Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to kill the elderly and lose your inheritance, part 2

First, a clarification; Gino is correct to note that for those of "full retirement age," there is no income cap. However, for those who find themselves needing to take Social Security from ages 62 to 67 or so, it is still in force.

To the title, there is an even more basic way in which our govermnent helps us to kill the elderly while eviscerating their estates; through Social Security itself. How so?

The promise of Social Security was more or less that one's older years would be financially secure whether or not one saved money, had children, or had other friends who would help you. To make this promise, a portion of money was taken from workers that might otherwise have gone into private retirement savings.

Now consider what keeps older people going; it's not money per se, but rather people. If you doubt this, take your kids to a retirement home and watch people respond to them. I've been told that seeing my toddlers play probably extended one grandmother's life by a few months.

Knowing this, what is accomplished when we "take care" of the elderly with a government check and a retirement/nursing home? You got it; you've created an incentive to separate them from the relationships that give them strength, and to do so, you've separated them from the resources which they could otherwise use to encourage their heirs--and if GAAP estimates of Socialist Insecurity and Mediscare liabilities are correct, we might end up bankrupting the nation as well.

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