Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Short Message To Our Readers

Hello there, if there are many of you still left out there that is. I would like to take this opportunity to offer a short apology for the semi-suspension of service that has characterised this blog for the last year or so.

Basically, just in case you hadn't noticed, we have been living through the most important financial crisis since the 1930s, and Claus and I are both economists and not demographers. So basically we have been absolutely bogged down in following (and thinking about) the crisis. One of the by-products of some of that thinking can be found in the horribly wonkish post which precedes this one. It is a post about economic theory, rather than demography, but such at this level the two are so inextricably intertwined, then it seemed fitting that this should go up first here.

Basically Claus and I take the view that arguing Demography Matters and simply restricting yourself to talking about what may or may not happen in 2050, is to risk spending your time going round and round in circles. Does the earth really go round the sun, since the sun "seems" to go round the earth?

So surely, if demography does matter, there have to be some things in the here and now world around us that we can test for. This is the spirit in which Claus and I have been going about things, and my last post - which really looks just one more time at Germany, Japan and Italy, and what is happening to them - needs to be read with this in mind.

Claus and I, as regular readers will possibly remember, have also spent a good deal of time following the evolving crisis in the East of Europe, which was in fact forecast on this blog. You cannot understand why the crisis is now so acute in that region unless you understand the very special (nay unique) demography which characterises it. Indeed, East Europe's economies are now themselves in the midst of that most Kafkarian of processes - metamorphosis - as they move from consumer driven to export dependent economies.

At the other end of the scale, a whole new wave of emerging economies, from Brazil to India, from Morocco to Peru, now seem destined to pick up the batton and drive the next global charge. Arguably, and yet on more time, demography would seem to be at the centre of things, and unless this simple point is grasped the rest of what is to come may be very hard to follow.

Lastly, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to Randy, who has so valiently soldiered forward and maintained this blog alive through the ice of ice. Now let the thaw commence!


Aslak said...

It's good to see that you're back. I look forward to following this blog again. Are you open to guest contributors? I would love to write occasional posts on non-economic aspects of demography.

Edward Hugh said...

Hello Aslak,

Nice to hear from you again.

"Are you open to guest contributors?"

Definitely. Just mail me (e-mail in sidebar).

Aslak said...

Done :)

Anonymous said...

I just came across the *.matters blogs and immediately signed up for the economics and this one. So I missed your 'year off' but glad to see you are back. I firmly believe in demographics producing reasonably predictable results on business and economy (over time).