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View Diary: Senate/House Negotiators Give Up On Grand Bargain (185 comments)

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  •  From an actuarial standpoint, SS & Medicare (6+ / 0-)

    are problems--or rather, could be problems down the road if nothing changes.

    Thing is, there are a number of possible ways to put either (or both) onto an actuarially sound footing. Some of these might actually be good things for the society (e.g., increasing employment so that more $$ go into the SS trust fund).

    IMO, instead of saying Hands off my SS/Medicare! & leaving it at that, progressives ought to be looking for & eventually coalescing around ways to improve these programs to benefit individuals and society--actions we can promote as alternatives to catfood.


    by Uncle Cosmo on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:46:25 AM PDT

    •  And in a world where ACA is settled in, maybe (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Uncle Cosmo, JerryNA, TomP

      As both morbidity and mortality tables improve over the coming years, we should see convergence across income levels in residual life expectancy at age 65, sufficiently that as mortality improvement advances talk of raising the retirement age further will be grumbled about but not spark what are currently rightful objections on grounds that such moves disproportionately punish lower-income demographics and those in physically ruinous professions.

      Because long range forecasts have at-birth LE in the USA reaching age 90 by the end of the century.

      But that's not going to be helpful if only some are superlatively long lived (the rich) and others (the poor) might even be less long lived than folks today.

      •  I agree with nearly all of this (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick, TomP, JerryNA

        IMO the ACA & other medical cost-containment measures will help immeasurably.

        Part of improving these later-life programs is making them more generally fair across SES.

        People who put in the hard work during their working lives should be able to look forward to a retirement that starts at an age when they're (as a group) healthy & active enough to enjoy life, to keep on enjoying it for a meaningful period, with sufficient resources to enjoy it. By sufficient resources I mean enough income to allow not just for necessities but also some discretionary spending, e.g., being able to choose to buy A or visit B (or put the cash away for grandchild C) rather than having it all committed.

        Not to say that people who've saved more or invested profitably during their working lives shouldn't have more flexibility, but that everyone should have enough for at least a little.

        I know that sounds like a pipe-dream in today's war-of-all-vs-all economy, but if we don't dream it how will we be moved to make it real?


        by Uncle Cosmo on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:41:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My background's life side. We underestimate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          mortality improvements for a living, it seems like. Something like forty years straight ...which is fine for selling death benefits but as the industry's pivoted over to living benefits...oops. Longevity risk...

      •  good comment, though you might want to put it into (0+ / 0-)

        newsspaper-level English for people who are not as fond as you of parsing run-on sentences and sentence fragments with unnecessarily complex terms.  :)

        •  UncleCosmo signaled he was in the biz :) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          As for the direct aspersion that I cannot write well: Meh. :)

          •  Cast aspersions? *I*? Good sir, I say. (0+ / 0-)

            Good sir, I work for the government.  You wouldn't win any awards for opacity and density of prose, as some gentles appear to desire with all of their... let's just say hearts, but certes you would fit in comfortably with my colleagues of the bureaucratic persuasion.  My somewhat more direct scientific colleagues, however, while they would understand your meaning, lamentably may declaim "WTF is this guy talking about?".  (Although I have been asked to peer-review scientific articles prior to acceptance for publication, I have never been requested to become an editor. I remain mystified as to why this may be so.)

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