Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Can Ezra Get An Amen?

Ezra Klein writes a great and important piece about Social Security.

In it, he argues a position I've felt for years whenever Alan Simpson starts yammering about Social Security. First of all, Alan Simpson can STFU.  He's been predicting the demise of Social Security for decades now.  The Doomsday of Social Security tends to remain safely over the horizon.  It could probably use more funds, but we are talking decades down the road before it goes belly up.

What Klein points out is how the debate over Social Security throws into stark relief the divide between wealthy elites who make policy and the rest of the country who has to live under those policies.

I could probably work into my late 60s without much problem.  Maybe not coaching wrestling, but I can teach until they tell me to bugger off.  It isn't physical, it's mental.  My body is already showing signs of aging and breaking down - largely from a misspent youth of wrestling and rugby.  Physically, I'm a mess.  Mentally, I'm probably on top of my game, and while I will begin to decline there, too, it should be gradual and later than my physical decline.

If my job entailed physical labor, I'd be clamoring for the exits in my early 60s.

And THAT'S what Alan Simpson doesn't have a freaking clue about.  He's comfortably ensconced in air conditioned offices, sitting at conference tables and engaging in debate.  He's not waiting tables or stringing cable or working a 10 your nursing shift on his feet.

The stunning arrogance of those who propose raising the retirement age is the clearest example I can think of how wealth inequality in governance manifests in an "eat the poor" policy.

I guess the proper place to end this would be with this classic Colbert testimony before Congress.

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