The Australian Treasurer in 1935 was also concerned about the ageing problem, the pension system and the budget
Changing demographics do have effects but they can be dealt with. Pension obligations exceed revenues? Change the formulas. [In the US I favor funding pensions, health insurance, unemployment insurance from a VAT not a tax on wages]
Falling proportion of young scientists and engineers to create new stuff? raise the denominator. And look at many obstacles to innovation.
And of course, Australia already does what the US should do: merit-based immigration.
I think the comparison between children as dependents and publicly-funded retirees isn’t quite apples to apples.
The former involves families who willingly choose to bear children, and take on the expense of their raising.
The latter involves a tax then transfer payment, that some may agree to, and others may not have.
This system creates a public liability that only grows as more reach retirement age, and live longer into it.
It’s also subjected to the political whims of voters who always demand increases in spending on healthcare & welfare payments.
Nobody could ever politically dream of calling to cut any of that spending.
Right now Labor is mulling a new levy to fund a new spending program for pensioners.
Invariably, the recipients of new levies are working aged people, who right now are dealing with the cost of raising children, higher consumer prices, rising energy prices, tax cuts potentially ending, plus expensive housing & rents.
If course both parties want the easy way out: to broaden that tax base. They’re in the business of upsetting as few powerful voting blocs as possible.
What better way than to entice new people in, who have no choice but to accept these taxes if they “want in” to the lucky country?
Blogger Richard Hanania wrote a Substack...
… stridently criticising the gerontocracy, or the idea that more and more laws are written to shield our elders from economic pain.
And that thanks to this situation, the costs of the gerontocracy include loading heavier burdens on working-aged people, especially those with children, and losses in productivity at companies.
I think while his criticisms are US-centric, we see a similar gerontocracy in Australia.
And I am reading your substacks on ageing for your perspective on these criticisms.
So while we critics aren’t afraid of ageing per-se, we’re afraid of imposing more costs on the young.
Is it not the cost of supporting the ageing population though that is the issue rather than the fact that people are living longer?
I don't know what the numbers are but it seems like immigration is not a solution here while the current rules allow for free movement of capital?