05 Oct By 2050, the United States will be
majority-minority and older. How do we care for everyone?
Jacqueline L. Angel and Juan Fernando Torres-Gil, For the Inquirer
Changing demographics are redefining America in important ways, and with the elections around the corner, Republican and Democratic candidates would be wise to pay particularly close attention to older adults.
By 2050, the United States will be majority-minority and older. This dynamic of twin demographic trends — a doubling of older persons and minorities and immigrants becoming the majority — will create political competition between older whites and younger racial and ethnic groups over scarce public resources, such as taxes to preserve Social Security versus reinvesting in public education.
What does this mean to voters? There are differences of opinion. Aging baby boomers support entitlement programs and are uncomfortable with diversity. Millennials and their younger counterparts are concerned about their retirement and economic futures. And through all of this emerges the reality that we face greater vulnerability as we grow old.
It is incumbent upon us to recognize the mutual interest we share to support the need for a quality of life that gives us a basic social safety net. Because right now, it’s being threatened for future generations. And lawmakers ought to start paying more attention to how we can better prepare to move toward the new America of 2050.
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