This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Being Thankful for Small Things

With Thanksgiving about to arrive in the United States, it's a good time to be thankful for small things, such as the low probability of a generational war over entitlements. Mark Miller of Reuters has an opinion piece in which he notes that the attempt by many politicians to pit the younger and older generations against each other on federal budget issues is unlikely to gain much traction:

The Pew Research Center polled Americans on their views of key issues in the 2012 election. Pew found that the public resists the idea of cutting entitlements to reduce the deficit or to cut taxes by a 58 percent to 35 percent margin -- and the differences by generation were minor. Pew also reported that Millennials are just as likely as GenXers, Baby Boomers and seniors to say the government does too little -- not too much -- to support seniors. Nearly 90 percent say the programs have been "good for the country over the years," and that cuts across at least 80 percent of all age groups.
Likewise, Pew found seniors and baby boomers just as likely to worry about the future financial footing of Social Security and Medicare as younger people, and to say that the programs will need reforms in the years ahead.
Why? "Most people live in families," explains Michael Dimock, Pew's associate director. "Young people just getting out of college and joining the workforce also have family members who receive these benefits. Our own experiences mitigate the idea that generations would fight each other over these programs. We'd be fighting with our own grandchildren and children."

Let's also be thankful for animals (big and small) and not murder and eat them. No one gets hurt by the mashed potatoes, gravy (yes, there is very good meatless gravy in your supermarket) and, of course, my personal Thanksgiving favorite--pumpkin pie!

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