One very reasonable suggestion to help reduce the eventual Social Security shortfall is to raise the retirement age by a year or two. But watch out, liberal propagandists are at work challenging this simple idea, as seen in the latest article on the topic by Alfred E. Newman (a/k/a Ezra Klein of the Washington Post). In the article, we learn that it drives Klein “nuts” when rich guys suggest raising the retirement age to reform Social Security because these rich guys are advocating a cut that Klein claims “they’ll never feel.”
Amazingly enough, Klein is suggesting that a person is not entitled to an opinion if he or she would not be personally affected by the opinion. According to this logic, it would be inappropriate for anyone to suggest, for example, a tax increase on the wealthy unless that person would be subject to the tax. Yet liberals like Klein “bravely advocate” such tax increases all the time, and they never tire of putting forth all kinds of propaganda about healthcare, although most liberals are not chronically or terminally ill.
Klein’s logic about who is entitled to hold opinions on issues is certainly twisted, and it doesn’t get any better when considering the substance of his argument. The retirement age question doesn’t fit into the same category as unemployment compensation, food stamps, or healthcare coverage, each of which applies to those with very low incomes or who have lost their jobs. Because the issue does not implicate the basic social safety net, the authoritarians must come up with something else to make it seem like a safety net issue.
First, Klein argues that most people do not like their jobs because people tend to retire as soon as possible at age 62 (when reduced benefits become available). Second, he claims that low income individuals have a lower life expectancy than higher income individuals. Based on these facts, for which he offers little support, Klein concludes it would be “cruel and regressive” to reform Social Security by increasing the retirement age because it would only concentrate the pain of reform on low income individuals who don’t like their jobs and haven’t enjoyed the increase in life expectancy as much as others.
Ultimately, what Klein’s argument really boils down to is nothing more than this: steal more money from higher income individuals so that people who are currently employed, who are earning a living, and are capable of continuing to earn a living, but simply don’t like their job, can avoid having to work a year or two longer. It’s too bad that some people don’t like their job, but Klein fails to make the retirement age a safety net question, and it’s hard to see how Klein’s position can be morally justified. Liberals are simply losing their grip and getting more and more out of control.
Finally, when Klein spoke of the “rich guys” who want to raise the retirement age, he specifically referred to a perfectly reasonable comment made by Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. Klein claims that he’s not picking on Blankfein, but of course he is picking on him. This would be another example of a very despicable strategy to single out, attack, and silence anyone who might disagree with the “vision” embraced by liberals. We know what drives Klein nuts; what drives me nuts are incoherent and nasty liberals.