A war is slowly brewing. It pits parents against their children and children against their parents. Longstanding social and economic trends are creating tensions between the generations. These trends, which show no sign of abating, have largely escaped the attention of the public and are rarely discussed outside of specialist circles. Yet, once seen, they cannot be unseen. And they have a distinct air of inevitability about them.
For the past few decades, a debate has been bubbling in macroeconomic circles. It centers on the question of demographics and their implications for society. As most educated people are aware, Western populations are growing older. Since the Baby Boom generation, birth rates have gone down, leading to increases in the median age in the wealthy West. This is not a good thing. Aging populations pose significant long-term economic challenges, of which few outside of economic and financial circles are aware.