Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Poland and its falling population

 Poland, a nation with a population of more than 38 million, registered 357,400 births last year and some 486,200 deaths from various causes. The overall data showed a population loss of some 129,000 people, compared with a decline of some 36,400 the year before. Poland’s population has slowly decreased in the past 20 years mostly due to the emigration of young people seeking better opportunities.

The low birth rate surprised observers because some experts predicted the lockdown measures the Polish government has imposed on and off since mid-March would lead to a baby boom

Economist Rafal Mundry said, “We have a huge demographic crisis.” 

‘Demographic crisis’: Poland population shrinking under pandemic | Poland News | Al Jazeera

For capitalism a fall in numbers but accompanied by an ageing population is a problem.

Less people means a smaller market to sell to but it also means less people of working age supporting more who aren’t being productive.

China suffered it with their one-child policy and call it the 1-2-4 problem…one worker supporting his or her parents and also grandparents. It being made worse by the lack of an effective state welfare system in China to take up the burden of looking after the elderly.

Capitalism does offer solutions to this under-population. Increased productivity of those who are working. Reducing the dependency by raising the retirement age. Encouraging more immigration of younger healthier workers. To some degree or other, all three options are being introduced but not with equal priority. Japan, for instance, has done very little to invite immigration.

But we also have to note that even with fertility drop the population still grows because of what is called population momentum

Socialism will not suffer any unwelcomed consequences of a reduced population and we would welcome it, in general.

But our current political problem are those who wish to embark upon eugenic programmes supposedly to protect the environment. Delve a bit deeper and it is racist family-planning policies aimed at the undeveloped and developing countries with the purpose to protect the high levels of, and very profitable for capitalism, consumption and GDPs of the industrialised developed nations. Also with the land-grab and the mechanisation of plantation farming and high-tech extractive idustries, much of the labour-force is superfluous and surplus to requirements so push them into the mega-city slums and engage in service work.

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