Customer Review

77 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Case for American Optimism, February 7, 2010
This review is from: The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050 (Hardcover)
Joel Kotkin estimates that by 2050 the United States will be home to 400 million people, about 100 million more than today. Looking at demographic trends, fertility rates, and immigration patterns, he predicts that the US will have the greatest population growth of all the advanced industrial nations. It has already been well-documented that Japan and European countries, with low fertility rates and restrictive immigration policies, will decline in population in the coming years. As an example, the Russian population will decline by 30 percent by 2050, not only because of low fertility rates and little immigration, but also because of high mortality rates.

The author argues that China, with its one-child policy, will find itself by 2050 with about 30 percent of the population over age 60. This policy will also hamper it from overtaking the US in terms of GDP anytime soon. This prediction illustrates one of the pitfalls of futurology: I have read elsewhere that China has abandoned its one-child policy due to "shortages" of factory workers. Take away the one-child policy and again China is an economic dynamo.

As in his previous book, The City: A Global History (Modern Library Chronicles), Kotkin is a champion of suburbia and the exurbs. This distinguishes him from Richard Florida who champions the creative class of the metropolitan areas. Kotkin believes future growth, both demographic and economic, will be in the lesser known heartland suburbias, where the standard of living is lower and regulations are fewer. Growth will not be as robust in "luxury cities" such as San Francisco and New York which are more attractive for young and single adults as well as childless couples. These bohemian types, according to the author, focus more on art and lifestyle, rather than creating jobs and families.

It is obvious from the trends that Kotkin outlines in his current book that most of the population growth and economic expansion will come from immigrant communities, most notably Asian and Hispanic. He points out that between 1990 and 2005 one in four venture-backed public companies was started by either Chinese or Indian diaspora.

Kotkin paints a rosy picture of the future: America will still be a preeminent superpower, sharing that position, however, with China and India. It is good to keep in mind that predicting the future is a shaky business. Projecting a few of the current trends far into the future can be an empty exercise when certain facts on the ground change or when others are overlooked.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 10, 2010 2:02:59 PM PST
Reader says:
China hasn't abandoned the one-child policy. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party recently announced that it would continue it for at least another decade.

Posted on Feb 3, 2011 9:12:03 PM PST
E. Suslow says:
Even if China abandoned the one child policy tomorrow, which they haven't, and people responded by having a lot more children (which may or may not happen) that wouldn't solve their current demographic issues. Any children born after the law change would take at least 18 years to join the workforce. Longer if those children go to college. A worker shortage will hit well before those new workers would have had a chance to grow up.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

3.0 out of 5 stars (31 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: San Francisco, CA USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 50,094