Harper's Dystopian "vision" for Canada

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Harper's Dystopian "vision" for Canada

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stephen Harper has laid out his [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/prime-minister-harper-unvei... plan[/url] - the one he didn't bother to mention during the election campaign, the "hidden agenda" whose existence has been laughed off by conservatives for the past six years.

It includes:

• Gutting the Canada Pension Plan and making it harder to get a public pension.

• Erecting immigration barriers around Canada to keep out races and religions he doesn't like, allowing in only those who will work for low wages to meet the labour needs of the corporate elites

• Austerity applied to the Health-care system

• Silencing opposition to the runaway devastation of the environment by oil and gas corporations.

• Free trade agreements with Europe and India, permitting more Canadian jobs to be offshored.

• Making the economy even more reliant on the export of fossil fuels for its survival.

If we had a real political Opposition in Canada, we'd have an immediate response, with a clear alternative "grand plan" for the country. Too bad all we have is an opizishin, with no idea how to combat the neoliberal agenda.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

What are you talking about M Spector? Its pretty much impossible to get a message out when the MSM is ignoring everyone else.

ygtbk

M. Spector wrote:

Gutting the Canada Pension Plan

Erecting immigration barriers around Canada to keep out races and religions he doesn't like

Austerity applied to the Health-care system

Do you have any evidence for these claims? And can you explain what you mean by opizishin (guessing it's some kind of Leninist thing, but when I Googled it every hit on the first page was on Rabble, which is unhelpful in a self-referential way)?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Arthur, if there's an alternative "grand vision" for Canada out there, I'm sure I would have heard about it. The MSM is not the only source of political news and commentary, as you may have heard.

ygtbk, the opizishin is the would-be Opposition, which at present is unworthy of the name. So I will call them the opizishin until the unlikely day when they grow a spine and present a radical alternative vision from that promoted by the neoliberal governing party.

KenS

Well, I'm going to inject some "un-drama" here..... even though I agree that Harper is going out in the open with his "grand vision".

The questions are not if, but how, when, and at what speed.

I'm very curious about what the political plan is around Old Age Security. The first trial balloons on raising the age to 67 went out weeks ago. And it was strongly implied that was what Harper was including in his 'change for Canada' Davos speech.

But talking points went out almost simultaneously backpedalling from that. 'If it were to happen, not for "several years", incrementally, that people nearing retirement will not be effected.'

I figured they would get the idea out there and then poll and focus group like crazy. The seemingly planned from the begginng backpedalling is not inconsistent with trial ballens to gauge the reaction. But it all strikes me as a bit curious.

 

Maybe what they have in mind is a 'slow boil of the frog' strategy something like this:

* Circulate the idea of moving the goal posts to 67. [But issue talking points in the background so that it isnt taken too seriously by close observers.

* Leave the starting age at 65, but "only" cut back on costs.... drasticaly lower clawback threshold, etc.

* Change the age to 67 when if win election in 2015.

ygtbk

I think it will be a grade-in as has been done in other jurisdictions (e.g. U.S., France), like so:

No change today.

65 for those reaching 65 in 2015.

67 for those reaching 67 in 2039.

Straight-line in between.

Something like that - the details don't matter too much, but grading in slowly enables people to plan intelligently.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Enables people to plan intelligently for what  ...  starvation at age 65?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Saw CBC - maybe on P&P, can't remember - bring up the clip of Mulroney getting lectured to on the lawn of Parliament Hill in 1985 by an angry pensioner; Mulroney backed down on plans to make changes to the CPP. I expect seniors will turn out in force to oppose any changes by Harper. CARP prez hinted at such.   CBC said seniors mostly vote Conservative, can Harper really afford to alienate this part of his constituency?

ygtbk

M. Spector wrote:

Enables people to plan intelligently for what  ...  starvation at age 65?

To plan intelligently how long they're planning on working before they retire. For instance, the normal retirement age (i.e. full benefits available) under U.S. Social Security used to be 65, but for those born in 1960 and later, it's 67. France is similarly changing from 65 (with early retirement at 60) to 67 (with early retirement at 62) by 2018.

KenS

An interesting quote from the closer to a column by Hill reporter Maher.

No exraordinary analysis. But still very clear. An indication that the idea has gone very mainstream.

Quote:

There is a strong argument to be made for belt-tightening in this time of global uncertainty, and it may be necessary to make changes to Old Age Security, but it might be wise instead to top up the fund with our tax dollars, except the Conservatives have put us in the hole.

If we want benefits beyond our ability to pay, as Harper said in Davos, that's because he has simultaneously cut taxes and increased spending, reducing the government's capacity to pay for anything.

Maher: Tories have put Canadians in a hole

Gaian

Interesting change in concerns for support in old age...before the revolution: "If we had a real political Opposition in Canada, we'd have an immediate response, with a clear alternative "grand plan" for the country. Too bad all we have is an opizishin, with no idea how to combat the neoliberal agenda."

Hopefully the ongoing discussion will not be a followup on the opening two points in the OP here. The remainder are spot on.

Doug

OAS is affordable into the future as it is. It's not where the real aging society cost explosion will happen, that's in health and long-term care and Stephen Harper is going to have a very much more difficult time doing anything about that.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

ygtbk wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

Enables people to plan intelligently for what  ...  starvation at age 65?

To plan intelligently how long they're planning on working before they retire. For instance, the normal retirement age (i.e. full benefits available) under U.S. Social Security used to be 65, but for those born in 1960 and later, it's 67. France is similarly changing from 65 (with early retirement at 60) to 67 (with early retirement at 62) by 2018.

Who has the ability to "plan" their future employment? Most people only get to work so long as their employer is willing to keep them. The only ones who can "plan intelligently" for their retirement are the ones who have money, who are healthy, and don't need to work until they are 67.

I've got an intelligent plan: How about we stop cutting social benefits and get rid of this rapacious capitalist system altogether?

That sounds a lot more "intelligent" than figuring out how we're going to have to learn to live with less.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Gaian wrote:
Interesting change in concerns for support in old age...before the revolution: "If we had a real political Opposition in Canada, we'd have an immediate response, with a clear alternative "grand plan" for the country. Too bad all we have is an opizishin, with no idea how to combat the neoliberal agenda." Hopefully the ongoing discussion will not be a followup on the opening two points in the OP here. The remainder are spot on.

This is obviously a cowardly reference to me, designed to avoid having to deal with my arguments against the Harper agenda.

If you are in favour of forcing people to work two years longer before being eligible for full pension, why don't you just come right out and say so, and we can all have a good laugh at your expense.

If you know the NDP's grand plan to defeat Harper's neoliberal social agenda, why don't you let us in on their secret? Atre they promising to roll back Harper's pension "reforms" if they are elected? 

KenS

Nobody has a grand plan to talk about. Like you, we're making it up as we go.

Since you asked, I vote for getting rid of capitailsm. Is that all you wanted to know?

KenS

One of the articles looking at the possible OAS cuts pointed out that about one quarter of people approaching 65 are in a vulerable income position and hanging on by their fingernails until the OAS kicks in.

If Harper were to propose moving the goalposts in the nearer term, one would hope this would arouse those folks and the family circles around them. And hopefully, even "just" floating the idea will make them nervous enough.

But it would be like the cynical calculations of this outfit- they are more careful than people think about this boil the frog business. Those folks I just mentioned predominately do not vote for them already. So making them more concerned is not something that Harper Crew would see as a substantial risk.

ygtbk

M. Spector wrote:

The only ones who can "plan intelligently" for their retirement are the ones who have money, who are healthy, and don't need to work until they are 67.

I don't think it's that cut-and-dried. People have been known to take early retirement based on characteristics of their pension plan or early retirement incentives (e.g. teachers): if they know that OAS is available at 65 they might make a different decision than if it were available at 67. Similarly, people often move to smaller houses or apartments during retirement to free up some cash from their principal residence: 65 vs 67 might influence that decision.

KenS

Which is absolutely irrelavent to that one-quarter that it is a survival issue. For whom 'planning how to starve' is the appropriate quip.

And even for those who have the means to make discretionary choices- compared to US Social Security, the CPP is lower precisely because of the OAS.... so whatever precise mechanisms are used, taking money out of the OAS pot effects everyone, and has the [desired] aggregate social effect of throwing everyone more on to what you can personally pull together.

KenS

This is why unions, the NDP and some provincial governments are looking to rely MORE on public pensions and less on private.

The union members do well or better than the majority, so that is not what is behind the CLC campaign. What is behind is the broad recognition that private pensions were always far from perfect, and now they are leaving an ever increasing proportion of society behind.

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:
People have been known to take early retirement based on characteristics of their pension plan or early retirement incentives (e.g. teachers): if they know that OAS is available at 65 they might make a different decision than if it were available at 67. Similarly, people often move to smaller houses or apartments during retirement to free up some cash from their principal residence: 65 vs 67 might influence that decision.

What is this? How people adjust to lowering income expectations?

I know. If Harper announces 50-50 sharing of health care costs for individuals over 65 (because there are too many of them and they're ruining the economy), younger folk can start adjusting by exercising and eating better, and maybe putting aside more of their non-existent savings?

I'm with Spector here. Tell me this. Which NDP leadership candidate (or that idiot Turmel, for that matter) has said publicly:

hypothetical NDP spokesperson wrote:
"We will double CPP/QPP - and that's just for starters. We will never increase the age of eligibilty for seniors' benefits - that's the wrong direction. And Mr. Harper won't be around for long. After 2015, we will halt and reverse this attack against seniors."

Or would that be too communistic sounding?

ETA: I crossposted with Ken:

KenS wrote:

This is why unions, the NDP and some provincial governments are looking to rely MORE on public pensions and less on private.

The union members do well or better than the majority, so that is not what is behind the CLC campaign. What is behind is the broad recognition that private pensions were always far from perfect, and now they are leaving an ever increasing proportion of society behind.

Exactly right, Ken, and it bears repeating over and over.

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

There already are some changes to the CPP that are being phased in.   The implementation kind of "flew under the radar".

Used to be that if you retired at age 60, you'd have a 30% reduction in your CPP benefits.  What's being phased in during the 2012-2016 period is a gradual reduction of early CPP benefits to a 36% reduction.   True, if you take your pension late and delay it to age 70, your pension is increased by 42% instead of 30%.   But hell, I sure don't want to be working at age 70 and don't want anyone else to have to work that long either.

The rest is here

Now couple that with floating a trial balloon about increasing the age for OAS eligibility to 67 and the message from the Harpoids is even clearer.   The Harpoids want to beat up on older workers so they can afford engines for their F35 fighter jets and give more tax cuts to the oil corporations.

I agree that the current crop of NDP leadership candidates haven't been clear on supporting labour's campaign to double the CPP.

 

 

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

I'm with Spector here. Tell me this. Which NDP leadership candidate (or that idiot Turmel, for that matter) has said publicly:

hypothetical NDP spokesperson wrote:
"We will double CPP/QPP - and that's just for starters. We will never increase the age of eligibilty for seniors' benefits - that's the wrong direction. And Mr. Harper won't be around for long. After 2015, we will halt and reverse this attack against seniors."

Or would that be too communistic sounding?

No, I don't think that is too communistic-sounding, although I don't know who said it.

In a couple of previous pension threads we discussed CPP/QPP. CPP could well be doubled: as we discussed the CLC plan is to phase in increased contributions over 7 years and increased benefits over approximately 35 years with the eventual benefit being 50% of the average industrial wage.

My point in this thread (which I'm sure that both you and Spector understand) is that making immediate OAS changes with no phase-in would make it difficult for people to plan rationally for retirement. A twenty-year phase-in is much more reasonable.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

So your big problem with Harper's war on pensions is that it doesn't allow enough of a phase-in period?

[IMG]http://i29.tinypic.com/241qv4o.jpg[/IMG]

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:

 

My point in this thread (which I'm sure that both you and Spector understand) is that making immediate OAS changes with no phase-in would make it difficult for people to plan rationally for retirement. A twenty-year phase-in is much more reasonable.

You're correct. I understood your point very well. Which is why I join Spector in ridiculing it.

 

ygtbk

M. Spector wrote:

So your big problem with Harper's war on pensions is that it doesn't allow enough of a phase-in period?

[IMG]http://i29.tinypic.com/241qv4o.jpg[/IMG]

A tad hyperbolic, although I like the smiley. Given that:

1) CPP appears to be doing fine (it's in actuarial balance to 2075), and there is no plan to cut it; and

2) A phased-in increase from 65 to 67 for OAS would only put us in step with other Western nations like France and the U.S.,

I'm not sure that we have any evidence for a "war on pensions". And if the modification to OAS is to make the clawback tougher instead of increasing the eligibility age, what would your reaction be?

As a side note, if the only way to ensure adequate retirement income is to abolish capitalism, what exactly would your alternative be? Be brief, detailed, and specific.

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

 

My point in this thread (which I'm sure that both you and Spector understand) is that making immediate OAS changes with no phase-in would make it difficult for people to plan rationally for retirement. A twenty-year phase-in is much more reasonable.

You're correct. I understood your point very well. Which is why I join Spector in ridiculing it.

If you mean that immediate arbitrary changes would be preferable, I'm pretty sure I'm stumped as to why.

Unionist

radiorahim wrote:

There already are some changes to the CPP that are being phased in.   The implementation kind of "flew under the radar".

Sure - those changes "flew under the radar" because they were unanimously recommended by all provincial and territorial finance ministers during their triennial review in May 2009. That would have included two NDP finance ministers. Can't expect any "opizishn" party to speak out against a consensus like that, can we?

For decades the workers' movement has fought, with much success, for secure retirement income and the possibility for workers to retire earlier, if they so choose. Now there's an onslaught to reverse all those gains, and the NDP has shown no signs of caring. Their whole emphasis in the last election campaign was "lifting seniors out of poverty" - that is, getting them above the poverty line - as if "just short of poor" is the best we can hope for in this era of human evolution.

 

 

stevebrown

Boom Boom wrote:

Saw CBC - maybe on P&P, can't remember - bring up the clip of Mulroney getting lectured to on the lawn of Parliament Hill in 1985 by an angry pensioner; Mulroney backed down on plans to make changes to the CPP. I expect seniors will turn out in force to oppose any changes by Harper. CARP prez hinted at such.   CBC said seniors mostly vote Conservative, can Harper really afford to alienate this part of his constituency?

But he's not alienating seniors. He's talking about pension reform for people who are still in their forties. As long as he stays away from mucking with PRESENT pension rules, will seniors be riled up enough to vote against him?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Meanwhile, the workers' and peasants' government in Bolivia is [url=https://nacla.org/node/6858]increasing pension benefits[/url]:

Quote:
On December 10 [2010], surrounded by union leaders and foreign dignitaries, President Evo Morales promulgated Bolivia's new pension law at the headquarters of the Bolivian Workers Central (COB), the country's militant national trade union federation. The unprecedented and highly symbolic event culminated a four-year negotiating process, during which the COB agreed to suspend its mobilization for higher wages in exchange for comprehensive pension reform.

The new law nationalizes Bolivia's private pension funds, guarantees universal retirement benefits for participants, and makes it easier for workers to access them. Both the COB and the government have called it "revolutionary" and "historic." "We are fulfilling a promise to the Bolivian people," said Morales at the signing ceremony. "We are creating a pension system that includes everyone."

To be sure, Bolivia's new pension plan defies current neoliberal orthodoxy in important respects – for example, by lowering the pension retirement age when at least 47 countries (including France, Japan, and even Cuba), have moved to increase it. "Unlike other governments," says Morales, "Bolivians are developing our own laws without international 'experts,' for the benefit of the Bolivian people."...

Since 1996, Bolivia has operated under a pension scheme based on compulsory worker savings with no guaranteed benefits – a hallmark of the neoliberal structural adjustment policies imposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Funded entirely by individual worker contributions (at 12.2% of earnings), the system has featured low benefits with long and stable working lives required to achieve even the most minimal pension.

While some 1.3 million of Bolivia's 4 million workers have established pension accounts, only 600,000 (15% of the workforce) have sufficient job stability to contribute on a regular basis. Fewer than 30,000 workers have succeeded in retiring with a pension over the past 13 years.

Informal sector workers – a broad category encompassing merchants, domestic workers, taxi drivers, and other independents, who constitute 60% of Bolivia's economically active population – are largely excluded from the present system. With their irregular and typically low earnings, and private fund managers' avoidance of unprofitable small accounts, few have managed to qualify.

The new pension law will provide guaranteed benefits and allow workers to retire sooner: men at 58 (instead of 60), and most women (those who have three or more living children) at 55. Miners will be able to retire at 56, or as early as 51 with longevity. With an average life expectancy of 62 for Bolivian men and 65 for women, the government notes, the current age criterion virtually guarantees no retirement, especially for workers performing arduous manual labor.

Retirement benefits will increase in most cases, based on the average of a worker's last two years of monthly salaries. After 20 years of contributions, the average worker will receive 60% of this amount, increasing to 70% after 30 years. Anyone who has made contributions for at least ten years is entitled to a pension.

The new system seeks to extend pension benefits to all workers, including those working in the informal sector. Independent workers can contribute on a voluntary basis, with a minimum monthly payment of $14 (around 14.4% of the $97 minimum monthly wage). After 10 years, a worker contributing at this rate would be guaranteed a monthly pension of $68, equal to 70% of the minimum wage. With pension offices slated to open in cities and rural areas throughout each department, the government hopes to enroll 100,000 informal sector workers in 2011.

The key to expanding coverage to workers with no prior savings is the Solidarity Fund, to be financed largely by a 0.5% contribution paid by workers on their earnings and a 3% payroll tax paid by employers. Higher income workers, along with mine operators, will pay an extra surcharge.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

ygtbk wrote:

As a side note, if the only way to ensure adequate retirement income is to abolish capitalism, what exactly would your alternative be? Be brief, detailed, and specific.

Unlike you, Gaian, and one or two others around here, I don't labour under the illusion that capitalism is the only possible way to create wealth and provide decent pensions. Capitalists don't even pay for our pensions - we pay for them ourselves, firstly through our contributions to pension funds and secondly through our labour which provides the surplus value that is accumulated in those funds. We don't need a class of plutocratic overlords to tell us how to do that. We can do it ourselves.

I can't be both brief and detailed. But I can be specific: We need a system based on social ownership of wealth and the means of production. There is enough wealth in our society to provide decent pensions for everyone. Even Bolivia understands that.

Unionist

Meh, Spector, the link about Cuba is obsolete - do you have another reference?

ETA: Ok, I found [url=http://www.granma.cu/ingles/cuba-i/5mayo-Raising%20retirement.html]this[.... Very interesting.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

Meh, Spector, the link about Cuba is obsolete - do you have another reference?

ETA: Ok, I found [url=http://www.granma.cu/ingles/cuba-i/5mayo-Raising%20retirement.html]this[.... Very interesting.

Sorry, the link was in the original (not mine).

 

ygtbk

M. Spector wrote:

I can't be both brief and detailed. But I can be specific: We need a system based on social ownership of wealth and the means of production. There is enough wealth in our society to provide decent pensions for everyone. Even Bolivia understands that.

In practice, "social ownership" of wealth and the means of production always ends up as a one-party dictatorship, with a nomenklatura running the place. And per capita GDP in Bolivia is $2,000 while in Canada it's $46,000. So I'd have to say that your example is less than compelling.

Unionist

Would it be possible to get off the "we need to abolish capitalism in order to stop Harper from implementing his Dystopian vision"? That leads us into rather stupid debates (like, who's better off, people in Harper's Canada or Morales's Bolivia). Secondly, it's false. We don't need to abolish capitalism to stop Harper. There, I've said it. But if we listen to ygbtk, we will have both capitalism and Harper. An undesirable combination.

 

Sven Sven's picture

ygtbk wrote:

I think it will be a grade-in as has been done in other jurisdictions (e.g. U.S., France), like so:

No change today.

65 for those reaching 65 in 2015.

67 for those reaching 67 in 2039.

Straight-line in between.

Something like that - the details don't matter too much, but grading in slowly enables people to plan intelligently.

In the USA when Social Security was created and the retirement age was set at 65, the life expentancy was also about 65. Now, life expectancy is closer to 80 years (and a large -- and growing -- percentage of people are living well into their 90s and beyond).  Given that, it makes perfect sense to gradually increase the retirement age.  Going from 65 to 67 is a very modest change. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

We don't need to abolish capitalism to stop Harper.

But it would be the preferable course, nonetheless.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

ygtbk wrote:

In practice, "social ownership" of wealth and the means of production always ends up as a one-party dictatorship, with a nomenklatura running the place.

Bullshit.

And what does private ownership of wealth and the means of production always end up as?

Quote:
And per capita GDP in Bolivia is $2,000 while in Canada it's $46,000. So I'd have to say that your example is less than compelling.

If a country with a $2000 per capita GDP can provide decent pensions for its citizens, why can't a country with a $46,000 per capita GDP? The point that seems to elude you so easily is that there is plenty of wealth available in this country to fund decent pensions.

Harper wants us to believe that Canada can't afford decent pensions. We can afford wars, we can afford F-16s, we can afford billion dollar subsidies to the oil industry, but we can't afford decent pensions. You obviously agee with Harper on this.

NDPP

Harper Outlines Class War Agenda at Davos  -  by Keith Jones

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/harp-j28.shtml

"With a significant cross-section of the world's financial elite in the audience, Harper touted Canada as a haven for investors, where businesses already enjoy the lowest taxes on new investment of any G-7 country. But, he vowed, 'We will do more, much more.'

Having, as a result of last May's election become Canada's Official Opposition, the NDP has intensified its efforts to convince Canada's elite that it can supplant the Liberals as its 'left' part of government. It has lent its support to the Conservatives' pre-budget Spending review, embraced the concept of Public-Private partnerships to deal with the country's infrastructure crisis, and championed Canada's leading role in the NATO war on Libya."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sven wrote:

In the USA when Social Security was created and the retirement age was set at 65, the life expentancy was also about 65.

Pretty clever, huh? The average person would die before they'd ever collect a pension. Pure genius.

Quote:
Now, life expectancy is closer to 80 years (and a large -- and growing -- percentage of people are living well into their 90s and beyond).  Given that, it makes perfect sense to gradually increase the retirement age.

Why should retirement age have anything to do with life expectancy? If anything, it should reflect work life expectancy, which is actually declining due to a number of factors, including declining job security, declining levels of unionization, increased productivity, and increased levels of unemployment.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Quote:
  Going from 65 to 67 is a very modest change.

Fuck that "modest change".

Harpoid can go piss up a tree.

 

stevebrown

Sven wrote:

In the USA when Social Security was created and the retirement age was set at 65, the life expentancy was also about 65. Now, life expectancy is closer to 80 years (and a large -- and growing -- percentage of people are living well into their 90s and beyond).  Given that, it makes perfect sense to gradually increase the retirement age.  Going from 65 to 67 is a very modest change.

Yeah whatever. Keep those folks woiken, god forbid they should have a moments peace.

Unionist

How about gradually going from a 5-day to a 6-day work week? I think if we started with new entrants to the workforce, and spread it over a number of years, hardly anyone would notice that we are licking the boots of the billionaires.

Then I think there's something to be said for hunting and gathering. Not all at once, of course. But isn't work more noble than idleness?

Sven and ygbtk, you guys are on to a game-changing idea here!

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Quote:
How about gradually going from a 5-day to a 6-day work week? I think if we started with new entrants to the workforce, and spread it over a number of years, hardly anyone would notice that we are licking the boots of the billionaires.

Oh and how about gradually phasing out those pesky child labour laws eh?   Maybe over 20 years we could bring it down to oh...maybe 12?

We could gradually phase in workhouses and debtors prisons too...nobody would notice!

Unionist

radiorahim wrote:

Oh and how about gradually phasing out those pesky child labour laws eh?   Maybe over 20 years we could bring it down to oh...maybe 12?

 

Oh one minute there pardner. Are we making people work older - or younger? This is a major policy question - about the direction of our society.

Do you seriously think we could do both? That is f***-ing visionary!

 

stevebrown

Just because people LIVE longer doesn't automatically mean they can WORK longer.

Leave us alone, we've done enough.

Sven Sven's picture

stevebrown wrote:

Just because people LIVE longer doesn't automatically mean they can WORK longer.

If someone is incapable of working, then that's different than not wanting to work.

Sven Sven's picture

radiorahim wrote:

Oh and how about gradually phasing out those pesky child labour laws eh?

Is anyone suggesting "phasing out" retirement?

No. 

Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:

How about gradually going from a 5-day to a 6-day work week?

The flaw in your analogy is that a week is finite...while life expectancy is expanding. 

Ken Burch

OH, and Sven, you know damn well that it's NEVER been about "envy".  

It's about wanting a decent, dignified life for all.  It's about solidarity with the vast majority of the human race who have nothing, and who are

in that condition through no fault of their own.

It's only the moneygrubbers on your side that reduce everything to envy.

Don't project the ugliiest feelings of YOUR class on the rest of the world.

Ken Burch

Sven wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

I think it will be a grade-in as has been done in other jurisdictions (e.g. U.S., France), like so:

No change today.

65 for those reaching 65 in 2015.

67 for those reaching 67 in 2039.

Straight-line in between.

Something like that - the details don't matter too much, but grading in slowly enables people to plan intelligently.

In the USA when Social Security was created and the retirement age was set at 65, the life expentancy was also about 65. Now, life expectancy is closer to 80 years (and a large -- and growing -- percentage of people are living well into their 90s and beyond).  Given that, it makes perfect sense to gradually increase the retirement age.  Going from 65 to 67 is a very modest change. 

Yeah, might as well "think big" and put everybody(other than the upper classes)out on the ice floe when we turn 70.

 

 

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