Shock of Gray

Author: Ted Fishman

The world’s population is rapidly aging – by the year 2030, one billion people will be sixty-five or older. As the ratio of the old to the young grows ever larger, global aging has gone critical: For the first time in history, the number of people over age fifty will be greater than those under age seventeen. Few of us understand the resulting massive effects on economies, jobs, and families. Everyone is touched by this issue – parents and children, rich and poor, retirees and workers – and now veteran journalist Ted C. Fishman masterfully and movingly explains how our world is being altered in ways no one ever expected.

What happens when too few young people must support older people?
What happens when countries need millions of young workers but lack them?
How do compa¬nies compete for young workers?
Why, exactly, do they shed old workers?
How are entire industries being both created and destroyed by demographic change? How do communities and countries remake themselves for ever-growing populations of older citizens?
Who will suffer? Who will benefit?

With vivid and witty reporting from American cities and around the world, and through compelling interviews with families, employers, workers, economists, gerontologists, government officials, health-care professionals, corporate executives, and small business owners, Fishman reveals the astonishing and interconnected effects of global aging, and why nations, cultures, and crucial human relationships are changing in this timely, brilliant, and important read.

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