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    Posted May 9, 2012 by
    plauer
    Location
    Minnesota
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    It's a Safety Net, Stupid!

     
    You were never *supposed* to get Social Security. When it was enacted, the "retirement age" was higher than the average person was expected to live. But if you did live beyond your productive years, Social Security was there to make sure that you didn't end up on the streets. One of my four grandparents lived long enough to collect on Social Security; and that one for only three years. But had they lived longer, beyond their productive years, they could be sure that they wouldn't have to go begging.

    When enacted, Social Security didn't anticipate the coming of birth control. There would always be enough babies to cover the expenses of the elderly. But now we've had fewer (or no) children, live much, much longer, and expect to "retire" while we're still able to work. Those things weren't part of the social contract.

    That's what Social Security should be still today. Raise the age of eligibility, realizing that more people will need SSI through disability. But also add "means testing." That means everybody gets the "safety net" even if many people don't ever need it.
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