Sunday, February 09, 2014

Abstractness of debt-ceiling debate hides real problem: aging population, demanding more services (Post op-ed)

The Washington Post Sunday offered an op-ed by Robert Samuelson, "The End of Government", here, pointing primarily to the expansion of costs in caring for seniors, who are politically powerful and usually vote, leading to cuts in so many areas, even the speed of the court system.  And the "aging population" (or "demographic winter") problem is not as severe in the United States as many other countries (especially Japan); in some countries, like Russia, the upside down population is driving social tensions like anti-gay attitudes, on the idea that gay people cause a drop in population replacement and fertility (at least Putin claims that).

Samuelson also notes that another debt ceiling fight may be coming, and that the polemics of the issue obscure the real problem of how we handle longer lifespans and fewer workers and babies (born by people who could actually afford to raise them).  

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