How to Save Social Security... Indefinitely

I came across this quote in a paper copy of the Austin American Statesman today (here's the whole article):

Let's remember that the age selected to be the marker of old age was not sent from heaven or scripted in Moses' tablets. It was selected in the 1880s by Otto von Bismarck, who crafted Europe's first pension plan. Bismarck had to pick an age at which people would be considered too enfeebled to work and therefore eligible for state support and entitlement. He picked 65. At the time, the life expectancy in Europe and the United States was only 45 years. Now, life expectancy at birth for women has vaulted to nearly 80 and for men to about 74. In fact, if you were to craft a formula using a corresponding equation today, we would be retiring people at about 97.

That's right all we have to do to save social security is correlate retirement with average feebleness. Raise the retirement age to 97 and refuse benefits until that age and suddenly we'll have more workers than recipients. What happens when its a simple matter to work at age 97? Change the age again. And if it happens that we hit a point when there is no average age for "feebleness?" Then the feds can just pretend like its for our retirement while siphoning it away from its supposed "locked box" to fund their own pet projects.

Problem solved. :twisted:

(The article is actually much more interesting than my cheap social security joke. It is contemplating the idea of transitioning to an ageless society, and the struggles that lie therein.)

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Everyone knows we're going

Everyone knows we're going to have to do something like this or otherwise reduce the overall amount of SS benefit a person gets - even the AARP, who make any kind of benefit reduction a political impossibility, know what they are doing; they just don't care.

Social Security: Raising the

Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age = Benefit Cut
The Christian Science Monitor:This demographic reality usually draws a simple political response: raise taxes or lower benefits, or both. In Congress, that way of thin...

Well, some economists are

Well, some economists are suggesting indexing the retirement age to average healthy life expectation, although being realists they're suggesting we only bump it to around 70 or so rather than 65 to start with. Me, I'll keep beating the same drum: merge it with welfare, means-testing and all.

You sound like you're being

You sound like you're being facetious, but actually the plan (or some variant of it) makes quite a bit of sense. Raising the qualifying age gradually is a good way to reduce the burden of growing benefits. One plan I heard a while back involved increasing the qualifying age by 2 months every year. That way, no one who's already a beneficiary would be cut off, and the additional wait time would be a direct function of how far away you are from the current qualifying age.

Of course, I'd love to see total privatization, but that's probably not in the cards. The next best thing is finding feasible ways to cut benefits.