On the Web
February 12, 2019
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Thousands of baby boomers retire every day and sign up for Social Security. Yet the payroll tax that funds their benefits is being levied on a shrinking share of workers’ aggregate earnings.
You might not know this but inequality and growing U.S. trade with China are among the forces that are behind this trend, Gal Wettstein explains in a new podcast about his research for the Center for Retirement Research (CRR).
This is the latest in a series of podcast interviews in which CRR researchers talk about their work on issues related to work, aging, and retirement. The podcasts are hosted by yours truly.
Others explore how motherhood reduces women’s Social Security benefits, the limited impact of cognitive decline on older workers, and the disparate impact of the same retirement age on different types of workers.
The podcasts – “CRR essentials” – are available in iTunes and online on the Center’s website.
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“Thousands of baby boomers retire every day and sign up for Social Security. Yet the payroll tax that funds their benefits is being levied on a shrinking share of workers’ aggregate earnings.”
I want to stipulate up front that I love Social Security and believe that our elected representatives of both parties should should, sooner rather than later, get very serious about taking steps to preserve it, although there doesn’t seem to be any political appetite and/or will on either side of the aisle in Washington DC to touch that “hot potato” issue at the moment), but with that having been stipulated, the last part of the above statement sounds an awful lot like the textbook definition of a Ponzi Scheme to me.
Not that I think it matters whether it is or isn’t. I simply find it incredibly interesting that some folks get very excited and protest profusely when the resemblance between the two is raised.
Regardless of the accuracy of that contention, Social Security Benefits are a critical component in almost every retired person’s financial plan, and that dependence isn’t likely to change any time soon. So the financial solvency of the Social Security System needs to be shored up by lawmakers, with all due haste, IMO.