Older Clearly Doesn’t Always Mean Wiser
By Jack Kinsella
Back in 1970, children made up about one-third of the U.S. population, and only one-tenth were ages 65 and older. Today, the proportion who are children has dropped to about one-fourth, while the share who are elderly has risen to 13 percent.
However, by 2050 fully one-fifth of the U.S. population will be ages 65 and older.
With the exception of 18 countries deemed ‘outliers’ by the UN, the rest of the world is aging at a rate unlike anything the world has ever seen. The median age of the global population is older than at any time in human history.
(Ever notice how often we are recording events that qualify as a “first in human history?”)
Anyway, according to the Wikipedia entry on population aging, the overall media age of the world’s population rose from 29. 0 in 1950 to 37.5 by 2000. It is forecast to hit 45.5 by 2050.
The 2006 StatsCan Census report found that the number of Canadians over age 65 increased by 11.5% in just five years.
“Of the total 32,973,546 Canadians, “the number of people aged 55 to 64, many of whom are workers approaching retirement, has never been so high in Canada, at close to 3.7 million in 2006.” At the same time, those younger than 15 years old make up only 17.7% of the population, another record-breaking low for Canadians. By 2022 it is predicted that “seniors will outnumber children in every province”, and by 2031 the median age will be 44.””
In 2000, approximately 605 million people worldwide were 60 years or older. By 2050, that number is expected to be close to 2 billion. At that time, seniors will outnumber children 14 and under for the first time in history.
In 2011, the oldest of the baby boomers, (those born in 1946) turned sixty-five. America’s population is about to hit a tipping point, according to the US Population Bulletin.
By 1980, the proportion of the population ages 65 and older in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany had already exceeded the level in the United States today. Between 1980 and 2010, the proportion ages 65 and older in the United States only increased by 2 percentage points, compared with a 14 percentage-point increase in Japan and a 7 percentage-point rise in Italy. However, the pace of population aging is projected to accelerate in the United States, Russia, U.K., France, Italy, and Germany in the next 30 years.
Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan marked the first anniversary of the devastating tsunami that scrubbed Japan’s shoreline and knocked out 52 of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors by observing that recovery from the tsunami is NOT Japan’s greatest challenge.
The gravest problem facing the Land of the Rising Sun is that it is dying. The sun that set on the Japanese Empire in 1945 has begun to set on the Japanese nation.
A week before the anniversary of 3/11, buried in a story about Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s effort to rally support for a doubling of the 5 percent consumption tax, to preserve Japan’s social security system, was this startling statement:
“We’re faced with an aging society and a declining birth rate unprecedented in the history of mankind.”
What makes this admission remarkable is that the Japanese are not given to hyperbole, and the prime minister’s statement is rooted in numbers that may fairly be called a “demography of death.”
The effects of an aging population on the global economy are devastating — we’re only just now beginning to feel some of the effects of it. While older people may have accumulated higher savings per capita than their children, they are less likely to spend it on consumer goods.
Old age pensions, which were designed for a population whose life expectancy extended only a couple of years past retirement age, cannot keep up with a population that routinely lives well into their eighties.
Pension schemes like Social Security don’t accumulate contributions and then pay them back to retirees. The money contributed today pays yesterday’s retirees. People on Social Security today aren’t collecting what they contributed — that money is long gone.
Instead, they are living off what today’s crop of workers think they are contributing towards their own future retirement. The ratio of US workers to pensioners in 1960 was 5 to 1. For every person collecting SSI, there were five people paying in.
By 2009 this ratio fell to 3 to 1. Think of it. Each American worker is now paying one-third of one retiree’s pension check. That ratio is projected to hit 2 to 1 by 2030. Where did everybody go?
We killed them.
According to the figures used in Buchanan’s piece about Japan, the Japanese population is expected to decline from 127 million to above 101 million by 2050.
“Every year between now and 2050,” he writes, “the number of deaths over births in Japan will average two-thirds of a million, with the population shrinkage accelerating each decade”
Among the nations of the world with the highest percentage of oldsters are: Monaco, Japan, Germany, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria and Estonia.
Japan has the world’s highest concentration of elderly, despite the devastating losses the nation incurred during World War II.
These are also the countries that had the highest rates of abortion during the postwar period up to the collapse of the USSR, after which abortion rates began to decline in Eastern Europe.
Today, the nations with the highest rate of legal abortions annually are Russia and the United States. Close to half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, and 40% of those end in abortion, according to figures cited by TIME Magazine.
Likewise, the U.S. abortion rates are disproportionately high: Rates in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are less than half that in the U.S. — fewer than 10 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.
With the two sides pulling in opposite directions, it’s hard to see how progress comes. Groups like Planned Parenthood have fought hard to expand access to contraception, such as Plan B, the “morning after pill,” which was finally approved for over-the-counter use in 2006. And they have fought for comprehensive sex education, which includes information about contraception as well as abstinence. A Guttmacher study in 2006 found that roughly “14% of the decline in teen pregnancy between 1995 and 2002 was due to teens’ delaying sex or having sex less often, while 86% was due to an increase in sexually experienced teens’ contraceptive use.”
Abortion has been legal for almost forty years in America. What has it gotten us? Using the current (and conservative) estimate of about one million abortions per year in America, that adds up to about forty million American workers currently NOT paying into Social Security.
The greatest number of annual abortions took place in the 1970’s through the 1990’s, so there is a bit of irony here. The Baby Boomer generation is about to retire and they killed off the generation that would have supported them in old age.
Right now, there is a national debate raging, fueled by the liberals, to increase access to contraception, on the premise that “girls should have the same opportunities as boys” according to Obama.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12–16:25)
The “way” referred to — twice — by Solomon is not that hard to figure out. The Apostle Paul also wrote of it, outlining it in detail and describing it as the dominant worldview of the last days.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
The Apostle John recorded Jesus’ description of the same liberal worldview this way:
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:15-17)
The news headlines of the day refer to it thusly: “How Do We End This War on Women?” written by the Washington Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“Watching recent events unfold, I’m left with only this question: How can we afford to look backward when we still have so far forward to go? Like Sandra Fluke and the women of Virginia, we must stay engaged and press on – for ourselves, our daughters, and our families. There is nothing less than our futures at stake.”
Agreed. But the liberal ACLU’s remedy is to kill it. It seems right to them.