Received as a First Read via GoodReads giveaways and St. Martin's Press for an unbiased review.
Ezarti's hypothesis on aging demographics and the place of the world's super powers in the modern global power struggle is just that, a series of interesting considerations, but rife with what can only be upper class ignorance to realities of the working populations and its poor.
To be fair, the ideas are based on proven theories, and there are various examples of Ezrati's beliefs. What does Ezrati believe? That in the future our aging demographics will put extreme strain on the economic welfare of today's super powers which will cause over working of the younger generation and that the super powers will need to make major changes in production, economic behaviours and political agendas.
If the reader is looking for a extremely middle or upper class hypothesis, this book is most definitely for them. The author notes that changing from farm work to office work is a huge leap in skills, but would be possible. Ezrati fails to consider that many of these people do not have the skills or proclivity to change their way of life, and stating that the workforce will be "reabsorbed" in the new job market is extremely narrow minded. Ezrati notes that retail and mall are taking in these displaced citizens, playing on this fact as if it were a positive change for the hard working exurbanite population. The author fails to consider that retail jobs are much lower wages, lower standard of living and require a completely different set of skills. Where Ezrati sees a harmless change in venues, I see an increase in human suffering, lifestyle changes and morale slumping. Not everyone wants to work minimum wage, indoors, long hours and no sense of progress in their lives. Ezrati has obviously never taken a walk on the lower end of the career spectrum.
If we ignore the obvious privileged background of the author, the book works on sound bases )historical references, basic economic theories and terms). And the concern that the aging demographics will not be replaced by a younger workforce, in turn developing an employment vacuum and pushing retirement years into our golden years. This book raises legitimate concerns and adeptly explains the repercussions of an aging population, its just unfortunately written in a way that I fear is not looking at the situation objectively outside current social class assumptions.
This book does what it set out to do, kudos! I just wish it was more sensitive to the plight of those who arent as well established or economically comfortable prior to the initial changes.