Douwe Osinga's Blog: Moving out the grey masses

Monday, November 14, 2005

The old Europe is getting older. Not only the old, apparently the New Europe isn’t quite that fresh anymore either. The simplest solution to do something about the coming lack of young people in Europe would obviously be to import more young people from countries where they have rather too much of them. Unfortunately the popularity of this solution has decreased quite a bit the last years, making for example the Netherlands for the first time since the years just after World War II a country where more people emigrate from than emigrate too (how that reflects well on the current government is another question of course). If we can’t import young foreigners, the other solution to stabilize the population pyramid is of course exporting the old locals.

It should be simple enough. There might be a pension crisis, but the total of pensions and private savings should surely be enough to make for a comfortable old age in a cheapish Third World Country, shouldn’t it? Right now it seems a lot of doctors educated in the Third World don’t stay around due to lack of career opportunities; moving millions of European pensioners around should create a nice market for these guys. And these poorer countries tend to have warmer climates, which is nice if you have a lot of free time on your hand. Sure, they’d want to see their children and children’s children, but in these days of cheap telecommunications and air tickets that shouldn’t be that much of an issue anymore.

And while the old enjoy their well deserved rest on the beaches from Ghana to Sri Lanka, their old home countries can focus their energies on keeping up the wealth that allowed them to send their retired oversees. I’d like a place in Goa, I think.