Comments on: The then and now of pensions Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:23:32 +0000 hourly 1 By: thinkb4its2late Sat, 19 Jan 2013 15:18:11 +0000 Of course SS will have to be changed, since when it was started very few people lived past, or even to, the age at which benefits were paid out. Since people in the United States live longer, healthier lives it only seems reasonable that SS should not kick in until nearer the end of those lives. Perhaps we need some kind of sliding scale where retirement comes earlier for those who do physical labor (more and more rare these days) and who may not be able to continue to work after age 65. Others whose work is not so physically demanding may appreciate being able to stay in their jobs past that age. In fact many companies require retirement at age 70 – 75, which is a shame if the employee is fit and wishes to stay in their job. But this raises another question. If an older generation lives and works longer, how will there be enough employment for the younger generation?

By: tmc Fri, 18 Jan 2013 12:05:38 +0000 @OOTS, We’ll have to pick this up again on the next pertinent piece. I have a bit more to say on the topics and would like your (and others) opinions.

@PseudoTurtle. I was not dis’in your idea on the other article. I truly believe it is a very good idea worthy of discussion. And I was not changing my mind, I just admitted that I did not read past your statement of re-instating the draft. Perhaps a different title would not get that stereotypical response to “re-instate draft”. I was by your generation to admit my mistakes and I do. I am not as young as you think, I’m the first of Gen-X. I have grandchildren. Congressmen are useless. We all agree that the government is defunct. I am doing something about it too. I post my real opinions on an public international news site for one thing, and encourage discussion. Very risky in this day and age. But I want desperately for my generation to step up to the plate now and change things. The elections of President Obama, if nothing else, showed that “we the people” all want real change. The few of us Gen-X type will lead. Your generation taught us that. But since you all live so damn long now, we need to teach the old dogs some new tricks. I’m pleasantly surprised by your ideas. They show that you too will think and lead instead of being lead. See you on the next piece.

By: OneOfTheSheep Fri, 18 Jan 2013 02:34:43 +0000 @tmc,

In disagreeing with me no insult was intended and none is taken. There is a saying that when two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary!

In no way would I infer your concern as to the “retirement” that awaits you and your generation is not valid. It is. At the same time, no generation to date has succeeded in providing all Americans with dignity and “the basics” for their “golden years”.

Our government was designed to be hard to change course quickly, insuring that major changes are sufficiently thought out and supported before being implemented. So the task will always be to “do what we can, where we are, with what we have”.

I see hope in your concerns. Yes. our “old systems and programs…were designed for a different era”. But it’s easier to tweak for success when possible than to rip up all the vines and plant new ones. I, you and ALL generations of Americans are “We the People”. Not just a given voting majority. The wisdom and forethought of ALL will be needed to address the eventual “solution” of “social problems”.

The fact that we haven’t reached that level as a society yet does not in any way “doom” America’s future. Our society is advancing in capability much more rapidly than in generations past.

So long as those who constitute an economic drag on it do not take the helm, there is every reason to believe that a more comfortable and prosperous awaits each successive generation if they can abandon all economic theories that only work with a growing population and figure out sustainability at a number of humans consistent with the ability of this planet to provide a “good life” for all at some point in the future.

So long as younger generations become older ones, the challenge of equity between each becomes simpler in concept and, hopefully, easier mathematically as the “standard of living” rises. While I am repeatedly”on record” that this is not happening in the near future for many reasons, “we the people” can change the “rules” and thus change what will be in both near and long term.

The key, unfortunately, is that the “engine of prosperity” within America will slow and stop if and when the unproductive gain control and redistribute the gross national product among everyone. Way back with colonial leader John Smith it was understood that if one didn’t work they didn’t eat (among the able-bodied). Too many in our nation don’t understand that concept or the necessity of it to a “good life”.

By: OneOfTheSheep Fri, 18 Jan 2013 01:56:37 +0000 @PseudoTurtle,

When you say: “Whether you like it or not we are at war with capitalism, and need to take serious action before this nation collapses completely” I fundamentally disagree.

Such emotional pronouncements telegraph to more logical minds that you are not to be taken seriously. It is only today in the “KKey-Job” thread that you have demonstrated the logical side of your intellect. I look forward to seeing more of that from you here on Reuters.

You don’t tear down a rickety old bridge until you have a nice strong new one completed. In the same sense, democracy has huge flaws, but it’s many forms seem to offer a better life for more people than any other system of selecting political leaders thus far.

In the same sense, I see capitalism as a concept such as gun ownership. The concept itself is neither good nor bad.

There are many interpretations and implementations, some good, some evil. You clearly see in it every evil possible whereas I see any evil there the result of individuals not implicit or inseparable from capitalism itself. My view of capitalism is that it harnesses human ambition and capability as an engine of national productivity and prosperity. Can this be abused? Of course. So can prescription drugs!

By: PseudoTurtle Thu, 17 Jan 2013 21:23:50 +0000 @ tmc —

This is from the other article where you responded to me.

Seems like you changed your mind in about a half hour.

It’s infinitely easier to criticize than accept responsibility for your actions, isn’t it?

No, I didn’t just suddenly change my mind after I retired. I am actually quite a bit less liberal than you think.

Your response, I suspect, would be representative of the younger generation of “whiners” (oops, my prejudice is showing now) who find it easier to complain than actually do anything about their situation.

The plan I outlined isn’t meant to be implemented retroactively, simply because it would destroy the economy. It would have to be put into place at a certain point in time — sorry, life isn’t fair, or maybe you don’t know that yet — and continued from then.

Even at that, it would certainly be a jolt to society, but then any “war” is likely to be. Whether you like it or not we are at war with capitalism, and need to take serious action before this nation collapses completely.

Personally, I don’t think this nation has the leadership, foresight or intestinal fortitude to deal with these problems.

You dis my idea, but fail to come up with a better plan of your own, except to whine about AARP.

You people need to grow up.

Jan 17, 2013
8:35 pm UTC

You are right @PseudoTurtle, I did not read that post clearly. And I do change my opinion. That seems to be a very interesting idea. You should put that to a public blog for longer discussion.
Posted by tmc | Report as abusive

Jan 17, 2013
8:48 pm UTC

@ tmc –

As I said, I am retired. So these issues are really your problem now.

However, if you find it interesting, you may want to pursue it as a solution that would actually cut the size and cost of the government.

There is no downside to the idea of a draft for government service to put “boots on our streets” to turn an old military phrase.

As to how we could reduce our military costs, they would be naturally reduced by elimination of ALL government contractors and replacing them with government service draftees — not with a military focus, necessarily — but there are, as you no doubt know, many jobs that are necessary for a military organization to operate effectively. Putting people in these positions gives them invaluable training when they leave after fulfilling their obligation to this nation.

You won’t get anywhere, though, because (1) this country has become far too liberal for something that stringent, and (2) too many “fat cows” would be gored by the elimination of civilian contractors.

I don’t want to end my life tilting at windmills.
Posted by PseudoTurtle |

By: tmc Thu, 17 Jan 2013 21:03:44 +0000 So, you came up with a good idea after you retired. Thanks man! Seriously though we can’t actually implement plans of that scale quickly. AARP still remembers Joe McCarthy. Some fondly. It would need heavy spin to appease those already retired. Like citizenship? I have to top trolling now. My “local government” is calling.

By: PseudoTurtle Thu, 17 Jan 2013 20:15:25 +0000 @ OneOfTheSheep & tmc —

Normally you both disagree with me vehemently when I express an opinion, but I would like you to respond to my idea of reinstating the draft for the good of this nation.

I think anything that is not earned is not appreciated, which is one of the main problems in this country today.

Before you reply, I should tell you I served during the Vietnam War, so I speak with some experience as to how life-changing a stint in the “King’s Service”, so to speak, can do for one’s perspectives.

By: PseudoTurtle Thu, 17 Jan 2013 20:02:56 +0000 @ tmc —

I am retired, so it is really your problem now.

Good luck on that endeavor …

By: tmc Thu, 17 Jan 2013 19:42:00 +0000 I do have age bias, as we all do, but I do not believe it is clouding my judgment.
We agree 100%, The programs will continue to fail as long as we allow the government to manipulate them without any downside.
It is the wealthy-driven totally corrupt government that is the problem.

Mind fixing that before you retire?

By: PseudoTurtle Thu, 17 Jan 2013 19:30:13 +0000 @ tmc —

Your age bias and prejudices are clouding your judgement.

The programs will continue to fail as long as we allow the government to manipulate them without any downside.

It is the wealthy-driven totally corrupt government that is the problem.