I've been thinking a lot about a few interconnected topics - how SMS, demographics, and the future collapse of the welfare state are interconnected. There has been some good discussions on this matter by Stanley Kurtz and Pavel Kohout on various aspects of this matter, and Mark Steyn has written on these a plethora of times. It seems that the low birthrates of the West will lead to the demise of the social welfare state as we know it.
These two essays tie into the current discussions on reforms to social security, and the greater issues involved long-term. The issues facing the United States are relatively benign compared to Canada and Europe.
Canada's problems are two-fold. They need more younger workers to fund both CPP and universal health care. CPPs problems pale versus Medicare. With longer lifespans, more expensive treatments , and vastly improved lifestyles amongst the elderly, there will be an increased cost on the young because (i) they are working and paying taxes, and (ii) they are net payers of medical users, unlike the elderly who are the largest consumers of health services. Already, something like 40% of Ontario's budget goes to health care. What will happened in 15 years when almost all the baby boomers are retired, hardly paying any taxes and using up massive amounts of health care. Gonna cut their benefits? Not when they will become the dominant voting block. Need more young taxpayers - try affording to have one kid, let alone three with the tax rates you'd need to support a provincial budget that uses up 80% of an ever expanding budget on health care. Immigration? That might work for a while, but having large unassimilated populations, especially from cultures whose values are antagonistic to Western concepts of liberty, equality, tolerance , and pluralism will lead to its own problems. See Holland's problems with the murder of Theo Van Gogh. What also happens when countries that have been the traditional sources of immigrants for Canada, India and China, become prosperous and bourgeois enough where the middle class there would never consider moving to a high tax jurisdiction like Canada for a miniscule increase of standard of living?
This is the dilemma of the New Left as it looks into the future: it must either destroy its oh so cherished welfare state in order to survive fiscally, or it must abandon its talismanic devotion to moral relativism and multiculturalism and start assimilating large immigrant populations into Western Civilization. It cannot do both, as Europe is starting to grasp after Van Gogh's murder.