In 2003, at the time I made my "Old Europe" comment, the center of gravity in NATO and Europe had long since shifted to the East. With the former Warsaw Pact countries joining NATO, the alliance has a different mix today. Some people were sensitive about my comment because they thought it was a pejorative way of highlighting demographic realities. Apparently they felt it pointed a white light at a weakness in Europe - an aging population. Europe has come some distance since World War II in becoming Europe.
Some calamities - the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, 9/11 - have come like summer lightning, as bolts from the blue. The looming crisis of America's Ponzi entitlement structure is different. Driven by the demographics of an aging population, its causes, timing and scope are known.
The Alzheimer's Association is what I am passionate about. My grandfather had it. My mom has it. It's a horrible disease, and with our aging population, it's a growing problem. It's terrible to lose your brain and your power to be conscious or in the moment.
My home State of North Carolina ranks 12th in the United States for increased aging population and, according to a national report, 41st in overall health. According to this same report, individuals aged 50+ are the least healthy.