End of China’s Demographic Advantage

In 1965, about 80% of China’s population would be considered dependent.  The vast majority of this is children.  China introduces the one child policy that reduces the number of children over the next few decades.  This frees up more people to work, frees up more resources, and allows for China to compete with the rest of the world on low labor costs.  In 2010, the decreasing “dependent” population changed direction.  That was the lowest year of the dependent population, and from here out China will see an increasing dependent population.


However, the growth in this group comes from “elders”.  People who are retired.  People who no longer and will be unlikely to participate in the labor force again.  Here is the projection from WikiStrat.


The “elder” population will slow China’s growth.  They will consume more resources than the previous dependents population that was made of children.  And unlike children which could be expected to start contributing to the labor pool as early as 10 years old.  The elder population are not expected to enter this pool.

The elder population while not likely to contribute to the labor pool, their experience and knowledge could drive the transition from a labor based economy to a wisdom based economy.

Cypress Coffee Club – stories from the trenchies

Each Tuesday morning a few of us in the Home Happiness Industry get together to swap stories, share ideas, and figure out how to help people have a happy home experience.

But sometimes the stories of home unhappiness are more interesting to share.  Blake the inspector talked about issues he has had with his home builder.  He also talked about home inspections in unsafe neighborhoods where agents suggested his CHL would come in useful.

This lead into a discussion about visiting vacant homes only to find squatters in them.  And even one story of a home under construction where a dead body was found.  A murder on a property is something that has to be disclosed (if known).  And it can negatively affect home value.  Not so many people are OK with the thought of a death taking place where they live.  The house in question was in the framing stage.  The builder figuring they would loose more by finishing construction and having to report the murder, decided it was better to tear down the house and start over.

This lead to another discussion about a foundation being backwards and it was discovered in the framing stage.  builder got a crane, picked up the framed house, moved it to an adjacent lot.  Re-poured the foundation. and then put the framing back on it.

Jim also bought an interesting relationship tidbit.  Apparently in relationships where chores are split 50/50, there is a higher divorce rate.  This lead into all sorts of discussions about why that might be, and a discussion on how the method of doing chores varied between each of us and our spouse.

We had a really good time, and it was worth while!

Death by Numbers

Numbers are powerful things.  They allow for you to compare things easily, and talk about how something is a specific amount more than something else.  We use them all over the place.  To keep track of how much we earn and spend.  To keep track of the days, hours, minutes, and seconds of our lives.  We measure how much people know or have learned using GPAs and test scores.  We can even talk about how strong or fast one person is compared to another using them.

I was over at a friends house a few weeks ago.  He told me that he stopped counting.  Stopped counting!  What does it mean?  And why would you do it?  He says that he has tried to stop using numbers in his daily life as much as possible.  Just live life.  He might be on to something.

Every experience a person might have has been packaged up, quantitatized, and monatized.  Rather it be from having a pleasant meal, to entertainment, even to have someone take that personal touch and listen to you.  All of it can be bought, sold, and traded like so many thing a bobs.

And it become infectious.  Now instead of just enjoying the vegetables from our gardens we start to think about how much these would have cost at the grocery store.  Instead of enjoying that meal made by our loved ones, we calculate how much better and cheaper it was than getting it from a restaurant.

Even a blog like this.  Perhaps it would be best to have only one person read this that I could connect with.  Instead of having hundreds of strangers that I will never interact with on any meaningful way.

Numbers are a powerful tool.  Like any tool, they should be use with great care.