The red ink of a greyer future, Doomed to grow old alone
Original post made by Sharon, Midtown, on Apr 5, 2009
"The International Monetary Fund estimates that among the Group of 20 nations whose leaders meet in London this week, the industrialized members will have increased their national debts by an average equivalent to nearly 25 per cent of gross domestic product between 2007 and 2014.
That is a heavy burden.
But, to 2050, the cost of this crisis will be no more than 5 per cent of the financial impact they face from the ageing of their citizenry. As the IMF says,
"in spite of the large fiscal costs of the crisis, the major threat to long-term fiscal solvency is still represented, at least in advanced countries, by unfavourable demographic trends".Web Link
It's interesting to recall how, in 1968, Paul Erlich wrote a bestselling book predicting a "disaster for humanity due to overpopulation and the 'population explosion'.
That book predicted that 'in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death', that nothing can be done to avoid mass famine greater than any in the history, and radical action is needed to limit the overpopulation."
It's ironic to read this now in the light of the actually emerging demographic tables, but in its heyday the idea of the "population bomb" was as popular as today's belief in Climate Change or the Y2K bug or Nuclear Winter of recent memory.
It will take another 20 years of graying for Europe to become as elderly as Japan's population is today.
The rest of east Asia is in a race to get rich before its people get too old to work.
South Korea is currently well placed, with six citizens of working age for every pensioner.
Yet thanks to a collapse in its birth rate, it will be one of the grayest countries on earth by 2050.