Jan 7, 2013

The Sky Isn't Falling

     Lynn Parramore, writing on Salon, gives a very thorough response to the argument that the sky is falling because of increased longevity. The key points:
  1. Social Security’s original designers considered rising life expectancy.
  2. Life expectancy gains since 1935 have been modest.
  3. The Greenspan Commission already raised the retirement age two years.
  4. Longevity gains have gone mostly to high earners.  
  5. Life expectancy rises are likely to slow in the future. 


Anonymous said...

It is my armchair understanding that life expectancy increases are more to do with the ability to get children through childhood diseases that used to kill a lot of them. If the kid makes it through childhood, he is just as likely going to be in the labor force just like others.

Anonymous said...

Life expectancy gains are more due to reductions in childhood mortality than increased longevity, but not completely.

In fact, since 1940, there has been an increase in life expectancy at age 60 by five years for both men and women. It is leveling off and a recent study in the Netherlands, a county with very high life expectancy and generally good health care, showed an apparent limit of around 85 years. Still above the US.

Anonymous said...

The increase in Life Expectancy over the past few centuries has been in lage part due to the decease in childhood morality. The improvement is much less for population starting at age 20 (with no war for males), 50, 60, or even 80 (especially, excluding pneumonia).

The article was directed at the Life Expectancy in the last few decades, which has been faily stable and for lower class individuals in the United States has not been improving.