The Global Demographic Dependency Debacle
The long-term importance of the dependency ratio (which at its most base represents the ratio of economically inactive compared to economically active individuals) is at the heart of many of our fiscal problems (and policy decisions). Not only have they and will they become a larger and larger burden on the tax-paying public but as a voting block will be more and more likely to vote the more socialist wealth-transfer-friendly way in any election (just as we see extreme examples in Europe). The following chart provides some significant food for thought along these lines as by 2016, for the first time ever, developed world economies will have a higher dependency ratio than emerging economies and it rises dramatically. How this will affect budget deficits (food stamps) and/or civil unrest is anyone's guess but for sure, it seems given all the bluster, that we are far from prepared for this shift.