With the impending retirement of some 76 million baby boomers in a
period of huge government deficits, public anxiety about the social
and economic health of an aging nation is widespread. The policy
debates are contentious -- from deciding who should receive limited
subsidized housing and medical services to the ongoing battle over
"saving" Social Security and other entitlement programs. Some
policy makers and pundits forecast disaster: elderly people will be
put out to pasture with inadequate health care and financial
resources, and a crumbling social welfare infrastructure will
implode under the strain of intergenerational conflict.
In Aging Nation, renowned experts James H. Schulz and Robert H.
Binstock agree that there is considerable cause for concern but
insist that a demographic tsunami is not inevitable. Drawing from
the most current data, the authors provide an in-depth analysis of
the nation's evolving private and public policies on retirement,
faltering employer pensions, health care, workplace conditions, and
entitlement programs. They consider such timely issues as poverty
among older people, rejoining the workforce after retirement,
Social Security and health care reform, as well as the rise of
elderly people as a powerful political force.
Dispelling popular myths and misconceptions perpetrated by
politicians and pundits, Schulz and Binstock consider the economic,
political, and social challenges arising from the aging U.S.
population, and present a balanced -- and reassuring -- assessment
of the future.
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