Globalization and aging are two sides of the same coin, says a noted author who has written extensively about socioeconomic trends; as we age and chose to have smaller families, we increasingly rely on the affordable labor of foreign workers.
Ted C. Fishman wrote the best-seller China Inc. and more recently Shock of Gray: The Aging of the World's Population and How It Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation.
He addressed the American Council on International Personnel's annual symposium in Arlington, Va., on Tuesday, sharing insights into aging America and how societies depend on and interact with immigrants, in light of population growth.
Only Israel, among countries in the developed world, has a fertility rate high enough to replace the current population, Fishman says.
That's changing families, the economy and global migration patterns. As we have fewer children, we invest more in the ones we have, he said. As the younger generation becomes more educated, they move to cities for jobs and to use their technical skills. As wages rise, so does the standard of living. They have children, the cycle repeats, and the average age of societies rises.