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View Diary: "Entitlement Reforms" That Progressives Can Support (113 comments)

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  •  Ok, I'll come from this from a totally (0+ / 0-)

    different angle.

    I'm a "conservative" and, contrary to many progressive stereotypes, I don't want to kill Medicare or SS.  I actually want them to be there for my kids and our posterity.  I also want it to be "fair" to my parents, my generation, my kids' generation, and all the generations to come.  From that point of view, I think I share a lot in common with my progressive friends.

    I personally am open to almost any type of reform or combination of reforms that aim to make both of these programs financially secure and fair.  

    And I can appreciate that progressives would first want to first tax the wealthy to secure the future of these programs but why, in an age when we all acknowledge that life spans are increasing, do progressives so vehemently oppose raising the retirement age?

    I do understand the argument that not all work is equal and those with blue collar jobs are not increasing life span as those with white collar jobs and I would be fine with adjusting for that in as fair a way as actuarial science would dictate.  But the nearly full opposition to re-balancing work years and retirement years doesn't make much sense to me.  

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:21:23 PM PST

    •  Except that there was a study out just this week (0+ / 0-)

      that in many areas of the country life expectancy for women is actually declining not increasing.   I mean there are lies, damn lies, and statistics and it's unclear how much lying is going on to skew the debate on these so-called reforms.  Are there actually jobs available for most people over 65 to make raising the retirement age realistic or are you just going to force people into spending down their assets for years in which they are unemployed or underemployed so that they need a larger Social Security benefit?  Besides, other studies show they have few assets anyway.  I mean if corporations hadn't done away with the defined benefit pension maybe you could raise the retirement age.  But they did away with the pension and they did away with job security.  

      I mean if we were designing a program to just cover accountants, attorneys, professors, and physicians raising the retirement age might make sense.

      •  I saw those same reports (0+ / 0-)

        And we could go into the specific findings (mostly white, disadvantaged, rural women in about 50 percent of the counties) but the evidence is pretty solid that since the inception of the programs the life expectancy has radically risen and the eligibility dates have barely budged.  I want sustainable environmental policies and sustainable (and fair) "entitlement" programs.  

        So even if we take into account the findings that you cite I think it would be prudent to consider raising the eligibility age.  Now, with that said, I had hoped, and you actually raised a very good point.  Many companies will not hire people past a certain age.

        What I would ask you to consider is whether or not those people can actually contribute anything despite being relatively unemployable.  If they have something to contribute (which I believe they do) then perhaps we should think outside the box and allow them to contribute to society in ways that would offset their "costs".   I have found that most people do not react well to this "new" idea.

        Conservatives claim that I'm speaking of "socialism" and progressives reject the idea since they think they have a "better" idea (which pragmatically speaking has exactly 0% chance of being enacted) and, on top of that, the progressives claim it smacks too much of "personal responsibility" to be enacted.

        Anyway, I think my tagline is very apropos in the current situation but as long as we each only read news that favors our point of view, there is little chance that ideas that are both "reasonable" and "out of the box" can be enacted.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 05:31:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let's imagine medical science defeats so many... (0+ / 0-)

      diseases that the average American life span increases to 125.

      How does that change how old a 75 yr. old is? So what if he hasn't been struck by cancer or arthritis by 85. Actuarial science says nothing at all about 80 yr. old mechanics or 90 yr. old sales managers.

      Old is still old. If 45 years of working your ass off is enough to tire people out now, that won't magically adjust to 60 years just because we add a few more decades onto the end.

      If the math inherent in the current system can't handle that, we need to change the fundamentals of the system. Because expecting the fundamentals of human life - that we get worn out and need a goddamned break after all those decades - to change will get you nowhere productive.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 11:30:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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