Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
the Limits to Growth thesis. As always, a lot depends on where you're standing.

Bear with me while I make stuff up.

While I'm completely on board with the LTG thesis, and have been for more than three decades, I am also sympathetic to the idea that it's not a reason that should be invoked to halt progress. Millions of people are emerging from poverty every year in countries with high growth rates. At the same time, "mature" economies seem to have hit a wall.

Nothing contradictory here. It's possible that WE, in the "overdeveloped" economies, are in overshoot, whereas the people in less-developed economies, who after all consume much less resources per head, are still within the envelope. Resource prices are the key. Paradoxically, it's the rich countries who can ill afford to pay steep increases in the resources they consume just to maintain their standard of living; for countries where incomes are rising, increased resource costs are just one more element to be passed on.

From the point of view of the rich and powerful, everything's fine. As long as they have shifted their money from non-performing assets in the overdeveloped world to high-return investments in high-growth areas, it's all just business as usual.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 at 12:25:31 PM EST
I have of read more than one fund manager who has relocated to Hong Kong or Shanghai on exactly the thesis you describe -- all the action will be in emerging markets. If I were younger, my preference would probably be Brazil. Demographics are a central concern. In the developed world too many countries have demographic profiles that are inverted pyramids.

I believe it is possible to deal with such demographic problems, but it does not appear to be happening in most countries. To do so successfully requires more planing and acting towards common goals than is possible with current ideologies.China is going to face its own demographic crisis in another twenty to forty years and time will tell how well they cope with those problems.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 05:52:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is interesting that in order to bring the growth rate of the world's populations under control without a massive crash it will be necessary to successfully deal with inverted pyramid population demographics. But it is also the case that birth rates decline along with increasing economic development. So demonstrating policies that enable countries successfully to cope with declining birth rates would seem to be a priority. But, unfortunately, the problem doesn't fit easily into a scheme of ever increasing profits, so discussion is marginalized.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 at 06:00:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Top Diaries

Occasional Series