Population - Back in the days of George Washington's presidency, the U.S. was a wild place just trying to figure itself out. Dueling to the death was not only accepted but expected. Even when something as innocuous as mild sander occurred, farmers in Massachusetts started a mini-revolution over a 6 cent per gallon tax on whiskey, and literally no one on Earth had any clue that dinosaurs ever existed.
This time period also saw the slowest population growth in U.S. history, until now. Per the Census Bureau, this year's national population growth of 0.1% is the slowest since the founding of the United States. To put it lightly, this is not good.
Long-term economic prosperity in a capitalist society is crucially linked to a growing population. The idea that we can produce more and more stuff every year to continue growth of capital and living standard is contingent on a growing market to engage in commerce with, in other words, a growing population. So yeah, rapidly decelerating population growth in the U.S. should be slightly more than a bit concerning.
A plethora of factors are responsible here. First, as economies become more developed and the standard of living increases, population growth slows via a declining birth rate. Being the most developed economy the world has ever seen, you might expect a mild slowdown overtime. Combine that declining birth rate with an increased death rate, thanks largely to the pandemic and simply not taking care of our national health, the imbalance widens.
But, the U.S. has had a trump card (no pun intended) to counteract these forces. Immigration has been a boom. Given crackdowns on and tightening of immigration policy in recent years, our trump card could effectively be Trump'd.
Even Elon Musk in an interview earlier this year stated that slowing population growth could be the primary existential crisis facing the world today. Will we even have enough people to colonize Mars? Or even grow the economy in the long-term? No one can be sure yet, but any measures to increase population growth would be much appreciated…by literally everyone.