LTC Bullet: Book Review: The Graying of the Great Powers
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Binghamton, NY (LTC Tour Mile 16,000; State #25)--
LTC Comment: Aging demographics will impact more than
Americans' retirement income and health care security. Get the bigger
picture of the Age Wave's effect on national and global security from this
eye-opening new book, after the ***news.***
*** WHICH WAY WEST? The National Long-Term Care
Consciousness Tour faces a dilemma at the end of October. It'll be time to
head West. But which route? We finish the Midwest at the end of October in
MOKAN (Missouri, Kansas) with Center for Long-Term Care Reform Regional
Representative Claude Thau who has already scheduled many media and
speaking engagements. We have an event scheduled in Los Angeles,
California for November 14. So I've got two weeks to get there. The
question now is "Which Way West?" As always, you'll decide the itinerary.
Where I'm invited to speak determines the LTC Tour's route. I could drop
down through Oklahoma and proceed to north Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
Or I can head directly west to Colorado, picking up Denver, and then on to
Utah and Nevada. Are you on either route? Want the LTC Tour to come to
your town? Then contact Damon now at 206-283-7036 or
firstname.lastname@example.org to explore
the possibilities. ***
*** FREE EVENTS FOR NAIFA, NAHU, FPA, AND EPC. Can you
believe it? Steve Moses will do a two-hour mini-version of the Center's
highly acclaimed LTC Graduate Seminar at no charge for state or local
affiliates of these organizations--National Association of Insurance and
Financial Advisors, National Association of Health Underwriters, Financial
Planning Associations, and Estate Planning Councils. Maybe other
organizations too. Just ask. That's a $5,000 savings to bring in a
nationally recognized speaker on long-term care planning and public
policy. All you have to do is schedule your event to fit into the LTC
Tour's schedule and itinerary which you can find at
http://www.centerltc.com/TourCalendar/General.htm#August. With the
Midwest and West still left to cover, the possibilities are wide open.
Find Steve's professional bio and credentials at
http://www.centerltc.com/steves_bio.pdf. Find testimonials about the
http://www.centerltc.com/Testimonials.htm. To inquire, contact Damon
at 206-283-7036 or
LTC BULLET: BOOK REVIEW: THE GRAYING OF THE GREAT POWERS
LTC Comment: Rather than my summarizing this fine new
book's subject matter, get it straight from the author's own mouth. Last
June, I interviewed co-author Richard Jackson at his Washington, DC office
in the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Check out the
2-minute interview at
(For 32 more interviews and LTC-themed vignettes, go to
the Center for Long-Term Care Reform's special LTC Tour channel on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/LTCconsciousnessTOUR. Subscribe there to
get updates of each new addition.)
Now here are some quotes from The Graying of the
Great Powers: Demography and Geopolitics in the 21st Century
by Richard Jackson and Neil Howe, The Center for Strategic and
International Studies, Washington, DC, 2008. (Order this book at
This report investigates how "global aging" -- as the
demographic transformation is often called -- will reshape the
geopolitical landscape through the first half of the 21st century. From
the perspective of today's developed nations, the report addresses
questions like the following:
- How will demographic change reshape the relative
influence and power exercised by the world's nations and alliances?
- How will it affect the performance of national
economies, the mood of national electorates, and the effectiveness of
national defense strategies?
- Will rising retirement and health care costs crowd
out spending on national defense and international affairs?
- Will today's developed countries come to depend on
the surplus savings of rising developing nations to keep them afloat
financially -- and if so, how can we expect these new suppliers of
capital to use their newly acquired leverage?
- Will armed forces experience chronic manpower
shortages as the number of youth declines and tight civilian labor
markets make military careers less attractive?
- Will the resources available to pursue geopolitical
goals be further constrained by the changing temperament of risk-averse
- Will demographically declining societies be less
willing to risk scarce young people in war, and will this accelerate the
substitution of military technology for manpower? (pps. 9-10)
Major Findings: The Demographic Transformation
- The world is entering a demographic transformation of
unprecedented dimensions. . . .
- The coming transformation is both certain and
lasting. There is almost no chance that it will not happen -- or that it
will be reversed in our lifetime. . . .
- The regions of the world will become more unalike
before they become more alike. . . .
- In the developed world, the transformation will have
sweeping economic, social, and political consequences that could
undermine the ability of the United States and its traditional allies to
maintain security. . . .
- In the developing world, the transformation will give
rise to dangerous new security threats. . . .
Major Findings: The Geopolitical Implications
- The population and GDP of the developed world will
shrink steadily as a share of the world totals. In tandem, the global
influence of the developed world will likely decline. . . .
- The population and GDP of the United States, due to
its relatively high fertility and immigration rates, will expand
steadily as a share of the developed world totals. In tandem, the
influence of the United States within the developed world will likely
rise. . . .
- Most nations in sub-Saharan Africa, and some nations
in the Muslim world -- including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Palestinian
Territories, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen -- will possess a large ongoing
"youth bulges" that could render them chronically unstable until at
least the 2030s. . . .
- Many nations in North Africa, the Middle East, South
and East Asia, and the former Soviet bloc -- including China, Iran,
Pakistan, and Russia -- are now experiencing rapid or extreme
demographic change that could either push them toward civil collapse or
(in reaction) "neo-authoritarianism." . . .
- The threat of ethnic and religious conflict will
continue to be a growing security challenge in both the developing and
developed worlds. . . .
- Throughout the world, the 2020s will likely emerge as
a decade of maximum geopolitical danger. . . .
- The aging developed countries will face chronic
shortages in young adult manpower -- posing challenges both for their
economies and their security forces. . . .
- An aging developed world may struggle to remain
culturally attractive and politically relevant to younger societies. (pps.
1-4) . . .
A Framework for Policy Action
- Help women balance jobs and children...
- Reward families are having children...
- Improve the economic prospects of young families...
- Leverage immigration more effectively...
- Reduce the projected cost of old-age benefits...
- Increase funded retirement savings...
- Encourage longer work lives...
- Enable more young people to work...
- Maximize the advantages of trade...
- Raise national savings...
Diplomacy and Strategic Alliances
- Expand the developed-world club...
- Prepare for a larger US role...
- Invest in development assistance...
- Remain vigilant to the threat of
- Preserve and enhance soft power...
Defense Posture and Military Strategy
- Prepare for growing casualty aversion...
- Substitute military technology for manpower...
- Substitute nonnative for native manpower...
- Create "service alliances" with loyal developing
- Adapt weapons, training, and force structure... (pps.
LTC Comment: Did these quotes pique your interest. Then
get the book and fill in the blanks. Get it at
or on Amazon.com.