Bloomberg News columnist Andy Mukherjee explains why China needs to get rich before it gets too old.
Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Helen Qiao, an economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in Hong Kong, posed an interesting question this week: “Will China grow old before getting rich?”
Qiao’s research shows that China’s dependency ratio — the number of people too young and too old to work divided by the working-age population — will start rising at the end of this decade and approach 50 percent in 2030, from less than 40 percent at present, making China as gray as Japan was last year.
By 2050, every 10 Chinese workers in the age group of 15 to 64 will support a total of seven younger and older people — a dependency ratio of 70 percent.
An aging society may be an inevitable part of demographic transition, though “what makes China’s case unique is that the sharp rise in dependency ratio will arrive earlier in terms of per capita income level relative to other countries,” Qiao says in her report.
In 2030, China’s annual per capita income will be a little more than $11,000 measured in current prices, compared with almost $36,000 in Japan last year, according to Goldman Sachs’s estimates. South Korea’s dependency ratio will approach 50 percent in 2025, with its citizens earning $52,000 a year.
Does it matter if China gets old before it gets rich? It does, for a number of reasons. First, economic growth rates taper off with aging: It’s difficult for a developing nation to get rich after its population has already grown old.
Finally, a blogger (a karate fan, not a gun nut) gives the Cheneying of Whittington the deeply thoughtful analysis it deserves.
Gun Controllers can now add “vice presidents” to the list of people who should not be allowed to purchase or maintain a firearm. The list already includes convicted felons, so it isn’t exactly a stretch to add politicians. If I were president, I wouldn’t want my vice president to be armed, I can tell you that. It conjures up catchy business-sounding phrases such as “Accelerated Line of Succession.” I imagine we can expect to see the Bush Administration starting to take a closer look at Cheney’s roadmap for the administration. Now that Cheney has demonstrated how dangerous he can be, the White House staff is probably on edge….
I take some comfort in knowing that not only is The Left going to be laughing at Dick Cheney’s little hunting accident, so are the quail. So, Democrats can take comfort from the fact that a lot of quail will be registering as Democrats this year. Especially since picture ID’s being required at the voting booth is getting nowhere fast, quail should have no trouble voting using a touch screen. The results we get in our elections will probably be little different than they are today….
I guess what is most amazing about the entire incident is that Cheney didn’t have a heart attack when he realized that he had shot his friend, embarrassed the White House, damaged the gun rights movement, and caused over a billion quail to become registered Democrats. His ticker must be in better shape than we thought.