Economic Ideas

A Smaller Safety Net?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The disputes and strikes in France regarding the proposed increase in retirement age are reactions sparked by the same questions that have plagued America for decades: when will social security “run out” and how will this affect future generations? As stated above, as the life expectancy of the older citizens of the US increases, the availability of social security for future generations decreases. There are several things that I think may or might have helped better this situation. For one thing, when the program was introduced the age in which a citizen could receive benefits was older than the average life expectancy. Now, the age for benefits is 16 years before the average American’s age at the time of death. When did this drastic difference in minimum benefit payments take place? This could be part of the reason why the amount of people supporting and elderly citizen have decreased exponentially since 1935. Another thing that may help this situation, is if the government started a fund for the elderly people of America and for people who have already been working for at least 15 years, and pooled money for their social security. As for the Social Security part of your check that is taken out, the government can still take that, but couple it with government bonds with a fairly decent interest rate, so that when that person reaches retirement (and their bonds mature after the set time period) they should have sufficient funds to take care of themselves. This, of course, would work in an ideal economy, where market fluctuation is fairly predictable as days, weeks, and months progress, but the US economy is not in that shape as of yet. We face difficulties in determining how to fix this problem because if we make a false move we could end up damaging our economy even further. To finally answer the question, we should provide financial assistance to the aging population for as long as they are living, but it would be for the system’s (and the country’s) best interest if the retirement age was moved up and accounts were created to support each individual American themselves, not their grandparents.

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