Thursday, January 22, 2009

Whither our Withering?

David Innes and Harold Kildow combine for some excellent commentary on the Withering Away of Russia over at Principalities and Powers. This is one of my favorite blogs. Despite the fact that I don't believe in god, I remain ever-philosophical and am always fascinated in the subject. I always find their writings, and particularly those about god and faith, to be fantastic.

Their article today dwells on the fact that Russia is essentially continuing to rot from the inside out, however no longer from the standpoint of an unsustainable tyrranical government, but from the actual health and sustenance of its population. I recommend the article highly purely on its own merits. It did spark one thought to my mind, however, which obviously lent to the title of this post.

Their discussion centers around a November 2008 article in The Economist, which lays out the facts. The most striking fact is the rate of their population decline in conjunction with a drastically reduced life expectancy, leaving them staring at a near 30% decline in workforce by 2025.

I know we as a people in the United States are beginning to be dimly cognizant of the fact that the baby boom generation is rapidly approaching retirement age, and that those of us in our working years are not going to be able to support them via social security simply by virtue of sheer volume discrepancy.

Coupled with our current economic crisis, I wonder if we should not take the fact that our workforce will decline by a drastic percentage, not over the next 20 years, a-la Russia, but seemingly all at once due to millions and millions of workers retiring within, say, half that time (pure conjecture) juuuuuuust a bit more seriously?

Am I wrong in my gut feeling about the numbers?

Whither our own withering?

Feel free to comment.


  1. There is not a single baby boomer I know planning to retire. I fully intend to work until 70 in my present job, and when done there, will simply change careers. My dad retired at 60. Retirement lasted 6 months and then he bought a business he ran for the next 25 years. When asked why he sold it, He said "They made me an offer I couldn't refuse". " Wish, I hadn't sold it". "Seemed impractical to start another business at 86".

    Perhaps you shouldn't worry about paying for my social security.
    Have a nice day

  2. down. Plus the handful of other people you know personally.

    Any others?