Investing in the future

Charles MacFarland, Ewingsdale

The Echonetdaily Cartoon of the week – 1 July showing a real estate auction, where one couple say ‘Our eighth investment property!’ and a young couple with a baby complain ‘We can’t even buy our first home’.

The message of the cartoon is plain enough: young couples starting a family cannot afford a place to live because of the rapacity of investors.

I see it a bit differently, however. Climate change and the spreading novel coronavirus are teaching humanity that we need to throttle right back on population growth, which is aggravating many other problems too: species extinction, pollution, traffic, loss of wilderness, etc, etc.

Politicians assert that population decline is a disaster, because (they say) in future there will not be enough young people to support the elderly on the pension. But note, the investor couple apparently have no children, and in any case will not need the pension. If people don’t have kids, they can save much more easily for their old age.

The young couple, on the other hand, are going ahead with offspring even though they don’t have enough money to provide a place to live.

Like it or not, the future belongs to people who provide for themselves by saving and investing, and not to those who burden the planet with numbers she cannot sustain.

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