Houston… we have a problem. Unfortunately, most people don’t know it, or are distracted by other more immediate problems. But the issue I refer to is much worse than immediate problems because immediate problems can possibly be circumvented by changing one’s response or reaction and thus produce a differing outcome. The problem I refer to, when finally confronted, had a window to circumvent it that closed a long time ago.
So, one of the ideas I learned when I was taking my BSIT degree was how the business model was changing from the ordinary method of storing product in back-rooms or warehouses to a Just-In-Time model, or what I refer to as the On-Time model, of business.
No business entity wants to tie up large amounts of capital in warehouses to store product that is needed for the future. That capital can be used for other more immediately needed things. If I can get tonight what I need for tomorrow, I don’t need a warehouse and don’t have to tie up valuable capital assets in storage.
Voila… the Just-In-Time business model. I place my order, it comes pronto, and I stock my shelves. End of quote… repeat the line. Is there a glitch in this model? Well, yes, if the supply lines get interrupted, my shelves will be bare tomorrow. But that’s a discussion for another time.
Now to understand why the Just-In-Time model can’t address the problem in question, I would like to introduce you to… Population Demographics.
Population Demographics, and a breakdown in that system, cannot be worked through in the Just-In-Time model. As an example in a similar vein, consider a high-tech manufacturing plant that requires highly skilled labor. If something happens that knocks out a significant amount of the plant’s labor, they cannot be replaced by hires off the street in a Just-In-Time model. If there are not highly skilled replacements in the tube, the high-tech plant is SOL.
Now, highly skilled or not, the labor force requires a definite number of warm bodies to keep things moving, whether that be workers, tax-payers, or consumers. Furthermore, the ability to stock the labor force requires that the population grow at the replacement rate (2.1) or better. Anything less reduces the workforce, the tax-base, and the consumer base.
Now, here’s where the Just-In-Time model fails. Population Demographics, unlike many other studies, is a long-view study. If a couple has no children, it does not necessarily have an immediate effect. Results are not seen immediately and in time to craft a fix, if one is needed. In fact, the problem is not seen by most for 20 to 30 years, and by then, magic cannot produce those 2.1 children to work jobs, pay taxes, consume good, or care for ill parents. The window for the fix closed 20 to 30 years ago and any action today, in an attempt to remedy the problem, won’t bear fruit for another 20 years. In the meantime…
The world’s population stands near 8 billion and we are told that the world is overpopulated and the earth cannot sustain such numbers (all B.S., btw). Well, no worries, come 10, 20, 30 years, it will become evident that there are not enough people to sustain the world and the lifestyles we have come to enjoy. In America, which is in one of the better working models, 10,000 people are hitting retirement age every day. EVERY DAY! We are nearing the peak of the Baby-Boom generation’s retirement. Remember, many of these retirees are highly skilled, and have been promised Social Security and Medicare in the autumn of their lives. So, are there a significant number of skilled workers to replace them? Are 10,000 people being hired every day to replace these retirees? Okay, some of this serves to fulfill planned reductions in workforce sizes, but who will pay the taxes needed to supply the promised entitlements for which retirees worked their entire lives?
Short of blowing ourselves up in a nuclear exchange, which will make all this worrying about future problems moot, because we’ll all be burned to cinders, population demographics is the biggest problem we face… sorry climidiots, I know that doesn’t fit your worldview, but climate change is a topic for another time.
If you doubt my conclusion, look at the current situations in most of the industrialized nations. Population growth has fallen below replacement rate and the existing populations are aging, creating more older people than younger people, something not previously seen in history.
I hope to revisit this topic again… yes, it’s that important and we have to be ready for the consequences that the slowdown in reproduction has created. Additionally, there’s no quick fix. Any fix would have required taking a long view years ago and we were too short-sighted to do that.
This has been an oversimplification of the problem that I hope to enlarge upon in the future.
6 thoughts on “Population Demographics 101”
Hello Paul- I hope you are doing well & completely recovered from covid. Temple in the Hill has never recovered loosing it’s most prolific writer. I always enjoyed your posts & information.
Hello Jeana – I was just thinking the other day that I finally felt fully recovered from the sensation in my chest. It’s been a year and I have another, I hope final, visit scheduled with the Pulmonologist in March after I get a Chest CT. But the world continues its maddening pace onwards… to what, I’m not sure. Good to hear from you and I trust all is well. God bless.
Paul- you really got it bad, I’m so sorry. I know quite a few people who got it, one went to the hospital & died. Also, a friend who was very sick but was able to get a prescription for Ivermectin & within 12hours knew she was going to be just fine, really turned the corner. Her husband got sick, but he was secondary infection & not bad, their son did not get sick. Did anyone else get sick at your house?
Sat, I attended President Trumps roll out he’s running in Columbia,SC. It was a long day, but so worth it. Small venue, only 500 allowed in & that included the 60/70 in media. My good friend is director of SC Women For Trump/ Midlands. She was alloted tickets from Trumps camp, blessed she invited me. The room was electric with their love of him & our country.
We sold our beach house in Pawleys Island & currently building another house in Sumter, roots are going down, we love it here. Close enough to see grandsons play travel baseball.
Continued healing. Happy February.
Best wishes for continued health.
I re-read your well written post. I wonder if this is why democrats are allowing in millions of people to cross into our country, but I doubt it. China is also in this situation with the 1 child policy. So much happening in our country, it’s hard to keep up. My three biggest issues is all the fentanyl & 14 year old kids are dying because of it. The other issue is biden getting us involved in EU’s backyard business with Ukraine &Russia. Biden’s handlers, IMO, WH being run by all obama people, joe isn’t running anything, he can barely walk. I worry because I have 2 grandsons, 11 & 8. After 20 years in Afghanistan, will this be another long war? Will they have to bring back the draft because we have been loosing masculinity & patriotism? Will these illegals go to war for us, many are fighting age young men.
Sat, I was blessed
Actually, I really don’t think I had it that bad. What did me in was the meds – Remdesivir (5-days) & Baricitinib (14-days) and being pumped with steroids and blood thinner twice a day. One of the side effects of Remdesivir us hypotension. I have hypertension and take meds to control my BP, but my BP meds were stopped immediately upon admission and my BP started to fall., eventually requiring Midodrine to try to bring my BP up along with a number of saline drips and iron drips. Once I finished the CDC meds, I started to recover. I was diagnosed with COVID pneumonia but oddly never had a cough, never had any congestion or fluid, and never had labored breathing, Yes, my pulse ox was low but came up after the meds were ended. Additionally, once out of the hospital my hemoglobin levels came back. All in all, I am convinced that my treatment was worse than the disease.
BTW, the day after I published the Prime Minister of Japan said his country was headed for trouble based on the falling, and aging of the, population. Yesterday I heard someone from Italy saying the same thing about Italy.
Well, keep you head up, Jeana. “Fight Club” author, Chuck Palahniuk, told us, “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”
You are right on many levels when it comes to problems created by populations decreasing. Our economic and benefit systems are based on what can only be called a Ponzi Scheme. Social security, Medicare, tax revenue, defined benefit pension plans, and on and on, require greater and greater participants paying onto these system to function.
The one thing I would have a slight disagreement with is the number of skilled workers needed to produce goods does decrease as we move forward with “smart” manufacturing and production. What used to take 10 skilled workers yesterday can be done with one tomorrow, and be done with less defects. Of course, that adds additional stress to our Ponzi Scheme designed systems.
We are heading toward a full economic breakdown sometime in the near future. Importing cheap unskilled labor will only exacerbate and quicken the fall.
Once again, Cato has seen my weakness and pounced.
Admittedly, I thought about addressing the shrinking demand for “skilled labor” but hesitated. There you found your opening.
I believe the reduction in “skilled labor” will mostly be in, let’s say, semi-skilled labor… factory work, manufacturing, etc. I made a living troubleshooting and fixing hi-tech equipment. So, part of such equipment is BITE – built in test equipment. Put a signal in at Point-A and verify the correct output at Point-B… etc. BTW, it’s a b*tch when BITE fails and it has to be troubleshot and fixed. But I digress… BITE only goes so far and when BITE says, “all good”, or the fix provided fails to correct, and the equipment doesn’t perform as advertised… well then we have to do it the old-fashioned way with O’scopes, Spectrum Analyzers, etc.
You are correct in one aspect, hi-tech attempts to do some of the heavy lifting. BITE is extremely helpful on the radar equipment I worked on in assisting the “not so skilled” sailors on the ships. BITE can identify the problem and spits out a lists, sometimes a long list, of modules and such to swap in and out. At the test site, we “usually” had the luxury of swapping out modules one at a time. On the ship, not so much. So, if the BITE fix calls out 10 (possible) modules, they are swapped out en masse. If that solves the problem, 10 modules go back to the manufacturer to be troubleshot. It’s easter-egging in one sense, but it removes the impetus of the sailor being highly-skilled. In the end, when the sailors can’t fix the problem, we had to send out the experts who, btw, were becoming a smaller and smaller group.
Why have I said all this? Good question. I might not even know that, but… I do think the need for highly skilled workers will shrink, but I’m not sure that the resultant requirement for such will have the bodies needed. And of course, there’s always the need for blue-collar, trained workers to build the high-tech. My middle son worked for an industrial electrical firm where he worked on a number of “ground-up” construction of data centers. That said, electricians, plumbers, HVAC personnel will always be needed. Interestingly, my youngest son just finished up the 6-month full-time electrician’s training locally in December (also offered at night for 18-months). His class was a reasonable size but he said he was glad not to have waited a semester because the class after him was jam packed. Maybe there’s hope.