the problem with bringing in foreign workers to take care of the old - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15047799
Many countries, including the U.S. have been bringing in workers from other countries to take care of their aging populations. It's often said by policy-makers and politicians that "there's not enough workers to take care of the old", but the real issue is more about getting skilled and semi-skilled workers who don't have to be paid as much.

Well, this makes sense on one level, doesn't it? If you have a lot of old people with limited financial means, and they need to be taken care of, why not bring in lower cost care workers from other countries? Sounds like a win-win, doesn't it? Someone needs to staff all those nursing homes.

The thing is though, who's going to take care of all these workers when they eventually become old?

When you step back and look at this you see it's actually a pyramid scheme, of sorts.
You get one group of workers, don't pay them very much, and then they're going to need to be taken care of. Naturally the solution will be to bring in another round of foreign care workers. Is this really a sustainable solution long-term?

I think a demographic crisis is looming. When the next generation moves into retirement there's going to be a big shortage of care workers to take care of all these people in their old age. It's going to put a strain on government budgets, and put a lot of old people with limited financial means into a pinch.


Looks like Germany is beginning to have problems with this now:



All these retiring old people are going to put a strain on the state's pension system, ironically the very thing bringing in migrant workers was supposed to avoid. This is going to have implications for many other retired people in the country.


The idea that bringing in hoards of random people from other troubled parts of the world could be a solution to the aging demographics problem was based on numerous false assumptions, in my opinion.

As the supply of workers increase, it's going to start tipping the balance of supply and demand for labor, driving wages down.

There are not going to be enough higher paying jobs for all these additional people, and even if there are, the question remains where is the money going to come to train them all. Has anyone really looked at the exact mathematics of the cost to benefit of providing education to all these people, or have we just automatically made the assumption it will automatically pay off, no doubt about it?

You can add more workers, but it's not going to help contribute to government revenues if the amount it costs to have these additional people exceeds what they are paying in taxes. And in any population, not everyone is going to be working, there are children, unemployed people, chronically sick and disabled people, older people. We all know the jobs available to these foreigners tend to be the lower paying ones.

Then there is the effect on housing. Adding more people does not merely just add more workers in isolation. It also puts more pressure on housing in higher demand city areas. These city areas have shortages of affordable housing. More shortages will drive up prices for already existing housing, and exacerbate poverty. Probably going to be the younger generation and renting class who will pay the price.

One of the main reasons young people in city areas have been putting off starting families and having children is the very high cost of housing.
#15047822
The aged care industry is disgusting. And it is an industry, no doubt about it. We should all be ashamed that we have lost our way to the point of putting our children in day care and our elderly in aged care. We are a dumb species.

Edit: I’d like to add, just because the workers are foreign does not make them inferior at providing care, indeed it is at times the opposite. It’s the qualifications that are an issue. These facilities are filled with ‘carers’ when what is needed at a minimum is an enrolled nurse.
#15047829
ness31 wrote: We should all be ashamed that we have lost our way to the point of putting our children in day care and our elderly in aged care.


Well said !
None of my four children have ever been in daycare and none of the elderly in my family were in old people's homes. (except one uncle who had late stage Alzheimer in Europe)
#15048198
ness31 wrote:It’s the qualifications that are an issue. These facilities are filled with ‘carers’ when what is needed at a minimum is an enrolled nurse.

The issue is money.

The question arises as to why these old people can't afford their own care, and why the government can't afford it.

Turning to cheaper foreign care workers indicates something in this economic model is not sustainable.
#15048223
Taking care of your parents, when they get older, is a necessity, IMO. No one should balk at it, if you care for your family.

That said, my mom went into a retirement home(nursing home) because she wanted to. It was first class all the way, and wasn't a place where you went to die, but to enjoy yourself. It wasn't CHEAP, but it wasn't overly expensive, and they had access to a doctor on a regular basis(in bi-weekly) and regular activities. Pool tables, card tables, etc. and an Air Conditioned hall for the summer time.

They also did room checks if your health was poor, and made you meals for a small fee.

Good rooms and a nice environment, for an average sum(average by rental costs in our city).
Image
#15048224
Puffer Fish wrote:The issue is money.

Wrong!

How much is spent on what is a political choice.

Your problem, if there is a problem seeing that who gets taxed and how much is taken in tax and how much is spent on what is a political choice, is demographic.


:)
#15048231
ness31 wrote:The aged care industry is disgusting. And it is an industry, no doubt about it. We should all be ashamed that we have lost our way to the point of putting our children in day care and our elderly in aged care. We are a dumb species.

Could you give some examples of other species that have better care for their elderly members than humans.
#15048233
Could you give some examples of other species that have better care for their elderly members than humans.


You’ve got me there Rich. I can’t communicate with any other species to be able to garner the necessary information.

But considering we put such a high value on life (or at least we profess to) we appear to be dumb by outsourcing care of loved ones in a) their most defining years and b) in some of their most fragile years.

Unless I’ve got it all wrong and that’s how it’s meant to be :hmm:
#15048235
Rich wrote:Could you give some examples of other species that have better care for their elderly members than humans.


Actually, yes : Gibbons (Hylobates sp.) continue to bring food to their elderly relatives when they can no longer forage for themselves.

But indeed that is not relevant. We as humans have the knowledge, the technology and the economic circumstances to look after our elderly and/or incapacitated relatives if we chose to do so. But we don't.

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