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The world’s losing its workers. How will we compete?

posted Mar 18, 2012, 11:34 AM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Mar 18, 2012, 11:35 AM ]
Doug Saunders
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 2:00AM EST
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 8:12AM EST

Now Canada, too, has had its senior moment. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested that Canada would soon join most other Western countries in raising its pension age to 67, he triggered an angry round of debate. We were late entering this argument: Europeans have been having it for a decade.

And it is only the beginning, because pensions represent only a tiny part of a much larger global problem. At its core are a set of non-problems: People around the world are living longer and having far fewer children – a consequence of increased female education rates and declining absolute poverty. Countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Iran are now having so few children that their populations are on the verge of shrinking – as would Canada’s if we didn’t take immigrants.

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