Supporting the old has long been both a duty and a virtue for young people in China. However, some dissatisfactory facts have been observed in recent years. In a family with as many as five grown-up children, the aged mother was kicked around like a football among them, each of whom tried to escape as much responsibility as possible. In another family where there're two old couples, each having only one child, the young couple complained a lot about having to feed seven mouths with their two salaries only. It is obvious that the traditional family-based supporting system no longer fits modern people's greatly diversified ideology and living style.
There's one solution that has been both advocated and practised by sociologists, namely the society-based supporting system. In this system, every working person must pay a small amount of his income to the government, and when he retires, more money will be paid back to him each month in term of pension. Meanwhile, children are exempted from the obligation to provide for the aged. Such method can ensure every old man with reliable economic income, whether he is childless or not and regardless of his children's morality.
Are things totally settled? Not so easily. Money isn't almighty and cannot assure happiness. Old people have psychological needs like care, love and communication that can hardly be met through the society-based system. Young people should still spend more time with their parents, supporting them both economically and mentally.
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