George Plumb: Poverty and Population
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s “unconditional war on poverty.” For most of that time, and indeed to this day, economists often say that the best way to improve our economy is to grow the population because that creates more consumers and therefore more demand for goods and services including construction of new homes, more shopping places, and larger places for recreation like ski resorts.
It turns out however that growing the population doesn’t decrease poverty. This is well documented in the recently added 16th indicator for the world-precedent-setting “What is an Optimal/Sustainable Population for Vermont?” (PDF) report which can be read at www.vspop.org. The indicator shows that even though Vermont’s population has increased by a huge 50 percent since the War on Poverty began in 1964, the poverty level hasn’t decreased at all but has remained approximately the same at 12 percent.
Current World Population
Net Growth During Your Visit