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05 September 2006

The other battle of the bedroom


Wednesday, 24 August 2006, 1205Z


Good Morning America
ran a segment on a battle
of the bedroom not entirely unlike the sinister demographic competition
between the Israeli and Palestinian
peoples in the middle east.


This bedroom battle is taking place here in America.
It seems that (surprise, surprise)
rightist attitude tends to be
associated with larger family size.
Apparently some leftists are concerned
that they may find themselves
memetically cornered by their
political rivals. I beg to differ.


For some time now, mainstream media
have been sounding loud alarms concerning
the increasingly top-heavy age-distribution
observed in the more democratic nations.
Now it seems a similar demographic
shift has been observed
(surprise, surprise) in the more
democratic and egalitarian subcultures
within American society, and perhaps
other societies.


We are told that the worker-per-retiree
ratio is dropping, and first-worlders
of my (currently 40-ish) age cohort will experience very
austere retirement years as a result.
I don't doubt the forecasts of austerity,
but I place the blame elsewhere.
I think people my age should worry
less about worker-per-retiree ratio in the future
and more about GDP-per-retiree.
I myself doubt that I will have the
luxury of retiring. More likely
I will work-to-live until the day I die.
I'm far more worried about the future
of age and disability discrimination and relevant
legal recourse (if any) than about
a top-heavy age distribution.


If the future looks even more dystopian
than the present
(and to me it does) I think it
will be more so for the supposedly
'small' or 'undersize' generation of young adults
than for people my age dealing with
the realities of retirement in
the post-bennies era.
I expect job-per-worker (or niche-per-adult) ratio to plummet further,
due mainly to automation, as well as the
accumulation of arbitrage advantages
by management in a world in which capital
is globalized (aggressively deregulated) while human migration is on lockdown,
or at best 'managed' under management's terms.
The symptoms of an overcrowded and overcompetitive society
are all around us, such as high school kids going postal,
and World War III being initiated over 'terrorism.'


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