What once seemed like America’s terminal calamity — a looming problem that was so large it could never be managed — has not only diminished, it has actually changed character. This once-existential threat to the U.S. economy now looks very much like a potential bonanza.
You can see it in the gleaming billionaire faces of U.S. President Donald Trump’s cabinet — and indeed in the face of the president himself. After all, he is the oldest president in U.S. history and his cabinet has the highest median age (65) of any in the country’s 240 years.
Today, a 1-year-old in the United States has a 50 percent chance of living to 100. And it is likely that over that 100-year life, that child is likely to work from age 20 through age 80 or even older.OK--if you've looked at Table 5.3 in my text or at the life table data on the CDC website, you'll know that a 1-year-old has a 50 percent chance of living to about age 80, not 100, given current death rates. But, if death rates keep going down, then Rothkopf's number could be right. In all events, the point is that older people are assets, not deficits, in the economy. Not everyone is, of course, but we need to be flexible in terms of sorting through those who can continue to make economic contributions (and let them do that) and those who cannot do that (and let them retire as necessary). With aging and retirement, there is no one size that fits all, and the more our policy-makers understand this, the better we will be able to successfully cope with the demographic changes coming our way.