Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's All Demographics, a continuing series

Here are some population pyramids:

 2015 (est.)

Both of these show a crimp in the  35-49 age group.  Right smack in the part of the life cycle where workers are hitting their productivity stride, they are still investing for risk and spending.  And they are totally outnumbered by retiring workers, students, and kids.

Add to that an atmosphere of government overreach (Nixon and Johnson vs. Obama and Bush), and I wonder if we're just seeing a replay of the 1970's but with a low inflation biased Fed instead of a high inflation biased Fed.  Heck, maybe we can blame the poor governance on the demographics, too, for all I know.

Compare those to this pyramid from 1995:

Now, there is a nation full of workers with a decade of experience under their belts.  Maybe Reagan & Clinton just had the good sense to get elected when there were a lot of folks eager to earn, spend, and invest for growth.

So, maybe we're really just still feeling aftershocks of the Great Depression.  People stopped having babies for a decade 80 years ago, and we're still feeling the consequences in long slow waves.

Could this be the ultimate anti-EMH argument?  Do we underestimate predictable trends 80 years in the making?

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