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View Diary: My view of chained CPI at age 67 (48 comments)

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  •  Yeah. Easy to say when your generation is well off (2+ / 0-)
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    ladybug53, NoMoreLies

    ...but the 'kids' currently in their 20s, 30s and 40s are absolutely screwed.

    They never had the defined benefit corporate pensions your generation had access to. They never had the union-supported living wage and easy access to middle class prosperity. They didn't spend most of their working lives in a full-employment economy.

    Your age demographic is the wealthiest in America. Consequently it's easy for you to insist that much poorer younger citizens (who are being roundly screwed by our corporate plutocracy) take a bullet for the team while you're sipping Mai-Thais next to the pool.

    •  Respectfully (4+ / 0-)

      The Boomer generation, as a whole, will not enjoy the prosperity that their parents had in retirement.

      Boomer's parents are the generation that had the low medical costs, strong housing values, a strong job market, and defined benefit pensions.
      Today, barely 1 in 5 retirees will have an equivalent of a DB pension.  It was commonplace for the parents' of Boomers (not sure what they were called, LOL).

      As Dr. Baker writes extensively, the 'financial condition' of the average Boomer is WAY overblown.  He writes extensively about this at FDL.

      And let's not forget--the literally trillions of dollars of housing wealth that were lost came primarily from those most established (wealth-wise) citizens at that time--the Boomers.

      Definitely, as a cohort, they took the greatest financial hit

      Millions of Boomers were foreclosed upon or are in underwater mortgages, presently.  Much of their wealth, IOW, has evaporated.  

      No, it was definitely the parents of Boomers who reaped the windfall regarding 'living out their retirement in prosperity and financial security.'  ;-)


      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


      by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:15:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's true, but flawed policy like chained CPI (4+ / 0-)

        is the gift that keeps on giving - it'll keep reducing benefits well into the future, so that generations after the boomers will be even worse off from day one of retirement, and continue to decline after that. And those generations will have bigger lapses in high earning years due to high unemployment and stagnant (or even declining) wages now, further reducing their payback.

        The idea that this Congress and this President will beef up  benefits now, as the diarist suggests, would be hilarious if it weren't so sadly naive. And another benefit of chained CPI is that it will take ever larger amounts in the future just to restore parity with where benefits are now, so each year chained CPI is allowed to exist makes decent benefits less possible.

        I find this diary just another example of someone willing to bend over backwards into pure fantasy to defend another awful proposal, compromise or policy that Democrats, including the President, are pushing. Another sucker willing to be fooled again.

        Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

        by badger on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:48:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, badger, I'm in agreement with you--I'm (3+ / 0-)
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          NoMoreLies, congenitalefty, Lava20

          ABSOLUTELY against implementing the Chained CPI (actually, not certain if you're even addressing my comment.  Sorry, I have a hard time discerning the thread sequences).

          My intention was to address the commenter above me.  I am aware of the compounding effects of the Chained CPI.

          But in fairness, from some articles I've seen, older workers (sometimes age 50, sometimes age 55 is the starting point in various studies) have been very hard hit, as well.  It gets far less attention in the media, because the (corporatist) neoliberal economic model accentuates, or focuses, on the well-being of the younger cohort.

          This is because of the neoliberal focus on "predistribution, as opposed to redistribution."
          I'm trying to figure out how to isolate a radio conversation on this topic.  It is very instructive, and explains WHY the social insurance programs for the elderly are now fair game.  

          Hopefully, I'll figure it out soon.  If you (or anyone else) knows of an application that helps accomplish this, please let me know.  I know that they exist.

          I have some personal experience with being the 'victim' of a recession.  I was just out of college and had taken my first job when a pretty bad recession hit in the 1980's.

          I was offered and accepted a temporary position with the company (the pay and benefits were off-the-charts excellent), moving from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. (or Rosslyn, VA).

          My point is that it's really not an earth-shattering new phenomenon--that the least experienced employees have the highest unemployment rates during a recession.  Which is not intended to trivialize the harmful effects on the young.  Again, been there, done that.

          But older workers also experience high rates of unemployment during recessions.  After all, employees often shed their most expensive employees first, for cost savings.

          The reason for the hyperventilating over unemployment today [while not lifting a finger to do anything about it], is that it plays into the corporatist neoliberal 'meme' that entitlements for seniors need to be 'on the chopping block' for reasons of deficit reduction.  'For the children, etc.'

          So ignoring the high unemployment rates for folks over ages 50-55, has been part of setting up a scenario which the Powers to Be believe will be favorable to their 'pulling off eviscerating the social safety net.'

          Further, the Pete Peterson Foundation has been deploying operatives to stir up generational resentments for close to a decade now, traveling college campuses with their 'dog and pony' show.  Former US Comptroller General David Walker has been a regular on that 'tour.'

          IMHO, this serves as a sterling example of cruelty and cynicism, at its worst.

          But I'm a firm believe that 'the truth' will prevail, if only we keep at it. ;-D


          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


          by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:36:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Parents of the Boomers (4+ / 0-)

        were what I call the "GI Bill" generation. They grew up during the Depression, enlisted when WWII started if they were male, or went to work if female; and in general, did what their country expected of them.

        Many went to college after the war, most went to work for companies that had a pension system, and they were living in a growing economy.  They were able to afford to buy a home, and a car, and to travel.

        Please note -- the Boomer generation began entering the workforce in 1962 and the tip of the iceberg (1946) became eligible for early reduced Social Security benefits in 2008. At about the half-way point in the Boomers' careers, Congress changed the rules, and increased FICA taxes on both employees and employers.

        We paid for our parents and, in some cases, our grandparents retirements. We will be damned before we let anyone refuse us the benefits we have earned.

        Yes -- we were stupid not to fight the degradation of unions, and the elimination of real pensions and good health benefits. If anything, we were too trusting of our government and the companies we chose to work for...

      •  Think us boomers 'r screwed? Talk to our kids. (1+ / 0-)
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        They're much, much worse off. All those sweet subsidized student loans we had? Yeah, they're gone. Those nice gigs with big law firms right out of law school? They're gone too, so good luck paying off that quarter million in law school debt.

        It's not so much inter-generational warfare as class warfare, but for every single age demographic, the one that's one step younger is screwed by comparison. All the way down to current students, who are eating shit sandwiches.

        •  Actually, I agree with Dean Baker. Check out his (1+ / 0-)
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          diaries at FDL.

          You may be doing fabulously, I don't know.  If you are, great.

          But to give as an example one of the highest paid professions is just a bit odd, given that we're discussing how an entire generation is making out, no?  ;-)

          In my profession I have been an advocate for the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens for over thirty years.  Maybe I've seen things that you're not aware of, like folks who once had hope that their children could one day go to college, but when Westinghouse (just an example, not slamming that company) outsourced their factory job, all hope of that was lost.  Instead, both parents (is there were two) worked 2 to 3 jobs to just put food on the table--LITERALLY.

          But for folks far more fortunate than my clients, or more middle or upper middle class, remember that most of the wealth lost in the recent 'crash' was Boomer wealth.  And many Boomers haven't, and won't recover.  Not to mention that millions were foreclosed upon.  

          How do you recover from that seven-year blot to even pick yourself up again, if you're near retirement age.  And let's not even get into the subject of the millions of Boomers who are underwater in their home mortgages.

          I agree with Dr. Baker that this issue shouldn't come down to a war between generations.

          That's exactly what Pete Peterson and our political class is betting own.

          Can't fight them now, can we, if we're fighting amongst ourselves.

          Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.  ;-)



          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson


          by musiccitymollie on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:07:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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