How do you think the world is going to cope with the growing population?

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    This has been bugging me for a while now.

    Every single person on this planet wants to get a job and doesn't give a single flying **** about who is applying for said job with them, they don't care if this person is desperate, dying, on benefits, homeless, more qualified, whatever. They don't care. I know I don't because I know that people who have applied for jobs I've applied for couldn't care less about my situation, so why should I care about them? And their parents are going to want them to have jobs and not care about anyone else either.

    According to statistics back in 2012.. yes, 2012... 360,000+ babies are born every single day. That's one almost every five seconds. In fact it's most likely since you started reading this sentence, another baby has been born.

    There isn't a new job vacancy created every 5 seconds. Not even close. We aren't sustainable.

    So what are we gonna do? Unemployment is just going to keep rising and rising, more and more people signing on, having more kids, who knows in 50 years time there could be a baby being born every 2 seconds. They say hundreds of people apply for one basic job, what are we gonna be up against in the future, thousands, tens of thousands?

    So what exactly is the world going to do to help this? Bring back China's one child policy?

    The way I see it, we need to do away with all this automated crap and bring back manual labour. Heathrow Airport could provide so many jobs if they just got rid of their automated crap and hired belt men. Could probably solve half the unemployment crisis overnight. So why don't they? It's not like they can't afford to, is it...?

    I think we may be ****ed, if we aren't already.
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    The Malthusian catastrophe theory has been around for over 200 years. Most people misunderstand it anyway, and it's more or less been disproved by recent stats.

    For a start Malthus never said, as many people think, that the world had a maximum food supply or that eventually human population would outstrip the world's resources. In fact, he did believe food production could and would continue to rise indefinitely. However. he believed that food production would only ever grow on a linear basis, while population would grow exponentially, and eventually growth would be too fast for rising food production to keep up with.

    The last 50 years or so has somewhat disproven this. Food production per capita has been rising despite the huge population increases.

    While mechanisation certainly does cause problems, some kind of neo-Luddite philosophy of tearing it all down isn't the answer. The problem essentially is that the amount of labour actually required to produce everything we need is declining, but people are still being expected to do the same amount of work. Unemployment is, at least in a growing economy, a symptom of an oversupply of labour. They don't have jobs because no additional jobs need to be done. Yet people can simultaneously accept this and still begrudge giving the unemployed anything at all, and insist they pointlessly run around looking for non-existent jobs 24-7 or do workfare to get whatever they do get. Work (or, more specifically, formal employment) has been elevated to a moral status - those who do it deserve stuff, those who don't, don't, regardless of both the utility of the work in question and people's actual needs.

    The simple answer would be to blame this all on capitalism, but in many ways it's more specific than that. It's a specific phenomenon of post-'Golden Age' capitalism, or neoliberalism if you prefer that term. pre-'Golden Age' capitalism saw working hours decline over time, while during the Golden Age, formal working time remained constant but the problem was offset and undermined by near-full employment and the state's ensuring of a reasonably equitable distribution of income. Nowadays we have neither. Work is becoming increasingly unnecessary, but it remains an expectation and requirement.

    PS: Rakas, thought you might find this topic interesting btw.
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    Badly, probably.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    The Malthusian catastrophe theory has been around for over 200 years. Most people misunderstand it anyway, and it's more or less been disproved by recent stats.

    For a start Malthus never said, as many people think, that the world had a maximum food supply or that eventually human population would outstrip the world's resources. In fact, he did believe food production could and would continue to rise indefinitely. However. he believed that food production would only ever grow on a linear basis, while population would grow exponentially, and eventually growth would be too fast for rising food production to keep up with.

    The last 50 years or so has somewhat disproven this. Food production per capita has been rising despite the huge population increases.

    While mechanisation certainly does cause problems, some kind of neo-Luddite philosophy of tearing it all down isn't the answer. The problem essentially is that the amount of labour actually required to produce everything we need is declining, but people are still being expected to do the same amount of work. Unemployment is, at least in a growing economy, a symptom of an oversupply of labour. They don't have jobs because no additional jobs need to be done. Yet people can simultaneously accept this and still begrudge giving the unemployed anything at all, and insist they pointlessly run around looking for non-existent jobs 24-7 or do workfare to get whatever they do get. Work (or, more specifically, formal employment) has been elevated to a moral status - those who do it deserve stuff, those who don't, don't, regardless of both the utility of the work in question and people's actual needs.

    The simple answer would be to blame this all on capitalism, but in many ways it's more specific than that. It's a specific phenomenon of post-'Golden Age' capitalism, or neoliberalism if you prefer that term. pre-'Golden Age' capitalism saw working hours decline over time, while during the Golden Age, formal working time remained constant but the problem was offset and undermined by near-full employment and the state's ensuring of a reasonably equitable distribution of income. Nowadays we have neither. Work is becoming increasingly unnecessary, but it remains an expectation and requirement.

    PS: Rakas, thought you might find this topic interesting btw.
    Spot on. Food production has increased largely in line with economic growth (2-3% per year) while the global population growth rate has slowed to ~1.1% and is still falling (within that we have regional problems like in Africa). This has meant falling real food prices over time, amplified by rising wages in most places (exempting short term hits to currency values).

    I don't tend to buy into your later premise though. While it's true that growth in the amount of labour required has declined (indeed, i imagine we are not far off the peak of full time job vacancies) this has not resulted in a fall in employment nor people being locked out of the labour market en masse, indeed average working hours have actually fallen. The people who are locked out of the labour market are not locked out because automation has taken their job but rather because of a combination of immigrants taking their job (over a million immigrants work in unskilled jobs) and also because they are to be frank, not worth hiring (the dregs of society).

    While i accept your analysis of the later paragraph and indeed it may be prudent to bring in a degree of conscription i don't really feel that equitable income is relevant here.
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    (Original post by FightToWin)
    This has been bugging me for a while now.

    Every single person on this planet wants to get a job and doesn't give a single flying **** about who is applying for said job with them, they don't care if this person is desperate, dying, on benefits, homeless, more qualified, whatever. They don't care. I know I don't because I know that people who have applied for jobs I've applied for couldn't care less about my situation, so why should I care about them? And their parents are going to want them to have jobs and not care about anyone else either.

    According to statistics back in 2012.. yes, 2012... 360,000+ babies are born every single day. That's one almost every five seconds. In fact it's most likely since you started reading this sentence, another baby has been born.

    There isn't a new job vacancy created every 5 seconds. Not even close. We aren't sustainable.

    So what are we gonna do? Unemployment is just going to keep rising and rising, more and more people signing on, having more kids, who knows in 50 years time there could be a baby being born every 2 seconds. They say hundreds of people apply for one basic job, what are we gonna be up against in the future, thousands, tens of thousands?

    So what exactly is the world going to do to help this? Bring back China's one child policy?

    The way I see it, we need to do away with all this automated crap and bring back manual labour. Heathrow Airport could provide so many jobs if they just got rid of their automated crap and hired belt men. Could probably solve half the unemployment crisis overnight. So why don't they? It's not like they can't afford to, is it...?

    I think we may be ****ed, if we aren't already.
    Global unemployment has actually remained relatively stable for the past 25 years, staying within the bounds of 5.4% and 6.4%. During this time period although the nominal number of babies born has increased the rate of growth has slowed and is still doing so. As bad as 360,000 sounds, that's only a 1.1% increase in the global population each year, hence the global economy only has to create 1.2% more jobs to see a fall in unemployment.

    With regards to your hundreds of people to one job figure, that's not remotely applicable across the whole economy. Indeed, the figure as an average is less than 10 because for every Tesco vacancy requiring few skills, there's a vacancy for a corporate lawer requiring a decade of experience. I'd also add that your conflating your experience in the UK with the world, there are places like Singapore, Japan and South Korea where there are chronic labour shortages.

    The one child policy is a pretty awful policy in the long term. The low birth rates which become culturally entrenched (so even when lifted, people don't breed) mean that there are chronic pension issues as the ratio of taxpayers to pensioners declines. This is a factor in prompting immigration. China for example is expected to become old before it reaches our level of per capita wealth.

    I can't say i'd support such a policy. What you forget in the short to medium term is that the disinflationary benefits of automation typically create jobs en net elsewhere in the economy due to lower unit costs. In the long term your assumption rests on the economy creating so few jobs that employment falls, this has not yet been the case and may never be when one considers that each wave of progress has simply tended to shift employment elsewhere. Indeed, we already see self employment as one avenue that has seen growth.
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    I think ideally what will happen is automation will result in more efficient production processes, hence cheaper and more accessible products (food and otherwise). Due to this people won't need to work as much to live, resulting in the positions that exist being broken up into multiple "part time positions" with people opting for more leisure time.

    Obviously this is all very idealogical. Just as likely is large portion of the population will be wiped out by any number of potential natural disasters, but it's nice to be dreamy about the possibilities sometimes.
 
 
 
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