Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Tipping Point

Reporter - How do you feel about the manner in which your paper has been received?

JB - Well, to tell you the truth, I am a bit surprised by the rather extreme reactions it has generated. And I think the most popular interpretation of the paper - and I hope you understand what I mean - has been a tad surprising. My conclusion has been restricted to saying that there is an inverse correlation of the GDP growth of a country and the inversion of the population pyramid. And I have restricted this study to a period of the last 20 years - which I have made pains to explain - can not be extrapolated as a general trend.

Reporter - But you must have had some idea of how it would be seen particularly by the Youth parties, right?

JB - Well, what can I say? I didn't even know about these parties at all - I just came to know about them last month when they invited me to speak at their gathering.

Reporter - And did you go?

JB - No, of course, not. I am not an ageist.

Reporter - But doesn't the main message your paper give consistent with their philosophy

JB - Please let me make this clear - it was an academic study to see the variation in the growth rate and how it can be attributed to the population growth rate of a country. It has taken me and my team two years to come up with this and there are several useful conclusions to it. Examples of how countries who have structured their pension plans better, have increased their retirement ages have done better. And there are several recommendations that can help a country shape its policies.

Reporter - But you do know that they are using your paper and your image to promote their messages.

JB - Yes, and let me use this opportunity to categorically say that I strongly condemn their philosophy, their messages and their hate campaign. My father is 70 years old, alive and kicking and in my view, a very important and useful member of the society.

Reporter - I am sorry to keep coming back to this. But, their interpretation, as far fetched as it is, doesn't it have a kernel of truth, a logical connection to what you have written.

JB - Please. I don't want to talk about this any further. I would be really happy if you could restrict your questions to academic matters. Politics has never been of any interest to me, and I have no relation or connection to these murderers masquerading as a political party. I am sorry, but this interview is at an end.


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