Monday, November 10, 2008

The real sustainability movement

Sustainability is a serious buzzword these days, usually associated with cutting down greenhouse gas emissions, stabilizing our water supply, and saving cute baby koalas. While each of these are worthy goals, the real sustainability movement also has to include balancing the national budget. As futurologist Ian Pearson explains,
... There is nowhere near enough money in the government's pension funds to cope with a population that is living much longer. Tax rates for young people will go through the roof but only in developed countries, he said. "In the developing countries tax rates would be very low... Graduates will object to paying up to 60% of their salary in tax and will emigrate to Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, India or China which he said would be viable economies but would have "very low tax rates by comparison." ... "We will obviously see a brain drain.
That is a scary prediction. While these projections depend on how US growth plays out, even a small likelihood of a brain drain should be taken seriously. I'm a huge fan of the sustainability movement, as long as it includes fiscal sustainability as well.