given the prior over exploitation of global resources
and record setting budget deficits of preceding generations,
it should seem reasonable to ask why the young
should bother to care for the old.
(setting aside all the racist baiting that makes paying
for one’s own clan’s excess priceless,
but another’s bare survival extortionist)
one answer, implied in the question’s phrasing,
is that we have no choice but to try to repair the damage.
but further, growing up in such coddled lifestyles,
we have also been the beneficerees of their excesses.
while i loathe being stereotypically racist,
almost all asians (in asia) that i have ever known
take it for granted that, having been raised by their parents,
they are indebted to secure them in their old age.
that is to say, there is a strong cultural obligation
on children to provide for their parents’ old age.
in the west, we have social security systems.
also, enough wealth, that we ask more what the parents
will leave the child than what profit
the child will generate for the parent.
the argument here, to put it simply,
is that a society is doing better,
when parents leave an excess,
than when children are expected to make it up.
given that populations are rapidly aging,
and economic circumstances have created huge debt burdens,
austerity packages just seem to be making the problems worse.
so it seems that accepting our obligation
to care for the old, sick, and weak among us
makes mores sense
than attempting to avoid an inevitable problem.