Sep 28, 2014

Little Green Men And Social Security

     From Tom Margenau:
About 40 years ago, a national organization conducted a poll of people in their 20s and asked them this question: “In the future, do you think you are more likely to see a Martian or to see a Social Security check?” 
It may not surprise you to learn that a vast majority of the respondents picked the Martian. Young people back in the 1970s thought it was more likely that they would encounter little green men from outer space than a little green government check with their name on it. 
Well guess what? Those folks (who are still alive) are now all in their 60s. Not a one of them has ever seen a Martian, but almost all of them see a little green government check each month. (Well, they see a notice from their bank indicating that a Social Security check has been deposited into their account.)


Anonymous said...

Take this same poll today for people in their 20s and come back to me. Another question that might have been asked then, do you think social security benefits would be taxed? That reality came true many years ago. The next step many be to reduce or "offset" social security benefits based on a person's assets. Ask that question now, and see what the future might bring.

Mike B. said...

Assets are hard to determine, so income is more likely to be used if there is to be a reduction for wealthy people only. But I don't think that will happen, because there isn't much money in Social Security benefits going to wealthy people. You'd have to make cuts affecting the middle class to make it worthwhile. This is happening with the tax. Originally, it only affected the wealthy, but the thresholds determining who has to pay are not indexed to inflation, so with time, more and more people are affected.

I'm against any cuts, and I think that there will be no (or very little) cuts passed. The parties can't agree now, and as more time passes, cuts will make less sense (they take time to phase in, while payroll tax or cap increases will have an immediate effect) and will be less popular (they're very unpopular now).

Anonymous said...

Should have asked me if the government could unilaterally change my benefit age from 65 to 67 without my consent, although I was already paying into the system. The first time I realized my government could and would screw me without any regard for my opinion at all. So down teh toilet my opinion of the government and legislators in general went.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of the system is to make sure that children, in the aggregate, pay for the support of their parents, in the aggregate.

It's a very simple, relatively stable system.

Benefits will rise or fall depending on the average income of the wage earner.

There's nothing complex or difficult to understand here.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:14

I'm not sure you understand the legislative system that we have in this country. Sure, changes happen that you don't like. However, that doesn't mean your opinion wasn't considered. Lots of opinions were considered and a choice was made. That's called democracy. Do you think that your opinion is ignored every time you don't get your way? That would make life pretty unbearable.