Monday, November 21, 2005

Future Expenses as the Baby Boomers Age

The Debate We're Not Having by Robert Samuelson:

By 2030 the projected costs of Social Security and Medicare could easily consume - via higher taxes - a third of workers' future wage and salary increases. Toss in Medicaid (which covers nursing home care and isn't included in the trustees' reports) and the bite grows. We're mortgaging workers' future pay gains for baby boomers' retirement benefits.

It seems so obvious that the age at which benefits are paid needs to be raised drastically (in addition to other reforms - increasing the cap rate, not paying monthly benefits to the wealthy...).

The idea when social security was setup was those few people who lived past the expected life span would get benefits (and those benefits would only require a minimal tax (2%, I believe, with the 1935 law from the outset rasing the rate to 6% by 1949). Now the expected lifespan is well past the retirement age. The model does not work the way it is now (even with increasing social security tax over 15% of earned income - remember the employer and employee both pay social security tax on every employee's earnings). Also the elderly were the poorest age group then. Now the elderly are the richest age group.

On an unrelated note, why are so many large, well financed, sites (like Newsweek in this case) so full of links on their own sites that link to other pages on their own sites that don't exist? It really should not be too much to expect that internal links actually work. They have a link to the authors bio:

"Our web servers cannot find the page or file you asked for.
The link you followed may be broken or expired."

Another link to something titled "more aritcles by this author" and you get sent to a search page with 16 boxes of info to fill out. What? Just show the articles by this author. Such an poor implimentation. What a shame. And many sites that probably spend millions a year on content, advertising, design... are also very poorly designed in 2005! Crazy.

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