Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lower the Retirement Age

If you have missed out on it for the last few months, James Galbraith has been talking up his plan to lower the retirement age. Most headlines that you can find on the subject characterize the plan as "radical." I can't see it as anything other than practical and am left scratching my head over why it is anything other than the prevailing belief. I am no genius economist, but this certainly doesn't fall into the "wow, I never thought of that category."

The central premise here is that lowering the retirement age clears off a section of the job market that young people in need of jobs can move in and fill, while older people, eager to retire can find their way out. It seems elementary to me. I don't know why it is radical and raising the age is a serious consideration. Actually, I do, it is because our dialogue can only function one way in America. Whether conscious or not, if it involves sacrifice and suffering to the middle class and below it is serious. If it requires anything of the upper classes, it is radical.

Something else important to notice in this conversation is that the "Life expectancy keeps rising" meme is only true of the white collar, upper classes. People with hard jobs and little or no medical coverage are not living longer. So they should suck it up and work two more painful years and then shut up and die with sub-standard health coverage and no end of life care discussions with their doctor.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.