Greg Ip has a piece on demographics in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal.
Next year, the world’s advanced economies will reach a critical milestone. For the first time since 1950, their combined working-age population will decline…and by 2050 it will shrink 5%. The ranks of workers will also fall in key emerging markets, such as China and Russia. At the same time the share of these countries’ population over 65 will skyrocket.
There are two competing factors that dominate those statistics: people are living longer, in particular in retirement, and women are bearing fewer children over their lifetimes. As Ip put it,
As the terrorist threat becomes ever more apparent—Paris, for instance—political experience in a Presidential candidate would seem to be at a premium, according to political…pundits. I agree: given the US’ role in the world, even after President Barack Obama’s seven-year retreat, a retreat actively supported by the Democratic Party, political experience is highly important. Especially with the damage done by that retreat, political experience is highly important. So is an ability to learn policy issues and rationally to form policy and adjust it as empirical data flow in.
President Barack Obama stopped the Keystone XL pipeline (fortunately, it’s not permanent; a better informed President can undo this damage, but that’s for another post). Obama, supported by his Democrat confreres (though, as I said, it was his decision), offered these excuses for the stoppage:
the pipeline would create few jobs
Even taking that as accurate (thousands of jobs are not “few,” though), job creation in our present economy is not a thing to be dismissed as casually as this. Further, the John Kerry State Department’s analysis that the jobs created would amount to fewer than 0.1% of “the nation’s total employment” is fatuous on its face: other than Big Government, there are vanishingly few enterprises that don’t employ fewer than 0.1% of our nation’s total employment.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do Democrats. The vacuum Democrats abhor, though, isn’t a natural one, it’s manmade—gaps in regulation. Americans are just too stupid to manage our own lives, on our own, insist Democrats, and so Democrats demand to regulate our lives for us. For our own good, you see. And for the good of Democrats’ political power. Here are two examples.
In Houston, the Liberal city government didn’t think bathroom accommodations for those who can’t accept who they are should be a matter of negotiation between employer and employee or prospective employee.
Some empirical data are starting to accumulate. The following graphs are from AEIdeas. The first one shows the apparent impact of Seattle’s minimum wage law, which hiked the minimum to $15/hr, with the first increment to $11/hr taking effect last April. The graph shows restaurant employment in the Seattle Metropolitan Statistical Area and Washington other than the Seattle MSA from 2010 through Sept 2015.
…is targeting another Republican, this time with criminal intent. President Barack Obama’s Secret Service was sufficiently dismayed about being caught at and exposed for their misbehaviors and incompetences by Senator Jason Chaffetz (R, UT), House Oversight Committee Chairman, that Secret Service Assistant Director Ed Lowry suggested that Chaffetz should be targeted with “leaked” personal information of a suitably embarrassing nature. Lowry wrote an email to Deputy Assistant Director Faron Paramore:
Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out. Just to be fair[.]
And, perhaps, a sign of growing Democratic Party desperation.
Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush, on a campaign stop in South Carolina last week, said this to his black audience:
Our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting and says, “You can achieve earned success. We’re on your side.”
There are few things that terrify Progressives and Democrats more than those trapped into dependency on Progressive Government escaping the trap and being able to do for themselves, without those Progressives doing for them—and collecting personal political power in the process.
Hillary Clinton, Democratic Presidential candidate has decided she opposes the Keystone XL pipeline—because it’s a distraction. With her view of the pipeline on the table, the distraction of it kept her from talking about her climate warming…stuff.
Of course, she could have settled the distraction by supporting the pipeline, too: the question’s unsettled state was the distraction. Thus, her opposition is just naked pandering to the leftist climatistas; it has no other purpose at all.
Governor Scott Walker has some plans for unions, if he’s elected President. Walker says he would
eliminate the National Labor Relations Board, prohibit federal employee unions; institute right-to-work laws nationwide; and repeal the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, which requires the payment of local prevailing wages to workers on federal construction projects, often boosting pay and project costs.
There’s much to like here. All of these boost competition and lower costs to American consumers, which in turn will be highly stimulative of our economy.