A Fertility Implosion and an Aging Population
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After years of hand-wringing about a world with too many people, the human population is rapidly getting older. We look at the consequences — for better or worse. Also, unemployment rate dips, but hiring slows as well. On Reporter's Notebook, the notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout will serve 25 years in a US prison. Was he the victim of an elaborate sting? What are the consequences for US-Russian relations?
Banner image: The hands of an elderly woman as she sits in her room on December 29, 2011. Photo credit should read Eric Cabanis/AFP/Getty Images
Unemployment Rate Dips, but Hiring Slows as Well ()
Last month's unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 8.2 percent, and that's good news, according to President Obama. Nevertheless, the President acknowledged that "it's clear to every American that there will still be ups and downs along the way and that we've got a lot more work to do." As always, there's more to the story than that "tick-down" in the unemployment rate. Sudeep Reddy is economics reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Global Ageing: Peril or Promise? ()
This year's World Economic Forum at Davos released a report that surprised those still worried about overpopulation. Forget the "Population Bomb." Birthrates are now declining around the world, and the latest concern is the "Grey Tsunami." That's when those over 60 have swamped those under 30, and that moment may be coming sooner than you think. Even the US is moving in that direction, leading New York Times columnist David Brooks to call it, "the slowly aging leader of a rapidly aging world." Will fewer people enjoy longer lives? Will the environment enjoy welcome relief, or will the generations go to war over diminishing resources?
- Phillip Longman: New America Foundation
- Mark Weisbrot: Center for Economic and Policy Research, @markweisbrot
- Maddy Dychtwald: Age Wave, @GoInfluence
- Gary Hurst: laid-off social worker
Russian Arms Dealer Viktor Bout Sentenced to 25 Years ()
Viktor Bout was captured in Thailand, to which he was lured by American agents posing as Colombian rebels. Today the international arms dealer received the minimum sentence of 25 years in federal prison from an American judge, who said Bout "might never have committed the charged crimes" if it hadn't been for the sting. Russia is loudly denouncing the trial, conviction and sentencing. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Bout was deprived of his rights and should be returned to Russian soil. Douglas Farah, president of a national security consulting firm, is co-author of a book about Bout, Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes and the Man Who Makes War Possible.
- Douglas Farah: IBI Consultants
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