Monday, 3 April 2017

Robots, Not Immigrants, Can Combat Canada's Ageing Demographic.

One of the major selling points used to sell weary Canadians on the necessity of mass (third world) immigration is that without it our ageing demographic will sink the economy and consequently our standard of living.  However, a study published this year by two MIT economists challenges this conventional wisdom; that an aging population negatively affects a country’s economic growth leading to lowered GDP per capita and what is termed “secular stagnation.”  On the contrary they conclude that there is “no such negative relationship in the data” and that “countries experiencing more rapid aging have grown more in recent decades.”

It’s a short study (only 10 pages) but the tl;dr version of it simply states that the reason they found no negative correlation between a country’s aging society and its economic output is that the economy adapted to it by implementing labour saving technology.

It’s a timely study considering the AI revolution looming on the horizon and one Canadian government officials should know about.  If Canada’s labour market challenges can be met with algorithms it makes no sense to keep shoveling people into the country who will in time become redundant, superfluous, surplus labour dependent of some form of government aid.  And considering immigration isn't even effective at marginally reversing an ageing demographic trend, for the simple reason that immigrants age too, I think it's more reasonable to look at technology, not immigrants, as the proper response to it.