Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Economic Implications of an Aging Population

Here is a story from today's The Globe and Mail, that recognizes the problem faced by a country that refuses to have enough babies to maintain the population level. The "demographic winter" we actually face is downplayed in the article, probably so as not to alarm the population unduly. (BTW, note that this article comes from a newspaper that was literally screaming hysterically for the government to run up the deficit in order to fight the recession just 3 or 4 months ago. The sky was falling then because the government was not spending enough. Now it seems it is about to fall because the government is spending too much.)

"Persistent deficits – if Ottawa cannot slay them in the next short while – will dog the federal government as it grapples with a looming demographic shift that will drive up the costs of care for Canada's soaring elderly population.

The population of Canadians aged 65 and over has been growing at about 2.5 per cent annually. But this rate will climb to between 3 per cent and 4 per cent starting in 2011, when the first in the massive baby boom generation celebrate their 65th birthdays.

2011 is the beginning of what has been called a “demographic time bomb” for Canada: an explosion of the 65-plus population over two decades coupled with a sharply declining proportion of Canadians in the work force as boomers retire.

It also threatens to be a drag on economic growth just as an aging population of voters is expected to be pressing the provinces – and ultimately, Ottawa – for more health-care dollars. “This is a tsunami we're facing in terms of change,” Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page said. “The repercussions are going to hit us hard.”

It's not the situation Canada wants to find itself in as the work force shrinks in proportion to retirees. “If you're running large structural deficits now when you're about to see labour supply growth fall dramatically, that's not a good place to be,” Mr. Page said.

The number of workers supporting each elderly Canadian is expected to dwindle to 2.5 to 1 in 2030 from 5 to 1 today because of this country's low birth rate, rising life expectancy and aging boomers.

This carries a fiscal cost. As the federal Finance Department warned in the 2005 budget, this looming demographic shift could sap economic growth each year over the 2010-30 period by half a percentage point."

Of course, there is no attention drawn to the fact that the millions of aborted babies we have allowed to be killed over the past 40 years would now be working to support the retiring boomers if said boomers had not chosen to kill them. And there is no reference to the fact that 20% of the boomers had no children (many by choice) and yet expect other people's kids to pay for their retirement (through much higher payroll taxes than the boomers paid during their working careers). And, of course, there is no mention yet of the nearly-inevitable solution on the horizon: euthanasia. The build-up of the economic disaster is starting, but euthanasia won't be mentioned until everyone is much more frightened by looming economic meltdown. Then the situation will be ripe for politicians to start talking about the "duty to die."

Contraception increases abortion, which leads to euthanasia. In a desperate struggle to prevent economic collapse, governments will be drawn further and further into playing God and deciding who may be killed, who may live and for how long. That is how the culture of death works; humans take over the role of deciding about life and death from God. But, of course, not all of us get to play God; only the social engineers and the "experts" designated by society to manage population levels. So ordinary folks like you and I will not be the ones playing God. Others will be playing God on us.

The secularist dismissal of the position of the Roman Catholic Church's position on contraception, abortion and euthanasia looks more and more like a package deal. And it looks more and more like a mistake.

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