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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The NYT Is Worried That It Might Become Hard to Find Good Help in Tehran

The NYT Is Worried That It Might Become Hard to Find Good Help in Tehran

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Sunday, 08 June 2014 11:00

That is the impression that readers of a piece on low birth rates in Iran might be led to believe. The piece told readers that Iran's government wants to raise the country's birth rate from its current 1.3 per couple. According to the piece, the government wants a higher birth rate to increase the power of Iran in the world and the power of its Shiite population in the Islamic world.

Towards the end the piece tells readers:

"Experts say that while birthrates in Iran are very low, there is no real crisis just yet."

It's not clear what the crisis would be in the future if Iran's low fertility rates continue. For those who think it is important that Iran's power in the world grow, or that Shiites become more important in the Islamic world, the continuation of a low birth rate among Iran's Shiites would indeed be bad news. However it is difficult to see why anyone else would be troubled by this prospect.

Iran has had high unemployment for many years and is likely to face continued high unemployment long into the future. In this context, a lower birth rate is likely to be good news since fewer labor market entrants will mean less competition for jobs. This should help to push up wages and living standards for those at the middle and bottom of the income distribution. It would be bad news for those looking for cheap household labor to mow their loans, clean their toilets, and serve as nannies for their kids.

Comments (10)Add Comment
...
written by Brett, June 08, 2014 12:49
What the low birth rate is really helpful for is getting them to finally make a good faith effort at raising the labor force participation rate of women in Iran. Women in Iran have a great deal of access to higher education (and are often highly educated), but the percentage in the labor force is really low.
A shame we destroyed Iran's democracy back in the 1950s
written by ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©, June 08, 2014 7:27
.
All for the greater glory of oil companies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d'état#Execution_of_Operation_Ajax
~

Clueless
written by Larry Signor, June 08, 2014 9:21
The NYT is clueless, again. The economic problems in Iran are almost solely attributable to;

"...Iran’s long-running conflict with the West over its nuclear program. One of the leading sources of Iran’s economic troubles is the series of harsh Western economic sanctions imposed in recent years to punish Tehran and to bring it to the negotiating table."


Yet the NYT devotes an entire two sentences to the topic while bemoaning the inability of Iranians to afford children. Like I said, Clueless.
reason for offence
written by dave, June 08, 2014 10:20
i don't feel the way i stated in my offensive posts. i said it the way i did because this is how people talk about thise advocating policies as you suggest. most of your stuff is good. the crap about lowereing doctor's wages, crap.

don't ruin your name and influence this way.

i still read this blog because i like it and i like dean. don't make that hard, please.
Labor markets 101
written by nnnbbbaaajsssdjgggjseicggggedajghgrjvn, June 08, 2014 11:36
"In this context, a lower birth rate is likely to be good news since fewer labor market entrants will mean less competition for jobs. This should help to push up wages and living standards for those at the middle and bottom of the income distribution. It would be bad news for those looking for cheap household labor to mow their loans, clean their toilets, and serve as nannies for their kids."

It's hard for politicians to move the needle on birthrates without being as intrusive as the Chinese, but a common sense solution for tightening labor markets in the US would be to reduce immigration. Instead our elites spat in the faces of regular Americans by continuing to flood the country with lawbreaking foreigners even after the Great Recession started.
If the gist of the NYT article is, as stated, ...
written by John Puma, June 09, 2014 2:58
... "According to the piece, the government wants a higher birth rate to increase the power of Iran in the world and the power of its Shiite population in the Islamic world," then "the piece" can be taken as simply more NYT characteristic saber-rattling. (My emphasis)

It might be considered milder than normal but even saber rattlers like a change of pace once in a while.
Too Many Legal Immigrants Isn't Good Either
written by jerseycityjoan, June 09, 2014 4:27
nnnbbbaaa...

"Instead our elites spat in the faces of regular Americans by continuing to flood the country with lawbreaking foreigners even after the Great Recession started."

Most the illegal immigrants we have today came before 2008.

We do have millions of new citizens, of course, because many of these illegal immigrants have had children here. We could do what every other First World country except Canada has done and limit automatic birthright citizenship to the children of certain groups only, such as citizens and long term immigrants. Instead we do nothing even though many Americans feel they themselves are too strapped financially to have any more kids.

The Senate immigration bill that passed in 2013 would bring in more new immigration workers each year than we have net new jobs a year.

Oh Look! The US Is a Lot Like Iran!
written by jerseycityjoan, June 09, 2014 4:44
"Iran [The US] has had high unemployment for many years and is likely to face continued high unemployment long into the future. In this context, a lower birth [immigration] rate is likely to be good news since fewer labor market entrants will mean less competition for jobs. This should help to push up wages and living standards for those at the middle and bottom of the income distribution. It would be bad news for those looking for cheap household labor to mow their loans, clean their toilets, and serve as nannies for their kids."

Does that mean we should ignore the people who are always worrying abou the US having too few people? Many of these folks are the well paid, well educated types who like their houselabor plentiful and cheap and their workplace employees under their thumbs and desperate too.

...
written by liberal, June 09, 2014 10:54
dave wrote,
most of your stuff is good. the crap about lowereing doctor's wages, crap.


Sounds like someone luvs himself some monopoly rents.
Speaking of Monopoly rents and "crap about lowereing doctor's wages"
written by John Wright, June 10, 2014 12:06
To paraphrase Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and erstwhile unsuccessful California Senate candidate.

"There is no occupational income stream that is America's God-given right anymore."

She actually said "There no job that is America's God given right anymore".

I am taking the liberty of extending the sentiment.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carly_Fiorina

I suggest if doctors' income were to fall, then USA medical school costs would also drop in response.

Is not a significant cost of medical school teaching doctors' salaries, so a fall in these wages should lead to lower medical training costs?

To me it seems that for the USA to lower medical costs doctors' salaries MUST not be off the table?

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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