Now don’t assume this policy change shows that China is becoming a free society. The policy was changed because China is literally running out of people to maintain its economic growth. After 35 years of a very low birth rate, China has created a demographic time bomb in which the older population that needs care is growing much faster than the population of young working people who support them. In the foreseeable future, a fourth to a third of China’s huge population will be over age 60, but there will only be two workers for each retiree.
Does any of that sound familiar? In the United States, Social Security and Medicare are in financial trouble because too many retirees are supported by too few working adults. The percentage of working Americans peaked 15 years ago and has declined ever since. We used to have 16 workers for one retiree; now we have only three.
A population that simply replaces itself doesn’t generate enough savings to support retirees. A single working person doesn’t pay enough into Social Security and Medicare to support his own retirement; the system depends on having several younger working adults to support each retired person.
Listen to the radio commentary here: