Are “Retirees” About To Become Extinct? (One Way Or Another … )

"Look here, Watson, everybody has to retire sometime."

“Look here, Watson, everybody has to retire sometime.”

Retirement is when one is unable to work anymore, but has not yet died. That is in many ways, inconvenient. It is inconvenient for retirees, who continue to require food, clothing and shelter but are no longer able to earn them. It is inconvenient for governments, as those superannuated retirees vote, in large numbers. It is even more inconvenient for feminists; their clientele persists in this condition some eight years longer than their male counterparts. One can understand why this is so seldom mentioned.

That is history; looking ahead provides some even more interesting data:

To clear the decks, present retirees are paid Social Security pensions and receive health care with borrowed money; neither Social Security nor Medicare taxes collect enough from present workers to pay for retirees’ current expenses. And retirement is expanding (baby boomers) while paying workers are contracting. Millennials are as they put it, screwed. Not only are projected tax collections insufficient to pay them the equivalent of today’s retirement benefits, but the need to repay present enormous government debts multiplies the shortage.

The problem is multiplied for union and government workers expecting pensions and healthcare in retirement. The UAW retiree healthcare fund is billions in the hole and it is an excellent model for most of its brothers and for local government provisions as well. The State of  Illinois will delay pension payments – “out of money.” So are many others.

Notably, this is the condition before the approaching financial debacle has hit. So adding things together, a large number of folk should expect to hit retirement age to find that the benefit larder is bare, and to compound the troubles, jobs are scarcer and routine benefits have vanished in insolvency. Surely we are exaggerating? We don’t think so, but that is a decision left for you. After all, it is you who will live with it.

Perhaps Mr. Trump’s rise is a reflection of increasing realization of these realities? We don’t know. Nor do we believe that Mr. Trump has magic to cure what has been a couple centuries building. But he does raise some issues that the mighty wish subdued, a public service of sorts in our view. After all, who else is doing that? Well, Ted Cruz to a point. That’s about it. And knowing what a politician says, in this very post-Christian era, is no guarantee for what he/she/it will do in office. But, it’s a start.

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
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