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Krugman also wants growth

by on January 3, 2011

Jobs, not G.D.P. numbers, are what matter to American families. And when you start from an unemployment rate of almost 10 percent, the arithmetic of job creation — the amount of growth you need to get back to a tolerable jobs picture — is daunting.

First of all, we have to grow around 2.5 percent a year just to keep up with rising productivity and population, and hence keep unemployment from rising. … Now do the math. Suppose that the U.S. economy were to grow at 4 percent a year, starting now and continuing for the next several years. Most people would regard this as excellent performance…

Yet the math says that even with that kind of growth the unemployment rate would be close to 9 percent at the end of this year, and still above 8 percent at the end of 2012. We wouldn’t get to anything resembling full employment until late in Sarah Palin’s first presidential term.

this suggests that growth is necessary for jobs and jobs are necessary for families. This s another piece of logic that has to be rethought. If we have an economy that does not need workers, even if it is growing, we need to think of other ways of distributing income. 30 hours a week? Sabbaticals? Come on leaders, we need some real imagination here.

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2 Comments
  1. “Talk of the Nation Special on Population January 6”

    What an opportunity!

    It is the willful and pernicious silence of so many experts as well as broadcasts of ideological idiocy by clever sychophants and duplicitous minions of the wealthy and powerful for the past 60 years that make the mere chance for an intellectually honest and morally courageous conversation on “Talk of the Nation” so potentially valuable now here. Opportunities like this one have been occurring for many years but were routinely missed. A catastrophic failure of nerve by many too many of ‘the brightest and best’ among us who chose, instead of presenting scientific research as was their duty, to foster belief in erroneous preternatural theories; to say whatsoever was politically convenient, economically expedient and socially agreeable; to go along with global gag rules as well as ignore and censor exchanges of sound perspectives regarding human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth. This failure could be one of the great mistakes in human history. I fear our children will come to see it in just that way.

    The growth of the human species worldwide could be the proverbial “mother” of human-induced global challenges. If that is so, then failing to acknowledge this predominant challenge will render efforts of humanity to overcome other human-driven, increasingly complex challenges to human wellbeing and environmental health ultimately irrelevant, I suppose.

    Please consider that both those who believe human population numbers are exploding and those who believe human numbers are collapsing are correct. Globally, human numbers are undoubtedly increasing, but in some places on the surface of Earth human numbers can easily be seen decreasing. It depends upon your scope of observation. I am perceiving and thinking globally when I report human numbers are skyrocketing. In a similar manner, I can certainly recognize that human numbers in many places (eg, Italy) have been declining. But in order to make that report it is necessary for me to change my scope of observation.

    Imagine that a change in one’s scope of observation is like the difference between looking at the forest or the trees. Looking at the forest is like looking at absolute global human population numbers; whereas, looking at the trees is like looking at the population numbers in a place like Italy. Global human numbers can be increasing, while the human population numbers in Italy are decreasing.

    So much of the Earth’s environs are being degraded and so many of its natural resources dissipated. So many people are coming. So much time has been wasted. So many opportunities missed. Time is precious….and short. Windows of opportunity are closing, one after another at an accelerating pace. Let us agree not to let this “Talk of the Nation” opportunity be another missed opportunity like so very many others in my lifetime.

    We could begin this week by talking to all nations. After all, what are we waiting for? The clock to run out of time, so as to relieve us of human distinctly human responsibilities we can assume and duties only human beings with feet of clay can perform?

  2. Dear Friends,

    If ever there was a time and place for open and intellectually honest dialogue about a subject, now here could be the occasion for a conversation regarding the eschewed science of human population dynamics, I believe.

    Good people, what is the moral and ethical response to the global predicament we are discussing?

    Do reasonable and compassionate human beings have a “duty to warn” of looming threats to future human wellbeing and environmental health, and then sensibly help one another make preparations or are we to pose as if we are blind, deaf and dumb to the predicament and, thereby, let the least fortunate, most poorly situated and simply unaware among us suffer the consequences, come what may?

    Is there an expert on the planet with appropriate expertise who will kindly respond to two questions regarding human population dynamics?

    I. Based upon the best available scientific research, is the population dynamics of the human species essentially similar to, or different from, the population dynamics of other species?

    II. Is the size of the human population on Earth dependent upon, or independent of, the supply of food for human consumption? To put this second question another way, If we objectively examine the relationship between global human population numbers and the total supply of food for human consumption, are absolute global human population numbers the dependent variable or the independent variable?

    Thanks to Doug, Paul and All,

    Steve

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