Old Are Lazy, But Fit

Many are concerned about how rich nation workers can pay for the rising costs of public pensions and other elderly benefits.  A graph from the latest Science clarifies.  While the ratio of folks over 65 to younger adults (OADR) will almost double in 45 years, the ratio of disabled to healthy adults (ADDR) will hardly change at all.  The ratio of folks with fifteen years left to live to younger adults will increase ~42%.


  • OADR, … people aged 65 or older, divided by … people of working age, 15 or 20 to 64. …
  • POADR, … people in age groups with life expectancies of 15 or fewer years, divided … people at least 20 years old in age groups with life expectancies greater than 15 years. …
  • ADDR, … adults at least 20 years old with disabilities, divided by … adults at least 20 years without them. (more)

There is no basic economic problem; we have plenty of capable workers. We instead have a political problem – old folks feeling entitled to more leisure at the expense of their juniors.  So just how much will rich nations be willing to tax their workers to pay for “promises” their elderly made to themselves long ago?

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