Reflection on 2016

Cheming Yang

It is said that 2016 is full of black swans worldwide. But for the Chinese communities, 2016 is still on soft landing economically without much surprise. The GDP growth rate is around 1.2% in Taiwan and that is 6.7% for China. The growth rate is 0.7 percent for Taiwan and 6.9% for China in 2015. Taiwan has done a little better but still hovered at a very low level. China is holding stable but the downward trend has not stopped.
Although the numbers are not great, there is no sign of diving. We cannot be sure whether we are out of the woods, but the road ahead seems level at present. And in fact there is no need to worry too much about the numbers in growth in that we need to adjust the need to grow in terms of the speed of aging in any given society.
Look around the world. There were quite a number unexpected turn of events in 2016. BREXIT and the US presidential election are two among other things. People thought the results did not bode well for the economy and globalization. The world is turning conservative for sure. Not great for globalization, but not necessarily bad for economy.
As I repeatedly reiterate, GDP is no longer a proper gauge of the well being of a society in this aging world. Older people do not travel as much. Older folks have fewer needs and wants. It is evident that we are facing a shrinking economy and a decreasing appetite for globalization. Therefore, we should pay more attention to creating better paid jobs for the labor that provides services to the elderly. This can help reduce the unemployment conundrum for the young generations around the world. Most governments are doing the opposite right now by keeping pumping money into the industries that have the characteristics of winner takes all and hiring fewer and fewer people.
I am not saying that we should do away with globalization. We should continue to encourage young folks to go global. But it is practically impossible for most young guys to feed themselves and support their families by relying on globalization. What is more important is to pay them enough to earn a decent living in an aging environment.
So no need to worry about the decrease in GDP growth. What needs our urgent attention is whether we can gain our GDP from the aging related sectors and create decent employment opportunities in these sectors .

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