GarryB wrote:I would worry about birth rates when it actually becomes a problem... otherwise it is just a smoke screen.
Once you get quality of life high... where only one parent in the family needs to work to provide a comfortable life where you can own your own house and two or more cars and go on a good holiday every year... and not worry you might get kicked out of your apartment if you lose your job...
A society where business recognises it earns money because its workers do a good job and spend more time improving productivity and conditions for those workers than pandering to share holders demands for high returns.
Most share holders are ass holes... I know quite a few who were showing off because the shares they bought for a dollar and now worth $50... and then I see them again and they are complaining they didn't sell because now those shares are only worth $35 dollars and the world is ending... the people who paid $50 dollars a share and now they are worth $35 might complain but honestly the only reason they bought the shares was to make money with no effort... they saw the value go up and were too late to benefit... the shares might really be worth $20 so buying for $1 was a bargain, but the people buying at $50 are idiots...
I think shares in companies are stupid... considering the amount of dividends they pay out on them they would be better not selling off shares in their company and just give the workers automatic shares so they benefit when the business does well...
This has been one of my pet peeves for decades. The idiots who run marketing departments and their bosses only worry about profit margins
and costs. So their ideal operating regime, whether they realize this or not, is to have zero costs but still rake in the cash from sales. That
is, they want an infinite profit margin. So you see these criminally negligent clowns downsize their workforce and cut costs that directly
result in the degradation of quality of their products. Offshoring is part of this insanity as well since a factory sweatshop beats well paid workers
any day to these pinheads. Of course, by reducing the workforce and also paying it less they reduce the demand for their goods and services.
This a full economy effect and not just one company. And it defeats all the profit margin chasing in the long run.
What we have been seeing since the 1980s has been the catabolic "rightsizing" and "downsizing" of the advanced western economies. This
has resulted in the decline of the middle class. BTW, official statistics lie on this point. Even if there is some admission of decline since the
1970s, the scale is grossly understated. The USA has transitioned from a regime where one earner could afford to buy a house and have
a couple of cars and provide for the education of his children (this matters for the USA where tuition is not free), to a regime where even
two earners cannot make ends meet. But the statistics pretend that the second earner is almost fully offsetting the decline in income of
the first earner. This is total BS. The costs have gone through the roof since the 1970s. This applies to house prices in particular.
In Toronto, Canada, one could buy a nice house in a nice part of town for about $70,000 (Canadian dollars) around 1978. By the 1990s
this same house was approaching $700,000. But the incomes did not increase by a factor of 10 over the same period. In Canada the
tuition costs have skyrocketed for post-secondary education and they have increased substantially above inflation in the USA as well.
But offshoring has really done in the middle class in North America. Good paying jobs have disappeared to replaced by lower paying
service sector jobs. This is not a sustainable model. If the corporate bosses had any plan, then it was to replace the lost consumers
in the developed world with hundreds of millions of new consumers in China, India and elsewhere. So throwing the US workforce under
the bus would not mean bankruptcy but more filthy lucre. But here is where we come to the topic of this thread. Something went
very wrong with the plan. It appears that the clowns just assumed that they would own those new markets but it was Chinese and
Indian companies that dominated instead. That would vastly reduce the income stream from the new consumers. So throwing US
and other developed world consumers under the bus is not working out.