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Comments on economics: parental responsibility, cultural differences, dire demogrphics, and Social Security
To be able to help, that the need for help is legitimate (not due to misbehavior or reckless overspending) -- that's really a prime
purpose for a parent and grandparent.
But it's a cultural consideration. In the trailer to left of mine was a little Korean woman. When she offered to pay me for doing her lawn as well as mine, I refused money. "Just bring me some authentic Asian food". She did -- from the local Chinese take-out. "I no cook more now. Me? Lone. I buy and eat."
Once in awhile we'd try to chat when she brought me the "pay for you cut grass for me". Her English was just barely comprehensible from accent and syntax both. But we'd manage brief encounters. In one of which I mentioned still working so that I'd be financially secure and be able to help my kids if necessary.
She seemed shocked. "Kids? Help by you? You old. They help you. They got have moneys to help parents. Parents help when kids small. Kids pay now when parents old. You old. Me too and my daughter never dare ask me help her. She young."
Good thing the Asian drive for academic excellence. Get high degree and high income and support aged parents. Tiger Mother as familial-economic-system driver.
With the increase in elder population and decrease in job opportunities for the young and actual decrease in net income (taking into account inflation) of average employed American from what their parents were making . . . and the apparent limitations of Social Security (its pay-in basis) to fund all the retirees . . . . the youngers may somehow have to downsize their own contemporary costs of living to put aside for the interim of subsidizing their parents, and ultimately themselves.
But that will mean drastic curtailment of consumption, ravage of retail, end of economic system as we know it??? For there won't be enough money for "survival" needs and indulgence both.
Economy is not absolutely based on anything substantive. Economic dynamics can run on slips of paper or even electronics.
We need a revised economic system that provides suitable, sustainable, and spendable income for the individuals and enterprises concerned with elders.
There doesn't have to be a "product" per se as the "vehicle" for economic flow.
There can be a service. And the proceeds paid for the service go back into the economy as costs and fees and purchases, etc.
There can be a strictly monetary resource for this system and control to prevent inflation.
Anti-Capitalistic? Look what laissez-faire Capitalism has brought us to: already a collapse of its basis (domestic labor) even before the demographic deluge of the retired needing the subsidy of the under-employed and progressively lesser-paid populace.