Western economies have had the good times, and are collectively deluding themselves: early retirement, or even any retirement, with health benefits “to the grave”, for millions of “public servants” is unaffordable.
We long ago ran out of other peoples’ money, but are racking up trillions of dollars, pounds, yen, euros etc in public debt to fund retirement benefits of retires.
The US Auto industry was saddled with similar problems, with each car manufactured carrying several hundred dollars of retiree funding costs, for long-retired ex employees.
Now, “Meeting [the legal requirement to prefund its retiree health benefits] accounts for the bulk of the postal service’s red ink.” according to this story on the US Postal Service .
If it can’t go on, it won’t. It can’t.