Fw: [saymaListserv] Re: Politics and Economics

Julia Ewen jewen at micronetsystems.net
Tue Nov 25 09:39:09 JEST 2003


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Julia Ewen" <jewen at micronetsystems.net>
To: <sayma-fw at topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: [saymaListserv] Re: Politics and Economics


> What is population momentum?  Stan mentioned in passing another thing that
> is interesting: that population growth figures apparently include
imigration
> and that increase due to births is only part of that figure. It would make
> sense then, that some of the population declines are due to outmigration
and
> show up in somebody else's population growth figures.
>
> So it would seem to me that countries with a lot of outmigration and
> experiencing declining birth rates will increasingly be left with aging
and
> less able bodied populations as the younger, more able, more
> labor-marketable people leave looking for better opportunities, and
> coincidentally they happen to be the most fertile people also. They rate
of
> the "graying" of such countries will accelerate like a brakeless truck
> rolling down a mountain highway...Cost of providing health care and
> infrastructure in those countries will rise on a per person basis as the
> subsidies provided by younger workers disappear. It's a situation that a
> health insurer would either charge exhorbitant premiums or refuse to
> cover...leaving government to provide it out of taxes, which would also be
> declining from an aging population on fixed incomes, if the government is
> not doing so already.
>
> If it is already doing so, the gains made by having a smaller population
> utilitzing the services will be offset by a much larger percentage of the
> population requiring more expensive services over an extended period. Is
it
> too fanciful to suppose that such countries may get into the business of
> "exporting" their elderly and sick to countries where growing populations
> have the labor to provide custodial services? If we tighten all the leaks
in
> our immigration "walls" and succeed in stabilizing or inverting
reproduction
> statistics, could we not only be exporting our jobs abroad but also our
old
> and sick?
>
> Another scenario though already seems to be underway and gaining momentum.
> The numbers of uninsured people continue to grow in this country and the
> government is unwilling or unable to pick up the job of providing health
> services for these people. The effect seems to be that people who are
> relatively healthy (adult full time employed people) will receive most of
> the health services, being able to pay for them through wages and
insurance,
> and increasingly the elderly, children, the unemployed, the underemployed,
> and the chronically ill will receive fewer and fewer health services, and
> the death rate among such will rise.
>
> Are we "putting them out on ice floes" at the arbitrary age of retirement?
> People keep talking about how social security when originally set up
> anticipated that recipients would live about two to three years after
> starting to take benefits. As if hinting that the elderly are socially
> irresponsible in managing to live into their 80's and 90's and ought not
to
> expect a public subsidy to help them do so.
>
> At the other end of life, there is still a great reluctance to provide
> childcare and education services for our children, great pressure on women
> to work into their 30s or even later before trying to  have babies, and
> children are the largest and fastest growing group of uninsureds.
>
> The Administration is adding to the confusion, not helping, by its
policies.
> It trumpets its encouragement of heterosexual marriage in its tax
policies,
> but attacks the "natural result" of such marriages through withdrawing
money
> from services that support mothers and children. At the same time it also
> withdraws support from family planning services and contraception
education,
> as well as opposing abortion. So that the means to reversing the "natural
> result" of heterosexual couples is being ingnored. They also propose that
> Americans look toward self insurance and self support in their old age,
not
> saying what is to happen to those who are temporarily unemployed or
> underemployed while raising all these children that both the far left and
> the far right seem to say ought to be viewed as liabilities, not as
> assets--individually and as a society.
>
>  It also is lowering taxes on the wealthy, who already have the ability to
> self insure and self support in their old age and already marry without
> producing nearly so many offspring as the middle class and is raising
taxes
> on the middle class--where the impact of female sporadic employment and
> underemployment is already being felt--and announcing to them that
> simultaneously they ought to be planning to pay all their own bills when
> they get old...As for the poor, services are being cut back which could
help
> the poor to get and keep employment that would lift them out of poverty,
> health and family planning services are being strained to the breaking
> point, and family planning clinics are literally under attack. And the
poor
> too are being told that they ought to count on paying for their own health
> and old age support, even while they are presently unable to support
> themselves.
>
> It is appalling that many Americans apparently do not see how hard hearted
> and cynical these policies are. Coming up on Christmas I am reminded of
> Ebeneezer Scrooge, who, told that there a lot of people who would rather
die
> than go to public workhouses for aid, said "If they would rather die then
> they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." Fewer poor
> people now would "rather die than accept public aid", so the government
has
> apparently taken it on itself to make the decision for them.
>
> Sadly, the money that it will take to rebuild Iraq following an
unnecessary
> and illegal war would pay for healthcare for uninsured children. If we
> applied the entire military budget, there would not be a problem funding
> anything including pharmaceuticals that our elderly need for health care.
We
> have the resources to do what is needed. We have not the willingness to
> prioritize the way we ought to.
>
> It is against this hardness of heart that the OT warned Israel. It was the
> sin that sunk Sodom. And the sin against which Jesus preached to the
> Pharisees.
>
> Julia Parker Ewen
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Stan Becker" <sbecker at jhsph.edu>
> To: "Janet Minshall" <jhminshall at comcast.net>
> Cc: <judylumb at btl.net>; <mcgahey at wnclink.com>; <sayma at kitenet.net>
> Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2003 3:16 PM
> Subject: [saymaListserv] Re: Politics and Economics
>
>
> > Janet and Friends
> >
> > Greetings from Baltimore.
> >
> >  I just returned from the Am. Pub. Health Assn (San Fran) where I gave a
> > presentation on "World Population Dynamics now to 2050" so can comment
> > from some reseach  on this matter.   First, we live in a demographically
> > divided world: from the  perspective of growth there are  now really 3
> > groups of countries in the world: those with very rapid growth
> > (fertility above 5.0 children, mostly in Sub Saharan Africa), those with
> > moderate growth (fertility 2.1 to 5.0 children, India, Indonesia, Egypt,
> > most of Latin America, etc) and those with below replacement fertility
> > (nearly all of Europe, China and selected other places).
> >
> > While 59 countires have below replacement fertilty (44 percent of world
> > population but including China), only 14 or 15 countries actually have
> > more deaths than births (Russia and aside from Italy all others are in
> > Eastern Europe).. The rest of the 59 countries continue to grow due to
> > population momentum (e.g. China has a fertilty rate of 1.8 but continues
> > to add 9 million people each year).
> >
> > Meanwhile, as a world we continue to add 75-80 million persons each year
> > or about 200,000 per day.  47 countries have fertility levels above 5.0!
> >
> > The U.S. is a special case.  Though our fertility is near replacement,
> > due to population momentum and immigration we continue to grow by about
> > 3 million persons per year (about 1.5 million more births than deaths
> > each year and the other half of growth is immigration, legal and
> > otherwise).  Rather than, "the US is close but not quite at the point of
> > population deficit yet", the projections from the U.S. Census Bureau
> > show the U.S. population climbing from 275  million in 2000 to 404
> > million in 2050 (medium projection).   Recall that we were 76 million in
> > the U.S. in 1900. and 150 million as recently as 1950!
> >
> > Friends who are intested can access the data and projections directly
> > (done by United Nations Population Division for each country of the
> > world (see Pop. Estimates and Projections at
> > http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm) and by U.S. Census
> > Bureau(Projections under People at: www.census.gov ).  Data are also
> > available in a concise data sheet from Pop. Reference
> Bureau.(www.prb.org).
> >
> > The media seem quite interested in matters of population decline but
> > give little attention to the continued problem of rapid population
> > growth in much of the world (e.g. India is adding 16 million persons per
> > year).
> >
> > I hope this helps clarify the matter.
> >
> > Stan Becker
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Worldwide we still add
> >
> > Janet Minshall wrote:
> >
> > > Dear SAYMA Friends,  Just a note to tell you about a very short
> > > article that is worthy of discussion, and to offer an apology.
> > >
> > > I have always been on the side of population control and have been
> > > especially concerned about how many children are having children.  I
> > > worked for Planned Parenthood for several years as paid staff and,
> > > eventually, ran a regional office of Planned Parenthood on the Eastern
> > > Shore of Maryland. We taught Adolescent Sex Education on a grant from
> > > Johns Hopkins to address the problems of the high birth rate among
> > > teenagers in that area as well as an unusually high incidence of
> > > sexually transmitted diseases.  The program was quite effective (I
> > > understood later from the Planned Parenthood office in Baltimore that
> > > the rates of adolescent pregnancy and sexual disease transmission were
> > > down by 25% and 30% in our area after the Johns Hopkins program was
> > > implemented). Of course, the program was quite controversial and so
> > > was shut down after a few years primarily because of protests from
> > > fundamentalist Christians on the Eastern Shore who were steadfastly
> > > opposed to birth control, abortion and sex education.
> > >
> > > But something else quite significant has happened since then.  It is
> > > summarised  in a one page article in National Geographic, September
> > > '03, by Scott Elder.  The title is "Europe's Baby Bust" It is about
> > > the change in world population that has been occurring for some years
> > > and is now beginning to have a dramatic effect in much of Europe.
> > > Because of my long term concern with population studies I found it
> > > most interesting.  It illustrates clearly that much of the world is no
> > > longer suffering from rampant population growth as it seemed to be
> > > when I worked for Planned Parenthood in the'70s, but rather from the
> > > reverse. The developed world is now facing a population deficit, which
> > > is causing alarm and the rethinking of long term entitlements such as
> > > Social Security and Medicare.  Elder says "Without babies to replenish
> > > the labor force and pay taxes Europeans will be hard pressed to fund
> > > the pensions of longer-living retirees."  And the problem is not just
> > > in Europe.
> > >
> > > The US is close but not quite at the point of population deficit yet.
> > > However, that population deficit is looming large in our future and in
> > > the minds of many of our politicians who have been briefed on this
> > > matter. The politicians fear especially that if we keep on funding
> > > Social Security and Medicare at current levels, the money available
> > > for other government services, and especially the pork barrel
> > > government programs that keep many politicians in office, will run
> > > dry.  One answer to the problem for the US and Western Europe is to
> > > admit more young immigrants and refugees who are anxious to work and
> > > pay taxes.  The insistent pressure of migration on the US and on
> > > certain Western European countries (France, Britain, Ireland, the
> > > Netherlands and Norway) has enabled these countries to delay facing
> > > this monumental economic change. However many people, including those
> > > near the top in the present US administration, don't really like
> > > having more refugees and immigrants in their midst.  There is still a
> > > prominent racial and cultural bias which appears to be the source of
> > > resistance to increasing the number of foreign immigrants and
> > > refugees. That tension, between the unpleasant realities in our
> > > economic future and a dislike and mistrust of foreigners, may underlie
> > > much of the political debate in the US, Western Europe and the rest of
> > > the world for years to come.
> > >
> > > If anyone in SAYMA wishes to comment, respond or argue about this I
> > > would love to hear back online. My previous messages have engendered
> > > responses but the messages were all addressed to me and the rest of
> > > SAYMA didn't have the privilege of sharing in the discussion.  I think
> > > that as Friends we believe in and try to embody "one standard of
> > > Truth" so please share your thoughts.  It will make for a  more
> > > interesting dialog.
> > >
> > > Now, for my apology: On June 28th of this year I wrote on the Kitenet
> > > list the following:
> > >
> > > "Actually, the only places in the world where poverty is still
> > > increasing are in remote areas of China and India. These are areas
> > > where one aspect of globalization, moving jobs away from affluent
> > > workers in the US to impoverished workers in the rest of the world,
> > > has not yet reached. Everywhere that globalization has reached both
> > > employment and incomes have increased, sometimes dramatically, for the
> > > poor."
> > >
> > > I completely left out the largest area of entrenched poverty in the
> > > world, Sub-Saharan Africa.  I have worked in Africa and am well aware
> > > of the severe economic problems so why did I leave it out of my
> > > message entirely?  I really do not know. I only realized the mistake
> > > when I reread the message much later on.  That omission may have been
> > > related to my disability which leaves me in pain most of the time and
> > > in severe pain some of the time.  When the pain is severe I don't
> > > think, speak or write clearly.  I'm not offering this as an excuse,
> > > just a possibly relevant fact.
> > >
> > > (To update the message from 6-28, in recent economic data both India
> > > and China have turned the corner and are fractionally up in
> > > alleviating poverty among their people and environmental degradation
> > > in their countries.  Both Chinese and Indian people are becoming less
> > > poor. China is ahead in some areas of economic advancement and India
> > > in others, primarily as a result of globalization.)
> > >
> > > Janet Minshall
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association mailing list
> > sayma at kitenet.net
> > http://kitenet.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/sayma
>





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