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Rely more on productivity rather than population growth for economic growth

Comment on David Gruen "Asia’s economic challenges and policy choices", 12/03/2014, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/03/11/asias-economic-challenges-and-policy-choices/
Gruen states that “Much of Northeast Asia is facing a period of demographic ageing. China, Japan and South Korea are already rapidly ageing societies, which in China’s case is a direct consequence of its one-child policy. This will detract from future growth, yet Northeast Asia has been unwilling or unable to adopt more open immigration policies like those that enabled Australia and the United States to partially replace ageing working age populations.”
Many Asian countries have very different conditions to Australia’s, so they are unlikely to embrace open immigration programs as Australia or some other countries do.
Further, while there is an issue in terms of inter-generational balance and/or transfer, growth relies on population growth is likely to mask the importance of productivity growth.
Even though sometimes demographic dividends may contribute to economic growth and possibly productivity growth, it is by no means a certainty that a growing world population is naturally optimal to the welfare of the people of the world as a whole.
China adopted the one child family planning policy in the belief that it was, rightly or wrongly, good for the country. Of course, its one child policy has not necessarily been the best family planning policy, even if one accepted that it is desirable to limit population growth. China now seems to be changing its one child policy, albeit very slowly.
It is important to carefully consider how population growth may or may not contribute to productivity growth and based on that to make informed discussion on the role of population growth in economic growth.


China can no longer ignore its serious and worsening pollution problems

Comments on Yanshuang Zhang "China can’t smother growing public demands to clear the air", 4/03/2014, https://theconversation.com/china-cant-smother-growing-public-demands-to-clear-the-air-23811

I have heard of that London used to be the mist capital but don’t really know how bad it was back then. For example, how did it compare with the current situation in Beijing? Are there any data available for some meaningful comparison?
The current pollution in Beijing is likely to be much worse than that in LA, if the differences in the scale of industrial production, as well as urban construction between China now and the US back then are concerned.
While the emissions from cars in China particularly big cities like Beijing are obviously an important source of air pollution, I suspect that it is industrial production and possibly construction that are likely to outweigh the effects of car emissions. That may be particularly the case in comparative sense. Further, car making technology in terms of emissions control probably does not differ much for cars driven in China and those driven in industrialised countries (and I would suspect for that purpose petrol).
It is important to understand the major sources of pollution and the contribution of each major source, so policies are developed based on correct information and most effective in achieving the best outcomes. Unfortunately it appears that even China’s Ministry of the Environment does not yet have a satisfactory answer for that.
It is good that you mentioned an article entitled “China may continue to fog for 50 more years”. There is also a report on the Xinhuanet that the Ministry of Science and Technology states that it does not need 30 years to remedy the pollutions in China that was the time needed to do it from international experience, though no details was given why it would need less time to do so for China. That may be a reply to the argument/claim of fog to last for 50 more years.

I should attach a link to the particular post on the Xinhuanet, even though it is in Chinese: http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2014-03/04/c_126216229.htm
PS: While China has achieved remarkable economic growth since the early 1980s, it has also paid huge prices along the way with intolerable pollutions and increasing income inequality. Pollutions are a national disgrace. Air, water and soil pollutions, unfortunately, will plague China for a long time to come and people’s health will continue to be affected.


Surprising - Canberra is now the most liveable city

Comments on Meredith Clisby “Canberra wins liveability poll but housing still a concern”, 3/03/2014, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-wins-liveability-poll-but-housing-still-a-concern-20140302-33uah.html

As a Canberran I felt some instant personal satisfaction when seeing the title of the article and particularly the first paragraph and sentence that says "Canberra has been ranked Australia's most liveable city but housing affordability remains a concern". That feeling sank almost completely after I read the full article.
One has to be a bit cynical about the ranking when seeing and knowing the following statement "Hobart finished third behind Adelaide and Canberra". Both the other two are cities struggling in attracting people and are probably the capital cities with slowest population growth rates among the capital cities.
Cities that struggle in growth in comparison are unlikely to be most liveable cities.
Fundamentally, perhaps the method used in the survey has its significant shortcomings that can be seen from the following statement in the article: "About 5390 people from all capital cities and regional centres Newcastle and Wollongong participated in the online survey, rating their city against a set of attributes."
The key words are "rating their city against a set of attributes".
Such methodology is hardly comparable across cities owing to its "own city" focus.