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Families

and

The Aging of America

New Realities of Social Welfare in the 21st Century

presented by

David Pearce Snyder

Life Styles Editor

The Futurist

In the agrarian 19th Century, the family was America’s principal unit of social and economic production. But in the industrial 20th Century, as economic production shifted from family farms and small businesses to corporate factories and offices, and as formal institutions took over a growing number of the family’s socially-productive roles through public education, social security, insurance, welfare, etc., politicians and policy makers increasingly came to regard families solely as consumers of commerce and clients of government, and not as producers of anything.

Today, as we enter the 21st Century, our newly-matured information technology is propelling us through unparalleled economic growth and engendering dramatic increases in family income, while restoring economic production to America’s households and creating powerful new tools for domestic enterprise. Futurist David Pearce Snyder will take us on a guided tour of the first 20 years of the 21st Century, during which rapidly-growing numbers of self-employed will combine with millions of home-based salaried workers to shift one-third of all gainful employment back into the household, and in which multi-generational, "virtual" families, made newly-competent by information technology, will increasingly supplant formal institutions as the principal providers of care for most of our dependent population, especially the coming surge in aging Baby Boomers.

 

© 2000 David Pearce Snyder

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