It needs no telling that the economic center of gravity has moved from West to East. Asian countries, thanks to their high savings rate and a low base of GDP per capita, will continue to log in higher growth rates than their western counterparts for many more years to come. But what goes unnoticed perhaps is another important fact. As pointed out by the Economist, by 2030, Asia (excluding Japan) will be home to half of the world's elderly. And by virtue of this, it will also host most of the world's pensioners and patients.
Thus, it goes without saying that these countries will certainly have a big challenge on their hands. They will have to ensure that the elderly get all the help they need. This is not the only challenge though. As income levels rise, there will be a clamour for other Government sponsored schemes too like health insurance and unemployment benefits. Needless to say, this is going to put a big strain on the Government exchequer. Thus, it is imperative that a fine balance is achieved. The balance between making the schemes fiscally feasible and also ensuring that every citizen gets to lead the dignified life he /she deserves. As The Economist rightly points out, the welfare state should not only free the continent from squalor. It should also not sink it in too much debt.