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The Upside of Aging: How Long Life Is Changing the World of Health, Work, Innovation, Policy and Purpose by Paul Irving

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Chapter 6 The New Global Economy, through an Aging Lens

Michael W. Hodin

Executive Director, Global Coalition on Aging; Managing Partner, High Lantern Group

Through a new perspective on a “life course” of aging—one that is commensurate with twenty-first-century longevity, marked by ongoing social and economic participation—the upside of the aging population will be economic growth and wealth creation.

Like many young Americans growing up in the 1960s, I absorbed a daily diet of national and international politics. From the struggle for equality and the civil rights movement to the debates over America’s role in Southeast Asia and the world, I developed a passion for—and an understanding of—how ideas could be the intellectual pathway to political solutions.

So perhaps it is unsurprising that I was attracted to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York—one of the unique politicians of the time. More than any other, Senator Moynihan fused ideas and public policy to create a better America that was built on the finest liberal democratic principles. In addition, he had a particular intellectual curiosity about how large demographic trends would influence America’s future, including its engagement in international relations. Moynihan taught—and I would like to believe I learned—that, with the right elements of political economy informed by the best of liberal democracy, we could continue to produce wealth and prosperity, and generate a better place for all to live.

This optimism ...

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