Letters to the Editor: California is shrinking. Is this a preview of global population decline?

The sun sets between two of the tallest buildings west of the Mississippi, as seen from Whittier, CA., on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022. The Wilshire Grand Center, left, is the tallest at 1,100 ft. and the US Bank Tower, right, is the third tallest at 1,018 feet. The According to their website, "the California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, due to predicted high temperatures pushing up energy demand and tightening available power supplies."
The sun sets over downtown Los Angeles on August 2022. (Raul Roa / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: There are credible projections showing that the world population will peak midcentury then start declining. Once again, California is at the forefront. ("Why Californians are fleeing this once-Golden State," column, April 8)

The only people truly worried about this are employers. A living wage will have to be paid and profits will shrink. Prices will go up across the board, causing demand to go down, thus exacerbating the hit to the bottom line. This is what happens in a free-market economy when the population shrinks.

On top of that, because there will still be high demand for resources such as water, oil and food, the cost of these resources will continue to rise. And there's that pesky climate change.

There are enough incentives for people to move to California: a hospitable climate, progressive critical thinking and functioning infrastructure, creaky as it may be.

This article really misses the big picture. We must come up with an economy that works for a shrinking population, because what we have today is on the brink of collapse.

Gregg Ferry, Carlsbad


To the editor: While many object to President Biden's attempt to ease the student debt burden, columnist George Skelton makes the provocative — and brilliant — proposal that California should once again offer free tuition at public universities to residents.

Not only might this slow or stop the outflow of the best and brightest from California; it might also make businesses think twice about relocating to states with less-educated employee pools. A well-educated labor force is one of a state's greatest assets, while accumulated student debt is a drag on the entire economy.

It’s time for us to get past our attitude of "well I had to pay for my education so why shouldn't they" and recognize that easing debt burdens and offering free tuition are simply investments that will pay huge dividends for decades to come.

Rita Zwern, Burbank


To the editor: California's population is decreasing, and the media continue to seek reasons why. Though they find reduced immigration and lower birth rates, they are typically focused on people leaving the state. The main reason given is the high cost of housing.

But if people are leaving, why does the cost of housing continue to rise? It should be doing the opposite: Fewer people means less demand for housing.

Apparently, a lot of people still love California enough to stay in their homes at any price.

Martin A. Brower, Corona del Mar

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.