Economic Growth and Stimulus


During times of recession, policymakers can adopt policies to stimulate the economy. Among the challenges for policymakers are decisions about the appropriate magnitude, duration, and targeting of economic stimulus. Policymakers need to balance the benefits of spurring economic growth against the risk of unmanageable debt, higher interest rates, and inflation. Finally, policies should focus on people and programs that are most likely to fuel immediate spending in the economy. Immigration can have important and positive economic effects.


Stimulus criteria

Proposals to stimulate the economy should be evaluated according to: the timeliness with which they can be implemented, the degree to which they are likely to boost the economy, the likely consequences of inaction, and their effect on the long-term debt. Preference should be given to expenditures that: boost the economy to the greatest extent, are temporary and can be implemented quickly, accelerate the timing of investments with great benefits to society, create or preserve jobs in the near term, or promote well-targeted relief programs that help those most in need.

Relief criteria

Proposals to provide relief to people facing hardships due to economic downturns should be temporary and well-targeted. Preference should be given to measures that also would be stimulative.


Increasing economic growth and meeting labor demand, in the context of an aging society, require an ever-increasing number of people. AARP recognizes that immigration is an important ongoing source of new Americans and helps sustain the intergenerational partnership upon which the well-being of our society is based. As an organization with a commitment to diversity, strengthened communities, and positive social change, we recognize the importance of the current immigration debate and its impact on the current and future population age 50 and older. While there are many views on the future of immigration in this country, there is no disagreement that America has a long and rich history of immigrants contributing to the economic, social, and cultural foundation of our nation. Our nation remains grounded on the belief in achieving the American Dream.

The debate is an important opportunity to balance our history of immigration; our American values of fairness, justice, and freedom; and our need as a nation to promote a sound economy and an open society. Our priority in immigration reform will be to contribute to a constructive debate that has positive outcomes for all older Americans, regardless of country of origin, and to help ensure that immigration reform will sustain the health and economic security of older Americans.