What is the future of humanity?

fascinating

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,374
Pension funds collapsing. Social Security becoming insolvent. Shortages of places in retirement homes. Spiralling health care costs. Wealth being tied up. Delayed inheritance.
Much of that is because people are living longer - which is itself a story of success. Here in the UK anyway, the provision of late-life care is an urgent issue but no government will grasp the nettle of raising the taxes or duties to create the necessary funding. There was the sensible idea of having a small increase in inheritance tax, thus releasing a small part of the vast amount of capital tied up in housing, but this was shelved, probably because of the lobby that insists that (what they call) "death duty" should be abolished.

Defined benefit pension funds are in deficit, and so the industry is turning to defined contributions instead.

All in all, it isn't a great deal of social upheaval, really, and can be addressed by sensible changes in policies. Unfortunately not much is getting done, partly because of this Brexit problem.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,759
Australia
Much of that is because people are living longer .
How is that any different to "aging population"? The second part is "shrinking population", which most countries haven't experienced yet, but it is coming. Take a look at Japan for a foretaste.

All in all, it isn't a great deal of social upheaval, really, and can be addressed by sensible changes in policies.
Read what I wrote. We are just at the start of the upheaval. Worse is coming. Brexiters want to blame the EU but it has nothing to do with it. The fundamental problem is that there are fewer and fewer workers supporting more and more non-workers. In the fifties there were around 40 workers for every retiree. Today there are 3. In a couple of decades there will be 2.

What "sensible changes in policies" would you propose to fix it? Right now the solution seems to be to import more immigrants to cover labour shortages and to borrow obscene amounts of money to cover revenue shortfalls. If you think the UK doesn't have immigration and revenue problems, you are deluding yourself. Even with Tory austerity and immigration reforms, both issues show no sign of improving. IIRC the UK's national debt will soon exceed two trillion pounds.
 
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fascinating

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,374
How is that any different to "aging population"? The second part is "shrinking population", which most countries haven't experienced yet, but it is coming. Take a look at Japan for a foretaste.


Read what I wrote. We are just at the start of the upheaval. Worse is coming. Brexiters want to blame the EU but it has nothing to do with it. The fundamental problem is that there are fewer and fewer workers supporting more and more non-workers. In the fifties there were around 40 workers for every retiree. Today there are 3. In a couple of decades there will be 2.

What "sensible changes in policies" would you propose to fix it? Right now the solution seems to be to import more immigrants to cover labour shortages and to borrow obscene amounts of money to cover revenue shortfalls. If you think the UK doesn't have immigration and revenue problems, you are deluding yourself. Even with Tory austerity and immigration reforms, both issues show no sign of improving. IIRC the UK's national debt will soon exceed two trillion pounds.
It's not different to ageing population.

You say fewer and fewer workers but I thought I heard recently that we now have the highest number in work than ever.

Some people want to turn us into worry-warts by telling us that robots will displace so many jobs that there will be no work to do. Suggesting that the workers that remain will be desperately trying to support the aged is the opposite.

If the population of the world is going to stop growing,I am glad, the planet is full now. The exponential growth that we previously had is frightening, because the size of the Earth is finite.

Take the example of Japan, I would regard that place, about the same size as UK, as overpopulated - or at least, there is nothing sacred about the 100,000,000 or so that it has reached, it's about time it eased back. You are pointing out the ageing population, but I think robots will do a lot to ease the problems (I don't say all problems will be solved, because we must age and then die, and that has always been a problem). I am guessing but I dare say that in the 1950s it might have taken 40 workers a week to make 6 cars, whereas I happen to know that today 3 workers make 6 cars in a week (Nissan car factory).

I alluded to the solution before; homes in UK have a total value of some £4 trillion, and on death of owners there will be, I think, about £40 billion a year of property passed on to heirs. That's more than enough to pay for the required care homes.
 
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