Re: NEWS: Ageing recession warning

From: Randy Smith (
Date: Thu Aug 30 2001 - 10:03:40 MDT

>From: "Randy Smith" <>
>Subject: Re: NEWS: Ageing recession warning
>Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 10:09:24 -0500
>>From: Charlie Stross <>
>>Subject: Re: NEWS: Ageing recession warning
>>Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 15:12:03 +0100
>>On Thu, Aug 30, 2001 at 07:28:57AM -0500, Tiberius Gracchus wrote:
>> > >Folks, we _need_ those anti-ageing treatments. Badly!
>> >
>> > Right! we need to be able to keep working and working even as we get
>> > older and older. I want to live forever so I can keep going to the
>> > office and working and working....
>> >
>> > This article, the assumption made by its author, and your response to
>> > it, exemplify very well common misconceptions about economics made by
>> > the media.
>>What on earth are you going on about?
>>Yes, I know that the media assume we all live to work. I am aware
>>that, with any luck, this whole issue will become academic within a
>>decade or so as assumptions about productivity being coupled to human
>>beings slide into obsolescence.
>>Nevertheless, this is *the* problem that has held *Japan* in recession
>>throughout the 1990's. It may not have been the initial cause, but
>>the demographics suggest that the increasing old age problem there
>>has exacerbated their current economic headaches.
>>The critical thing to note is the ratio of productive workers to non-
>>productive pensioners. Within the current paradigm, fewer workers and
>>more pensioners means either the need for more wealth distribution and
>>higher taxation ... or starving pensioners.
>>This isn't about the future; this is about the here-and-now. And how
>>are we going to get to that wonderful technological singularity if
>>our planetary economy goes into decline and stays there for the rest
>>of our lives?
>The term "recession" measures the health of a country when it is treated as
>a business. But what has that to do with the wellbeing of the *citizens* of
>the country? Let's look at what should be the perfectly obvious example:
>suppose all citizens of Japan were retired, having saved enough money to be
>financially independent. No one at all would be working: the GDP would
>approach ZERO...the media would be screaming about it. But the *owners* of
>the country, its retired citizens, are doing just great. I really hope
>example brought home for you just how very disconnected from reality media
>economic reporting really is.
>And yes, I want to live forever, too, but I have come to the conclusion
>the conventional wisdom that a "healthy economy" has little bearing on the
>chances of developing long life medicine. WHy should the two be connected?

Correction: I should have said that I have come to the conclusion that the
conventional wisdom which holds that a "healthy economy" will get us to
Singularity and long life, is basically wrong.
What we probably have to do is get high status human critters to think and
do as we do (i.e., think that long life/immortality is good, and take
actions etc), and then the rest will follow...

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