Here is a question I don't think anybody is asking: How did we survive for 200 years without nursing homes busting the federal budget? I think part of the reason is that families used to take care of their own to a much greater extent than they do now. Families still do that in many cultures.
I can hear you thinking, "We can't go back to those days." But what are we going toward now?
” Here is a question I don’t think anybody is asking: How did we survive for 200 years without nursing homes busting the federal budget? I think part of the reason is that families used to take care of their own to a much greater extent than they do now. Families still do that in many cultures. “
Families still do that here, but not nearly enough, because Nanny state USA picks up the tab. They don’t have to do it.
It is not that we are unwilling to go back it's that there is NO WAY back. Remember the 1970s classic Willy Wonka where the four grandparents lived on the two beds in Willy's living room? That will never be again. My grandmother who lived till 101 happily hand-washed our clothes and hung them up on the clothesline, after making her own soap, until she had to be taken care of. That woman longer exists in the USA.
But you miss another key factor that I call ‘When man's Utopia turns to hell”. In the 1970s and 1980s people died younger, they ate more meat, smoked and there were no drugs for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You just died. Now you live longer on the average but with impairments mentally and physically that require someone nearly 24-7. And everything is more expensive now. And the aging are soon outnumbering the young (relatively speaking.)
Back in the early 1990s Sam Donaldson was making the case that stopping smoking would save the government medicare and medicaid money. George Will made the point that if people lived longer that it would cost the government more not less, and asked he asked Sam where the money will come from to take care of them. Donaldson replied :”We will FIND it someplace.” I knew we were screwed then.