Demographics

Boomers At the End of the World

by Peter Zeihan on June 16, 2022

The Boomers are the largest generation the world has ever seen. And they’re getting ready to enter retirement en masse. This is going to have incredible impacts on global labor, capital and development. If you enjoy this video, I cover the topic of demographics and the future of, well, everything in depth in my new book The End of the World is Just the Beginning, available everywhere–including your local bookstore.

First things first: labor. As the largest–and longest lasting–component of the American and global labor force in history, the Boomers have had an outsized impact on everything. On wages. On hiring. On how subsequent generations–Gen X and the Millennials–fit into the labor market. Or don’t.

And now they’re retiring. While this leaves members of Gen X as the most skilled labor cadre in the United States, our numbers can’t replace the Boomers. And the Millennials lack the decades of skill to replace Boomer workers.

There’s also the stark reality of capital. Boomers have been earning and investing those earnings for decades. Boomer savings and their general high apetite for risk have seen a flood of capital spread into industries and environments across the world as the price of capital plummeted and its availability increased.

Not anymore. Boomers, like all retirees, favor safe, stable, long-term investments. As they switch from adding to their savings and investment accounts and instead transition to drawing from them in retirement, the Boomers are going to cause as big of a splash leaving the labor market as they did when they jumped in in the 80s…

 

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