According to this article in this morning’s Washington Post, the real problem is global aging. [It is for me.-ed. For once we agree.]
No challenge “is as certain as global aging,” said the Center for Strategic & International Studies in another recent study, “and none is as likely to have as large and enduring an effect — on the size and shape of government budgets, on the future growth in living standards, and on the stability of the global economy and even the world order.”
Geezer war? Okay, let the jokes fly, but the good news is that once again we dastardly ‘Murricans will be at an advantage (some anyway):
As it begins to confront the costs of an aging population, the United States is in far better shape than most of the developed world. By 2040, 26 percent of the U.S. population will be at least 60 years old, up from 16.3 percent in 2000, according to CSIS. But that will make the population relatively spry. At least 45 percent of the populations of Japan, Spain and Italy will be 60 or older by then. In each of those countries, there will be one retiree for every worker.
But chauvinism aside, let’s hope cooler (read: less partisan) heads prevail when Bush puts Social Security on the table in the SOTU tonight. As the WaPo article indicates, this relatively small pension program (compared to the real cost of retirement) is but the tiny tip of a rather large iceberg headed our way. The excellent WaPo piece gives a good overview of the various potential calamities confronting our aging and diminishing brain cells. (hat tip: Knucklehead)