The article above provides a demographic account of the population of the United States over the years. The numbers are undeniable: America's population is slowing down and seems to be on a steeper trajectory. The economic implications are clear. Not only is there less labor to boost output, vital human capital, an essential component of long term growth, is now on the decline. The most obvious and feasible response is the relaxation of immigration laws. According to the article, there are many reasons why immigration would bring a net positive to the country. Immigrants are younger; thus, they pay into the social safety net for many years before reaping its benefits. Secondly, many of them pay taxes to the government without having the ability to even claim the benefits that they bring. Although these factors apply less to undocumented immigrants, the issue could be alleviated by simply simplifying the citizenship process and fully taking advantage of the untapped tax revenue potential.
In class, much discussion went into weighing the costs and benefits of immigration. Along with the reasons outlined above, benefits include increased demand, increased productivity for firms, and many more obvious reasons including diversification of thought. Nevertheless, there are still losers to immigration. In the short term, workers displaced by cheaper sources of labor naturally would turn to protectionist viewpoints to protect their livelihood. However, in the aggregate, this would make the United States lose its competitiveness in the global markets, which in turn may cause more workers to lose their jobs altogether. Thus, the appropriate response by the government should not be to put up more walls. Rather, it should be to gradually increase immigration to offset population decline, while transitioning displaced workers towards other sectors of the economy through education programs.