Demographics & Aging

Hosted byIan Punnett

Demographics & Aging

About the show

Demographic futurist and opinion maker on all things dealing with the business of longevity, Bradley Schurman writes and speaks about demographic change and how it is disrupting social, political, and economic norms. He joined Ian Punnett (Twitter) to discuss the current population shifts, coupled with emerging trends, and what they foretell for the future of everything in our aging world. The year 2034 will be the first time in American history when there will be more people over the age of 65 than under 18, Schurman reported. "It's going to change everything about our society," he said. Already a full third of American counties have at least one out of five people over the age of 65, and some have one out of three, Schurman continued. The states of Maine, Vermont, Delaware, West Virginia, and Florida meet the UN designation of 'Super Age,' which is a tipping point where at least one out of five residents are over 65, he added.

"We're looking at a complete revision... of our social contracts", Schurman suggested, pointing out they were written in a post-war period when the U.S. had a sizeable population of young workers. Birth rates have been in steep decline for last 25 years, and Gen Z, who are now entering the workforce, are a significantly smaller generation than Millennials. "We have too few people supporting too many people in retirement," he warned. According to Schurman, Gen Z is a highly informed generation that is also very pragmatic, as well as the most diverse in terms of race, gender, and sexual identity. "We're talking about a cohort of people that sees the world vastly differently," he explained. They tend to see a prominent position for government in society, especially in terms of income equality. "I'm very hopeful for what they want," he admitted.

Schurman also spoke about the fast-fading nuclear family model and the rise of intergenerational living. More than half of 18 to 29 year olds lived at home with their parents at the peak of the pandemic. "We haven't seen a stat like that since the Second World War," he reported. A tidal change is coming, and it's not necessarily a bad thing as intergenerational living has largely been how humanity has lived throughout history, Schurman revealed.

Food Production

In the first hour, agricultural researcher, permaculturalist, and homesteader Christian Westbrook warned against powers taking control of our food production, and explained why we should grow our own food and achieve food sovereignty. According to Westbrook, the goal of the forces behind the World Economic Forum at Davos and the EAT-Lancet Commission is to seize control of food production in order to take control of the general populace. Some of their key items include reformatting the world's food systems and eliminating animal-based foods, he revealed. Westbrook talked about his fight for food sovereignty, or the right of individuals to grow and eat the kind of food they want. He believes everyone should be growing food. "We need to return to the way humanity has always survived... radically decentralize food production," Westbrook suggested.

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