Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Another Critic of FIRE
Old 04-14-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
tangomonster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 756
Another Critic of FIRE

That professor, Andrew Yarrow, wasn't alone in being critical of our choice and lifestyle. Here is George Will's column from yesterday's newspaper:

Hoo-ha over the economy delights entitlement crowd | ajc.com

His major criticism:

So, this is a facet of today's hydra-headed "crisis" —- the man must linger in the labor force until, say, 62. That is the earliest age at which a person can, and most recipients do, begin collecting Social Security.
The proportion of people aged 55 to 64 who are working rose 1.5 percentage points from April 2007 to February 2008, during which the percentage of working Americans older than 65 rose two-tenths of one percentage point. The Journal grimly reports, "The prospect of millions of grandparents toiling away in their golden years doesn't square with the American dream."
Oh? The idea that protracted golden years of idleness is a universal right is a delusion of recent vintage. Deranged by the entitlement mentality fostered by a metastasizing welfare state, Americans now have such low pain thresholds that suffering is defined as a slight delay in beginning a subsidized retirement often lasting one-third of the retiree's adult lifetime.
In 1935, when Congress enacted Social Security, protracted retirement was a luxury enjoyed by a tiny sliver of the population. Back then, Congress did its arithmetic ruthlessly: When it set the retirement age at 65, the life expectancy of an adult American male was 65. If in 1935 Congress had indexed the retirement age to life expectancy, today's retirement age would be 75.

He thinks we are "deranged by an entitlement mentality!" Now, okay, maybe I'll cop to the deranged accusation , but entitlement mentality? I worked and I saved my money, allowing me to retire at 52. Where is the entitlement mentality? I'm not counting on SS. Yeah, I did feel entitled to a paycheck (albeit a small one) since I didn't work on a volunteer basis, but that's as far as it goes.

And yeah, maybe I'd still be working and want to work if I could have a job like George Will's (the salary and the relatively low demands of just putting out a column a week). Wonder if old George would have become "deranged by the entitlement mentality" and have wanted to opt out if he had had my job and my salary??
__________________

__________________
“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”.------Krishnamurti
tangomonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-14-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,976
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangomonster View Post
The idea that protracted golden years of idleness is a universal right is a delusion of recent vintage. Deranged by the entitlement mentality fostered by a metastasizing welfare state, Americans now have such low pain thresholds that suffering is defined as a slight delay in beginning a subsidized retirement often lasting one-third of the retiree's adult lifetime.

I worked and I saved my money, allowing me to retire at 52. Where is the entitlement mentality? I'm not counting on SS.
IMO he's not talking about you, see underline compared to your description of your situation. Frankly I agree with George Will that none of us are entitled to a subsidized retirement, and I'll bet you do to. Enjoy your retirement...
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Let Us Not Forget...
Old 04-14-2008, 07:02 PM   #3
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 44
Let Us Not Forget...

...George Will represents a shrinking, dying minority of the population that still believes idleness and unearned luxury are the province of the very privileged few.

The idea that the "average" American can enjoy a life free of cubicle slavery is highly offensive to Will and those for whom he shills, i.e., those born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

How can a lifetime of paying compulsory taxes into Social Security be considered an "entitlement?"

I'll leave it to the Neocons to explain that one.
__________________
talltrees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 09:57 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Don't remember who coined the term, but "pseudo-intellectual claptrap" comes to mind...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 09:59 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 927
Quote:
Frankly I agree with George Will that none of us are entitled to a subsidized retirement,
I'll agree with him too... just as soon as someone gives me back a working lifetime's worth of payroll deductions.

Sheesh.
__________________
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 10:05 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
IMO he's not talking about you, see underline compared to your description of your situation. Frankly I agree with George Will that none of us are entitled to a subsidized retirement, and I'll bet you do to. Enjoy your retirement...
George Will says it true. Too many people think they are entitled.
__________________
Notmuchlonger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:08 AM   #7
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,544
I'm confused - that happens a lot lately. I started paying into SS when I was 17, all the while being told that it was so that when I got to be an old fart I could sit on the porch and give the finger to passers-by. (There was a guy three blocks away who did that.) Now George, et al is saying that I'm not entitled to it?

Re the 29 years I spent working at one career, I got beat up, spit on, shot at, and cut with a knife, and now I'm an elitist?

Grrrr....
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:22 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,720
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
I think one tough job is getting up in the morning and dreaming up a column to write that people will read. Maybe he wants to retire now that his ideas are not that good anymore. And he is jealous...
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 10:23 AM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
I agree with George, guaranteed retirement for all is a very recent invention which people have been quick to feel entitled to. If people understood how SS works, they would know that their payroll taxes are used to pay for current retiree benefits, and not to fund their own, future retirement. Their own retirement is only guaranteed if future generations agree to continue subsidizing that great ponzi scheme. In other words, SS is a privilege and not a guaranteed benefit. It never was.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2008, 10:05 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,304
George W can kiss my *ss. I worked hard to earn what I have so I can sit around and do nothing for the rest of my life. I am not entitled to anything that I did not w*rk hard for. He's got a lot of nerve ... telling me what I am thinking ...
__________________
Life is GREAT!
megacorp-firee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2008, 07:52 AM   #11
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
I think what Will is trying to say is that Social Security wasn't originally intended to provide people with more income to pursue a cushy early retirement, and on that matter I think he's correct.

I think we *are* seeing an "entitlement mentality" when you listen to AARP's constant refusal to share any of the pain of "fixing" Social Security, and instead insist that their kids and grandkids eat all the pain.

[Edit to add: And I don't think Will is talking about people who can retire early from their own savings, either.]
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2008, 10:40 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 828
i've always thought of SS as a gov't-run compulsory insurance program, where the folks who die early 'subsidize' the folks who die late. However, I've heard that bureaucrats have raided the SS trust fund to pay other bills, turning the SS insurance program into a program where current SS taxes pay current SS benefits. Anybody know how much various U.S. agencies owe the SS trust fund?

An alternative way to implement SS would have been as a gov't run compulsory savings program, where your SS taxes would have been invested to at least keep pace with inflation, and you could start drawing from your SS 'savings' at retirement age. When you die (even if before retirement age), your beneficiaries would receive the balance in your SS 'account'. If you live long and your SS account is depleted, too bad. Bureaucrats being bureaucrats, you can bet they would have figured out a way to 'borrow' the money from everyone's SS accounts, sticking an IOU there instead. Current withdrawals would be paid with current taxes, leaving us right in the same boat we're already in with the insurance program approach.

Disclaimer: I'm not a finance guy, so these observations are worth what you paid for them.
__________________
socca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2008, 01:44 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 50
Maybe I'm a little off base here, having been raised by a very cynical banker... but I was always told never to count on social security, that it simply wouldn't be there by the time I was ready to retire, and even if it was there it certainly wouldn't be enough to live on comfortably.

So, from this vantage point, I don't entirely disagree with George Will, but I can really see how it'd piss you off if you'd been counting on SS and this is coming to you as new information.

Best quote I've heard in a while:
Quote:
Your own retirement is only guaranteed if future generations agree to continue subsidizing the great ponzi scheme.
__________________

__________________
Bree is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
S. CA is on fire! bright eyed Other topics 78 10-26-2007 09:54 PM
FIRE me, please! Webzter Hi, I am... 9 07-08-2007 11:28 AM
FIRE at 39 missionfinder Hi, I am... 5 04-10-2007 12:01 PM
After The FIRE Danny Life after FIRE 28 01-13-2006 05:12 PM
I'm on FIRE zbwmy Hi, I am... 0 03-31-2004 06:06 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:20 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.