Expanding Social Security – NYTimes.com

“One is that we should raise the retirement age — currently 66, and scheduled to rise to 67 — because people are living longer. This sounds plausible until you look at exactly who is living longer. The rise in life expectancy, it turns out, is overwhelmingly a story about affluent, well-educated Americans. Those with lower incomes and less education have, at best, seen hardly any rise in life expectancy at age 65; in fact, those with less education have seen their life expectancy decline.

via Expanding Social Security – NYTimes.com.

I hardly disagree with Krugman (who, me?) but one consideration is that lifespan, like healthspan, greatly depends on access (and use of) medical care. Poor Americans have neither; Canadians, with single-payer, universal access, have both. They also live longer. And they are pretty much as fat and sedentary as all those Down There. Does this mean, then, that Canadians should work longer, so as to pay more taxes? No. It’s merely an observation that as universal medical care takes effect, there will likely be political repercussions: More of the old and nonworking will be other than affluent.

1 comment so far

  1. Alex on

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