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Subject: A Population Plague Spreads Around the Globe rss

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Steven Woodcock
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Interesting:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-11/more-old-t...

To be clear, they're using "plague" to describe a wave of older people, which is perhaps a bit unfair.



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Andre
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Not completely surprising given the advances in medicine in the past century, I would expect the average age of death would increase. This means more elderly to support on the public system, hence taxing or burdening the system. The more important question is how will these countries react to this fact, in terms of doing what it takes to support them, when they may not be able to do so themselves. It will be interesting to find out how each deals with the issue, in their own way.
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J.D. Hall
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I read this earlier today and I was wondering whether it was too esoteric scream fest that is RSP.

This is a major issue, particularly when it comes to issues like health care, housing, and education (if the oldsters don't have kids, they're less likely to support education efforts for the young). On the other hand, the upcoming onslaught of robot labor may fix some of the problems, at least for business owners.

It will be a huge challenge for the kind of people least equipped to deal with huge challenges: politicians. But it will also challenge cultures as well.

Perhaps one of the solutions is to advance the retirement age to 70, or work out some kind of time sharing where older workers mentor young workers just entering the work force for a period of several years. Or removing barriers to early retirement (disbursements from IRAs, Social Security, whatever) might be part of the plan.

Really glad you put this one up Steve. It's not really a partisan issue (though some will make it so), it's cultural and generational. I would say it's as big a shift in human culture as when medicine and sanitation finally kept children under 5 from dying at a higher rate than those than survived.
 
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Steven Woodcock
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remorseless1 wrote:


Really glad you put this one up Steve. It's not really a partisan issue (though some will make it so), it's cultural and generational. I would say it's as big a shift in human culture as when medicine and sanitation finally kept children under 5 from dying at a higher rate than those than survived.


Thank you.

I agree I think this will be a big part of the drive to robotics. Which of course may or may not lead to our New Robotic Overlords, of course.




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Mac Mcleod
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Since our productivity is up 100x what it was 100 years ago, why can't we afford it?

It seems like most of it is end of life medical care to me.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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Ferretman wrote:
I agree I think this will be a big part of the drive to robotics. Which of course may or may not lead to our New Robotic Overlords, of course.
Once we transfer all the baby boomer's consciousnesses into robotic bodies, we can dispose of the expensive failing organic bodies and save a bundle.
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jeremy cobert
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maxo-texas wrote:
Since our productivity is up 100x what it was 100 years ago, why can't we afford it?

It seems like most of it is end of life medical care to me.


I think that the difference is 100 years ago, grandpa lived with one of his several children and family's took care of each other.

Today, the tax payer has replaced the family structure and the cost have shot up as we now have to foot the bill from cradle to grave in an overwhelming amount of "citizens".

The real interesting questions arise when seniors begin to vote for taking more from the younger generation.
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Les Marshall
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jeremycobert wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
Since our productivity is up 100x what it was 100 years ago, why can't we afford it?

It seems like most of it is end of life medical care to me.


I think that the difference is 100 years ago, grandpa lived with one of his several children and family's took care of each other.

Today, the tax payer has replaced the family structure and the cost have shot up as we now have to foot the bill from cradle to grave in an overwhelming amount of "citizens".

The real interesting questions arise when seniors begin to vote for taking more from the younger generation.


Your comments are overly specific to the US. It is certainly true that we, as a culture have moved away from the model in which granny and grandpa come to live with the young uns on the family farm. In fact we seem to have embraced a model of families split amongst several states.

However, this may not be true of many countries outside the US who still embrace the presence of elderly family members in the home. In fact, we may be forced to give up our "separateness" and once again take up the practice of the multigenerational family home.

We may also have to start taking some action to reduce the skyrocketing cost of medical care for elder patients. It's the one element of our economy that experiences year after year of explosive inflationary costs over which many of our western neighbors seem to have a better handle.
 
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J.D. Hall
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jeremycobert wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
Since our productivity is up 100x what it was 100 years ago, why can't we afford it?

It seems like most of it is end of life medical care to me.


I think that the difference is 100 years ago, grandpa lived with one of his several children and family's took care of each other.

Today, the tax payer has replaced the family structure and the cost have shot up as we now have to foot the bill from cradle to grave in an overwhelming amount of "citizens".

The real interesting questions arise when seniors begin to vote for taking more from the younger generation.

While you're spinning this politically, you've made a good point. A century ago, people were unlikely to travel more than 20 miles from their home, and about half of the population lived in rural areas with an agriculture-based economy to sustain them. Today, less than 2 percent of Americans live in rural areas (hey, that's ME!!!) and while agricultural output has increased dramatically, mechanization has made it far less necessary for people to stay on the family farm.

Modern US society is tremendously mobile. I can't remember what the percentage is, but some Census figures showed a significant percentage of Americans move to a different community or state every five years or so. Couple that with job opportunities that take people all over the country and out of country, and that kind of mobility makes it tougher to keep grandpa and granny in the back bedroom. Culturally we may have to go back to that.

And...where is this "cradle to grave" social safety net? Sure, if you want to live in poverty and squalor, then yeah, you could eke out a live on welfare and food stamps and Medicaid, but the people who would accept that kind of lifestyle will be a drain on society regardless of a safety net or not.
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