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Nov 8, 2017 in Economics
The current world population is estimated to be seven billion people. The exact number is higher than this and resources to satisfy the population keep decreasing with each census. Some of the ways, through which the world population is kept in check, is through the dying of people. Death of human beings is caused by a number of variables with diseases and accidents topping the list. However, death in some philosophical approaches has been defined to mean the loss bodily functionality. In modern medical research, death has been defined as the complete non-responsiveness from any given living organism. In this case, cryonics is a technological approach or solution to the death issue that uses the medical definition of death to its advantage. The advantage is that cryonics store human bodies and body parts in frozen nitrogen so that they can be revived with time. For this reason, the aspect of death has not only been argued from medical perspective but also from legal perspectives. While non-responsiveness has not been welcome by cryonics to mean death, putting any particular person in a non-responsive state is defined by the law as murder under the categories of assisted suicide or manslaughter.
Given that cryonics is a technology that preserves human bodies and body parts in order to give to science the possibilities to discover future medical treatments for various diseases, the first consideration is that the level of economic viability nations will be struggling to keep up with the multiplied population growth. Cryonics is assumed to be the answer to keeping people healthy; however, its effects are far more damaging to the economy that only economically stable nations are able to sustain such effects. In this research paper, cryonics will be investigated under the economic perspective and the possible financial projections that may result if a technology to revive people preserved using cryonics is discovered. Firstly, the availability of cryonics would mean that all diseases related death would be controlled or fully managed. Secondly, the mortality rate of humans would be lower, hence, an influx in population would occur. Thirdly, the current resources, which keep getting scarce, would break economies around the globe. Lastly, as a result of an increased demand and low supply, inflation would sky rocket to levels that various personages will be unable to keep up with. As much as technology may solve the problems associated with health and diseases, its economic effects are much pronounced with regards to uncontrollable population growth.
Possible Cryonics Related Economic Issues
Inflation: Cryonics provides a technological solution to the medical field of various diseases that are untreatable with current technology but that will be able to be treated in future. It is through this notion that humans are given the change to live longer than their current health statuses could allow them. However, with an economic approach to the issue, it is clear that the privileges that cryonics presents to the world lead to an economic imbalance. Economic imbalance is created by higher consumption of products and resources than supply and replacement can afford. With the current seven-billion-figure in the world population, the economy is undergoing a great recession and investment is negatively affected. Fast forwarding to the year 2200, when the technology might be in effect, the seven billion figure can be estimated to have a grown to 50 billion. A 50 billion amount of population that comprises non-dying humans will create an inflation problem due to high or very limited resources.
Imbalanced Income Distribution: With the problem of increased population, the earth’s resourcefulness would not grow any further and industrialization would come to a standstill with no more products to produce. This situation would create economies that do not provide employment, therefore, amplifying the already wanting income imbalance and wealthy distribution.
Poor Education: With regards to imbalanced wealth and income distribution, poor education is expected to be a trend under the technological effects of cryonics. The higher the number of students enrolled for education is, the higher number is left without vacancies, hence, deteriorating the national economy and account deficit even further. With debts piling up, the U.S. government has been incurring costs of negative investment for the sake of offsetting the national debt interests.
Budget deficit: Currently, the US has a national debt of more than $15 trillion, which has been piling up since two decades ago. With the increased population number and limited resources, the U.S. has a chance of offsetting this debt if it is the pioneer of cryonics and related technologies. However, this change would be temporary until the population growth enters the unsustainable level controlling for the adaptability of the technology. However, given that economies like China are in the rise, the adaptability of cryonics and its effects would be worldwide with a time scope of 200 years from now. In this case, the USA terms this as national debt-related socioeconomic that factors would be amplified due to lack of funding and increased consumption of resources by non-productive citizenry.
Poverty: The USA comprises of various social groups with billionaires and millionaires controlling the economy with their investments. However, with a steady and predictable population growth, investments created by these millionaires thrive sustainably. An influx in population growth would create an economic problem that would bankrupt investments, increase child poverty, and neutralize foreign and local investments.
With regards to the 2010 population presented in graph 1, it is evident that the age group represented by the 0-4 years is much less as compared with the following; 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, and 25- 30 age groups. The trend depicted in these few age groups is that there is an unexplained increase in population for both males and females aged between 10 and 30 years. However, with consideration to the 30-34 age group, a drop in both males and females is evident. This shows that the 2010 population growth as depicted in graph 1 followed a uniform trend in terms of balance between males and females. However, considering the 35-39, 40-44, 45-49 and 50-54 year age groups, an increase is depicted from financial perspective, there is an increased number of people within the employment category. Taking the retirement age to be 56 years of age, age groups older than 55 display a decreasing trend towards the age of 75 meaning that most people do not live long after retirement. This means that the mortality rate of most native US citizen is around the age of 60.
Sex and age groups are the main cohorts that are considered in this predication. However, other assumptive cohorts have been included to access the economic stability of the U.S. For example, from the age of 0 to the age of 19 years, there is a general increase for both males and females. However, with regards to the contribution these age groups have on the economy, it is clearly understandable that many of the individuals making up this group belong to the dependent lot. In consideration of the age group following from 20 years to about 54 years, there is a general fall and gradual increase in the population of both men and women. However, between the ages of 40-54, as depicted in the graph, there are more women in this category in this age group than men. In addition, the tables seem to be turning from the age of 60 and above. Herein, the slope of female’s graph curve is sharper than that of males. This means that from the age of 60, the life expectancy of females keep decreasing at a higher rate than that of males.
Poor education. The U.S.’s national education system is in a crisis because various issues like student loans, teacher evaluation and salaries, funding, and a number of other issues threaten to bring down the already declining American standards of education to a record low. According to the report issued by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the USA ranked 17th, 31st, and 23rd in reading, mathematics, and science literacy respectively. This followed after a research that involved 31 countries worldwide and 470,000 15-year old students. Concerning some of the US’s trade partners, China appeared 1st in all the categories. In another report published by the EPEResearchCenter, the number of students failing to graduate with a diploma was 1.23 million for the class of 2007. To be specific, the study shows that around 6,400 students dropped out of school every single day (Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama position on education, 2012).
Most analysts pin the problem of education to the economic state of the nation. With consideration to this, Cecilia Elene Rose, in her 2005 paper, The Labor Market Consequences of Inadequate Education, highlighted that students that do not graduate from high school will earn $260,000 less as compared to those, who do. In addition, the country will be losing about $1.9 billion or 1.6% of the GDP from both tax and income revenue from every group of 18-year olds failing to graduate from high school. According to the research conducted in the year 2009 by PISA, Americans used to have the 2nd highest number of college graduates in the world. This can be verified through assessing the 55-to-64 age group. This group represents more than 41% of college graduates nationwide and coincides with the nation’s post World War II economic growth. Forwarding this period to 30 years later, the American college graduates have dropped from the second position to the 16th
Account deficit. Account or Budget deficit is a situation that depicts a scenario, where spending exceeds income or means and sources of providing funds. The U.S. has actually run out of money considering the outstanding 15.2 trillion dollar of national debt that has a growth rate of a remarkable rate (Monthly treasury statement: The debt total, 2012). A debt of 15.2 trillion dollars is not a big debt if it were to be paid without the consideration of interests over the time it will be managed and funded. However, the situation that sends the problem of account deficit into unbearable situation is the accumulation of interests that is added up to the debt. The government of the USA does not have money of its own if the situation is taken figuratively – tax payers’ money cannot be made the governments’ money. Just because the government collects it, it still does not mean that transfer of ownership takes place. The public, through the tax it pays, expects the government to use it to make its survival tolerable while the same time tackling the problems of inflation and insecurity.
Treasury is the biggest spender of the U.S. money as it takes up to 457 billion dollars to settle some form of interest emanating from the national debt (Monthly treasury statement: The debt total, 2012). This process does not help the situation from the perspective of settling the debt let alone reducing it. Since the government does not have money of its own, it borrows and spends that borrowed money and then uses the taxpayers’ money to settle the debt or the interests of the debt. In this case, the government is stealing from the public with the excuse of bailing the deficit out being the only way out. Analysts pin this problem not on the revenue generating projects the government is involved in, but on the government’s laxity in addressing the issue of immigration, which creates two major problems: funding refugee camps and deporting immigrants; and pumping funds to finance the terror threat expected to leak into the country through the U.S.’s open borders.
As the debt continues to grow, the situation will escalate further beyond being a deficit to the point of rendering the U.S.’s government bankrupt. However, as scary as the situation gets, it seems that the government would like to keep the current debt of 15.2 trillion at just $15.2 trillion by finding a new way to raise more money to pay interests. There is nothing in the U.S. like reducing the debt at this point; to settle the debt and be deficit-free would require more money coming from the public pockets, while the issues lagging behind will need new funding strategies. As people are taxed more to cover for the debt, most of the projects that concern the welfare of the public are left unattended, therefore, worsening the living standards of the common citizens. The cycle of money at its current state will escalate to new unbearable levels given that year in year out, the same trend of accumulating deficits and growing debts will continue. Assessing the perspective that the government looks into the matter through, one would see why achieving the goal of clearing the debts is almost impossible (Monthly treasury statement: The debt total, 2012).
Poverty. Poverty in the United States of America is the earning of household income of below 60% on the contemporary median (Berthoud & Zantomio, 2008). The effects of income poverty and associated health challenges in the United States of America are brought by inequality in income distribution as well as poor choices of careers. In addition to wrong or non-dynamic career choices, certain groups of people tend to lag behind in terms of change. The world is changing to the digital era by embracing top technology; therefore, manual work that some groups of people assume to be well paying is being replaced by a different form of work depending on the use of mind rather than muscle (Blanchflower and Oswald, 2011). To handle the changing technological sphere, the almost-unaffordable or missing quality education is a vital requirement that a large percentage has no access to.
The groups of people mostly affected by poverty in terms of income poverty and associated health challenges include the aging that are almost entering the retiring age, non-English speakers, and children (Blundell, Dearden, and Sianesi, 2005; Brewer, Browne and Jin, 2011). Whether in case of citizens or investors in the United States of America, the spoken language is a contributing factor to the type of life one would lead. Children are dependent on their parents and guardians for education and provision of other basic needs. Diet, clothing, and quality education are necessary for healthy growth of children. Failure to achieve all these renders masses of children as poor (Brewer, Browne, and Jin, 2011).
The most widely watched groups of people living in the U.S. and considered relatively poor live below the 60% household incomes of the modern-day median. A study carried out between the start of 2009, and the end of 2010 showed that the number of people living below the poverty line was declining without consideration of raising the amount of renting and buying of houses. The ministry of labor of the U.S. announced that a drop in the relative poverty from 19.4% to 17.1% within the period of 1996-97 years had been achieved, while an increase had been registered from 17.1% to 22.2% from 1997 to 2010. Whichever way the labor statistics may indicate, the issue of health seemed to be constant as many as 17% of the American population struggle with health issues in terms of settling bills and consulting doctors for their medical checkups.
“The relative growth and fall in the number of people faced with poverty in the United
States of America are because of shaky economic and financial variables” (Adam and Browne, 2010).Considering the recession of 2008, many issues including unstable exchange rates between the dollar and other major currencies were concerned (Atkinson, 1999). As people trade their shares in the stock market, the unstable currencies cost them their merchandise, while at the same time, companies on the receiving end incur losses to be burdened by shareholders. Loss after loss of invested money translates into child poverty and, as a result, income poverty and losses incurred contribute to substandard living conditions. It is not only the organizations and investors affected by collapsing markets; as the exchange rates fall, the cost of health care goes up. To respond to some of these issues, organizations relieve employees of healthcare allowances with cut on spending (Brewer, Goodman, and Leicester, 2006). The common citizen cannot be blamed for not trying hard enough. However, the government’s management of taxpayers’ money can be blamed. The common citizen will not pay tax and, at the same time, volunteer to safeguard the U.S.-Mexico or U.S.-Canada border against some illegal immigrants that have the potential to disrupt the growth and development of the U.S. economy.
Cryonics under Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that outlines means of fabrication as confidentially owned and investment made for revenue procedures in competitive souks. Fiscal crunches can be circumvented if empathetic entrepreneurship is adept. In addition, economic forecasters claim that the situation could be improved if an ambler form of entrepreneurship is practiced. Empathetic entrepreneurship would be attained if stockholders and large establishments accomplished impartial trade by discerning supervisory decrees. On the other hand, unrestricted entrepreneurship would be attained if all establishments and stockholders were left to participate within the competitive marketplace by administering nominal by-laws. Considering the cryonics technology, only a few organizations are capable of adapting the expensive technology. In this case, cryonics, considering Alcor for example, is a monopolistic form of industry directly aimed at destroying the health care system by rather introducing an expensive way of treating any type of disease and prolonging human lives. However, with regards to capitalism, this approach is not only monopolistic; it also creates room for financial crises related to population growth and control of cryonics’ market by a few powerful health care affiliated players.
Future Financial Crisis
The economic meltdown is thought by various economists and investors as a difficult situation only made for banks and the financial institutions. However, financial crisis is for everyone caught within the circumstances. Failing of large fiscal institutes in the likes of credit unions, building societies, trust corporations, mortgage-loan firms, indemnification syndicates, annuity reserves, stockbrokers, guarantors, and investment funds is concomitant with rickety economies. Although banks fit to the same classification as the above termed institutes, they have an extra benefit over the other kinds and natures of institutes. This is because they saved from by the government and they can settle back the debts with finance credit returns from institutes they lend money to.
The link amid personages with the community and the fiscal institutes is on the type of reliance shared between the two. The society mostly relies on the financial institutions to safeguard their futures, to earn a living, to support their health, and to cultivate venture funds. With the failing of these institutes, an individual or majority of the individuals building up the civilization lose all these remunerations – cryonics is a technological solution to one social aspect and damage to various economic variables (Shiller, 2008).
The availability of cryonics means that all disease related deaths will be controlled or fully managed in future. The mortality rate of humans would be lower; hence, an influx in population would occur. The current resources, which keep decreasing, would run out and crush economies that use them. As a result of the increased demand and low supply, inflation would sky rocket to levels that various personages will be unable to keep up with. However, with regards to capitalism, this approach is not only monopolistic; it also creates financial crises related to population growth and control of cryonics’ market by a few powerful health care affiliated players. The effects of cryonics are dominantly financial and affect the whole socioeconomic spectrum comprising the education, income distribution, poverty management, and inflation.
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