Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Tassu Shervani (First Impression)

I participated in a virtual summit with Tassu Shervani, PhD as the speaker. He used rather simple analysis of global census and historical patterns to make some very interesting conclusions that do not seem to be the current popular views. The analysis he focuses on is population and demographics.

He starts with how impacts of population growth is to market demands, resources, and GDP. His magic number of 2.1 is the number of children each parents need to produce to maintain a stable population. 2 is obvious because you need two kids who will eventually replace the two parents. Of course there are accidents, health issues, and other events that prevents reproduction, so the number should be greater than 2. Tassu jokingly states that 0.1 is for risk management.

He then goes into how this impacts different countries when the average number of children is greater than 2.1, around 2.1, and less than 2.1. US is around 1.9 (maybe 1.95) indicating that we would have a decreasing population. For us, this has different impacts for our generation today than it was 70 years ago when the number of children was 5-7. One of the examples of impacts to our society is social security. Today, there are one person to support each senior citizen. Compare this to the past, 5-7 people support each senior citizen. Not only that, people are living longer so each person today has to support longer than before.

This has an impact on the workforce and consumers as we move from a growing population to a decreasing population within a couple generations. For a period of time during the process of decreasing population, we'll have an increasing workforce (as children grows into the work force and elderly staying longer in the market) but a decreasing consumers (as people die, children are always consuming). We do not have this impact yet, primarily because of immigration. Immigration maintains the US population to be increasing.

I just find it interesting as to all the oppositions I see on the news to immigration. Immigrants seem to be very helpful to our economy which would impact our job market.

Tassu does bring up a lot of other discussions. Unfortunately, I cannot share it as it is hosted behind a firewall. I did find one video of Tassu on YouTube which discusses a small portion of the summit talk. It was very nice to hear him use actual numbers to reach the conclusions. You may not believe all the conclusions, but at least there is something concrete to accept or refute instead of basing our reactions to our very limited form of information (ie the news for me which really is just showing other people's opinions or fake numbers like polls of other people's opinions).

Reference

1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYqp0gJT_J4
2 - http://www.tianow.org/videos/its-not-just-connectivity-its-business/13806/  - Another talk but not related to population