When it comes to issues of an aging population the Washington Post gets very arithmetic challenged. An article discussing the plight of the rural elderly noted that many can't count on assistance from either the government or their children. It tells readers:
"The rapid aging of China’s society is one of its most profound economic challenges. By 2053, the number of senior citizens is expected to grow to 487 million, or 35 percent of the population, compared with just over 12 percent now, according to the China National Committee on Aging. There will be more retired Chinese people than the entire U.S. population by that date.
"But even before then, the country faces the prospect of growing old before it grows rich. Chinese citizens who have grown up under the one-child policy could end up caring for two parents and four grandparents each as they enter late middle age, a potentially crippling economic burden."
These assertions are wrong on their face. According to the International Monetary Fund, China's per capita income has increased by 4000 percent since 1980. This means that it easily has the ability to support both its retirees and its working population at standards of livings that are far higher than they would have seen in the recent past. The impact of this extraordinary growth rate dwarfs the demographics associated with the one-child policy.
If there are problems supporting China's elderly then it is due to too much money going to the wealthy. The focus on the demographics is mistaken and misleading.
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