society

The impact of an ageing population on the economy

The impact of an ageing population on the economy

One of the great achievements of the twentieth century is a dramatic rise in life expectancy. For example, life expectancy in the US has increased from 45 in 1902 to 75.7 in 2004 (link). Even in the past 50 years, life expectancy has risen in most western economies. Life expectancy   However, increased life expectancy combined with declining birth rates have caused many to worry about the impact of an ageing population. Frequently, we hear about…

placeholder

Should the Legal Drinking Age be Increased to 21?

Readers Question: Evaluate the case for raising the legal drinking age to 21. Will it be more effective than other methods for reducing the harmful effects of alcohol?  There are several reasons to be concerned about the over-consumption of alcohol, especially amongst young people. In the UK, abuse of alcohol has contributed to several social, economic and health problems, including: Alcohol related accidents. Health problems Alcohol addiction major cause of family breakdown. According to a report, “Health First: An evidence-based alcohol strategy for the UK”. “The personal, social and economic cost of…

Obesity Rates Worldwide

Obesity Rates Worldwide

I wrote an Essay on the Problems of Obesity and How to Overcome it The below table shows quite a divergence of obesity rates throughout the world. Interesting that France, Spain and Italy all have a low rate of obesity, maybe they are used to eating more healthy foods.   Percentage of people classified as obese   % obese female male USA 1999-2000 34 27.7 Argentina 1997 25.4 28.4

placeholder

State Pensions and Inequality

Readers Question: Asses the impact of a decline in state pensions on income distribution, wages and income inequality for people aged 60 or above? Firstly, the ‘decline in state pension’ actually means they have fallen relative to wages. For several years, state pensions were index linked – increased in line with inflation. Therefore, in real terms they stayed the same (although, some may argue the inflation rate for pensioners is higher than the official CPI method, therefore they are actually worse off in real terms) Also pensioners have been entitled to…

Should Government Legalise and Tax Cannabis?

Should Government Legalise and Tax Cannabis?

Discuss the arguments for and against the legalization of Cannabis and the taxation of the good by the Government. Legalising cannabis and placing a tax on the good has several advantages 1. The Government can raise revenue from the tax. Because demand is likely to be inelastic, the tax revenue could be quite high. The tax revenues could be used to help finance health care and treat lung cancer. (things associated with dope smoking) 2. It would reduce size…

placeholder

Should Economists decide who Lives?

Recently, I had a question about cost effectiveness analysis. Basically this is a branch of Economics which looks at which health treatments offer the best return for the cost involved. The problem is that health care is an emotive issue and the idea of economists saying which treatments should be used and which should not be allowed is liable to create much criticism. This short essay is a look at some of the issues involved – Deciding Who Gets Treatment  The fundamental problem of economics is scarcity and therefore each…

placeholder

How Much Would You Pay for Cigarettes – $222?

When we buy a packet of cigarettes for $8, we may think that this is the personal cost. But, a new study claims the real personal and social cost of smoking a pack of cigarettes is closer to $200. pdf of report – Report by Kip Viscusi and Joni Hersch To arrive at these statistics they look at the likelyhood of early death from cigarettes. Smoking is generally assumed to reduce life expectancy by a number of years. However, smoking can also reduce quality of life, from an early…