Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Stock Market Elliott Wave Analysis - 23rd Nov 20
Evolution of the Fed - 23rd Nov 20
Gold and Silver Now and Then - A Comparison - 23rd Nov 20
Nasdaq NQ Has Stalled Above a 1.382 Fibonacci Expansion Range Three Times - 23rd Nov 20
Learn How To Trade Forex Successfully - 23rd Nov 20
Market 2020 vs 2016 and 2012 - 22nd Nov 20
Gold & Silver - Adapting Dynamic Learning Shows Possible Upside Price Rally - 22nd Nov 20
Stock Market Short-term Correction - 22nd Nov 20
Stock Market SPY/SPX Island Setups Warn Of A Potential Reversal In This Uptrend - 21st Nov 20
Why Budgies Make Great Pets for Kids - 21st Nov 20
How To Find The Best Dry Dog Food For Your Furry Best Friend?  - 21st Nov 20
The Key to a Successful LGBT Relationship is Matching by Preferences - 21st Nov 20
Stock Market Dow Long-term Trend Analysis - 20th Nov 20
Margin: How Stock Market Investors Are "Reaching for the Stars" - 20th Nov 20
World’s Largest Free-Trade Pact Inspiration for Global Economic Recovery - 20th Nov 20
Dating Sites Break all the Stereotypes About Distance - 20th Nov 20
THE STOCK MARKET BIG PICTURE - Video - 19th Nov 20
Reasons why Bitcoin is Treading at it's Highest Level Since 2017 and a Warning - 19th Nov 20
Media Celebrates after Trump’s Pro-Gold Fed Nominee Gets Blocked - 19th Nov 20
DJIA Short-term Stock Market Technical Trend Analysis - 19th Nov 20
Demoncracy Ushers in the Flu World Order How to Survive and Profit From What Is Coming - 19th Nov 20
US Bond Market: "When Investors Should Worry" - 18th Nov 20
Gold Remains the Best Pandemic Insurance - 18th Nov 20
GPU Fan Not Spinning FIX - How to Easily Extend the Life of Your Gaming PC System - 18th Nov 20
Dow Jones E-Mini Futures Tag 30k Twice – Setting Up Stock Market Double Top - 18th Nov 20
Edge Computing Is Leading the Next Great Tech Revolution - 18th Nov 20
This Chart Signals When Gold Stocks Will Explode - 17th Nov 20
Gold Price Momentous ally From 2000 Compared To SPY Stock Market and Nasdaq - 17th Nov 20
Creating Marketing Campaigns Using the Freedom of Information Act - 17th Nov 20
ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENT - 17th Nov 20
Stock Market Uptrend in Process - 17th Nov 20
How My Friend Made $128,000 Investing in Stocks Without Knowing It - 16th Nov 20
Free-spending Biden and/or continued Fed stimulus will hike Gold prices - 16th Nov 20
Top Cheap Budgie Toys - Every Budgie Owner Should Have These Safe Bird Toys! - 16th Nov 20
Line Up For Your Jab to get your Covaids Freedom Pass and a 5% Work From Home Tax - 16th Nov 20
You May Have Overlooked These “Sleeper” Precious Metals - 16th Nov 20
Demystifying interesting facts about online Casinos - 16th Nov 20
What's Ahead for the Gold Market? - 15th Nov 20
Gold’s Momentous Rally From 2000 Compared To Stock Market SPY & QQQ - 15th Nov 20
Overclockers UK Quality of Custom Gaming System Build - OEM Windows Sticker? - 15th Nov 20
UK GCSE Exams 2021 CANCELLED! Grades Based on Mock Exams and Teacher Assessments - 15th Nov 20
Global "Debt Mountain": Beware of This "New Peak" - 13th Nov 20
Overclocking Zen 3 Ryzen 5600x, 5800x, 5900x and 5950x to 4.7ghz All Cores Cinebench R20 Scores - 13th Nov 20
Is Silver Leading Bitcoin or is Bitcoin Leading Silver? - 13th Nov 20
How Elliott Waves Simplify Your Technical Analysis - 13th Nov 20
How to buy Bitcoins using debit/credit card? - 13th Nov 20
Will COVID Vaccine Kill Gold and Silver? - 12th Nov 20
Access to Critical Market Reports - 12th Nov 20
Stock Market Dow Futures Reach 30,000 on News of COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Success - 12th Nov 20
8 Terms & Conditions You Must Know Before Asking For Life Insurance Policy Quotes - 12th Nov 20
Gold Stocks Post 2020 US Election Outlook - 11th Nov 20
Champions’ League Group Stage Draw: All You Need To Know - 11th Nov 20
Stock Market Secular Trend - 11th Nov 20
Stock Market Correction Curtailed by US Election - 11th Nov 20
What Causes a Financial Bubble? - 11th Nov 20
Ryzen 9 5900X RTX 3080 - Scan.co.uk vs Overclockers.co.uk UK Custom PC System Builder Review - 10th Nov 20
Killing Driveway Weeds FAST with a Pressure Washer - Saving Block Paving from LOTS of WEEDs - 10th Nov 20
Trump Fired, Biden Hired, What Next?  - 10th Nov 20
Looking for a Personal Loan? Here Is What You Have To Know  - 10th Nov 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Will Technology Save Baby Boomers?

Politics / Demographics Jan 03, 2019 - 04:36 PM GMT

By: Patrick_Watson

Politics Baby Boomers get blamed for all kinds of problems.

Much of the blame is unfair. But there is no doubt the first postwar generation brought a lot of changes—culturally, economically, and otherwise.

Last month, I helped John Mauldin write his Pyramids of Crisis letter. As a result of decisions made decades ago, there’s a rapidly growing proportion of older people in the US.


It is now creating real problems for our pay-as-you-go retirement and healthcare systems.

The choices some Boomers made decades ago may have seemed sensible at the time. But as you’ll see, they also have other side effects.

Fertility Rates Nosedived

The Baby Boom generation was born 20 years or so after World War II ended in 1945. Soldiers came home and had children who then grew up in generally prosperous, peaceful times.

Then something occurred that would change the world.
  • The oldest Boomers reached adulthood in the early 1960s, just as…
  • The first oral contraceptives became legally available in the US.

We see one consequence in this chart.



Graph: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank

The US fertility rate plunged from 3.7 in 1960 to 1.7 in 1976, then leveled off. This is, in part, because the generation then entering its prime child-bearing years suddenly had other options.

(To be clear, I’m not blaming anyone for their personal choices. I’m glad they could choose. We are simply observing the results here.)

This changed the economy. Women who would once have been mothers and homemakers entered the workforce and built careers. The presence of additional workers generated more growth but had other effects as well.

The Loneliest Generation

Fast-forward to 2018 and this Wall Street Journal feature story titled “The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone”

Baby Boomers are now aging, and many of them are on their own. About one in 11 Americans age 50+ has no living spouse or child—roughly eight million people.

These two things, though decades apart, are related.

The average member of a generation that had fewer children in its youth will have fewer close relatives in old age. Some will have no close relatives at all. That’s just math.

This is sad, but how is it an economic problem?

Well, loneliness is expensive because it is unhealthy. WSJ cites research showing it is worse for longevity than cigarettes, alcohol, obesity, or physical inactivity.

That means Baby Boomers who lack family support generate more Medicare costs for everyone. This aggravates our already-serious fiscal challenges.

Had Boomers produced more children, this might be a smaller problem. But they didn’t, nor have successive generations. So the traditional population pyramids will continue inverting and greatly complicate retirement planning for everyone.

Biotechnology Is Coming to the Rescue

Now, this isn’t always a problem. Many Boomers lead happy, healthy lives without spouses or children. But it happens often enough to matter.

So a technological innovation changed people’s habits and attitudes. This has brought the situation we see now. Obviously, it had benefits as well. Technology usually cuts both ways.

Other medical advances have also been two-edged. We live longer, on average, but those additional years aren’t always productive or enjoyable.

So if technology got us into this problem, could it also get us out?

My colleagues John Mauldin and Patrick Cox think biotechnology breakthroughs are coming soon that will extend the healthy, productive part of our lifespans. People may be as healthy in their 80s or even 100s as previous generations were in their 50s.

That will be great, if it happens. But much depends on how soon it happens. Boomers aren’t getting any younger.

Economic Benefit for Everyone

Growing your economy is hard when you lack capital. Human capital is the scarcest kind.

These lonely Boomers are part of the economy. They generate demand and could, in the right conditions, add to supply as well. We all miss an opportunity by letting their needs go unanswered.  

WSJ mentions a group called Village to Village Network that helps communities organize to support elderly residents. This turns out to be less expensive than nursing homes. Better yet, bringing this part of the population out of the shadows helps create economic opportunities for everyone.

This can happen right now—it doesn’t require any new technology. But without some solution, this problem is going to get worse before it gets better.

Get one of the world’s most widely read investment newsletters… free

Sharp macroeconomic analysis, big market calls, and shrewd predictions are all in a week’s work for visionary thinker and acclaimed financial expert John Mauldin. Since 2001, investors have turned to his Thoughts from the Frontline to be informed about what’s really going on in the economy. Join hundreds of thousands of readers, and get it free in your inbox every week.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules