The Palimpsest of Sawbones Surio

Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will

Live long, not work longer: Some (Radical) solutions – I

with 8 comments

With regards to my earlier post, Deeply prevailing PWE sentiments: Redux, I got a few comments already as to the fact that I do not have alternative proposals lined up. I must confess I too would hate to be in the hot-seat for making such a decision, but please tell me, why is it that the easiest solution that does not inconvenience us but does inconvenience others, adopted all the time?

Some (Radical for many) proposals to keep the pension coffers running

It takes a lot of courage to do something as radical as this but certainly many of those cold-war fat cats and brazen hawks who continue to milk the war machine can be sent scurrying back to the holes they came from. An interesting film (with eye-candy) would be The Russia House for sound bites on how the war machinery triumphs by feeding falsity and fear. This sentiment is unacceptable in India too, as China/Pak are frequently cited as an excuse to procure armaments!

How about reinin in the healthcare industry (even the Indian ones) that are driving the costs up all the time (but we know how that one panned out in the USA), dismiss a culture of litigation that is source of much irony, both in US and UK. But I understand how the modern system works in the World today! We are a plutocracy!. Two illustrations from elsewhere.

Roy Brown, a homeless man from Shreveport Louisiana walked into a local bank, put his hand under his coat to mimic a gun, and demanded money. He rejected the pile of cash the teller offered him and took one $100 bill, saying that he was hungry and needed money for a place to sleep. He then turned himself in the next day, saying that his mother didn’t raise him that way. He was convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to 15 years in prison

Christian Milton, was an executive at American International Group, the international insurance firm bailed out with tax money. Mr. Milton engaged in a back-room scheme that defrauded AIG stockholders out of $500 million. Milton, a company vice president, committed securities fraud when he cut a secret deal with General Re Corp. to falsely inflate the asset value of AIG. He then lied about it to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The judge agreed with the prosecutor that Milton had known that the deal was a scam and had shown no remorse. Milton was sentenced to………wait for it…………4 years in prison.

Homeless, hungry, ashamed, and honest: $100 gets you 15 years
Rich, sleazy, brazen, and dishonest: $500 million gets you 4 years

Back to today, we have the oil mafia stealing headlines away from Egypt and Tunisia.

Forgot to mention earlier:

How about increasing the social security tax rate (*) to make up the difference, with a strict constitutional mandate the the Government is no…I repeat….not supposed to touch it under any ciscumstances?
(*) Gaaaasp! Sputter! Blasphemy, Heresy! Burn the Wicker man!

So all in all, it is likely that the soon-to-be-retirees would be asked to pack their lunchboxes again and one more round of bonuses will be paid out for “injecting experienced workforce into the global economy with radical proposal to increase working age”… Anastasia de Waal, are you listening?

Written by Surio

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8 Responses

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  1. So here is Maggie Dithers, a 62 year old woman who resides in Daytona Beach, FL. Maggie is a widow, her husband Roy died a year ago, and Maggie is working a receptionist job for a local dentist. Maggie, when interviewed by this reporter, states she will probably never be able to retire. “I still owe $399,000.00 on the $425,000.00 home my husband and I bought in 2005”. “It takes a whole month of weekly paychecks to make the mortgage payment, along with taking from my savings account which is now nearly gone”.
    Age 62.
    Owes gazillion dollars on her house.
    Exhausted savings.
    Foreclosure on the horizon as the “paychecks” won’t tote the note when she draws it all out.

    She could draw early Social Security and pay back a dollar for every two she draws until age 66. No help there.
    She could sell the McMansion. Or not, most probably not in FL at this stage of the game.
    She could do a planned default and walk away, jingle mail the keys to the bank. (Under consideration).
    She ponders all this and side steps the “How did I get here” question.

    This fictional story is to be seen in the papers and on the net every day. (Wait until you start getting the AARP magazine, it is full of these and other stories.) EDIT: There may be no AARP (American Association of Retired People) where you live. Maybe I could scan and email you my latest issue. Kidding.
    Go back to work? Many will never leave!!


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    • Appreciate these, as the comments do highlight that there’s (as always) another side to the story as well. I hadn’t dwelled on the other side as it would make the writing wander off. But here in the comments it serves the purpose of balancing the viewpoints.


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  2. Case of Roy Brown, homeless and hungry. “Are there no workhouses, are there no poor farms”—–Dickens.
    Hunger would have eroded Roy’s brain, as every Bible Belt city in the USA (including Shreveport, especially Shreveport!) has many Churches, shelters, and other “help me” sites. The boy lost his train of thought.
    The executive got about what we expect for white collar crime here in the USA. Nothing untoward in that sentence. He probably was released in <6 months.

    I think the SS taxing rate is still 7% employee and 14% self employed. This is too hot for handling by the Congress due to the "Tea Party" upsetting of 2010.

    You will/probably will/should be seeing a gradual rise in the retirement age in about 2014. This is after another "Mister Speaker, we're broke and poor as old Job's turkey" speech on TV, reflecting the same as was done on Sep 15, 2008. (When the Sec of the Treasury got down on one knee to the Speaker of the House on national TV). "What to do, oh my, oh me. what can we do"?
    I allege no tax rise due to an already(by that time) risen income tax putting the brackets about 15% higher across the board.


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  3. I can only speak for the USA. You may notice a bit of sarcastic implication within my comments, and rightly so that you would. Can we come to grips that here in the “states”, most of the people’s problems are self-imposed?
    Granite Countertops.
    Stainless Steel.
    Greek Columns on Porch.
    Swimming Pools (with green scummy water).
    3500 sf of living space is a tiny house here.
    Three car garages, none parked in them as they are for other toys.
    The Lexus, the Silverado, and the Escalade sit outside.
    CC debt averaging 10K per family.
    (shall I go on?)
    No one saves anything.
    No one lives in “moderation”.
    No one fears a lesser day.
    We all deserve it all, and now.
    We all want a “crib” like 50cent lives in. And, why not?
    So goes the population, so goes America.


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    • LOL! I’ve got to admit, you’ve done a more thorough and decent job of decimating my last two posts than anyone could imagine. :-D!

      Indeed, I can’t disagree with any of those points made, having lived a short while in the States myself! And I’m afraid that mindset has been imported, warts and all into India by “market forces” and our “beloved media” 😐 As a Cartoon strip of my childhood used to put it, “Hooo Boy!”

      But I still feel a little compelled to highlight one small point.
      Most of the workforce of today don’t know when a job might move out and leave them hammered, so they’ve decided to pig it while the good times last (I know it is not so straightforward, I know! It’s such an easy excuse to make for the sum total of all your irresponsibilities)


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  4. “market forces” and our “beloved media”

    May I have permission to capture your above point, for a point of my own?

    For proof on board, envision tonight’s episode of HGTV’s House Hunters————-

    Set the scene for you: A newly married couple, both out of college, living in Seattle. The pair carries 100K in student dept combined. The guy is an IT snerd, and the female is (get this) pregnant.
    Our couple is hunting for a condo or townhouse in Seattle, WA. Their “budget or pre approved amount is
    $375,000.00. This is buying them a 750 sq ft third floor condo with three glass walls and a balcony big enough for two lawn chairs. This is presented to them as a “starter home”. Ok, so far, and I was born at night, but not LAST night, they have no furniture—yet, and they want all “contemporary” items from a local high end furnishings store. Tabbed out it is another 25K!
    (How much money does an IT snerd make?) {Pre-approved on what grounds?)
    So are these the kids you are saying will pig whilst the piggin’ is good? I say these are the kids that are headed 90MPH down a dead end street. Does THIS IT snerd know his job might last as long as an icicle on a depot heater in Billings, Montana in Feb? I actually love the points your making on the “other” side, but government will only “take” and then “provide” but not in lavish fashion. I can see no rearrangement of government administration that will return us to the golden age of employment during the 1950-60-70″s. That lifestyle is simply no longer good enough. (I foresee a day when that lifestyle will look like the Garden of Eden to a lot of people!)
    Things change primarily because people in general wanted them to change, and that want was greed driven in almost every case. We cannot go back, probably not up, and most likely down.
    I do not wish to be listed as a gloomer or doomer. I am the pinnacle of optimistic thinking. I have a lifestyle education in human nature, not formal, but actual.
    Your last point above is totally true. You nailed it.
    This, my friend, is the pinnacle of irresponsibility.
    The grasshopper, and the ant.


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    • 😐 Nuff said by me (and putting my size 10 into it!)! 😦

      You said: “I have a lifestyle education in human nature, not formal, but actual.”
      We need more of that!

      So, it effectively boils down to this…
      Most people have sashayed down the street when the beat matched their tempo. And now the beat’s going to change, so shouldn’t crib about changing the tempo either? That’s a lesson learnt for me as well!

      Thanks Spencer (and ermine too, come to think)!


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  5. […] leave a comment » This post is the third post on the series about “Old age vs. Retirement age”. The earlier posts can be read here and here. […]

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