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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:50 PM

Ezra Klein: Why rich guys want to raise the retirement age

Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:12 AM PST
Ezra Klein: Why rich guys want to raise the retirement age
by teacherken

is a must-read piece which somehow I had missed before this morning's email from Reader Supported News.

Ezra takes words Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, made to CBS, about raising the retirement age for Social Security. This is a common argument, usually offered by people who really do not themselves need Social Security, that since we now live longer than when the program was established, the age should be raised. People are now getting so many years more to get benefits from the program.

Ezra totally takes that apart. For example, he offers a chart on life expectancy for people retiring at age 65. Since 1977 those in the upper half of income have seen their life expectancy expand by six years, while those in the bottom half have gained only 1.3 years.

Ezra then writes

If you’re wealthy, you do have many more years to enjoy Social Security. But if you’re not, you don’t. And so making it so people who aren’t wealthy have to wait longer to use Social Security is a particularly cruel and regressive way to cut the program.


But there is so much more.

Many people do not do work they enjoy. They do jobs to support themselves and their families, they take what is available and provides an income (and perhaps some benefits). Klein writes

You know what age most people actually begin taking Social Security? Sixty-five is what most people think. That’s the law’s standard retirement age. But that’s wrong. Most people begin taking Social Security benefits at 62, which is as early as the law allows you to take them.

When they do that, it means they get smaller benefits over their lifetime. We penalize for taking it early. But they do it anyway. They do it because they don’t want to spend their whole lives at that job. Unlike many folks in finance or in the U.S. Senate or writing for the nation’s op-ed pages, they don’t want to work till they drop.


First, Ezra is a bit out of date. For my age cohort, full benefits were not available until one is 66, and that age is continuing to creep up under the "fix" to Social Security made in the 1980s.

But there is more. Klein quotes from Nobel economist Peter Diamond, who is a Social Security expert, and who pointed out to Dylan Matthews that those retiring at 62 lived shorter lives and drew less income than those who retired later, and that proposals like those of Blankfein and far too many in the chattering class and in politics are effectively cutting benefits for those who need them most.

Klein then writes

That’s what’s galling about this easy argument. The people who make it, the pundits and the senators and the CEOs, they’ll never feel it. They don’t want to retire at age 65, and they don’t have short life expectancies, and they’re not mainly relying on Social Security for their retirement income. They’re bravely advocating a cut they’ll never feel.


He got that right. He points out that Blankfein, whose 2011 compensation was over $16 million, paid Social Security tax on less than 1% of his income because the taxes are capped at salaries over 110,000 - and I would add are not applied on things like stock options which represent a major part of the compensation of people like Blankfein.

We then get this observation from Klein:

If we lifted that cap, if we made all income subject to payroll taxes, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it would do three times as much to solve Social Security’s shortfall as raising the retirement age to 70. In fact, it would, in one fell swoop, close Social Security’s solvency gap for the next 75 years. That may or may not be the right way to close Social Security’s shortfall, but somehow, it rarely gets mentioned by the folks who think they’re being courageous when they talk about raising a retirement age they’ll never notice.


When I was younger, the cap was so much lower. As you can see by this chart, when I began working in the mid 1960's, the cap on wages from which the tax was deducted was only $6,600. For my work career before I left to get trained as a teacher in mid-1994, I had the experience of hitting the ceiling sometime in Autumn, after which it was like receiving a temporary pay raise when the taxes were not deducted from the remaining pay checks that year. Now as a teacher I pay those taxes on all my wages.

Someone like Blankfein and other captains of industry almost do not notice the few times the tax is deducted from them. Rank and file members of the House and Senate currently make $174,000, which means they stop paying the tax in the summer. And if the voters decide to keep them in office, they may drawing a salary from use into their 90s (Robert Byrd) or even when they hit the century mark (the late Strom Thurmond), even while they can simultaneously draw Social Security.

There is no consideration in proposals to raise the retirement age of the toll of the kind of work some people do. It is one thing to be a lawyer or a politician or a banker. It is something far different to be a coal miner, work on a loading dock, stock shelves in a supermarket. Heck, some jobs even force you out after a certain age. The FBI requires agents to retire at 57, 5 years before they are eligible for early Social Security. It is hard to imagine an ordinary fireman running into burning buildings at 66 or older.

Far too often our policies are made by people with insufficient knowledge or regard for the lives of people not like them. Thus in education policy we had in No Child Left Behind the option to transfer from a failing school to a more successful school. But how does that work in the rural part of western Nebraska where some communities still have one-room schools? Raising the age for Social Security - and before the Affordable Care Act Medicare - is an action that ignores the reality of the lives of too many people.

I am retired and on Social Security. I have gone back into a classroom in a setting that most people could not handle because I wanted to. Many of us if we do work we enjoy will continue working, conceivable even as we draw Social Security.

We should not be balancing our finances on the backs of those who have already labored enough, and who should have earned the right to some time away from jobs that were necessary but not enjoyable.

Ezra Klein has written an important piece.

I hope the policy makers pay attention.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/24/1164336/-Ezra-Klein-Why-rich-guys-want-to-raise-the-retirement-age

61 replies, 11526 views

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Reply Ezra Klein: Why rich guys want to raise the retirement age (Original post)
FourScore Nov 2012 OP
PDJane Nov 2012 #1
roguevalley Nov 2012 #17
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #2
tomp Nov 2012 #38
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #42
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #47
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #48
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #49
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #51
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #55
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #57
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #58
Populist_Prole Nov 2012 #3
Flagrante Nov 2012 #4
xtraxritical Nov 2012 #14
tomp Nov 2012 #39
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #50
tomp Nov 2012 #53
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #56
tomp Nov 2012 #59
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #60
tomp Dec 2012 #61
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #46
NoMoreWarNow Nov 2012 #22
99th_Monkey Nov 2012 #30
John2 Nov 2012 #5
hfojvt Nov 2012 #6
spooky3 Nov 2012 #36
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #7
WillyT Nov 2012 #8
VPStoltz Nov 2012 #9
JohnnyRingo Nov 2012 #10
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #11
xtraxritical Nov 2012 #15
KansDem Nov 2012 #28
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #43
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #12
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #13
AzDar Nov 2012 #16
eridani Nov 2012 #18
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #19
glowing Nov 2012 #20
area51 Nov 2012 #37
reusrename Nov 2012 #21
hay rick Nov 2012 #23
freshwest Nov 2012 #24
RagAss Nov 2012 #25
AllyCat Nov 2012 #26
snot Nov 2012 #27
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #29
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #45
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #52
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #54
spicegal Nov 2012 #31
The Wizard Nov 2012 #32
lbrtbell Nov 2012 #33
rickyhall Nov 2012 #34
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #35
Dustlawyer Nov 2012 #40
DallasNE Nov 2012 #41
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #44

Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:00 PM

1. He has indeed.......

And I find it incomprehensible that the fix to social security is to cover the money that the government has been taking out for toys and tax breaks to the very wealthiest.

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Response to PDJane (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:51 PM

17. Ezra is a good man. I really love him. He's got compassion lux along with brains.

Cute lisp too.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:43 PM

2. Social security is OFF the table! NO American, no matter one's social status,

should even allow the tiniest opening to any millionaire politician to touch social security UNLESS it's to strengthen it - as in, raise the pay cap that's currently $110K per year and offer to allow people to tap into their earned benefit by age 62.

That unfair pay cap isn't helping to keep this incredibly successful program solvent for hard-working Americans, especially when we realize that Republicans love to outsource jobs so there are less people paying into the benefit program as is.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:31 AM

38. agreed. we should be RAISING the benefits. nt

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:10 PM

42. Maybe IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT, Social Security would be off the table. You're not. It isn't.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #42)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:46 PM

47. Well, I should have headlined my post with

Social security CUTS on earned benefits are off the table, although the body of the post explained it. Cuts to social security are being stopped because of this president and a strengthened Democratic congress. Improving social security benefits shouldn't be off the table.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #47)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:43 PM

48. "Social security CUTS on earned benefits are off the table"? You believe this? Too funny.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #48)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:49 PM

49. Yes, I believe it because it's true. You don't? Too funny. eom

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #49)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:27 PM

51. I believed that

 

* he would follow through on his promise to not vote in favor of giving immunity to the telecoms that spied upon all of us for the Bush Administration -- until he did

* he would not participate in the hundreds of billions of dollars to the banksters -- until he did

* he would bring about change in Washington and not bring back Republicans for cabinet positions -- until he did

* he would not hire lobbyists for his Administration -- until he did

* he would not have endless wars in the Middle-East -- until he did

* he would not ratify war crimes and particularly Cheney's approval of water-board torture -- until he did

* he would not extend the Bush tax-cuts -- until he did

* he would not sign another let's-send-even-more-American-jobs-to-foreign-countries "free-trade" agreement -- until he did

Now you want me to believe that "Social security CUTS on earned benefits are off the table"? Yea. OK.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #51)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:04 PM

55. Okay. Now I see where you're coming from.

You're either a Jill Stein voter or a Gary Johnson voter. Maybe even a wayward Ron Paul supporter. You sure as hell didn't vote for President Obama. You've made it abundantly clear that he didn't meet the threshold as a Merlin-type wizard/dictator with a magical wand.

* When first elected, gun and ammo sales went through the roof, and more White Supremacist groups mushroomed overnight than ever - so yeah, he did. Many home-grown American citizens and terrorists have been picked up and prosecuted thanks to the Patriot Act. I mean, the first black president and you want him to do away with the tools necessary to protect himself and his family? What? You want a JFK repeat?

* It would behoove you to remember that the bailouts were not money simply given away, but low-interest loans from the taxpayers to the financial institutions. What's more, the worst fears that the financial institutions will never pay this money back and the taxpayers will lose all this money, hasn't materialized. On the contrary, the Treasury has made at least $16 billion in profits from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

* There is NO USE in taking a hard-line Republican stance of having no one from the other party in the president's cabinet. We expect better than that from a Democratic President, and not all Republicans are the same. There are good Republicans - like Colin Powell and Jon Huntsman, for example.

* What lobbyists have had any negative influence in his cabinet that a Republican House and filibuster-happy GOP in the senate hasn't had?

* Bullshit. There are no endless wars in the M.E. He's ended the war in Iraq and will end the war in Afghanistan in 2014. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard the rumor-mill claim that the U.S. might keep 10k troops in Afghanistan after 2014, but I'll believe it when I see it.

* He ratified no such thing. Get real.

* Yeah. . . let the pampered unemployed lose their u.e. benefits because those Bush tax cuts should expire no matter what! Must be nice living in a world where you don't have to worry about whether or not you'll get your check before Christmas when a Republican congress shoves extending Bush tax cuts for the rich into a bill that would extend unemployment benefits. How selfish and elitist.

* ??? Whut? Link please.

Considering your skewed opinion of this president's policies that lacks any nuance or detail, yeah, you should believe that "social security CUTS on earned benefits are off the table". Or, at least, give this president the benefit of the doubt unless, of course, you really, really can't bring yourself to because you simply don't want to.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #55)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #57)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:15 PM

58. Oh how mature of you. Another one of your brilliant posts

that demonstrates you don't have an argument.

Because when you have to resort to name-calling, you've already lost the argument. No one ever told you that?

Have a great one.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:57 PM

3. Major projection from fat cats living in a bubble

Or in other words: "Manual laborers have to retire later because bankers are living longer these days".

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:59 PM

4. The age of retirement should be lowered, not raised

I contend that lowering the age of retirement would reduce the unemployment rate; older workers leaving the job force would open up jobs for younger workers to fill. Remove the cap and lower the age of retirement.

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Response to Flagrante (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:25 PM

14. Flagrante is soooo right.

 

One of the quickest ways to reduce unemployment and stimulate the economy would be lowering the age for MAXIMUM benefits and eliminating the "ceiling" on income subject to SS and Medicare withholding. It's going to take Democrats to do this, of course.

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:34 AM

39. democrats? wishful thinking.

i suspect it will take millions of ordinary citizens with pitchforks to right the system.

obama, e.g., has been telegraphing compromise since day one.

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Response to tomp (Reply #39)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:53 PM

50. Democrats as opposed to Republicans. I read that pretty clearly in the post. eom

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #50)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:53 AM

53. neither party can be counted on....

....to do the right thing, especially in this case where, as i said, obama has telegraphed compromise.

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Response to tomp (Reply #53)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:12 PM

56. President Obama has "telegraphed" compromise because, 1: He's not a dictator;

and 2: that's how our three co-equal branches of government works; and 3: he has never, EVER, proposed any changes on the side of beneficiaries.

Some Democrats might want to do exactly that, but they're in the minority in our party, and that just ain't gonna happen.

So far, President Obama's record shows he cares about the middle class and poor. How in the hell can anyone even think that he would do anything to harm the most vulnerable among us considering his own background? Unless, of course, it's in their political interest to do so, that is.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #56)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:02 AM

59. the expected delusional democrat reply.

exactly what part of: we wouldn't be talking about simpson-bowles type cuts to social security if it weren't for obama creating the commission- do you not understand?

not a dictator? he sure as hell can dictate the course of the discussion, and he enabled the media to run with this. he doesn't have to come right out and say it. that's how he fools naive people, like you. and he's surely not talking about increasing benefits like he should be. he started the ball rolling in the wrong direction then backtracked from it in cynical posturing.

and i don't need any civics lectures about how this all works. you need to pay more attention to the history of american politics.

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Response to tomp (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:47 PM

60. And I don't need

a "hair on fire" FireDogBagger, idealistic but oh so naive people like you - who are a mere 4% minority in the Democratic Party and made inconsequential by "minorities" like this Asian-American, to lecture me on what's good for this country.

It's clear that no matter what any REAL Democrat says, FireDogBaggers and ultra-Leftists will continue to take a tiny sentence this president has once uttered, dismiss the facts and variables surrounding that utterance, and with the ever shrinking myopic view they appear to cultivate with glee, blow it up to Godzillian preportions. You know? Like the Tea Baggers do.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #60)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:22 AM

61. i'm sorry to see your intransigent sycophancy, though it is exactly what i expected.

and more delusional thinking, i.e., that you know me. and your statement that my perspective represents 4% of the party makes my opinions irrelevant somehow is offensive, if not just pulled out of your ass, but seems totally in line with the rahm emmanuel wing of the party. and it's supposed to relevant HOW that you're an asian-american?



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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:32 PM

46. "It's going to take Democrats ..."

 

Last edited Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:43 PM - Edit history (1)

You mean at our level?

Or at the politicial level of the President, the Senators, and the Representatives?

We've already seen caputulations. The politicians could have let the Bush tax-cuts expire. They didn't. They did, however, work with the Republicans to weaken Social Security by lowering the contributions to Social Security.

Even at the present time, President Obama is weaking Social Security by visiting countries in the Far East in preparation for his signing of the upcoming "free-trade" agreement that will shift even more jobs to foreign countries. The corporate employers of foreign employees in those countries don't pay Social Security taxes on their wages.

If President Obama truly wanted to strengthen Social Security, he could discontinuing borrowing from the Social Security trust fund for purposes of otherwise supporting the endless wars in the Middle-East.

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Response to Flagrante (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:00 PM

22. great point!

 

let's spread this idea

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Response to Flagrante (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:05 AM

30. Exactly! That's what I keep saying too ...

Raising the ret. age so Seniors can work WHERE again? ... oh, you
mean all those "extra" jobs that are out there begging for workers?

pfffft..

but no one seems to notice except Krugman, Hedges, et. al.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:04 PM

5. You are

 

dead on and another caveat to throw in, you are less likely to get hired at a certain age. By that time, your health is declining because of old age and less jobs that you can perform. It is not that way with the wealthy and furthermore, it affects minorities the most. They do most of the strenous jobs and low paying ones. It is time for the middle classes and poorer classes to fight back, instead of letting the upper classes write all the laws. The pundit class are also part of the upper class. They are speaking about their interests also and don't give a dam about people in the lower classes. Most of these people are seen as celebrities. They do not socialize with you or live among you. A lot of these people moved into the upperclasses also, using these same benefits from the Government. It is a attitude which says, I've got mine and don't worry about you. Now they want to change the system. That attitude became popular during the Reagan era. It has kind of reversed itself during the Clinton Generation, and you see the two philosphies colliding against each other. Younger generations just getting started and seeking opportunities, favor the Democratic philosophy of Government. They see Government as a equalizer and providing ways to move up. I have benefited from Government myself.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:04 PM

6. the real value of the cap has gone up

the cap in 1967 of $6,600 is equivalent to $45,709.35 today.

Although, interestingly enough, for example the cap of $97,500 in 2007 is equivalent to $108,773.95 today and the cap is currently only $106,000.

It would be interesting to see the value of the cap in constant dollars. If anybody is ambitious, the inflation calculator is here http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=97500&year1=2007&year2=2012 and the historical record of the cap is here http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/policybriefs/pb2011-02.html

But that page does show the cap in real values (in a graph). It fell in the 1940s and increased sharply in 1979.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:07 AM

36. 2012 cap is ~ $110000

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:27 PM

7. This was great information....

I am sharing it... Thanks!

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:56 PM

8. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!







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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:59 PM

9. I have not been able to find the source, but...

some months back, I read a convincing piece on LOWERING the retirement age.
People are still more mobile (still traveling), and still spending, AND still able to work other part or full time jobs (ones they REALLY want) that will take SS and Medicare/caid funds.
I personally like that idea .

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:02 PM

10. People who are well off hate Social Security, and always have.

I know a few people who retired and complained endlessly about SS, but they faithfully cashed those checks each month.

The reason they hated wasn't the check it was that they paid the maximum every year and feel they'll never collect what they paid in. I imagine that's true, but that's part of what makes the system work. The main reason it works is because so many of the huddled masses die before they collect a single cent. That money is not refundable upon death, but the wealthy's invested retirement income is. Almost anything will give a better return for them besides FICA.

The wealthy people I know felt retirement should be a matter of them investing for their golden years, and me investing in mine. Unfortunately, mine would be a gold-tone plated trudge to the grave while they suffer a mild hernia moving their nest egg into their checking account.

Raise the cap. People like Bill O'Reilly pay off their year's Social Security responsibility before they get out of bed on January 1st. It's hard to cry much of a river over that.

K&R for Klein

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:10 PM

11. A lot of people can't get hired once they're over 50

I keep hearing stories all the time about people who are let go once they reach their 50s, and can't even get an interview for another job.

I'm 60 and unemployed for the past 4 years. I've given up hope of ever earning a paycheck again. There's just a little over 14 months until I'm eligible to collect early Social Security.

If the fat cats don't want to employ people over age 50, why do they was to raise Social Security eligibility to 70? So people will starve during that 20-year gap?

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:28 PM

15. The "trickle down" job creators, what an effing joke.

 

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:28 AM

28. "Trickle down"

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Response to KansDem (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:13 PM

43. Great graphic.

 

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:15 PM

12. K&R!

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:15 PM

13. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, FourScore.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:48 PM

16. K & R

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:54 PM

18. Every commenter on this thread needs to make a commitment to--

--call and write their representatives DAILY. Even the Repukes.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:02 PM

19. Retirement even later for blue collar workers is crazy

Knees, hips, backs etc. don't last that long.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:16 PM

20. It really just makes more sense to allow people

to "retire" by the age of 50 or 55; especially if they are in manual labor types of jobs (and I would include nurses in this category... How many 70yr old nurses could or should be lifting people out of beds or working 12 hr shifts? Honestly, there are more 70yr olds in the beds of hospitals than working inside of the hospitals.

And speaking of retiring, it's not like the costs of living have been fairly apprised for the American people. Minimum wage should equal a living wage. People are not working long term jobs with pension plans for the most part. Shoot, our college kids can barely breath after ending their undergrad years; they have amassed so much debt and even bankruptcy will not wipe clean the college debt burden.

We really don't have time for the dumb assed bickering of the chattering classes to pull themselves in line with what people needed 30 yrs ago. We need a Medicare for all approach to our healthcare, daycare programs, modern infrastructure, deal with our carbon imprint NOW, educational access for everyone as affordable as possible for as far as one needs (this includes trade schools because not everyone is going to be a Dr or Lawyer, but they should not have to have a miserable life because they are paid less).

There are so many things that people agree on when "party" is not mentioned. Those are the items that need to be addressed, and the chattering classes need to shut up and let real shit be done!

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Response to glowing (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:25 AM

37. +1

Retirement age needs to be in one's 50s; there is a lot of age discrimination in employment, mainly due to the stupid idea of coupling health care with one's job.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:16 PM

23. Important subject.

K&R.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:26 AM

24. This is the best reasoned piece I have read. Thanks, will be sharing it.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:28 AM

25. Let's just eat these fuckers and get on with our lives.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:04 AM

26. Wow. K & r

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:28 AM

27. Thank you for this excellent, thoughtful post.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:42 AM

29. Completely missing from the discussion is the fact that, in many instances,

employers fire workers once the reach the ripe old age of, say, 62. Sometimes they fire or "re-organizer" workers in their 50s out of a job.

If a CEO or top manager is redundant -- no longer has a job -- he or she usually has a contract that provides for a big retirement bonus or pay-out of some kind.

Nor so for the rest of us.

This happens in spite of the laws prohibiting age discrimination. For most employers, the risk of being sued is small. They cleverly create a file on older employees. (Easy to do in any workplace even for the employee who is never absent and works diligently and with skill and intelligence.) And, besides, older people are ashamed to sue an employer to whom they often feel an absurd loyalty.

What is more, the laws prohibiting discrimination do not make the penalties for discriminating against a worker aged, say, 62, high enough to cause an employer to pause and ask whether the employee really deserves to be fired.

If you get fired and you are over 50, talk to a lawyer and keep a "file" on your employer's conduct.

Assume once you reach the age of 50 that you might be the next one fired. You may have become more expensive than the person sitting or standing or working next to you. Cutting your pay means more profit for your company. Watch out.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #29)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:22 PM

45. "If ... you are over 50, talk to a lawyer ..." (1) Court victories for such persons are rare.

 

(2) Negotiated settlements are often very small.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #45)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:14 AM

52. Right. And you have to make a claim to the right EEOC or state

Last edited Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:49 AM - Edit history (1)

equivalent office.

The laws do not adequately protect older workers.

I worked for a company that fired an older woman. I don't know that reason they gave for doing it, but the real reason (and I am sure of this) was that she was hard of hearing. Old and with a disability, but they fired her. It's just cruel out there.

If you are young and you can't get work, you can trust that when the economy gets better, you will get a chance. But when a person is over 60 and loses a job in an economic downturn, he or she will most likely never get another job.

Yet people like Pete Peterson want to raise the eligibility age for Social Security. He is living in the past. Nowadays, quite a number of people are taking early Social Security because they cannot get jobs, not because they are tired of working or because they have enough saved to retire in comfort.

On edit, I think people should talk to a lawyer if they are over 50 and are fired. It's true that the chances of winning a lawsuit or settlement are small, but every time someone wins, it is a blow against discrimination. It is important even if the settlement or judgment is not very high.

A lot of lawyers will talk to a new client without charge for the initial interview. People need to call several lawyers and check with the local bar association or an employment law attorneys association to find someone to advise them. Your cautionary post is helpful, but unless people sue for age discrimination, what can you do?

The important thing is that older employees should keep a file. Note the dates that your employer does something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Don't get angry. Get even.

And no. I am not an employment lawyer. I am retired. I know that employers are given a lot of advice on how to fire people. Unfortunately, employees do not get any advice on how to deal with the dog-eat-dog workplace world in which we now live.

It's a crying shame. American workers are being taken advantage of. They give the good years of their life to their work and all too often are simply thrown out with very little to show for all their effort. It's so sad.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #52)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:42 AM

54. You, of course, raise a good point when you mention that some attorneys will talk to new contacts

 

without charge for an initial interview.

It's difficult for age discrimination victims to find a good lawyer.

One thing is certain, however. If a person contacts an attorney's office and the receptionist, assistant, paralegal, or attorney indicates that a fee is charged for the initial interview, they should walk away. When a fee is charged for the initial interview, that means that the attorney is a clock-watcher who is willing to charge fees regardless of whether they perform or intend to perform services for clients.

It's hard to avoid the clock-watchers. They have been around since the early 1970's when attorneys began commonly charging by the hour. But the worst clock-watchers are those who have no conscience and are willing to charge even when they do not provide any services. They will run up their bills unnecessarily. There are a number of tricks for doing this, and charging for initial interviews is one.

One related observation. If an age-discrimination victim is angry and wants an attorney to treat the other side badly, the age discrimination victim should not mistake any initial rudeness by an receptionist, assistant, paralegal, or attorney as an indication that the attorney is going to be a bull-dog for them. Any such rudeness during the initial interview should be taken as a sign that rudeness towards potential clients and clients is tolerated, and even used to control potential clients and clients. It doesn't get better after the initial interview and no one should mistakenly believe that any such initial rudeness will be cured over a period of time. Some only learn that after they pay hundreds or thousands of dollars. When an attorney directly or indirectly through such action indicates that he doesn't want a person's business, or when an attorney openly shows hostility for any of his existing clients during the initial interview, the age-discrimination victim should walk away.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:17 AM

31. The people who depend the most on social security are those who work in physically laborious jobs

that don't offer 401K's or other retirement benefits. By age 60, and certainly 65, their bodies are shot. They simply can't do the hard manual labor anymore. Yet, the fat cats in Congress want them to work until they're 70? These guys are grossly out of touch.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:57 AM

32. Someone should kick

Blankfein's nuts so hard they end up touching his tonsils.
It's all about cheap labor. When people retire they create a job opening. High unemployment creates downward pressure on the job market causing labor to accept less for services rendered and thus increasing the bottom line profits which get translated into upper management bonuses.
I see guillotines and head baskets and scaffolds in Wall Street's future. And believe me, once the heads are rolling the execs will be begging the working class, "Take my money, please."
Unless the wealthy elites start spreading the wealth the consequences will be unfathomable.
Anyone who can position themselves to retire early should do so. They don't sell time at the corner store. Once it's gone..........

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:02 AM

33. It's disgusting, but no surprise

I remember back in the 1980's, we Gen X'ers were being told that the retirement age would be increased by the time we got old...if Social Security still existed at all.

The rich bastards have been planning this for a very long time.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:16 AM

34. Raising retirement age again?

My retirement age is already up to 66 and they want me to live on less than $1000 a month. I could go to 70 and get more money if I'm still alive.

Let me tell you, I started working on my dad's dirt farm in
Colorado at 6, feeding chickens, collecting eggs, raising rabbits, slopping hogs while walking through a foot of snow. We were so poor my dad and I hunted cottontails and poached deer at night just to have fresh meat instead of spam, we had a single pot bellied stove to keep us warm if we sat withing 3 feet of it. 5 of us lived in a 2 bedroom house with me sleeping of the 3rd bunk. Later we found a slightly bigger house so I didn't have to sleep on bunk but it was so could my mom got me a beagle to sleep with and keep me warm at night. We worked a garden for vegetables. My mom baked bread not for fun but so we could eat 3 meals a day. My dad worked at the VW dealership 45 miles away in Colorado Springs. One cold night his car failed so he walked 2 miles in a 15 degree below zero 3 foot blizzard barely surviving.

That's just part of my life story of working my ass off for poverty wages. I watch old TV shows like the Andy Griffith
Show and realize the poorist man in Mayberry owns his own
house. I own a 24ft. gooseneck trailer that have to rent the
dirt it sits on just so I can eat. When the ACA goes into effect I'll have my first health insurance if Bonehead doesn't destroy it.

I just turned 57 so actually I've been working over 50 years already. Most people work from about 18 to 65 or 47 years. I've done that and they've already pushed my retirement to 66 for partial SS and 70 for full compensation. Now the Boneheads are talking about extending it again. It's not my fault people like my friend's mothers keep living into the late 80s OR Raygun cut off my college money to give Rich White Bastards a free ride OR an illegal, ininsured immigrant broke my back and Chief Auto Parts didn't want a broken employee OR oldman Bush bankrupted the country OR the Dot Com Crash ended my
Texas Rehab financed tech career before it actually started OR cheating W bankrupted the country again with two illegal wars OR some unemployed black guys beat the hell out of me for pizza and pay back for what RWBs did to them OR the Teabagger Repugs gerrymandered their way into the House. At least my mother died of cancer at 63 so the RWBs got out of her retirement but those same RWBs .want to raise my retirement age again! F-ck them.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:30 AM

35. Many have no control over the age they "retire." If we lose our jobs

at age 60, we may well not get another job. And if we do, it won't pay what we got before, or have the same benefits, which lowers the benefits we will get from Social Security.

Layoffs and firings frequently target the older, more highly paid workers. The workers have no control over that.

The fat cats seems to think that WE are in control of when we "retire." Many of us are not.

To ask a 57 year old to spend his life savings supporting himself until he can qualify for Social Security is cruel and destroys his senior year quality of life. Even if he lives like a pauper and hangs in there, the cost of INSURANCE would add a huge burden to his cost of living. AND his Social Security benefits will decrease, because he no longer has that good paying job he had at 57.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:42 AM

40. You defeat the purpose of SS by raising the age! The "fix" should not focus on age,

it should focus on solvency through other means. We do not need a bloated military, but that is what we have due to the defense contractors spreading out the jobs and money over all of the states and so the lobbyist can keep them from being cut. Our bought politicians are the problem. We need campaign finance reform where they do not raise money for elections. We need a 1 month election period, that's it! This would solve a host of problems and get our politicians making decisions based on the merits instead of campaign donations from special interests groups!

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:34 AM

41. The Answer To The Life Expectancy Issue

Is to remove the cap on income that is taxed as those are the people living 6 years longer.

It was a little over a year ago I was talking to someone I know and asked him if he was still working since I knew he was right around that 65 1/2 mark. He worked construction his whole life and he said "no" then explained that he still liked doing the work but the body just couldn't take it any longer so he retired at 64. That is the reality with so many Americans. His wife is two years younger and has a less demanding job so she was still working but planned on retiring at 66 to get full benefits.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:19 PM

44. K&R

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