According to one columnist, I am.  You probably are too.

“Rush to retire early is selfish, unpatriotic” by Andrew L. Yarrow appeared in the Deseret News on Sunday.

According to Mr. Yarrow it is also “wrong, in general, with retiring at 55, 62 or even 65. I would go so far as to call it profoundly selfish and unpatriotic”.   The idea is for all of the working people of this country to continue working to older ages so that you are more productive, creating more tax revenue and taking less social security benefits to turn back the tide of the federal deficit.

From the article:

However, if Americans retired later, either staying in their current jobs or taking up “encore careers” — what Marc Freedman of Civic Ventures calls do-good, later-life jobs — we significantly could slow the growth of our multitrillion-dollar national debt, which largely is driven by rising Medicare and Social Security costs (as the latest Social Security trustees’ report makes abundantly clear). We also could keep more people in a labor force that no longer would be growing appreciably if not for immigrants. . .

However, since most Americans are much healthier at 60 or 65 than their grandparents were, we should be able to work longer. Few 62-year-olds in our youth-obsessed culture would want to be called “old.” Yet three-fourths of 62-year-olds draw benefits from Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance — otherwise known as Social Security. No wonder that the Urban Institute’s C. Eugene Steuerle calls Social Security a “middle-aged retirement program.”

For individuals, working longer can mean more income and savings and something to bequeath to one’s children. For the nation, if millions of us worked until 67 instead of 62, Americans’ wealth and consumption would increase appreciably, fueling stronger economic growth. That added income would provide about $800 billion in additional tax revenue and reduce government benefit costs by at least $100 billion in 2045, according to Urban Institute calculations. This alone would cut the projected deficit in 2045 by 159 percent.

Emphasis added.  One part that doesn’t make sense to me is, if you cut a deficit by more than 100% wouldn’t that make it a surplus?  Maybe I don’t get it.  Mr. Yarrow also has a new book out.

Is this a dark-side of the famous statement from President John F. Kennedy?  “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country“.

Mr. Yarrow looks with horror on people making decisions that make them happy because it won’t stop a projected train wreck more than 35 years in the future.  Some economists claim that our future obligations for Medicare and Social Security in 2050 have already bankrupted the country, that all of the land, buildings, and everything in the United States will not be sufficient to meet the financial obligations of the future.

When a socialist solution to societal problems has worked out so poorly already and has a terrible track record it makes no sense to continue down that path by asking for more socialist behavior and solutions.

How about we just stop spending so much?  It is difficult, but non-socialist solutions have worked in the past and can work well into the future as well.

Comments Welcome

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