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> When THAT lucky generation is gone, I think statisticians will realise that their children are /nowhere/ near as lucky, and I'm pretty sure the life expectancy number will fall off a cliff.

Much of the developed world is having a population crisis. When pensions/government benefits were created in the early 20th century in the US, western europe and japan, they were experiencing population booms.

Take japan for example, which is similar to US/Western Europe.


Japan seems to have maxed out and now they are dying quicker than they are being born.


This is the same problem in most western europe countries. In the US, it's not as bad because of immigration, but if you only include native born americans ( non-immigrants ), our population demographics is even worse than japan. Native born americans stopped procreating at replacement levels since the late 1960s.

Unless Japan/Western Europe bring in millions of immigrants, they are going to be in for major problems because of their liabilities to retirees. A shrinking population can't hope to support the older generation. And the worst part is that if younger generation has to support the older generation, they will put off have kids because they simply can't afford them. Which in turn exacerbates the problem and it turns into a vicious cycle.

But immigration also has its own problems. So the industrialized world is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Even in the US, the pro-immigration policy is a stop-gap measure. The population can't grow forever.

Blackrock has an interesting paper on the overall trends.


This isn't a "crisis". Existing entitlement benefits are too high for the coming steady-state economy, but by like 30% or so. Adjustments will have to be made (e.g. some made-up numbers: we can work 10% longer careers, take 10% lower benefits, and expect a 10% boost in general productivity over this period), but we're hardly talking destitution or social upheaval here.

Retirees in the 2040's are going to see less resources-per-GDP dedicated to them than retirees in the 1980's for sure. But then they'll also have pervasive VR headsets and a plausible cure for cancer handy, so I'm guessing it'll be a wash.

30% is a big deal.

Heard of the 1929 stock market "crash"? It was actually a dip in stock price by a mere 30%.

Then we're long since doomed, because health care expenditure as a fraction of GDP (a rather larger pot of money than even retirement entitlements) has grown by like 700% (or whatever) over the last half century.

Time frames matter. The demographic change we're talking about is going to happen over the next 40 years, it's not like Black Tuesday.

> health care expenditure

To be fair not all of that is per-unit health costs increases; much of that is due to longer life expectancy.

> A shrinking population can't hope to support the older generation.

Yes it can, it's just a matter of productivity.

If we can teach proper code reuse and maintainability in school, i think it's possible

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