By Susanne Posel
The Pew Research Center (PRC) has released a study entitled “Attitudes about Aging: A Global Perspective”, that outlines how the increasing aging population poses challenges on a global scale.
Data for this study was provided by the United Nations (UN).
Rakesh Kochhar, lead author of the study explained: “Population growth between now and 2050 and a country’s economic outlook dictated how anxious residents were about the effects of an aging population. The growing number of older people in a country’s population is believed to be less favorable to economic growth. Less workers, less output.”
More than 22,000 people surveyed from 21 countries on the aging and retirement populations shows that who will be responsible for the elderly poses a major problem for governments.
Increases in public pensions and medical expenses are expected as a shrinking workforce is demonstrating a negative effect on global and local economies.
The report states that in the US alone, health care costs are expected to double due to the elderly and inflation.
By 2050, aging populations in Europe and East Asia pose the biggest threat.
Ninety percent of Japanese citizens are concerned; while half of German and Spanish citizens see the elderly as a hindrance to progress.
Kohhar points out: “While the U.S. is aging, it’s not at the same rate as the rest of the world. Americans are more optimistic and least likely to say the growing number of older people is an issue. Immigration also plays a part. An influx of people coming to America could lessen the dependency of older people on younger workers.”
A portion of the major nations are reevaluating their role in caring for an aging population.
Surprisingly, 46% of US citizens surveyed believe that the elderly should take sole responsibility for their own care.
As a whole, “Americans are pretty unprepared for their later years and particularly for the potential need for long-term services and support. As people live longer and Baby Boomers grow older, health care will increase enormously and what is not well understood by the American public is the majority of those costs are largely borne by family members.”
According to reports, retirement is becoming a global problem that is a great concern for the international community. However, there are factor that are manufacturing the conditions for an unsustainable elderly population.
The crisis has been explained by 3 elements:
1. Nations are reducing retirement benefits
2. Corporations are not participating in matching retirement funds for employees
3. Young people cannot afford to save their money as the cost of living continues to rise
Failing budgets on the governmental level is contributing to the crisis as European nations and the US lead the pack in pumping retirement funds to diverted areas of government; essentially paying Peter with money borrowed from Paul.
Throughout history, from ancient Rome to the creation of Social Security in the US, governments have been changing policies concerning retirement to control how the aging population is allowed to live out their remaining years.
The UN is concerned because for the first time in history, by 2050 there will be more senior citizens over 60 years of age than 15 year old children.
The Global AgeWatch Index (GAWI), created by HelpAge International (HAI) and the UN Population Fund (UNPF) to oversee issues concerning the impact of aging on the global community.
Funding and information was provided for thus report from the UN International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank (WB).
The study was derived by considerations of:
• Age-friendly environment within country
Contradictions within the study state that humans are living longer thanks to medical advancements; then turns toward perceiving the elderly as a possible burden on the system with rising healthcare costs and use of global resources.
In a new report entitled “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds”, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) says that among other factors, there are 7 main issues are driving change and accelerating the “tectonic shifts” that are happening across the globe:
• Growth of the middle class
• Access to new technology
• Shifting economic power
• Aging populations
• Demand for basic resources – food and water
• Energy dependence
Resource management is a new concept beyond conservation ideals of the past.
It is the mindset being spurred into the social meme to decrease the psychological pressure of the reality we face as access to food, water and energy is incrementally being taken from the general population.
In 2012, a report was released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stating that 2011 had the lowest birth rates on record.
Across the board, infiltrating all races in the US, fewer children are being born. Since 2007, 4.3 million Americans have had fewer babies; either due to the economy or social credo.
At the most recent UN Earth Summit Rio+20, the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) published a paper that called for a global implementation of depopulation policies.
According to the paper: “The population issue should be urgently addressed by education and empowerment of women, including in the work-force and in rights, ownership and inheritance; health care of children and the elderly; and making modern contraception accessible to all.”
Authors of the report stated that they want “funding (for worldwide fertility control) decreased by 30% between 1995 and 2008, not least as a result of legislative pressure from the religious right in the USA and elsewhere”, the authors call for “education and planning needed to foster and achieve a sustainable human population and lifestyles.”
Population stabilization, the true meaning behind family planning is evident in the WB and UNPF push against sovereign nations to reduce their populations by rule of the “global consensus” which dictates human rights policy by deeming some fit to live and others not.
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