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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:52 AM

Krugman just shut down the "raise the retirement age argument" George Will said raise it

To 74 due to life expectancy going up. Krugman corrected him and said life expectancy has only gone up for upper middle class. It's the poor who need social security. Raising the age limit would devastate the poor.

59 replies, 7414 views

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Reply Krugman just shut down the "raise the retirement age argument" George Will said raise it (Original post)
Pisces Apr 2012 OP
brewens Apr 2012 #1
Warpy Apr 2012 #3
JHB Apr 2012 #13
brewens Apr 2012 #17
freshwest Apr 2012 #19
chervilant Apr 2012 #27
freshwest Apr 2012 #41
chervilant Apr 2012 #43
Lars39 Apr 2012 #44
aint_no_life_nowhere Apr 2012 #2
Warpy Apr 2012 #4
aint_no_life_nowhere Apr 2012 #7
ProfessionalLeftist Apr 2012 #5
DCBob Apr 2012 #6
jwirr Apr 2012 #9
DCBob Apr 2012 #16
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #24
DCBob Apr 2012 #25
JHB Apr 2012 #15
groundloop Apr 2012 #20
DCBob Apr 2012 #21
DocMac Apr 2012 #51
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #33
eridani Apr 2012 #47
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #54
eridani May 2012 #58
CTyankee Apr 2012 #52
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #31
DCBob Apr 2012 #34
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #35
DCBob Apr 2012 #37
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #42
Warren Stupidity Apr 2012 #36
DCBob Apr 2012 #38
Warren Stupidity Apr 2012 #40
happyslug Apr 2012 #46
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #49
Gidney N Cloyd Apr 2012 #8
eyewall Apr 2012 #26
Gidney N Cloyd Apr 2012 #32
eyewall Apr 2012 #53
HockeyMom Apr 2012 #10
jwirr Apr 2012 #11
zbdent Apr 2012 #12
sandyshoes17 Apr 2012 #14
Gormy Cuss Apr 2012 #22
fasttense Apr 2012 #18
Cleita Apr 2012 #23
nobodyspecial Apr 2012 #39
eridani Apr 2012 #48
Mz Pip Apr 2012 #28
shcrane71 Apr 2012 #30
Recursion Apr 2012 #29
lib2DaBone Apr 2012 #45
n2doc Apr 2012 #50
Dokkie Apr 2012 #55
RainDog Apr 2012 #56
fascisthunter Apr 2012 #57
tsuki May 2012 #59

Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:01 PM

1. Definitely not. Guys like Will have no clue what work is for some people. If you

ever had jobs involving much physical labor, there's a good chance you never could have made it to 74. I did, and at 51 am now glad I now have a good job that I can handle for the foreseeable future. I know all the guys that do the kind of stuff I used to do won't be so lucky.

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Response to brewens (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:12 PM

3. My body conked out in my mid 50s

I was a nurse and I had some very hungry years before my dad died and left me enough to live on.

Will needs to consider also that the corporate expiration date is the age of 55. If you hit that age and upper management hasn't died or retired, you're out. It's cheaper to hire a green kid right out of college who will suck at your job for 5 years than to keep you doing it.

I'd like to know how Will thinks people will be able to live for that 19 years before Social Security comes in.

Stupid, elitist ass.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:40 PM

13. The appropriate phrase her is "he doesn't think of it at all"

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:04 PM

17. I'm convinced the whole thing is seriously planned to take us back to the 1800's.

I see very little coming from the right to convince me otherwise. They would love to get back to where we have a large peasant class.

Look at stuff like reverse mortgages. They don't just want to help older people enjoy retirement, they want that family home. Many people I know got their real boost when they inherited their parents property. Without that, they wouldn't be middle class.

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Response to brewens (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:10 PM

19. Their actions on the education front show the same plan. No need to educate people whose only value

Will be their arms and legs. If those give out, kicked to some corner to die quietly.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #19)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:41 PM

27. Look at the increasing costs of post-secondary education.

The Corporate Megalomaniacs who've usurped our media, our politics and our global economy are reducing the number of the Hoi Polloi who can afford to pursue a 'rewarding' career.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #27)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:56 PM

41. I read something some time back, that I think illustrates what you are saying, too.

Something along these lines:

The PTB have all the engineers, geneticists, scientists, mechanical devices and entertainers they need. They have the pick of the planet for their corporations and their foundations.

Since some of the greatest scientific inventions are now in their ownership, they have no need to educate the masses. Their intention is to manipulate a global corporate governance that answers to none of the traditional 'We the People' ideas. They don't listen to or respect government anymore, as they control the essentials of life, the land, air, water, energy, food, etc.
So our contribution means little. They have workers to maintain order and a servant class. Why should they finance a system for people they no longer need?

Please tell me I'm wrong, this is a bit depressing what I just wrote here. Or maybe it's nothing new at all?

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Response to freshwest (Reply #41)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:16 PM

43. Depressing just doesn't cover it...

I've only recently come to understand why I've struggled with 'working for the man' all my life. I have come to understand that hierarchy AND corporatism are damaging and delimiting for our entire species. Oopsies...I guess I should have said consumerism.

I have recently relocated to a rural setting, where I can grow my own food. I remain hopeful that I can get a job teaching, so that I can buy a modest piece of property and live out the remainder of my life far from the madding crowds.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #41)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:34 PM

44. Add in the massive numbers of people who will be displaced by climate change

and you will see that it is in the PTBs best interests to eliminate as many of the "common" people as possible. Less people with whom they have to share dwindling resources.

This was just a vague feeling with me a few years back...seems like it's happening before our eyes now.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:10 PM

2. Life expectancy is meaningless unless the quality of life is prolonged

Maybe science can keep people alive longer in hospitals where they would have died before, but their quality of life isn't improved. Science hasn't reversed or even slowed the aging process at all. People still get old at the same rate and they still lose their strength and mental faculties at the same rate. Maybe medical science can intervene to keep people alive but that doesn't mean their ability to work during these extra years of life has been increased at all. If people could be kept alive in an ICU until they're 100 years old or more, it still wouldn't mean squat as far as their productive years are concerned. Let's find ways to slow down aging and then I'll listen to these conservative arguments.

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Response to aint_no_life_nowhere (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:17 PM

4. For a short time, we actually did slow aging a bit

People my grandparents' age (born between 1870 and 1881) were getting old in their 40s. Getting their three score an ten was a real achievement and few were in good enough shape to qualify for those "active retiree" villages. Better food and medical care allowed their children to remain active through their mid 70s.

My generation started getting stiffed on wages and health care and gawd knows the food has been getting worse as incomes have gone down.

If this trend doesn't reverse soon, we'll see our children getting old in their 40s.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:25 PM

7. Better food and medicine only allowed people to live out their full potetial life expectancy

but science hasn't slowed down the aging process at all. Once the body breaks down and is ravaged by oxidative stress, carbon-protein cross-linking, and other aging factors, there's no amount of food or medicine that will prolong the productive work life of the average human. Thanks to Republicans, real breakthroughs in anti-aging research aren't going to happen because we aren't funding the research. That failure as well as the disgusting abandonment of the space program has me wishing that ET would swoop down and take me out of here.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:18 PM

5. Life expectancy does NOT equal ability to work

particularly at physical labor jobs. One might be OK until 70+ if they're in a desk job but millions are not and therefore could only work until between 50-55 at most, if they're in physically demanding jobs.

IMO, the retirement age should be LOWERED. The "raise the retirement age" meme is straight from the Koch Bros' various think tanks. Get the DVD Koch Bros Exposed. It's all there.

Freekin greedy bastards.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:24 PM

6. I prefer means testing to help Social Security.

Not sure at what level but that seems only fair if a person does not need it.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:30 PM

9. While that does seem like a reasonable solution there is a danger hidden in it. Right now it is hard

to get rid of this program because it is an insurance program that all people pay into and all receive. It is not called a welfare program. IF we change that the rethugs will have one more big government program to cut away on until it is gone and they will call it welfare.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:04 PM

16. Yes, I see your point. Maybe it could be set up like a deferred payment..

until that person actually needs it. If they dont ever need it before they die then it goes back into the SS pot.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:13 PM

24. ooh, you mean like a "personal account?" yeah, maybe everyone could invest their own, too.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #24)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:15 PM

25. no, that is not at all what I am suggesting.

personal account would be a disaster.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:46 PM

15. If that happens they'll put pressure on to limit it to the "truly needy"...

...which will keep getting defined downward.

The whole reason for the current cap on income subject to tax for SS is precisely because higher income people "should" have other means to support them and won't "need" it. If anything, the cap should be raised or eliminated.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:12 PM

20. All they need to do is get rid of the cap on SS tax

Yeah, I was lucky enough to reach that cap a few times and was able to quit paying SS tax for the rest of the year. But that really doesn't make sense, I honestly didn't even notice that little bit of extra cash in my paycheck each month. As Ed and Rev. Al have stated many times, raising taxes on the well off just a couple of percentage points won't change their standard of living one bit while it would go a long ways toward helping the less fortunate among us.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:14 PM

21. Yes, that would no doubt help.

That seems like a no brainer.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #21)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 09:28 AM

51. No measures will help

as long as the government can dip into those funds at will.

There has to be a law against it. Do we even know how much they raided from SS all these years?

Oh yeah, George Will is an asshole.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:40 PM

33. You'll also have to alter the benefits formula

Take the cap off of a worker's wages, and the big shots would get really fat Social Security checks. As it stands now, there is a three tiered system for increasing the benefit for a wage earner, we might need to adopt extra ones to account for a raise in the cap.

Also, why not just dodge that issue altogether and make no cap on the employer's share of FICA taxes? If some stupid-ass bailed out bank wants to pay a CEO ten million dollars to run the place into the ground, let them pay FICA on all ten million, without raising the CEO's maximum benefit when he finally gets a Social Security check.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #33)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 02:42 AM

47. Maximum payout per year is already capped

And initial benefits calculations skewed to benefit those lower on the lifetime income scale. No need to change either of those things.

If you pay in, you get something out, period. Otherwise it'e welfare.

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Response to eridani (Reply #47)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:32 PM

54. That cap is directly tied

to the Social Security wage base. Lift the cap on the wage base, and it's automatic that your maximum benefit goes up, if you pay more. If three tiers are good, why wouldn't five be better? I know that you have to give someone something for the extra FICA tax, but it doesn't have to be at the lower tiers.

Also, index the tiers to inflation, just as we presently do with personal exemptions, standard deductions, and the tax brackets. It would be lousy if an inflationary economy eroded the purchasing power of middle income workers because of the tier system.

And what do you think about the idea of the sky's the limit on the employer share of FICA?

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #54)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:49 AM

58. Employers could pay a higher percentage, but this shouldn't go to infinity

You have to give something when people pay more at higher income levels, but it does not have to be proportiona.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 09:43 AM

52. helping the less fortunate is NOT what the RW wants. We are arguing from different premises.

You and I will make that argument and I believe it is correct. But this is the last thing the RW wants. They want the "less fortunate" to remain so until and unless they pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and stop depending on the government for help.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:35 PM

31. You might like an idea I've suggested here before

Clearly some jobs are tougher than others, and they take more out of you physically. Recognizing that, we could develop a sliding scale for retirement benefits based on worker's comp records. I'd favor full benefits at 65 (as you know, right now it's climbing to 67 in a short time) for those with the toughest jobs, and the folks who have the least demanding jobs (pencil pushers like me, for instance) get to do the full benefit at 70.

Yes, there might be some mischaracterizations made, but if we subdivide it down to at least full years, or preferably half years, you'd have a five or ten point scale to assign various occupations and the chances of an assignment of a job to a point on that scale wouldn't be terribly far off. For some odd reason, folks in the toughest jobs often make the lowest money, while those in the least demanding jobs often make the most money. It would be a sort of functional means testing, but would be based on the reality that not all jobs are created equal.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:41 PM

34. That generally sounds more fair..

but not sure just baseing it on workers comp records is the fairest way to define which jobs are more demanding. But the general concept does seem reasonable and better than across the board raising retirement age.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #34)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:44 PM

35. I suggest WC records

because claims made for that usually reflect the physical demands of a job. The worst thing that ever happened to me in an office was trying to fix a stapler, and I got a staple in the thick part of my thumb, all the way to the hilt. Just pulled it out, put a band-aid on it, and was fine.

I did office work in a timber town, and I was aware of all the guys who got injured out in the forests and in the plywood plant. You sure don't want to go into a logger's bar for a beer and get caught griping about paper cuts!

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #35)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:51 PM

37. Probaby best not to mention a paper cut in a logger bar.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #37)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:42 PM

42. You'll get beer bottles hurled at you!

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Response to DCBob (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:45 PM

36. I prefer not making republican arguments on DU.

By the way SS is already means tested through the income limit before your miserable stipend starts getting taxed. That limit is absurdly low. How about we argue for raising the benefits instead? Huh?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #36)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:52 PM

38. Why is that a Republican argument??

The wealthiest would be the most affected.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #38)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:04 PM

40. Effective reductions in benefits will target the middle class.

You are a smart guy, you should know why that will be the only result of a SS rescue (where none is actually needed, but that is a separate argument) that actually has any effect. You are not going to realize significant savings by reducing benefits to 1% of the recipients.

Means testing makes SS welfare, allows the right to divide us between recipients and non-recipients, and to start demanding that "we" stop paying for "them".

Democrats and progressives should be advocating for increasing the benefits, lowering the age limit (especially for medicare, which should be gradually lowered to zero) instead of arguing over what cuts to make.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 01:51 AM

46. Means testing would be the Kiss of death of Social Security

FDR made that observation in the 1930s when Social Security was proposed, unless the vast majority of Americans get something out of any program, it will lack the support to be properly funded.

You can see this is when comparing SSI and Welfare. Both are need based programs, but because SSI is run by the Social Security Administration it appears on its face to be part of the Social Security program. Given that most Americans expect to get Social Security, there is massive support for the SSI program.

On the other hand there is almost no support for the Welfare program for the vast majority of Americans never expect to be on welfare.

Now, SSI is a federally funded program that will pay someone who is disabled and can not work what Congress has determined is the minimal amount of money one need to survives, in 2012 that is $698 (This is called the "Standard of Need"). SSI is reduced by any other source of Income, including any Social Security you may be entitled to, but because the SSI program is run by the Social Security Administration it is presumed by most people to be part of the Social Security system (And it is NOT). Given this confusion, SSI is supported by the vast majority of Tax payers for the vast majority of tax payers expect to get Social Security and whenever you have a program the vast majority of people expect to benefit such programs are fully funded.

As to welfare, the Federal Government will pay up to 50% of the "Standard of Need" of the cost of any aid to Children and their parents run by any state. The only restriction is that State must match the Federal Grant dollar for dollar. No state has EVER funded its welfare program at 100% of the Standard of Need, even with the Federal Government willing to pay 50% of the costs. Why? Simply, no one ever expects to have to go on welfare and therefore there is no support among most voters for Welfare, thus Welfare is the first thing people talk about when it comes to budget cuts and the last thing increased when you have a surplus.

Sorry, even FDR saw this, and refused to put into the Social Security Act any means test. FDR saw such a means test as a way to show most American they will NEVER get anything out of the program and thus kill any support for such a program. That was true in the 1930s and it is true today, which is why the GOP keeps pushing the idea of means testing, it is part of their long range plan to kill Social Security.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 03:48 AM

49. Social Security is not directly means-tested, but because of our tax system, it

actually is means tested. If you make over a certain amount of money, you actually pay a lot of your Social Security benefits in income taxes.

Social Security does not pay a lot per month. The average is somewhere around 1200 per month. It may be a little more now. I think maybe one-half of the benefit received each year is tax-free for those over the eligibility age.

It's complicated, but means-testing Social Security really would not mean much savings in my opinion. It might appear to add up, but those who have a high income and are receiving Social Security already pay taxes on 1/2 of what they receive.

The best thing is to simply raise the taxes across the board for those who have an income of over one million per year.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:30 PM

8. It was a thing of beauty. Krugman was on a roll this morning.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:28 PM

26. Where was this?

It must not have been Krugman's column in the NY Times but I didn't know he had any other outlet, especially a live on camera one.

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Response to eyewall (Reply #26)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:38 PM

32. ThisWeek with George S. on ABC

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #32)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:19 PM

53. Thank you

I just googled it to see what and where. I don't watch television so I had no idea there was a new Sunday morning politics program. I'm sorry I missed the Krugman episode, I'll look for a youtube. I'm also sorry I missed the show when Christiane Amanpour was the host. I like her journalistic integrity, remembering her from CNN as a Middle East reporter.

Maybe I should turn on my TV occasionally.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:30 PM

10. I work with children, and adults, with disabilities

I have to push wheelchairs, lift them, change diapers, etc. I am 63 right now. They want me to do this until I am 74???? So they think EVERYBODY sits at a desk in an office?????

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:33 PM

11. I hear you. My back gave out at 62. I lifted my daughter and pushed/lifted her wheelchair etc. for

45 years. If I could have I would still be taking care of her but it is not possible.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:37 PM

12. It will work for George Will's target audience ...

those who can afford premium health care so that they can live a long, full life ...

Those that don't, won't collect on the benefits they paid into, due to the fact that the work they had to do to survive contributed heavily toward killing them ... and without health care, most likely.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:43 PM

14. Life expectancy is longer

Because of SS and Medicare. People who retired and received it in there 60's have lived longer. No stress. Before SS people lives were rough and died younger. Just 1 theory.

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Response to sandyshoes17 (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:14 PM

22. +1

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:06 PM

18. Life expectancy increased because the elderly no longer die from starvation and hypothermia

Like they did in the 1910s through the 1940s. Take away Social Security from those in their sixties and older, you will see elderly again dying from starvation and hypothermia. Do you think the RepubliCONS will change it back when our grandparents start starving and freezing to death again?

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Response to fasttense (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:55 PM

23. I believe this is what they want.

They are sociopaths with no empathy towards the suffering of others as long as their nests are feathered.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:55 PM

39. Useless eaters

What do they care

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Response to fasttense (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 02:46 AM

48. Not quite true. Life expectancy FROM BIRTH increased because--

--infant mortality dramatically decreased during those years. Life expectancy starting at age 65 increased, but not nearly as much.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:45 PM

28. If the retirement age is raised

young people will end up having fewer job opportunites. Not good.

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Response to Mz Pip (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:12 PM

30. Exactly. And we already have rising unemployment for young workers.

I always was told that an large unemployed under 30 population is a recipe for instability within any political system. Maybe George Will secretly supports the Occupy movement.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:00 PM

29. Life expectancy *at birth* has gone up, and that doesn't matter at all

People who make it to 65 still die at roughly the same age, in the upper 70s. Rising life expectancy comes from lower infant, teen, and young-adult mortality. It actually improves SS's financial position because it means more workers are surviving to contribute to the SS fund.

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:54 PM

45. George Will has been WRONG on EVERYTHING for 40 years...

 

...yet he is given a seat on TV and a sympathetic ear by the Media. WHY?

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:02 AM

50. It's easy to work until 74...

If all you do for a living is write a few crappy recycled columns and sit on your ass in TV each weekend pontificating. There aren't enough wal-mart greeter jobs for the rest of us, however. What sort of jobs does he think 65-74 year olds can get?

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:47 PM

55. what a piece of crook that statement is

 

How is it that the life expectancy of a small minority is going to raise the life expectancy of the rest of America? Come on guys, dont tell me you buy this shit. Th life expectancy for most countries including ours has been going up and you don't need looking at the 1% to explain this. Technological advancements and new techniques to treat diseases is all you need. Also we have had the 1% for the longest time so dont act as this is a new phenomena that we need to factor into the equation.

Its sad that not one of the people commenting of this story decided to challenge him. For Krugman, it is simple answers to complex problems

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:48 PM

56. k&r n/t

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 08:02 PM

57. We are being manipulated and unrepresented

If we were represented, our government would almost unanimously back SS, medicare and even single payer.

.... but we get a war/occupation! One which the majority does not want. Do any of you truly believe this government works for you?

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Response to Pisces (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:52 AM

59. Has pun-twit George "The Snore" Will had

an original thought since 1909? You be the judge!

It's all the fault of big Democrat Pardy-big gov'mint.

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