Auf ein langes Leben in Wohlstand

Ein langes Leben ist einer unserer sehnlichsten Wünsche und die Fortschritte in Medizin und Wirtschaft lassen die Hoffnung zu, dass dieser Wunsch in Erfüllung gehen wird. Manche Wissenschaftler meinen, die Lebenserwartung des Menschen könnte um die Mitte dieses Jahrhunderts 90 Jahre betragen. Was allerdings, wenn sich dieser Wunsch wirklich erfüllt? Was nützt ein längeres Leben, wenn wir unseren Lebensstandard nicht aufrecht erhalten können?

Das Grundproblem bei den Planungen für eine höhere Lebenserwartung ist, dass wir nicht wissen, ob sie auch wirklich eintritt. Die Lebenserwartung könnte zur Mitte des Jahrhunderts genauso gut – wie jetzt in den Industrieländern - nur 80 Jahre betragen, wenn der medizinische Fortschritt enttäuschend verläuft oder von neuen Bedrohungen und Gefahren untergraben wird. Wenn wir Vorsorge für ein langes Leben treffen, das dann doch kürzer ausfällt, haben wir enorme Mengen wertvoller wirtschaftlicher Ressourcen verschwendet. Wenn wir allerdings keine Vorsorge für ein tatsächlich längeres Leben treffen, werden viele alte Menschen zu einem Leben in Armut verdammt sein.

Die generelle Richtung jeder Volkswirtschaft hängt von der Lebenserwartung ab. Eine riesige Zahl alter Menschen bedeutet auch viele Menschen, die an gewissen Orten wohnen möchten, spezielle Wohnungen suchen und gewisse Arten von Dienstleistungen in Anspruch nehmen. Welche Arten von Unternehmen sich durchsetzen, welche Gebäude errichtet werden und wie die Art der nötigen Forschung und Entwicklung aussieht, hängt von der Demografie der Nachfrage ab.

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