Robots and AI might be the last hope for the Danish welfare state

Pay your taxes? OK ,right after I beat you at chess.
Pay your taxes? OK, right after I beat you at chess.

One of the reasons Angela Merkel has been so welcoming to the Middle Eastern refugees is because she needs bodies, people, workers, to keep the welfare state alive. Much of Europe long ago stopped having babies. Now as the baby boomers hit retirement they realize that someone has to pay the welfare state bills. In Denmark there’s hope that robots will do it.

OK. That doesn’t seem a desperate hope.

Big government is unsustainable.

(From The Business Insider Nordic)

Birth rates have decreased enourmously, and the awareness of the problem is great enough that the travel agency Spies Rejsor made a controversial ad campaign to promote Danish baby-making. At the same time Denmark is resiting an influx of immigrants, Bloomberg observes.

The ageing population is a heavy burden for a welfare state, that already has very substantial social expenditure.

According to Bloomberg, Denmark’s productivity is curbed because it has lagged behind in technological development, and now Danes are putting their hope in robots.

“Robots allow us to pull production back home,” Helge Pedersen, chief economist at Nordea tells Bloomberg, adding that automation will also increase the returns on welfare spending.

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