The Politics of a Majority-Minority Nation
The United States is in the midst of a 21st-century adjustment. It is facing dramatic changes in all spheres: social, cultural, political, economic, technological and, in particular, demographic. However, two demographic changes epitomize what the United States must confront and respond to in this century: aging and diversity. This book attempts to address and elucidate these changes and provide a road map for responding to them in a rational way. It does so by providing a context and a framework—the politics of aging, the economics of aging, diversity and immigration—by which one can understand the larger forces of these demographic changes. There are many issues one has in common as one wrestles with these unsettling forces, but the book selects a few to set the stage for a road map that can mitigate the tensions of aging, diversity and immigration and enables one to reframe the public narrative about demographic changes. These issues address key questions that reveal the common fate in overcoming divisions. Who will take care of us (caregiving)? Who will pay the taxes (economic future)? Who will have the children to sustain entitlement programs (future workforce)? Will our children have a better future or face downward mobility (family)? To what extent can one learn from other regions of the world, particularly the Americas (global aging)? Finally, do we as a nation want to remain a superpower with all the sacrifices this position connotes, or will we settle into a second-tier status by mid-century (national security)? Ultimately, the book is about what is possible, given the unique democracy. It attempts to assuage the great discomforts over rapid social change as currently evidenced by the aging of the population, immigration politics and relationships among generations.