Ask HN: Should countries try to increase birth rate in the era of automation?

5 points by sidaxon a year ago

Demographic winter is a relevant topic discussed today. Countries are worried about things like workforce shortage or who's gonna pay the retirement of old people -- that's why some countries are pushing to reform retirement, making old people work more years.

But, it also seems obvious to me that we are seeing a new industrial revolution that'll wipe a lot of jobs, so less human work will be necessary. So, why create more people, if more people will be not that necessary in the future?

logicalmonster a year ago

> So, why create more people, if more people will be not that necessary in the future?

On the surface, it sounds sort of idealistic and environmentally friendly to just think about putting messaging out there to have less people for a better future for the world. But I think you have to consider the second order effects and political reality we live in.

Are all humans alike? Who is the type of person that would buy into this propaganda?

Maybe it's the smart and socially conscious people who should be raising large families for the betterment of society who buy into this message?

Maybe it's the borderline illiterate people who are quite irresponsible about raising families (bang repeatedly without condoms and have XX kids, depend on the state for support, are not good parents who raise their children to be good citizens) who would be completely immune to this propaganda?

If that's the case, then your idealistic idea just trades a future of many smart people and many dumb people for fewer people, but an even worse ratio of smart to dumb people, which might be far more destructive to the future of the world.

quickthrower2 a year ago

We would need to go post-money too. The idea of say a million or so rich people running all the robots selling to a destitute everyone else doesn’t really work.

tigertim719 a year ago

Yes, if we only consider all the jobs are available now and if we only think about labour jobs.

I think having diversity, different minds navigating different potential paths of human will always be an advantage. So this definitely emphasise how impoart our future education system should be.

sourcecodeplz a year ago

So we don't go extinct?

  • sidaxon a year ago

    Yes, I asked in a kind of exaggerated way. I'm not saying that we should stop having kids altogether, just that a birth rate that keeps the population stable is justifiable now.