Saturday, August 29, 2015

The fate of the older Chinese is very, very, very depressing



This week's Economist has article about the issues facing China's ageing population. This is the link (I fear it is behind a paywall)

The family has been central to how China has managed its older people and for many this is still the case.  

Almost 60% of the 65+ live with their children.

Things are changing. 20% of all single-person households in China are for the 65+.

It would seem that China's government had assumed that families would remain the main source of support - it is having to rethink and fast.

By 2025 nearly 25% of the country's population will be over 60 and by 2050 there are likely to be just 2.5 working-age adults for every person over 65, down from eight today.

The conclusion of the article is that, rather like much of the Western world China is unprepared for what is unfolding. Not enough doctors, specialist accommodation, carers, pensions, welfare etc etc.

This is a sad conclusion to the article.  In 2009-11 people over 65 accounted for just under half of all suicides, and more in rural areas: living alone in old age can be harsh anywhere, but in China it may be particularly isolating. Dick Stroud

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yet another contribution to the intergenerational fairness argument

The futile ‘debate’ about intergenerational fairness keeps going round in circles.

There are elements of the right and left of the political spectrum that delight in painting oldies as the baddies and their children and grandchildren as the victims. I put it down to them not getting on with their parents!

Well the TUC (an organization representing UK trade unions) has got into the act and published a paper on the subject

Much to my amazement it is not bad in the quality of its analysis.  This joins the recent publication from the Ready for Ageing Alliance saying pretty much the same thing.

Of course neither papers will make a jot of difference. Those that reckon it is all the fault of the oldies will continue in that belief. Facts are pesky little blighters that keep spoiling things.

As far as I can see the positive value of these publications is that they provide a lot more data (not that any was required) about the state of the wealth and income distribution in the UK. Dick Stroud



Monday, August 24, 2015

When does this 'ageing thing' start? Early than you think



If you want any chance of understanding this graphic you will have to open it in another window.

What it shows is the age of sprinters when they achieve their personal best times for the 100 metres.

The simple point of the chart is that for a lot of people their peak performance is pretty much over by their mid-20s. In other sports the time at the top seems to be extending. Anybody watching Roger Federer win on Saturday (age 34) will know what I mean. Maybe it is wrong to extrapolate about a sport from a single  and most exceptional player?

If you are competing in Iron Men triathlons then your enter the veteran group at the age of 40.

Marketers still seem to think that physical change is something that occurs in a way off time in the future. Sorry guys and girls, you are probably already experiencing the results. Dick Stroud