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08/18/2013

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Garrett Petersen

I'm not sure that it matters what the IQs of potential migrants are. Even those with low IQs have a comparative advantage in something.

Mary_Kronkowski

@garrett, I had a similar thought, but both jurists make an economic argument in birth rates funding future populations.
It logically follows that high IQs bring innovation, thus new revenue streams in overall societal advancement.
However, the down side is the higher the mental function, the higher the mental illness. Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121202164325.htm.
So perhaps mental stability should be a factor to consider within the intelligence quotient.

jim kirby

Garrett: the proper term is "competitive advantage." Comparative advantage means something different.

The problem with increasing breeding is that rearing them requires that present wealth be sacrificed for future gain. Those of us who are childfree have already voted against such a sacrifice and don't care to be taxed to support others' interest in the future.

Neilehat

Does the World need more People? Perhaps. Does the World need less People? Perhaps. If one looks at the Historical Population density statistical data, both geographically and world wide, one will find that it is a dynamic phenomenon, not a static one. On the historical timeline one will find that at times the density is expanding, at other times it is contracting. This seems to point to the fact that there is a naturally occuring regulation of population levels. Both geographically and worldwide. This is a form of "wildlife management" if you please.

As rational and controlling creatures we can affect the naturally controlling population density regulator to guarantee our continued survival, our we can destablize it and cause our extinction. The proper actions need to take into account the idea of creating the "greatest good for the greatest number" without destabilizing the regulator by allowing it to continue to run as a dynamic controller. As it has through the eons...

Terry Bennett

Rick Jarow has written on the fundamental perspectives of scarcity and abundance. Putting aside the logistics of allocation for the moment, do you think there is enough for everybody, or don't you? People who believe in abundance (i.e., optimists) tend to be happier and more successful.

Beyond the psychology, there is an objective question, and it's not simply, "Does the world have too many people?" Rather, we must factor in the progression of technology over time. If the United States had today's population and the technology of 1789, we'd probably have mass starvation/dehydration, decimations by disease, and wars driven by demand for resources. Can the world support 10 billion? Not right now, but very possibly in 50 or 100 years. In 2013 A.D., a large portion of the 7 billion currently alive are not living very well. To some, that's the same as saying we're overpopulated. Others might say it proves the haves are too selfish to provide for the have nots. (To the extent that I am a have, it is solely because I'm also a went out and got. I do not see why anyone wishing to be a have cannot simply choose to work and meet that goal, in whatever desired degree, and I reject the communist argument.)

Does a new child born today represent a net positive or a net negative over a coming lifetime, production minus consumption? According to Mitt Romney we're already at 47% net negatives. I suspect it's actually higher. The entire World War II generation is being subsidized out the wazoo with modern health care they did not earn (at least in a strict economic sense), and the baby boomers stand to be even more decidedly takers rather than givers. I have zero reason for optimism that larger numbers of individuals in future generations will pull their own weight than in recent generations. I think it's just going to get worse, and therefore as an economic endeavor, I'd give 5 to 1 that any new child will be a loser. Jim Kirby is right that immigrants bring with them the positive externality of their formative costs, but even so I think they are mostly economic losers too. The costs of modern life are simply too high for most people to meet. (Immigrants also tend to have more kids, which means more costs to us.)

So if most people are net negatives, where is the production coming from to feed us right now? Some of it comes from past surplus, some of it comes from current production, and a very disturbing piece of it comes from borrowing against the future. If we were in fact pulling our own weight, we wouldn't be needing to borrow, would we now? Stated another way, where is all this money we borrow going? It's going to pay for the consumption of people who have not produced enough to pay for it themselves. The poor demand subsidy; the rich refuse to pay for it. We aren't ones to let a little impasse like that stop us. We borrow, and everybody's happy - except future generations, but they aren't here to gripe, so they can just eat cake and pound sand.

Neilehat

Terry, As in the past, it's called Revolution by "Redistribution. Or the "Guillotine" approach. Now mind those steps on the way up, they do get slippery - We can't disappoint the "Levee en Masse" or deprive them of their entertainment...

Terry Bennett

Neilehat, I sense you are trying to tell me something important, and I will continue trying to figure out what it is. I hope I will not be too late.

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