Friday, January 28, 2005

It's Friday

And on cue, the once respected economist who is determined to see nothing left of his reputation, says:

It's true that the current life expectancy for black males at birth is only 68.8 years - but that doesn't mean that a black man who has worked all his life can expect to die after collecting only a few years' worth of Social Security benefits. Blacks' low life expectancy is largely due to high death rates in childhood and young adulthood.

Which is--You guessed!--not exactly truthful. A black male who is today 20 years of age, can expect to live to between 70 and 71 years of age. While a comparable white male can expect to live to 76. So, while it is true that a young black has a higher likelihood of dying in his teens (or younger) that's not the only disadvantaged age group for blacks.

Which means that George W. Bush was telling the truth this week. And guess who isn't?

Further, those who are twenty years old today, are not eligible to retire with full Social Security benefits--thanks to the 1983 benefit cuts that postponed SS's involvency for approximately 35 years--until their 67th birthday. That is, they face, on average, 47 years of paying into SS at 12.4% of their incomes, but an expectancy of only three years of collecting benefits.

And a much greater chance of not living to age 67 at all, than comparable white males.

Finally, if the Axis of Ostrich gets its wish, and Bush's SS reforms go nowhere, the most likely result will be--in the not too distant future when the Baby Boomers start to retire--that Congress will choose to deal with the impending revenue shortfall by raising the age limit for full benefits even higher.

No comments: