May 5, 2014

The Economist
25 St. James Street
London SW1A 1 HG

So it’s good news.  Seniors are working longer, particularly the better educated.  (A Billion Shades of Grey ECONOMIST vol. 411 no.8884 April 26, 2014 page 13 and Age Invaders page 23 in the same issue) I have long been concerned about the ability of the world to continue producing the kind of capable people to which you refer, not the least of my clues being an article of yours “Kissing Cousins, Missing Children” several years ago. 

The title is a tad misleading.  The title might have been “NOT Kissing Cousins, Missing Children” if strict correlation between title and contents were desired.  Also there was a picture of a couple dressed in Saxon garb as if ethnicity were somehow relevant, which it is not.  At all events, pursuing the subject over the years, I find that indeed kissing cousins make the children in the long run, and if nobody does it things will collapse (as the clearly are collapsing). 

The most vulnerable element of the community, and a vital element if one desires a literate community, is the group of highly educated people – the managers, officers, professionals and the like.  If they (we) are working longer it’s probably because we are badly needed.  The very people we expect to behave responsibly have averted disaster … for a time. 


M. Linton Herbert MD

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