Monday, August 11, 2014

Boomers and the Future of Social Insurance

Brent Green, Boomers, A trip into the Baby Boomer Generation has a wonderful and sometimes insightful blog about my generation. This is is take on the future of social insurance. A must read for my American readers and an interesting read for all the rest of us, because the forces that are at work in the United States are working full out in Canada, Britain, Germany, France, etc. The intro to his blog is below and the link to the full article is here:

Editor's Note: I am publishing a multi-part series focused on Baby Boomers and social insurance, the frequently maligned and misunderstood federal entitlement programs. This series delineates arguments, pro and con, concerning the fiscal impact of population aging and social insurance. Can we expect secure and sustainable Social Security and Medicare programs? Can our children and grandchildren? Please bookmark this blog and return periodically for subsequent installments. Weigh in with your opinions in the comments section. If you haven't already, read Part 1  in the series first and then read Part 3 here.
Expecting Baby Boomers in their aging to do what they’ve always done — transform fundamentals of society and commerce — is only half the equation. We must adapt the Western experience to a rapidly aging population — societies where old citizens outnumber young.
Laura L. Carstensen, PhD, Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, has recognized what will be needed and issued a challenge. “Myths and gaps in our culture’s understanding of older people, as well as widespread misconceptions about old age, further hinder the flowering of a culture in which people age well.”
Myths and gaps in our cultural understanding of the vast potential embedded in a soon-to-be-dominant aging generation — Baby Boomers — further inhibit society’s capacity to transform an aging problem into one of history’s greatest opportunities for psychological, cultural, technological, and scientific advancement.
“What we have to do today,” adds Carstensen, “is re-engineer society so that it supports satisfying, independent and healthy lives for older people.”
Fundamental to re-engineering society is firing retirement, which Carstensen views as a 20th century invention. Critical to changing our conceptions about work after 65 is the extent to which we can modify social attitudes about the value of older workers, while changing regressive taxes and retirement laws and transforming how professions address participation by older workers. Read the rest here

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