Americans are proud of the fact that the nation is becoming young. Nearly half the population is now under 25 years of age and about a third under 15. While this may mean crowded colleges or teen-age unemployment, the problems of senior citizens, who are increasing in numbers, do not diminish because older people become a smaller portion of the population. In fact, in an industrial society the position of the aged tends to worsen. The long-run decline in death rates, signifying greater longevity, coupled with the inability of older persons to compete for jobs, makes the problem of the aged more visible, despite a desire on the part of the rest of us to push them out of sight and out of mind.
The final stages of human existence can...
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