NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Malthus, Meet The Labor-Starved Economy

April 20, 2000

Two hundred years ago, Thomas Robert Malthus predicted that population growth would outrun the food supply. Today, the fear is that job creation in the U.S. and some other high-tech countries is outstripping the population of available workers. In fact, the U.S. is having to import skilled immigrant workers just to help satisfy the voracious demands of its high-tech sectors.

Declining fertility rates in developed nations is today's problem -- not an over-abundance of mouths to feed.

  • By 2050, the United Nations estimates, Italy's population will have fallen by 16 million, Japan's by 22 million and Russia's by 26 million.
  • While the U.S. population will continue to grow in the short term -- mainly owing to immigration -- it is expected to start declining sometime after 2025.
  • Citing the looming nationwide labor shortage, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has called for an increase in the number of visas for skilled foreign workers -- and endorsed a bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) to triple the number of high-tech workers admitted annually.

Source: Tom Bethell (American Spectator) "Malthus's Big Error: Population Control Endangers Stability of World Economies," Investor's Business Daily, April 20, 2000.


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