How an aging population will kill the American Dream

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Niccolo and Donkey
How an aging population will kill the American Dream

The Globe and Mail

Catherine McLean

September 5, 2012

The American dream is coming to an end and it’s the nice, grey-haired lady next door who is to blame, economist Laurence Kotlikoff told a banking conference in Zurich this week.
That dream of prosperity – owning a home, building a business, perhaps even striking it rich – was a tantalizing prospect for generations of Americans. But it’s fading quickly thanks to a critical shift in demographics towards a much older population coupled with what Mr. Kotlikoff terms the “Ponzi” retirement scheme of recent decades.

“The demographic change because of the level of benefits that the elderly are being told they’re going to receive, this demographic change is going to drive countries broke, particularly the U.S.,” warned Mr. Kotlikoff, a professor at economics at Boston University.

The dramatic shift in demographics isn’t taking anyone by surprise. Birth rates have come down in developed countries like the U.S., while life expectancy has increased significantly over the past 50 years. The number of people over the age of 65 in the U.S. will rise to 20 per cent in 2050 from 13 per cent in 2009.

Even the elderly will grow older: Mr. Kotlikoff highlighted projections that there will be 835,000 centenarians in the U.S. by 2050, enough to inhabit a city the size of Washington or San Francisco.

As more of the population ages – the baby boomers are officially starting to retire now – there will be fewer workers. In 1970, there were 5.3 workers to a retiree in the U.S., by 2010 that ratio had slipped to 4.5 and by 2050 it will reach 2.6, according to Mr. Kotlikoff. The result is fewer workers to pay for those pensions.

Mr. Kotlikoff is obviously no fan of what he terms the “take as you go” Second World War retirement policy, saying it would make even Bernie Madoff “blush.”

He believes the costs are enormous but unknown to many Americans. The official U.S. debt stands at $11-trillion. But Mr. Kotlikoff prefers to look at the so-called fiscal gap, which takes into account all of the government’s spending along with taxes and other income. He calculates that figure is some $222-trillion U.S.

The fiscal gap as a percentage of current GDP is 12 per cent in the U.S., higher than in European crisis-stricken countries like Greece and Italy, according to Mr. Kotlikoff.

“The U.S. is actually in worse shape on the proper measure than Greece in terms of the fiscal position,” he said at the NZZ Capital Market Forum, a controversial viewpoint for the European attendees who are used to dire forecasts being reserved for their continent.

An immediate and permanent tax hike of some 64 per cent would be required to close the gap, according to Mr. Kotlikoff. If ignored, the tally will become impossible for future generations to pay. One generations’ dream may be the next one’s nightmare.

“This policy has also left our kids with an enormous bill,” Mr. Kotlikoff said. “What you’re seeing in this picture and in the other figures is the end of the American dream. That’s it.”
Niccolo and Donkey

More Jews telling America's youth that they should devour their parents and grandparents. If the boomers should be blamed for anything it's that they didn't take machetes to their Ashkenazi parasites, the same parasites who now point the finger at them that their gentile youth are flailing for a target.


In Sweden there have been talks about encouring people to work past retirement age (65), preferably up until 70, to tackle this problem with growing numbers of old people. The politicians with their high salaries and cushy jobs all think it's a great idea. Needless to say, the unwashed masses, many of whom have jobs that take a heavy toll on your body, disagree.

If abortion is allowed, so should euthanasia of the very old be. There's no reason to keep millions of people past 75 alive if you think it's ok to kill the young.


I think we should just kill everyone maybe (me first)


I think we should kill old people to solve the problem of world hunger.

The Illuminati

No anunnaki that won't work. No matter how much marinade or catsup you use, old people just aren't palatable.
Have to wait until they figure out Soylent Green.

Bob Dylan Roof

I saw a television advertisement by a law firm today soliciting seniors who had been treated with defective "pelvic prolapse" prevention devices. It's probably unfair to ask, but the ad made me wonder about what happened to dying with dignity. If you reach such an extreme stage of physical decay that you need an apparatus to prevent your vagina or rectum from prolapsing, isn't it time to die?


That was funny in it's unfunnyness, Roland. But you are correct. I for one do not wish to die wearing adult diapers with my uterus in it.

I wonder from where this idea that life must be preserved at all cost comes from. I work as a nurse and I can't count the number of times very old and sick people have grabbed my hand and asked me to please give them something to end it all. It must be incredibly undignified and painful to still be in your right mind but with a body that's so weak you can't even kill yourself. I have had patients who eat 10-20 different pills every day just to keep basic bodily functions going. We schedule very old and sick people for surgeries and procedures and whatnot that cost a fortune, meanwhile the patient him/herself just wants to die already. We're no longer allowed to feel that we've had a good run and that it's time to log out for good.

At the same time, unborn children with the future ahead of them and hopefully great potential are killed daily.

Team Zissou
We are extending life, not quality of life. Instead of these people being tended by a large extended family while they clutch a prayer rope and trust in God they just mop up public money.

Interestingly, I knew some German expatriates in the 1990's who told me they moved their families here because their homeland was becoming unfriendly to children. Secular social democrats will be replaced.