Image via Wikipedia
UNTIL the early 1990s nobody much thought about whole populations getting older. The UN had the foresight to convene a “world assembly on ageing” back in 1982, but that came and went. By 1994 the World Bank had noticed that something big was happening. In a report entitled “Averting the Old Age Crisis”, it argued that pension arrangements in most countries were unsustainable.
For the next ten years a succession of books, mainly by Americans, sounded the alarm. They had titles like “Young v Old”, “Gray Dawn” and “The Coming Generational Storm”, and their message was stark: health-care systems were heading for the rocks, pensioners were taking young people to the cleaners, and soon there would be intergenerational warfare.