WETZSTEIN: Population burden remains on youth

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Maybe that 6.6 percent doesn’t bother you; after all, aren’t we overpopulated at the moment?

I don’t know. Do you like slavery?

Old people normally are supported by young people, which is not a problem if there are adequate numbers of young people. But UNPD data shows that the over-age-60 population, which in 1955 was 8 percent, is projected to grow to an unprecedented 22 percent in 2050.

That means young people will be supporting multiple retirees, which means both husband and wife must work. Instead of a 20 percent or 30 percent tax bite, think 50 percent or even 60 percent.

Think that’s impossible? Go live in Mr. Djerassi’s Austria, where 45 percent of earnings already go to taxes. Cradle-to-grave social services get even more costly with a ballooning elderly population. And with a paltry 1.4 fertility rate, Austria is going to have fewer Austrian salaries to tax, which means they will just have to take a teensy bit more from each paycheck.

No schnitzels for you.

So I ask again, do you like slavery? Maybe it won’t be on a cotton field or on a sailing ship, but being forced to work long and hard for little or nothing is not a free person’s choice.

Never in human history have our population metrics gone this screwy. How did we get here and what is the next step?


Film casts a chill on family’s future

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.

Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...

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