Monday, March 20, 2006

Back to Work Baby Boomers

Republicans have complained that people ignored Bush when he pressed for Social Security reform, assuming that no one listened because people are short-sighted; the problem will not hit us for another 20 years. The way I see it though, Bush's proposals would do very little to actually help the problem. The President wants to create a system where employees can invest their money themselves. This still doesn't solve the problem that there will be fewer workers paying into the system per retiree at the same time that retirees are living longer.

William Saletan at Slate has a column about getting rid of age as a requirement for Social Security. He gives evidence that people are living longer, staying healthy longer as well, and fewer people are engaged in physical labor. Therefore, people who can work longer should work longer. Since people age differently, those who are too old to work at 65, can collect Social Security through the disability requirement.

If we abandon the old way of thinking that associates age with retirement, we can still protect those that can no longer work from poverty while encouraging those that can to stay in their jobs. In this way, Social Security will remain solvent while keeping its mission to protect against old age poverty.