Are the good times really over for good?” asked Merle Haggard in his 1982 lament. Then, the good times weren’t over. In fact, they were coming back, with the Reagan recovery, the renewal of the American spirit and the end of a Cold War that had consumed so much of our lives.
It is hard to be sanguine about the future.
The demographic and economic realities do not permit it.
Consider. Between 1946 and 1964, 79 million babies were born — the largest, besteducated and most successful generation in our history. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both born in 1946, were in that first class of baby boomers. The problem. Assume that 75 million of these 79 million boomers survive to age 66. This means that from this year through 2030, an average of nearly 4 million boomers will be retiring every