Monday November 18, 2019
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Aging US Population Creates Problem for Economy

Americans are getting older and family size is shrinking

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Aging, US, Population, Problem
The U.S. birth rate dropped to a 32-year low last year. Pixabay

Americans are getting older and family size is shrinking, which means the nation will have fewer working-age adults going forward.

“I think it is a cause for concern if we are calibrating our expectations of having a strongly growing population,” says David Kelly, chief global strategist for JP Morgan Asset Management. “If you’re investing in things like the housing industry or the auto industry and you need an ever-growing population, then you have to adjust to a world in which the U.S. population is growing more slowly.”

By 2030, one in five U.S. residents — 20%— will be older than 65, compared with 13% in 2010 and just under 10% in 1970.

Various studies show that not only does an aging population cut into economic growth, but older workers who stay in the workforce tend to be less productive.

Aging, US, Population, Problem
FILE — Caregiver Warren Manchess, 74, left, shaves Paul Gregoline, 92, in Noblesville, Indiana. The share of the U.S. population over age 60 is expected to rise by 40 percent between 2010 and 2050. VOA

Meanwhile, as Americans age, the U.S. birth rate dropped to a 32-year low last year. Fewer than 3.8 million babies were born in 2018, down 2% from the previous year. Overall, the population grew 0.6% in 2018 compared to 1.2% growth in the mid-1990s.

That’s not necessarily a negative in the long run, says Kelly, adding that if you look beyond economics, a growing world population will potentially do more damage to the planet. Instead, he says, policy makers should plan for the expectation of a reduced workforce.

”There’s so many things in this world you can’t see coming. Demographics you see coming from a mile off,” he says. “It should be something that we try to adapt policy to as opposed to a lot of the things that we’re very unsure about, which we can more reasonably hesitate to act on. We really should adapt to a world of slow population growth because it’s clearly happening to us.”

He expects the lack of workers to spur the growth of robotics and artificial intelligence to replace the missing human labor. And he says Americans need to “get over our delusions” and prepare for U.S. economic growth to slow a bit.

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Another fix for a diminishing workforce is to add more legal immigrants rather than restrict them. Immigrants tend to arrive in the United States during their working years.

“I think what you need to do is, first of all, change immigration policy so you can do something about the lack of immigration growth or lack of population growth,” Kelly says. “But also you need a more open trade policy. If we don’t have big growth in our population, we won’t have big growth in our domestic markets. If we want to attract fast growing companies they’ll have to see the world as their market and not just the United States.”

Kelly believes the U.S. economy can easily adjust to the challenges of slow population growth, but he worries politics could get in the way.

”Of course we can adapt to this stuff,” he says. “The real question is a political question because it seems even as our population matures in years, it seems that our political system gets less mature in terms of thought process.” (VOA)

Next Story

Google Gives Up on US Carriers, will Roll Out its Own RCS Chat System

Plus, you'll get better group chats, with the ability to name groups, add and remove people to and from groups, and see if people haven't seen the latest messages

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Google, US, RCS
With RCS on Android, when you and your friends message each other with new chat features, you can chat over Wi-Fi or mobile data, send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, and see if people have received your latest messages. Pixabay

Tired of dilly-dallying at the end of US telecom carriers, Google has announced to roll out its own Rich Communication Services (RCS) on Android that will replace the traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features.

“To make your conversations more seamless, we’ve worked on upgrading traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features, powered by RCS (Rich Communication Services),” Google said in a statement on Thursday.

With RCS on Android, when you and your friends message each other with new chat features, you can chat over Wi-Fi or mobile data, send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, and see if people have received your latest messages.

“Plus, you’ll get better group chats, with the ability to name groups, add and remove people to and from groups, and see if people haven’t seen the latest messages,” informed Google.

Google, US, RCS
To make your conversations more seamless, we’ve worked on upgrading traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features, powered by RCS (Rich Communication Services). Pixabay

Earlier this year, Google enabled the ability for anyone in the UK, France, and Mexico to get chat features in Messages.

Users of Google’s app will eventually see a notification to “Do more with Messages,” and then they’ll be able to “enable chat features” which is RCS.

Chat features are already available for some in Google Messages, and are being broadly rolled out in the US.

“If you already have Messages, you’ll also be prompted to enable chat features in the coming weeks. If you don’t have Messages, you can download it on the Play Store. We expect this service to be broadly available in the US by the end of year,” said the company.

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Google said it is committed to working with its partners, including carriers and device makers, to provide a consistent and interoperable experience for everyone on Android.

RCS is a communication protocol between mobile telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is richer and can transmit in-call multimedia. (IANS)