Now is the time at Ed Driscoll.com when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:
Bismarck arbitrarily chose 70 when he created social insurance in 1889. Clever guy: Life expectancy at the time was under 50.
When Franklin Roosevelt created Social Security, choosing 65 as the eligibility age, life expectancy was 62. Today it is almost 80. FDR wanted to prevent the aged few from suffering destitution in their last remaining years. Social Security was not meant to provide two decades of greens fees for baby boomers.
— “The Great Social Security Debate — Of course it’s a Ponzi scheme,” Charles Krauthammer, September 16, 2011.
The romantic concept of being able to retire on a sunny beach with endless drinks is a modern notion largely pushed by mainstream advertising. It is hard for many middle class Americans to imagine a world where retirement is a luxury for the very few. However that is the path we are now following. The ability to retire is being severely impaired for most Americans given their lack of savings but also the massive spending occurring by the government. Recently we have heard that Social Security is expected to run out of funding far quicker than was once expected. This information in itself is troubling but couple that with the incredibly low to non-existent savings rate for younger Americans and you realize the day of reckoning that is lining up. Even recent data has looked at pushing the retirement age from 65 to 80 for some workers which might be hard to do given it is beyond the normal life expectancy of most Americans. The new retirement model appears to be no retirement.
— “Saying goodbye to the middle class concept of retirement – many workers plan to work up until they are 80, well beyond the typical life expectancy of Americans,” My Budget 360, yesterday.
(Via Glenn Reynolds, who asks, “How’s that Hopey-Changey Stuff Workin’ Out for Ya?”)
Related: “On The Road With Obama,” from Tom Maguire: “More importantly, why is this old chap looking for work? Did his home equity fall off a cliff in Florida? Did his 401(k) implode? I think it is great that this guy has the energy and motivation to look for a job but my goodness — if Obama has led us to a point where ninety year olds need to look for work to avoid the cat food diet, it’s time for a change.”