[ExI] Longevity Dividend Course OP-ED Assignment 06

Morris Johnson mfj.eav at gmail.com
Fri Jun 6 15:28:27 UTC 2008

06-Healthy Pensions

"Bubble , bubble toil and trouble, cauldron boil and cauldron bubble…3
dancing witches and all that", says I.  "Oh quit with the Shakespeare dad,
we get the point that pensions are a chaotic witches brew of 207 Trillion
USD (2006 stats)  global economy of equities (54 T$) , debt, bonds (67 T$),
hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds  (3 T$) mutual funds, funds of funds,
and derivatives (including 50 trillion of credit derivatives) just to name a
few."  "And yes Dad, we know coasting into the sunset on "Freedom 55" is
something you want no part of; You'd rather cash in all your pensions before
65, buy a cryonics (storage of a body in liquid nitrogen) contract with a
company like Alcor

( http://www.alcor.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/alcor/public/InfoRequest.cgi  ) as
well as buy into some means of preserving your body from just before death
so that when as you hope they thaw you out your mind and body are not beyond
repair, even with technologies of the future and get Re-booted so to speak."

"Sure kids  that's it for me but I must deal with the little matter of
keeping pensions liquid and funded so that the vast majority of the other 6
billion people who might simply want to live longer and healthier can get
the freedom they bought before any funeral or un-funeral interferes."

All 3 kinds of pension (defined contribution , defined benefit and money
purchase) funds own all sorts of equities as well as  alternative
investments, such as infrastructure, hedge funds and venture capital  There
is a closed payback Loop created  when pension funds  own health care
industry corporate stocks.  The wealth of the elderly investors claws back
profits as health care consumers  pay for health care services from their
pensions  I present the notion of reducing the hazard of pension investments
by ensuring the pension funds invest ethically into technologies and
services which reduce unhealthy lifespan, or increase total lifespan.
already agree that without corrective actions , off the scale longevity will
crater payouts if pension funds remain invested as they are now.

Some suggest  that a root cause analysis would say the problem is that
retirement age is too low in relation to lifespan.  A healthy extremely aged
workforce who continue to contribute as they earn is suggested as the
answer.  Those who earn too little or are unable or unwilling to work will
then be a manageable unfounded liability.

A key question is how soon and how intensively a "War on Aging" will
be  integrated
into the global business economy.  Billions are already at play but to
sustain global scale pension payouts its going to have to ramp up to tens of
trillions.  Given that commercialization is hindered by risk aversion by
regulators and a generally under-informed apathetic population , time is
definitely of the essence to engage a process of public education.

Today in Saskatchewan we are at a point of opportunity.  With perhaps 10
pretty secure years to go for the "energy bubble" we have to find sufficient
incentives to derail the dangerously  blindered re-investment by energy only
into energy.  Acceleration of diversification to mate the capital of the
Estevan,  Weyburn, Lloydminister , Northern Saskatchewan  tar sands and all
the other energy hot spots with the Science , technology and incubator
start-up clusters such as in the Saskatoon region might be a good place to
start.  To get the process going perhaps there will have to be some initial
"herding , clubbing and baiting" but the smart money should catch onto ways
to justify these "longevity dividend" products and services  as high risk
but fundamentally sound investment options.  Like it or not,  governments
ought to feel ethically bound to aid in greasing the tunnel and loading and
pointing the policy cannon.  Government might mandate an alternative to an
oil/energy production  tax or royalty grab  in the form of an
involuntary  private
investment into an industry  directed  targeted "Longevity Dividend"
Sovereign Wealth series of ethical funds.  These funds might be mandated to
pay both the investors and the public treasury dividends that would help to
pay for the whole issue of self-directed  preventative health planning,
implementation and  longevity enhancement for those not fortunate enough to
be in the top 1% of the wealthy.  Keeping those oldsters happy and healthy
and productive might prevent  a potential "age war" or as I have put it to
my kids,  "the day they put a bounty on old people."

The next pieces on medicare reform, disability,
emigration/immigration/baby-making  and inter-generational transfer will
round out my commentary and fill in some gaps left in the other pieces.  I
hope you have checked out some of the links along the way as they
substantiate that this is not a fictional crack-pot literary effort but a
serious thinking through of an issue I feel may be new to many of you .

You may send your feedback attention "Pharmer Mo" at
extropian.pharmer at gmail.com
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