Friday, May 29, 2015

Professor: Children have doubled in importance

Professor: Children have doubled in importance

By From page B11 | May 29, 2015 
EDC speaker Meyers 5/28/15
University of Southern California professor Dowell Myers speaks to a crowd at the Economic Development Corporation Breakfast, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Thursday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Children have doubled in importance in the new generational future in California. That was the topic of Dowell Myers in his presentation at a Solano Economic Development Corporation business breakfast on Thursday.

Myers, a professor at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, talked of the relationship between “babies and boomers.” The breakfast was sponsored by First 5 Solano and included Solano County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck as the moderator.

Demographics have changed in California in the past 25 years, Myers pointed out. The birth rate, which had been steadily increasing, peaked in 1990, he said.
 The population of the state had been projected to hit 50 million in 2032. It’s now expected the state will have 50 million residents in 2051, he said.

At the other end of the spectrum is a generation of aging baby boomers. With both of these factors, the senior ratio has soared, Myers said.

It comes down to one simple theory here, he said. People grow up, people get older and they cycle through the phases of life. Everybody takes turns and you need more young people to make it work, he said.

“Compared to before, we’re suffering a real shortage of young people,” he said. “There’s no source of where they’re going to come from. So, the ones we already have, we need to really maximize our use of them. They’re twice as important now, literally twice as important as before. We really should increase our investment in young people so they can be twice as productive.”

But not everyone is aware of the situation, Myers said.

“We haven’t realized how important these children are,” he said. “Children have always been important, but now they’re twice as important. Our best chance is for the kids already here. We really have to be smart about it.”

Myers provided an example to make his point.
 “A kid born today is twice as important as a kid born in 1985,” he said.

By the time that child gets to be age 25, the start of their productive years, the senior ratio will be critically higher than it is now, he said.

“They’re twice as valuable as before and a major mutual benefit,” Myers said. “This calls for all Californians to step up and support the children in every way possible.”

Reach Kevin W. Green at 427-6974 or