Behind The Mic With Joe Mathieu: Shorter Lives, Better Economy
BOSTON (CBS) - About a hundred years ago people were lucky to live until they were 50.
The Big ‘5-0’ was considered elderly back then. Now we live an average of 78 years thanks to a number of factors like advances in medicine and access to healthier food.
And the experts say the number will just keep climbing to where it will be very common for people to live to a hundred or older. Which is all anyone wants, right? To live forever? To find the fountain of youth?
Apparently not, according to the Pew Research Center.
It asked people if they would choose to take medical treatments to slow the aging process and live to 120 or even older. 56-percent said no.
Now maybe people have just seen too many post-apocalyptic movies, but a similar majority tells Pew they fear our natural resources would dry-up and be available only to the wealthy if we all start living that long.
One thing is for sure – it would put a huge strain on our economy.
It’s actually happening already.
That’s because Baby Boomers are about to enter their golden years, becoming the biggest group of people heading into retirement in our nation’s history. The problem is exaggerated by the fact that we’re having fewer kids to someday pay for all these new retirees.
That’s why there’s so much concern about the future of Social Security and Medicare.
They are currently funded. But a report by the National Research Council says the two programs are on “unsustainable paths” and pose significant economic risks.
Those risks grow worse as the population ages.
So go ahead, eat that bacon cheeseburger. Unless of course you win the Powerball tonight.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz