The aging of America has come. The median age is 30, the over-65s represent 12% of the population and the low fertility rate has put us on the road to a childless society. The 20 contributors to this seminal study analyze the repercussions of these and other demographic trends on the economic, social, political and spiritual life of our nation. The consequences of this ""aging"" are dramatically present in the current federal budget, 30% of which is devoted to the older person. How will our society allocate its resources in the years to come? Will some sectors be shorted to satisfy the needs of the aged? How will we deal with the costs of health care (already twice that of other western nations), work and retirement, the changing role of grandparents and intergenerational conflicts? These questions and others present thorny problems in social planning, since equity requires us to allot our resources with a rough measure of fairness among all segments of our society. For example, there seems to be an inverse relationship between expenditures for children and older people, a distressing phenomenon. A nation which has often seemed adverse to long-range social planning will find itself in a no-win situation if it fails to consider the ethical and economic consequences of drastic changes in the population. According to the contributors, we are faced with a paradox in which there is both the promise of humane survival or disaster. An Aging Society is a solid, scholarly collaboration on a subject that touches the lives of every American. It is an excellent introduction to the subject for the neophyte, but savvy enough for the more informed reader. In the years 2010 to 2030, the over-65s will form an enormous dependent group in the population. The analysts in the book want us to begin to grapple with the problem now.