Recently, La Trobe Business School academics Jan Libich and Liam Lenten were featured in the Australian Financial Review speaking about gerontocracies. The idea that society is moving towards a gerontocracy – meaning a society where older people exercise control, or dominate – is real, thanks to the baby boomer generation. In European countries like Belgium and Germany, the government is struggling to finance public pension expenditures, and to provide healthcare to an increasingly aging population.
So what measures can a country take to combat this dynamic? In the article the two researchers published together, Jan Libich and Liam Lenten argue for making voting optional after voters have hit the retirement age: “Making voting optional for elderly Australians can be seen as a democratic way of correcting the political implications of demographic skews. By better balancing the intergenerational contract, the proposed arrangement would lead to public policies that are fairer, more sustainable, and conducive to future economic growth.”
Read the complete article on the Australian Financial Review’s website.