Bravo: Leader Unconcerned by Population Decline
It’s a bit challenging to decide whether Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe belongs on the Wall of Shame or the Wall of Fame this week. His recent comments accepting Japan’s shrinking population – in the end – are dramatic enough that they outweigh his obvious worship of economic growth. You’ll share my mixed emotions when you check out this recent Reuters news story:
Read the story. See the video. Here’s what I like about this report and Abe’s comments:
“I have absolutely no worries about Japan’s demography….”
But here’s the part I’m not crazy about:
“Japan may be aging. Japan may be losing its population. But these are incentives for us,’ he said. ‘Why? Because we will continue to be motivated to grow our productivity….”
Growing productivity, in itself, is not a bad idea. But the rest of this story makes it pretty clear that – while Abe seems to be relaxed about the shrinking population (or at least resigned to it) – he is still obsessed with economic growth. One impossible and destructive quest down; one to go.
Bravo to Abe for accepting a population contracting toward a sustainable level. Thanks to Reuters’ Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka for sharing this with us, though I’m afraid the significance of it may be lost on them, based on my read of the report. All need to become familiar with limits to growth.
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