Monday, June 14, 2010

Social Security

FLG doesn't usually agree with Dean Baker's policy conclusions, but this goes beyond something FLG disagrees with into seemingly willful ignorance:
Marketplace's expert then tells us that Social Security will probably be means-tested. This idea is extremely unpopular among both the public and policy experts, so it would be interesting to know the basis for this assessment. She also recommends raising the retirement age, apparently unaware of the fact that the retirement age has already been raised to 67. She also is apparently unaware of the fact that the vast majority of the huge baby boom cohort has almost nothing saved for retirement and therefore will be almost entirely dependent on Social Security.

First, just because means testing is unpopular now doesn't mean that it won't be a viable political option in the future. In a crisis unpopular choices are made. (Although, Dean Baker would probably argue, based upon a myopic assesment of onyl Social Security's financial situation that there isn't a crisis, but this ignores that the general fund will have to make good on the bonds.) Second, just because the retirement age has been raised doesn't mean it cannot or will not be raised again. Raising the retirement age is effective way to balance the finances because it both increases the number of years people pay into the system and decreases the number they receive benefits. Lastly, while referring to your own research at your own think tank/research center about social security isn't necessarily a bad thing, FLG would also like to see some peer reviewed analysis by third parties.


Anonymous said...

It's all very well to raise my retirement age: I sit in an office and write memos and have a long-term skill in concurrence blocks. I don't like it, necessarily - I want to go raise roses and travel with my Adored Spouse. But it's a reasonable thing to think about.

Hod-carriers, though. Damn! You've been carrying bricks all your working life and you are sore sore sore at 62 and some desk jockey says you have to do it til you are 70? Joe Welch, he said, "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

FLG said...


Do you have a particular variety of climbing roses that you recommend?

Also, re the sandbox. I drive a clown car. I need to rent a truck to get mulch and I've been super lazy. I'll get on it soon.

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