Dire predictions that a “Grey Tsunami” will overwhelm economies with unproductive societies harken back to Thomas Malthus’ 1798 “Essay on the Principle of Population”. There, Malthus predicted that growing populations would outrun the food supply, leading to poverty and starvation. The prediction did not foresee the development of agricultural technologies that greatly increased food production. In the case of older populations, predictions about economic disaster change to discussions of economic growth if people remain productive into advanced ages. Rather than a problem, we may be experiencing one of the greatest opportunities ever in history to dramatically improve quality of life at all ages.
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