Monday, June 25, 2007

Dark Skies Ahead for the Elderly

...America's elderly are facing a "perfect storm" of societal pressures that will compound these problems. First, our culture has adopted a "disposable-man" ethic that rates people on a sliding "quality of life" scale to determine whether they are worthy of life. Those who rate poorly on this scale, including the unborn, the handicapped, and the aged, frequently find themselves at significant risk of attacks on their dignity.

Second, as noted by Leon Kass and Eric Cohen, demographic changes are leading to the graying of America and a "mass geriatric society". Because Baby Boomers have fewer children than previous generations, as the Boomers retire there will soon be a huge population of elderly people in need of long term care, with few young people to take care of them. Third, elderly men and women are increasingly being seen as economic burdens who consume more than they produce. With entitlement expenditures rising and revenues falling, who will be willing to sacrifice for the long term care needs of an ever burgeoning elderly population?...

Today's must-read Town Hall column is this provocative, challenging one from Ken Connor.