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« Weekend Question Thread | Main | Sunday Morning Video: Stop Making Sense »

December 08, 2012


It's a wonderful scam for businesses. Keep the seniors working (and for much lower pay, because, you know, they're kinda slow and absent-minded), thus closing slots for kids just coming into the workforce, creating a shortage of jobs, which works wonderfully for the capitalists, because it becomes a buyer's market--employers can dictate lower wages and fewer benefits--and the employers can still make good profits by overworking their existing employees. Then throw in some extra foreign workers because they'll work for less and generally won't get out of line and start agitating for unionization.

For some time now, I've been of the opinion that austerity measures here and in Europe are not about banks or deficit spending, but, rather, are primarily about reestablishing dominance over the entire work force. Corporations can keep this up indefinitely, just so long as they continue to be profitable.

And, of course, raising the Medicare age also keeps the for-profit health care system on the gravy train longer.

The sure-fire way to put a stop to all this nonsense would be a prolonged general strike. Shut down the entire country for a few weeks and the people could probably demand--and get--a new constitution that actually would protect their rights as citizens and workers. But, the conundrum, of course, is that most people are already so strung out by years of economic hardship that they couldn't afford to stay home (even though that would be the safest way to make the point--no getting one's head bashed in by cops in the street, no arrests, etc.).

One way or another, though, people will come to realize that the combination of predatory capitalism as practiced today and the generalized corruption of the government will be the country's downfall.

I just posted this at Washington Monthly. I wish it were as angry as your post, for which I thank you!

What is this cruel nonsense about geezers being able to buy some other insurance to cover ages 65-67??? When I became eligible for Medicare, I hadn't been insured for a number of years because of being too damn poor. Medicare may have saved my effing life, you may be sure. But the thing is, Medicare costs about $100/mo that comes out of Social Security.


The very idea is insulting, outrageous, stupendously mean, and utterly unnecessary.

Well put.

And to tag onto John Hamilton Farr, people who are 65 are much, much more likely to have multiple pre-existing conditions. While Obamacare may tak care of them being able to get insurance (but nowhere near $100 a month), this limits their ability to have a job.

Plus, while it is illegal to act on this but we all know employers do, hiring older workers can be problematic to the corporate bottom line as the company incurs obligations knowing that the older worker won't be there as long as the younger worker.

As the raising of the eligibility age would be pegged for the future (something like those 50 and older now doesn't change. Under 50 now increases from 65 to 67).

Could this be a move which makes the AARP go anti-repub. Or as the current AARP folk wouldn't be effected, will they not pay attention to it ?

3% of Germans work after age 64, 7% of Norwegians, and 10% of Brits - which is the highest percentage of working seniors in Europe. In the US it's 20%! We should be extending the safety net for seniors, not shrinking it. I believe my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and had a heart attack between age 65 and 67. It if wasn't for Medicare she wouldn't be around today. This is some serious bullshit.

Be sure if you call your Congressperson to ask how many of their co-workers are over the age of 65, then wait for the cricket noises.

Letter sent to Mary Landrieu, famous Blue Dog senator. Thanks for the rant and reminder.


"As the raising of the eligibility age would be pegged for the future (something like those 50 and older now doesn't change. Under 50 now increases from 65 to 67)."

Do you have a credible source for this? The alleged point of this batshit idea is to "save" money now, not fifteen years in the future, right? So the increase would have to be almost immediate.


I'm making an assumption based on all the plans for changing social security and medicare in the past have phased in the change. And when congress talks about saving money, it is almost always looking over monies saved over a time frame, such as 10 years.

I'd definitely hate to be age 64 1/2 and be surprised by an instantaneous change.

Keep the seniors working (and for much lower pay, because, you know, they're kinda slow and absent-minded)

Alternatively, you can continually ratchet up work requirements so the slow seniors who've accumulated, y'know, seniority, can't meet their quotas anymore, then you can hire some kids for half the price. My sister-in-law just lost her receiving job in a major independent bookstore--with a union contract--after 20+ years because she couldn't keep up any more. They were punctilious about logging and warning for minor mistakes and finally brought the hammer down because she checked an order in before she'd gotten authorization to check it in (not required for all orders just for specific publishers). She's never going to get another job that pays $35K.

just jump. kill the bush tax cuts and see you next yr.

Dear A.,

You seem to be a bit confused about that election thing.

Supposedly there were two political parties offering up candidates for the voters to make thier choices. Actually, there is just one party, with the subgroups going by different names. The group known as 'Democrats' is the one that sounds like they are left-leaning (in tune with the inclinations of the majority of the US population), but they are actually right leaning (in tune with being more right leaning extremist than, oh say Nixon and Reagan).

These 'Democrats' want the same ends as the subgroup that calls itself 'Republican' but do not want to move as quickly to those ends, perhaps fearing, rightly so, that the voters will abandon this single party rule en masse. The 'Republican' subgroup thinks they can get to their desired ends quickly enough to cash in, so they do not worry so much as to being abandoned by voters. So the 'Republicans' guide the process direction, the 'Democrats' determine the speed. (From time to time, in order to stay in power, the illusion of whom is doing which kind of guiding is reversed.)

I just lit Kay Hagan up, but inasmuch as she used to work for Bank of America, I am under no illusion that it will make much difference.

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