REFLECTIONS

Posted on April 3, 2011

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WHO’S MORE OUT OF TOUCH ON ENTITLEMENTS?

On the one hand if Medicare and Social Security kicked in at age 67 or higher, the government would save billions. But there is a problem for working people at the same time, many companies are laying off people every few months, many of whom are over the age 50.

Companies are looking for younger and cheaper workers. And benefits like Social Security and Medicare are likely to start later. In the case of Medicare, there are proposals to make it start 15 years later. How are workers to fill in the gap between being forced to retire and when entitlements for which they paid into become a reality?

Were it not for “Obamacare,” which is coming on line in a few years, most people losing their jobs would not be qualified for private insurance or it would be exorbitantly expensive, or would come with a very high deductible that basically invalidates insurance. And 23 states want to do away with “Obamacare.”

Who is not in touch with workers here? The government which is trying to get people off “entitlement list” (to which people have contributed) or the companies that are trying to unload older workers in their 50s or early 60s, who likely have higher salaries and more of a chance of using health-care benefits?

State government is doing the same for teachers by proposing a change in tenure and seniority rules for layoffs. The attack is an effort to eliminate union power which looks out for labor violations like age discrimination. Older workers in all classifications are now on notice that they are targets by our government and business.

It is scary to think about where the USA will be in another 5-10 years. Hang on, it’s going to get ugly.

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