Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Social Security Questions Nobody Discusses...

Do you think that Americans retire too early in life? How long should an American be required to work? How many years should exist between the end of work and death? Should that gap widen as our society evolves or do we want people to work until the last moment?

Aside from the private accounts Bush will push, politicians on both sides of the aisle will attempt to raise the age at which an American can claim social security benefits. This is, basically, a raising of the national retirement age. I'd love to see one of these people forced to say, in plain English, that Americans should work longer into their lives. I'd love to see the reaction to that.

It's amazing how much a topic like social security reveals about what people in Washington D.C. think about the rest of us.


At 8:07 PM , Blogger tifanie said...

Wow. We're glorified slaves. Some of us less glorified than others. You know, I wouldn't mind working a few more years if I liked my work, if I had a 4 day workweek, real healthcare, and at least a full month off paid each year, as many Europeans do. If I could wake up in the morning when I felt like it, grab some pan au chocolat and a nice tea, and open my little business up when I damn well felt like it, and close it down when I felt the day was done.

Instead, we work at mostly unfulfilling jobs, giving our best for an end that is ultimately insignificant, and usually die shortly after retirement.

It's all such a crock of shit. We gotsta raise a stink about this, however we can.

At 8:36 PM , Blogger Mern said...

"Quit your whining..." (didn't Bill Clinton say that after Bush won the election?). My Grandparents came over on the boat. My Grandmother hauled water up to a third floor flat while pregnant to do other people's laundry while her husband suffered with typhoid. As soon as he could, he went to work as a tailor and worked until he was 80 years old. He didn't want to quit, but the company made him retire. He died at 88.

My grandparents raised 5 good American citizens who all contributed something to this country, as do their children and grandchildren. There's nothing wrong with a little hard work and sometimes it gives a person a reason to go on living.

I think part of the problem with the money drying up is the American attitude that less is more when it comes to having children. (Over 32.5 million possible social security contributors have been aborted since 1973). I have six children myself, all gainfully employed and contributing to Social Security which more than makes up for their two parents who will someday be entitled to collect benefits at retirement. Who will be contributing to yours?

At 10:17 PM , Blogger tifanie said...

Mern says: "There's nothing wrong with a little hard work and sometimes it gives a person a reason to go on living." Maybe. But there are so many other things to go on living for!
So your grandparents worked hard. My mother worked like a dog too and now is 69, in poor health, and living on a pittance, and what her struggling children can spare. She had 5 kids which should "more than make up for" her social security benefits, as you say, but that is not the way things work out, is it?
Most everyone in the more than 90% of Americans who support the excesses of less than 10% of Americans probably has a similar story.
And I'm glad you are proud of your toiling grandparents and your upstanding family and the hearty brood of workers you have bred.
Bully for you, Mern.
But not everyone wants to have kids, nor should they have to feel that they need to in order to somehow make up for the benefits they have already paid into the system. Your comment about the number of potential contributors being aborted is beyond tasteless.
The social security system obviously needs to be examined, and addressed. But raising the retirement age is a ridiculous solution, a step backwards and sideways at once. There is a thing called progress, and that, in my mind, ain't it.
Unless, as I said, we get a 4 day work week, real health care, and real time off. We'd all be more apt to produce, create art, effect positive change in the world, and probably be in better shape to work until 70, yes?
But I guess that's just whining.

At 9:40 AM , Blogger Missy said...


At 11:27 PM , Blogger E. Worthington, Editor said...

To Mern "le Chapee": Well, if someone had aborted you, then I wouldn't have to pay social security for your whiny ass, then would I? Hate to say it, but your umpteen million children will in their turn become social security consumers, and thus make the system even more unworkable.

Incidentally, I also had to walk to school uphill both ways, wearing a ragged hand me down coat, holding only a hot potato skin (the potato of which my father had sold for cheap brandy), while my entire family of thirty-seven lay in their one bed, with no mattress, suffering from Ebola Zaire. I sympathize, but still think that you're a wanker. Chapppppeeeee.


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