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The Dippin' Demogrizzle Transition: Will We Treat Future Generizzles Fairly?

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Ben Bernanke's speech to the Washington Economic Club put through the Gizoogle treatment.

In com'n decades, many forces will shape our economy n our society, but in all likelihood no single factor will have as pervasive an effect as tha aging of our populizzles In 2008, as tha first poser of tha baby-boom generizzles reach tha minimum age fo` receiv'n Social Security benefits, there wizzle be `bout five work'n-age thugz (between tha ages of twenty n sixty-four) in tha United States fo` each person aged sixty-five n drug deala n those sixty-five n cracka wizzle makes up `bout 12 percent of tha U.S. populizzles Those statistics is set ta change rapidly, at least relative ta tha speed wit which one thinks of demogrizzles changes as usually weed-smokin' place.

For example, perpetratin' ta tha intermediate projections of tha Social Security Trustees, by 2030--by W-H-to-tha-izzich time most of tha baby playa will have retired--the ratio of those of work'n age ta those sixty-five n cracka wiznill hizzy fallen fizzle fizzle ta `bout three. By that time, olda Americans wizzy constitute `bout 19 percent of tha U.S. populizzles a greata share thiznan of tha populizzle of Florida today motha fucka.

This bustin' demogrizzles transition is tha result both of tha reduction in fertility tizzle followed tha post-World War II baby bizzy n of mobbin' increazes in life expectancy.

Although crazy ass nigga expect U.S. fertility rates ta remain close ta current levels fo` tha foreseeable future, life expectancy is projected ta continue ris'n. As a conseqizzles tha anticipated increaze in tha share of tha populizzle aged sixty-five or olda is not simply tha result of tha retirizzles of tha baby gangsta tha "pig in a python" image often used ta describe tha effects of thiznat generizzles on U.S. demogrizzles is straight trippin' Instead, over tha N-to-tha-izzext few decades tha U.S. populizzles is expected ta become progressively killa n remain so, even as tha baby-boom generizzles passes frizzom tha scene.

As you may know, populizzles aging is also cruisin' in mizzle otha countries. Indeed, many of these countries is brotha along than tha United States in this process n have already begun ta experience mizzle F-U-Double-Lizzy some of its social n economic implications.

Even a brotha of tha dismal science like me would find it difficult ta describe increas'n life expectancy as bad news with the S-N-double-O-P. Longa, pimp lives wizzle provide many benefits fo` individuals, families, n society as a whole. Playa an aging populizzles also creates some important economic challenges. For example, many observa have noted tha difficult choices that aging will create fo` fiscal policy killa in tha years ta come, n I will briefly note some of those budgetary issues today. But tha implications of demogrizzles change can also be viewed fizzle a pusha economic perspectizzle As I wizzill discuss, tha broada perspective shows clearly thiznat adequate preparizzles fo` tha blunt-rollin' demogrizzle transition may wizzell involve signifizzle adjustments in our patterns of consumption, wizzork effort, n mobbin' Ultimatizzles tha extent of these adjustments depends on how we drug deala explicitly or implicitly--to distribute tha economic burdens of tha aging of our populizzles across generizzles Inherent in tizzy choice is questions of intergenerizzles equity n economic efficiency, questions that is difficult ta answa definitively but is neverthizzles among tha mizzy critical that we face as a nation.