From the NYT:
To Be Great Again, America Needs ImmigrantsSo that’s why Mali and Afghanistan are where the real action is.
Ruchir Sharma MAY 6, 2017
Ruchir Sharma, author of “The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World,” is the chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and a contributing opinion writer.
What makes America great? …
What makes America great is, therefore, less about productivity than about population, less about Google and Stanford than about babies and immigrants.
Since 2005, per capita gross domestic product has grown on average by 0.6 percent a year in the United States, exactly the same rate as in Japan and virtually the same rate as in the 19 nations of the eurozone. …
The growing importance of the population race will be very hard for any political leader to fully digest. Every nation prefers to think of itself as productive in the sense of hard-working and smart, not just fertile. But population is where the real action is.
Comparing six of the leading developed countries — the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia and Britain — I found that not only has productivity growth been slowing across the board in recent decades, but also that the gaps in productivity growth among these rich nations are narrowing sharply … which should raise doubts about how any one country, including the United States, can regain a distinct economic advantage by focusing only on reviving productivity.So, America’s “economic power” is its annual toilet paper sales, for which we need more immigrants. Without more immigration, we will lose the toilet paper sales race.
Which brings us back to babies and immigrants. … Increasingly, then, the underlying difference between the fast- and slow-growing economies is explained more by the differences in population growth than by productivity. And the United States now relies more than ever on demographics to defend its economic power.
Politically, the irony of this moment is stark. Population growth is increasingly important as an economic forceIn other words, Ruchir Sharma has no idea how to boost productivity per capita, so he’s switched to talking about gross size of the economy, which, of course, could be boosted by more immigration. He hopes you aren’t paying close attention.
… For these leaders, delivering on these anti-immigrant messages may now be politically imperative, but it will seriously handicap their economies in the global growth sweepstakes. …However, there is this well-known country whose minority population set out to wage a war of the cradle against the majority.
In recent decades nations from Australia to France to Singapore have foreseen the looming economic impact of slower population growth, offering families “baby bonuses” to have more kids — but typically with little impact on the birthrate or the economy.
The impulse to procreate may be one of the few areas of human endeavor that remains beyond the reach of government mandarins.But the government in Israel is on the side of the majority. So in Israel the majority is winning. From the Wall Street Journal:
Jewish Baby Boom Alters Israeli-Palestinian Dynamic
The jump has calmed the fears of many Israeli Jews of being outnumbered, writes Yaroslav Trofimov