Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that since, oh, mid-November my commentary on U.S. politics has been a little sparser. This has something to do with the results of the election ...
In any case, the whole Social Security debate has my attention, but I feel there's not much I can really say. Great program. Don't let President Bush lie his way to screwing it up. Brad DeLong and Josh Marshall provide excellent coverage of the economics and politics of the debate.
Now, one thing that everyone agrees on is that, yes, there will be a lot of people retiring in the future, and the ratio of workers to retirees will be dropping. What I haven't seen a lot of discussion of, is projections that maybe, just maybe, older people will of their own accord, decide to keep working.
I'm not exactly up on the fine details of Social Security, since I am (1) a long way from retirement and (2) not paying anything towards it as I'm on an exchange visa, but my understanding is that the rules of the program make it pretty advantageous to retire as soon as you are eligible.
That said, once the number of retirees starts to rise substantially there will be some pretty tight labor markets in particular sectors. Immigration will not fill all those vacancies in positions, unless U.S. immigration law changes quite a bit. Thus, for some potential retirees in some occupations, it may actually be quite worthwhile to keep working, even with the Social Security incentives to retire right away.
It seems to me that making the retirement age more flexible, and encouraging people who can to delay retirement, should be one of the easier fixes in making any minor adjustments to Social Security that keep it solvent. Like the atheism and the foreign accent, this opinion will likely keep me out of any public office in this country, as retractions like Howard Dean's show.Posted by robe0419 at February 9, 2005 6:40 PM | TrackBack