[saymaListserv] A Gloom and Doom Scenario : How Can Friends Best Respond?

susan at read-the-bible.org susan at read-the-bible.org
Wed Nov 16 16:54:27 JEST 2005

Help me out here, Janet. Are you saying that economic growth requires
population growth?  And that the only way humanity can make progress
toward more and better material conditions, is for the population to
continue growing?

I can certainly see that having a larger proportion of older people
would make life tough -- but surely there's some kind of sustainable
balance possible, with enough people of working age to keep everybody
equipped for a good life?

Economic growth means more goods and services... population growth means
more people... seems like, unless we're getting less smart and less
capable, that we should be getting more goods and services (economic
growth) with fewer people (increased productivity).  

As for how Friends should respond, it seems like our testimony of
simplicity ought to play some part. Like, maybe retirement planning
could have more to do with making sure your house has a good roof and
insulation and you've been composting for years so the veggie garden is
productive, and less with amassing gazillions of dollars in IRAs that
will only pay off if the stock market is robust.  I have a hard time
separating macroeconomic issues like national or global economic growth
and demographic shifts, from the felt needs and expectations of the
actual individuals who make up the demographics -- baby boomers facing
retirement, and contemplating our golden years spent in a pricey
full-service Friends retirement village, vs a low-income seniors
high-rise, vs moving in with our kids, vs... being homeless I guess.

Sorry for rambling... interesting article!  and thanks for sharing what
you wrote in Friends Journal!

Susan Jeffers

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