The world’s richest man says people are living longer, therefore they should be working longer too

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The world’s richest man – Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim – doesn’t have to worry about his own retirement, but he wants the rest of the world to worry about theirs. Speaking to the newspaper El Universal, Slim called on developed nations around the world to raise their respective retirement ages to 70. Slim argued simply that people are living longer today – therefore they should be working longer too

Slim echoes what a lot of very wealthy people in the United States are arguing for – raising the eligibility age for Social Security from 65 to 70. That includes multi-millionaires like Congressman Paul Ryan, and billionaires like lobbyist Pete Peterson. But what these oligarchs don’t understand is they are the only ones living longer – the rest of America’s workers aren’t.

According to the Economic Policy Institute – the top 50% wealthiest Americans have seen their life expectancy go up dramatically from 79 years to more than 85 years. But the bottom 50% of Americans have only seen modest gains, with their life expectancy creeping up from 77.7 years to 79.6 years.

With the New Deal, the economic elite made a deal with working Americans that their basic needs would be met with a social safety net. But today – the elites are shredding that deal, and trying to bring feudalism back to America.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
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A smart fisherman repairs and maintains his own nets. Government provided nets tend to be full of rips and tears.

THISAA's picture
THISAA
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Dec. 16, 2011 5:49 am

With all those extra years of work being generously provided, we can reduce the average wage per year so as to not burden the job creators with any additional costs associated with paying people who work too many years. We get to make more money for them and they get to make more money. Everybody wins!

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Actually Mr. Slim exemplifies that not the brightest of the bunch become rich or he'd know that the demand for labor is on a decline. So more free time with fewer work hours is in order. Streamline and reduce the cost of living to a sustainable level. Don't keep advertising things that people don't really need with ads that tell them they "must have it."

Work should be a means to an end but not an end in itself.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

If you want to retire earlier you should save and invest during your working years.

WorkerBee's picture
WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 11:22 am
Quote WorkerBee:

If you want to retire earlier you should save and invest during your working years.

Work hard and play by the rules and you shall be ........ er, uh screwed!

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote WorkerBee:

If you want to retire earlier you should save and invest during your working years.

Like millions of other Americans our family saved and invested, made lots of sacrifices for the "future"..... then the frigging stock market crashed and it was all wiped out. Now we have to rely on Social Security.

What planet are you living on? What a dismissive response to a serious situation.

delete jan in iowa
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Feb. 6, 2011 11:16 am

If you had it all in the stockmarket when it dipped in 2008 and did not sell, you have most of it back right now. The only people that were wiped out were, Madoff disciples, and those who panicked and sold at the low. Most stocks purchased in 2010 are worth far more mow that when bought. Check the price rise in your Iowa farmland. You could have made a fortune.

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THISAA
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Dec. 16, 2011 5:49 am
Quote THISAA:

If you had it all in the stockmarket when it dipped in 2008 and did not sell, you have most of it back right now. The only people that were wiped out were, Madoff disciples, and those who panicked and sold at the low. Most stocks purchased in 2010 are worth far more mow that when bought. Check the price rise in your Iowa farmland. You could have made a fortune.

Pinhead.... the money is gone, the value of my home is down. I'm living the reality, so don't tell me everything is okay.

delete jan in iowa
Joined:
Feb. 6, 2011 11:16 am
Quote THISAA:

A smart fisherman repairs and maintains his own nets. Government provided nets tend to be full of rips and tears.

Fishermen and lettuce-pickers don't build 747's and satellites. They also provide for their retirement by having 6-8 kids.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote THISAA:

A smart fisherman repairs and maintains his own nets. Government provided nets tend to be full of rips and tears.

A smart fisherman is worthless when there are no more fish.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am
Quote chilidog:
Quote THISAA:

A smart fisherman repairs and maintains his own nets. Government provided nets tend to be full of rips and tears.

Fishermen and lettuce-pickers don't build 747's and satellites. They also provide for their retirement by having 6-8 kids.

The operative word is "work", not having 6 or 8 kids and sitting around the pool waiting for the welfare check to arrive. I am sorry you don't feel fishermen and lettuce pickers are worthy jobs.

THISAA's picture
THISAA
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Dec. 16, 2011 5:49 am
Quote THISAA:
Quote chilidog:
Quote THISAA:

A smart fisherman repairs and maintains his own nets. Government provided nets tend to be full of rips and tears.

Fishermen and lettuce-pickers don't build 747's and satellites. They also provide for their retirement by having 6-8 kids.

The operative word is "work", not having 6 or 8 kids and sitting around the pool waiting for the welfare check to arrive. I am sorry you don't feel fishermen and lettuce pickers are worthy jobs.

Sitting around the pool? You mean sitting around the dumpster don't you? That's the problem with people like you, you think that everybody on welfare is living like a king when in reality even with welfare they are slowly starving to death. I guess that's the easiest way for you to hide your true lack of humanity. Picturing welfare queens eating lobster every night around the private pool.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

Sorry. I must have heard that stupid "sitting around the pool" B.S. analogy somewhere.

THISAA's picture
THISAA
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Dec. 16, 2011 5:49 am

It is hard to see what is happening on the ground from the lofty elite perspective. Even if you are only aspiring to the power tower and wealth scale, the point of view does diminish what actually is involved in human life. The projection of "lazy" on those who are poor is an example. While there are some very hard-working rich people, there are also lots of drones and hangers-on in the retinues of the powerful. Somebody has to find a job for Cousin Eddie or that idiot brother-in-law.

It is also a remarkably reinforced cult perspective as the wealthy are treated as "special" akin to worship. Sitting around the pool or doing business on the golf course, it is always about being a "mover and shaker" rather than someone who just moves and shakes his or her small part of the deal.

Being able to dismiss the needy and judge them as lazy or stupid does require not hanging out with real people and having to have this image confronted with reality. The aspiring rich can find all sorts of human frailty to compare their own virtue against. Cadet moguls, they salute the generals and diss the troops.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

THA, "With the New Deal, the economic elite made a deal with working Americans that their basic needs would be met with a social safety net. But today – the elites are shredding that deal, and trying to bring feudalism back to America."

They are not only shredding that deal, along they intended on and have stolen that social safety net. And now they want the working poor and middleclass (what's left of it) to work even longer so that they can continue to pay into that so-called safety so they can continue to steal from it and maybe the majority of workeres will DIE before they became eligible for thier non-existant pittance. That was the way it was intended from the beginning because life expectancy was only 61.7 years in 1935 when it was enacted. If FDR passed the law today, eligibilty would be 80+ years old. What a scam!!!

camaroman's picture
camaroman
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May. 9, 2012 10:30 am
Quote THISAA:
Quote chilidog:
Quote THISAA:

A smart fisherman repairs and maintains his own nets. Government provided nets tend to be full of rips and tears.

Fishermen and lettuce-pickers don't build 747's and satellites. They also provide for their retirement by having 6-8 kids.

The operative word is "work", not having 6 or 8 kids and sitting around the pool waiting for the welfare check to arrive. I am sorry you don't feel fishermen and lettuce pickers are worthy jobs.

My point is that if you want to build capital-intensive things like aircraft carriers and F-14's, you have to entice farmers and fishermen to give up their livelihoods and work at the factory.

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Quote Thom Hartmann:

According to the Economic Policy Institute – the top 50% wealthiest Americans have seen their life expectancy go up dramatically from 79 years to more than 85 years. But the bottom 50% of Americans have only seen modest gains, with their life expectancy creeping up from 77.7 years to 79.6 years.

It would have been useful to have a link to the source.

I detect a possible error in your logic Thom. The issue isn't life expectancy starting at age zero, but life expectancy at retirement age. After all, WWII put a dent in life expectancy of men generally, but probably didn't do much for those who were already 65. When it comes to that group... life expectancy has been rising... http://www.ssa.gov/oact/NOTES/as120/images/LD_fig2b.html

For instance 50 years ago a man reaching in 65 in 1960 could expect to live 12.91 extra years... in 2010 it's 16.55 years. But there are issues here… such as whether the human body just doesn't hold up well after 65… and whether those added years are spent in good health. If not, then to raise the retirement age can really cut into those so-called "golden years". Also with the pace of technological change accelerating, I wonder what skill set most of these geezers will have when they turn 65.

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Pierpont
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