Raising The Retirement Age

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.

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3 Responses to Raising The Retirement Age

  1. I don’t feel that the retirement age should go up at any point; yes, people are living longer, but that does not mean that their ‘time to breathe’ after retirement should remain at the same length of time. There are things you cannot do before retirement, and if you happen to be fit enough to do those things, that’s a great perk.

  2. ryankane says:

    Raising the retirement is an important step to take in order to maintain social security. People now work longer, and are physically and mentally able to. People live longer also.

    You should check out my blog, I think you will appreciate my political views. http://externalpolitics.wordpress.com/

  3. It’s still an open question for me whether the retirement age should be raised. There are many professions including surgeons, drivers and pilots, and heavy equipment operators where raising the retirement age would increase risks to public safety. I don’t know if the only reason more people retire as soon as benefits are possible (62) is because they dislike their work, but you didn’t offer an alternative explanation to Klein’s. That more do retire at 62 is still a fact. There must be reasons for it. I plan to do it because I’m a fairly risk-averse person, my family has a history of cardiac problems which is likely to reduce my life expectancy, and I’m not sure it will be available at all if I wait until age 67, given the current political volatility.

    I think the more obvious source of both inadequate revenue and moral inequity is the fact that Social Security taxes are only taken out for up to $110k, and nothing above that amount of income. Every dollar you profit should be taxed above the poverty level, if an individual will be drawing benefit from that system. Even the wealthy draw SS benefits and Medicare when they qualify for them, despite being able to afford separate health care coverage and private pensions. You could offer legal opt-outs for the rich (an exemption to the SS tax, but you also don’t get to draw benefits).

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