Arnold Kling  

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Greg Mankiw crows that Robert Samuelson has joined the Pigou Club, calling for an energy tax. I would crow because Samuelson writes,


Raise the eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare gradually to 70 by 2029. At 65, people would have to buy into Medicare (that is, pay for coverage) until they reached eligibility for subsidized benefits.

We need a catchy name for the club of people who endorse raising the age of government dependency. Maybe the Stroke of a Pen club. Other suggestions?


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CATEGORIES: Social Security



COMMENTS (17 to date)
Rue Des Quatre Vents writes:

How about the "Raise the Kool-Aid Drinking Age" campaign?

Andy writes:

I wouldn't use the word "stroke" in the name of a club that limits the ability of elderly people to get government aid.

Bruce G Charlton writes:

The 'Early ReFirement Club"

'Refirement', as an alternative to retirement, is a term I came across only yesterday in a self-help book about ageing called 'You're only young twice' by Ronda Beaman - but with 12 000 Google hits refirement already seems to have caught-on.

My idea is that raising the retirement age (for the first time in decades) should go with a positive reconceptualization of the potential personal value of working for longer (and presumably in different jobs).

I would guess that part-time school teaching could become a major refirement job for the elderly in future.

Nick writes:

Good point about not having 'stroke' in the name. Since we're living longer and better in our old age, which is part of what is driving the problem, how about the Ponce de Leon club?

Matt writes:

That 70's Club?

James D. Miller writes:

We could name it after someone famous who worked and was very productive until late in life.

mjh writes:
Stephen W. Stanton writes:

Possible club names:
Mature Spenders
Pay-Now, Spend-Even-Later
Boomer Busters
Entitlenauts
PBO Believers (Acronym = "Pension Benefit Obligation", or NPV of benefits under GAAP)
BOGGY (Bankrupting Our Government in Golden Years)
BYOB (Bracing for the Youngest Of Boomers)

I know these all stink... Just brainstorming to give you the seeds for much better ideas.

dWj writes:

In the same brain-storming spirit, there should be something good involving "delayed obsolescence".

Brad Hutchings writes:

The "70 is the new 60" club.

Hal Varian writes:

The Lazarus Long Club.

flix writes:

Lazarus long was not exactly the kind that retired and drew medicare payments...

Snark writes:

How about Movement for Implementing Septuagenarian Entitlement Remunerations, or MISERs Club?

Larry writes:

I used to be in the "gradually raise retirement age in step with increasing lifespan" group.

I've moved on to think that we're better off eliminating a fixed age of any kind. Instead, we should insert a formula that rewards you for working longer no matter how long you last, which benefits both you and society as a whole. You could set the formula to provide a higher or lower level of benefits at 65 than we do today. I'd support adjusting the formula to match increasing lifespans, which have continued to rise at the astonishing rate of 3 months each year for decades.

mjh writes:

How about the vulcan club?

What... you don't get it? C'mon, Mr. Spock? "Live long & prosper"...

Yeah, alright, fine. I'm a nerd.

John B. Chilton writes:

Varian is on the right track, though his LL is obscure. How about the Methuselah Club?

On the other hand how about the Greta Garbo Club? I'd join that one.

rvman writes:

Eliminate the age cutoff. Instead, make all Social Security be SS Disability. If you are 62, but can't work, you get it. If you are 105, but can work, you don't.

Call it the "Retirement Age Termination Society", or RATS. Might as well, AARP will call us rats, anyway.

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