Thursday, March 02, 2006
In a recent issue of Fast Company
magazine, there was an article called, "Demographics: The population Hourglass" that was a real eye opener. Ok, so WHY was I looking through Fast Company
? You might be asking. Two reasons: One of my clients is a subscriber (yes, he is also mentally retarded, but apparently REALLY wants to start his own business); and I was curios about economics after a recent post over at The Journal
Anyway, the gist is this: A healthy society sort of resembles a pyramid, with the base made up of babies, and the tip made up of the elderly. In this way, the population continues to grow in a manner that supports the current system of economics.
Our society, because of baby boomers, looks more like an oval right now, with the largest logjam in the middle, representing the baby boomers. When the boomers retire, it will look more like an hourglass. We already know what that will do to social security. The article goes on to show what it will do to some industries, like elderly homes, and entertainment.
But They miss a big part of what it will do to our economy. Right now, the heaviest taxed people belong to the boomers. That means, not only are they getting taxed the most, they are the largest tax bloc. When they shift into retirement, they will no longer be supporting our economy. In fact, the Gen Xers will. Now, there are far fewer of them, and far fewer have top tier jobs. The implications are not favorable.
Further, the voting bloc will shift, as more boomers form a bloc as they age, and change policy. If you thought America was Right now! JEEZ. Just imagine the policy passed as boomers try to control Xers, and leave out the next generation.
So what do we do? We can't (legally) kill all the oldsters. And we cannot force them to deport, even to Buenos Aires, even if some of them want to go. We can't stop them from getting old...WAIT, or CAN we.
Suddenly, G W looks like a genius. By privatizing Medicare and Medicaid, as he has, making it almost impossible to sign up for good plans, making those plans and the formularies they encompass ever changing and vague, and making the sign up process online, he is keeping these old people form the medication they need to survive. Since most of them have shown a real inaptitude for signing up for these programs, and government agencies are not able to adequately help them (because of funding cuts, thanks again W) they will surely perish. This, in turn, will ensure our future.
So, who's the bad guy NOW!