spoke before The Washington Economic Club on "The Coming Demographic Transition: Will We Treat Future Generations Fairly?" He said that viewing the demographic change from a broader economic perspective "shows clearly that adequate preparation for the coming demographic transition may well involve significant adjustments in our patterns of consumption, work effort, and saving."
Ultimately, the extent of these adjustments depends on how we choose--either explicitly or implicitly--to distribute the economic burdens of the aging of our population across generations. Inherent in that choice are questions of intergenerational equity and economic efficiency, questions that are difficult to answer definitively but are nevertheless among the most critical that we face as a nation.His remarks went on to demonstrate that the question is how the burden of an aging population is to be shared between our generation and the generations that will follow us and to point out that a failure to prepare for the changes will have substantial adverse effects on the economic welfare of the United States and its citizens.
Source: Federal Reserve Board Remarks by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke (October 4, )2006