Half-measures won’t fix Social Security

The GOP just isn’t trying hard enough

Today, Robert Reich had this to say on Facebook:

“Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and other Republican hopefuls are already pushing to raise the eligibility age for Social Security to 69 – which their big-business Republican donors have been urging for years.”

This is the kind of tepid thinking that lets those lazy olds off the hook way too easily. You’d think that after making it to 2/3 of a century in age they’d have toughened up a bit and learned to appreciate the value of hard work, but no. They’ve grown soft.

Hey, I know. Let’s raise the eligibility age to 82 1/2, cut the benefits, and tax them. Oh, and we’ll call them WorkSecurity benefits. You only get them for logging sufficient hours doing some kind of physical labor. If you die before then, don’t worry. You can still be required to work. Your corpse will be shipped to qualifying families for use as furniture.

All they’ll need is a catchy motto. Something that ties the glory of work to real American freedom. Work. Freedom. Hrm. What makes a person free? Freedom isn’t an entitlement, after all. It’s gotta be earned.

Ooh, ooh, I know! Work makes you free!

5 replies »

  1. “Arbeit macht frei!” Und now if you vant to eat you vill verk, or vee are going to take a shower und you vill not need a towel.

    Sorry to invoke Godwin’s Law Frank but somehow it seemed inappropriately appropriate.

  2. It was just a matter of time. I’m just glad it came from a friendly 🙂 As often as not, I’d concede the point immediately. Given the circumstances, I’ll just suggest something about shoes and fitting.

  3. Here’s a real thought on the subject Frank. Regardless of what either party does, as the worker to retiree ratio closes in on 1:1 we will have to make sacrifices. I’m OK with wealthy people (I include myself in that) absorbing a bigger bite but we all need to have some skin in the game.

    The American Dream is shrinking and we have to adapt to it. Globalization, population boom, and decreasing resources all point to reduced benefits for retirees in both public and private sector. Look at Greece fro the worst case scenario on this.

    I know your post was tongue in cheek, and I enjoyed it but my response was only partly in jest…Want to eat? Better plan on working. Which isn’t all bad by the way especially if we enjoy what we’re doing. I’ve seen too many guys retire and then croak 5 years later because they just sat down and lost interest. Tote that bale, lift that barge 8^)

  4. As a hard-working blue-collar tractor and combine cleaning sort myself, I totally agree with your sentiment on work. I got that work ethic from Mom, who, without a high school education, found herself doing everything from short order cook to lugging heavy rolls of carpet to keep the lights on. To that extent, while I favor social safety net spending and don’t have all the answers to moving people from the dole to the payroll, I have ideas, just not many that would fly with my buddies on the left I think.

    One thing I do agree with the left on is that the cap on income that’s taxed for social security needs to be raised significantly. On the other hand, unless we’re talking Midas levels of wealth, I don’t think the benefits should be otherwise means tested. In that sense, I’m not sure we need to expect that benefits should shrink, but we damned well need to find a solution that works for retiring Boomers and Gen X’ers that will also work for Millennials, else the Millennials are going to wake up one day and go Soylent Green on us, or at least Logan’s Run 😉 Part of that solution is, as with so many other things, to get the big money out of politics so that the rest of us, including those like you who did really well for yourself, can have a crack at real debate with real ramifications for those in power. Without that, we stand precious little chance at changing things like NAFTA/TPP/TTIP, corrupt IP laws, corporate inversions, offshoring, etc.

    Then the realist in me kicks in, remembers that China has a lock on rare earth minerals, and no matter how hard we push to take back the high-tech manufacturing sector, unless we find new tech that’s not reliant on those elements, we’re gonna remain China’s bitch, and that one fact alone continues to give the edge to the corporate status quo.