Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Gene Steuerle writes a great series called The Government We Deserve for the Urban Institute (you can sign up to receive them by e-mail here). His most recent column, Thinking Long Term at the New Year, is a clear-headed look our political myopia. Gene only hints at the potential intergenerational consequences of ignoring the long view, but I'm going to ask your indulgence for a little New Year speculation of my own. I think this year's Presidential election will focus our minds on our core values. I also think that our core values can keep up with our longer lifespans if we hold fast to the ideal that the risks of aging, and indeed of living, should be spread amongst us. Society is a risk-sharing device. Of course there are inherent risks and rewards in this commitment to one another. But the rewards of a little intergenerational cooperation far outweigh the risks.