: People are Assets, d/w Paul Ehrlich, September 12, 2011
Population Control 4: "Excess People" and Government, October 26, 2011
Population Control 5: Sex Education, 7 Billion People, and Congestion, November 01, 2011
Population Control 6: Debate with Filipino Freethinkers, November 06, 2011
Population Control 7: I am Supporting the RH bill, November 23, 2011

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