The BBC has reminded us this week that today's 20-year-olds are three times more likely to live to 100 than their grandparents and twice as likely as their parents.
And a baby born in 2011 is almost eight times more likely to reach its 100th birthday than one born 80 years ago. A girl born this year has a one-in-three chance of reaching 100 years old and boys have a one-in-four chance.
By 2066 there will be half a million people aged over 100.
No wonder that with the sum of UK public and private debt reaching £3 trillion by 2014 the Department for Work and Pensions is worried.
In the West we have a growing elderly population supported by a smaller and smaller working population – fuelled by elderly people living longer and an epidemic of abortion, infertility and small families.
Sunday Times journalist Minette Marin’s proposed ‘final solution’ for Britain’s growing number of elderly people is euthanasia.
And unless something is done to reverse current demographic trends, economic necessity, together with the ‘culture of death’ ideology which is becoming more openly accepted, is bound to lead to many more calling for the elderly to ‘do the decent thing’.
But to put our extravagant overspending in perspective, the world’s poorest billion people earn less than £1 per day (£360 per year) and the next poorest two billion earn less than £2 (£720) so the total income for the poorest half of the world’s population is £1,800 billion per year – just over half our nation’s total debt.
And yet ironically, it is rich people in the affluent West, rather than the poor in the Global South, who say they can’t afford to look after their dependents.
There is a solution other than euthanasia for Britain’s growing elderly population but it is not politically correct.
We need instead to stop killing our children, build up our families, live more simply, give more generously, save more for the future and stop eating, drinking, smoking, drugging and slothing ourselves to disease, dependency and death.
Then we need to focus our priorities on providing for our dependents, especially the older generation which fought for our freedom in two world wars, provided for our health, education and welfare, and left us the legacy of wealth, comfort, peace and security which we are now squandering.