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Prof says ER is selfish, unpatriotic
Old 04-06-2008, 09:51 AM   #1
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Prof says ER is selfish, unpatriotic

An editorial by Andrew Yarrow ran in the Baltimore Sun a few weeks ago. I saw it today when it was rerun in a Texas paper. It begins:

"When I hear my fellow baby boomers gleefully talk about their elaborate plans to retire ASAP, head for the Tuscan hills, or otherwise continue their lifelong quest for "self-actualization," I have to bite my tongue.

It's not that I'm all work and no play. But there's just something - make that lots of things - wrong, in general, with retiring at 55, 62 or even 65. I would go so far as to call it profoundly selfish and unpatriotic."

I'm sure some here will say "thems is fightin' words". Me, I just found his whole argument an illogical house of cards. To the point of being kinda funny...

Early retirement selfish, unpatriotic -- Wages and Pensions, Herb Kohl -- baltimoresun.com
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:56 AM   #2
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When it comes to work I'm very unpatriotic and selfish, ya got me.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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Newguy, selfish?? I don't think so. I might be annoying but selfish? Not mua!
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:03 AM   #4
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Just ridiculous.

And get out there and start spending money too... saving is unpatriotic!

The reality is we're looking at more and more baby boomer spendthrifts delaying retirement because they haven't saved appropriately. As such this doesn't really seem like a timely article
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:14 AM   #5
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Balderdash...
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:16 AM   #6
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Boy, there are so many things wrong with that article, I don't know where to begin.

"However, if Americans retired later, either staying in their current jobs or taking up "encore careers" - what Marc Freedman of Civic Ventures calls do-good, later-life jobs - we could significantly slow the growth of our multitrillion-dollar national debt, which is largely driven by rising Medicare and Social Security costs (as yesterday's Social Security trustees' report makes abundantly clear)."

The debt problem isn't because we retire early, it's because we overspend.

" For individuals, working longer can mean more income and savings and something to bequeath to one's children."

I am not greedy. I don't need any more savings once I reach FI. And I don't want to "bequeath" my hard-earned money to my children. I'll give them enough to get them going, but I want them to earn and save their own money.

" To encourage such behavior, Social Security benefits taken before age 66 or 70 could be more highly taxed"

Sure, the solution is keep taxing us more. Taxing 85% of social security isn't enough. Why don't you just tax the whole thing, or even better, just keep it all.

"Andrew L. Yarrow, Washington director and vice president of Public Agenda and a professor of U.S. history at American University, is the author of the forthcoming book "Forgive Us Our Debts." His e-mail is ayarrow@publicagenda.org "


Obviously, this guy is detached from reality. He wants to feed the problem by throwing more money at it instead of solving it by a redesign. I will not buy his book if this article is the preamble to it. Even the title to his book makes me cringe. I worked hard my whole life so I didn't have to worry about debt, much less ask for any of my debt to be forgiven.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:26 AM   #7
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Sounds good to me, lets really nail the guy that has to retire at 62 for health reasons.


Quote:
To encourage such behavior, Social Security benefits taken before age 66 or 70 could be more highly taxed, and employee rates of Social Security taxation could be progressively reduced for each year worked after 66 or 70. Or the government could provide a similar sliding tax credit for Americans who continue working beyond age 70.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
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I think most of us on this forum have reached FI, or are working towards it. Not, sure what is selfish about being prepared to take care of yourself.

Many people love their jobs and wouldn't dream of retiring. More power to them. But, why punish those of us who have planned for our retirement.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:46 AM   #9
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:48 AM   #10
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He is probably unable to retire early so he doesn't want anyone else to.

As far as working longer for the public good. Nothing but socialism. I work for myself and my family not for society.

I will leave the workforce as soon as I can and make way for others who need the job. I will help society in that way.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:05 AM   #11
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" For individuals, working longer can mean more income and savings and something to bequeath to one's children."

I am not greedy. I don't need any more savings once I reach FI. And I don't want to "bequeath" my hard-earned money to my children. I'll give them enough to get them going, but I want them to earn and save their own money.

I worked hard my whole life so I didn't have to worry about debt, much less ask for any of my debt to be forgiven.
My feelings exactly! That's what I was taught while being raised. My folks earned every nickel they ever had, and didn't do it so they could 'bequeath' it to my siblings and me. They earned it, so it was theirs to spend......not ours! They used part of their earnings to raise us kids up through HS and somewhat even into college. After that we were all on our own, and we've survived and/or thrived which ever the case may be.

Also, years ago I stupidly ran up a great deal of CC debt, but I never once thought my debt should just be forgiven or erased. Sure, it would have been nice if it would have happened, but I knew from the start that it was MY debt, and being such, it was MY responsibility to repay! It took a lot of determination, a lot of time, and a LOT of money to accomplish paying it all off....every cent of it.....but in the long run it was worth it to me!

As far as ER being selfish and unpatriotic.....BULLPOOP! Not one bit selfish! Heck, when I ER'd (a year ago tomorrow!) they hired TWO people in my place! That's TWO people that are now paying taxes and SS instead of one. One of the guys had been laid off where he used to work, his unemployment had run out, and he was bartending for cash. And the other guy just graduated from college/tech school, and had only been working odd jobs for cash. The 2nd guy is also now in the process of buying his first house. So not only is he now paying income taxes & SS, he'll be paying sales tax & property taxes. Plus he'll be buying new furniture, houseware, doing some remodeling work, and that sort of thing...and paying utilities.......and all of that is boosting the economy and keeping other people employed!

So my ER was most definitely NOT selfish & unpatriotic, quite the opposite, it was actually very unselfish & very patriotic! I ER'd to help the America's economic situation, and therefore help all of my fellow Americans!!!

(That's my story....and I'm stickin' to it!)
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:07 AM   #12
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As far as working longer for the public good. Nothing but socialism. I work for myself and my family not for society.

I will leave the workforce as soon as I can and make way for others who need the job. I will help society in that way.
AMEN, Laz!
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:08 AM   #13
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And another thing...

This notion of "working longer...to bequeath to one's children."

In the words of Potter, "What does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class."
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:17 AM   #14
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Can I just be selfish and skip the immoral part this time?
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Can I just be selfish and skip the immoral part this time?
Shouldn't we generously share our, uhm, time with people mired in their immoral activities?
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:33 AM   #16
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This almost makes me want to shave this morning.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:36 AM   #17
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http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ish-31851.html

maybe unlock this thread for some more discussion
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:41 AM   #18
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What does the @$$h0l3 think should happen... stop working when they cart you off to the cemetery?

Nevertheless... it is an easy problem to solve! Who cares what that jerk thinks?
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:44 AM   #19
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Unpatriotic? I seem to remember something about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

The fact that we are seeing so many articles lauding those who work past retirement age, and promoting the idea that nobody can afford to retire on time, and suggesting that we should be ashamed to be retiring early, is somewhat alarming. There seems to be a concerted effort within the media to get people to retire late, for whatever reasons.

I haven't yet found a "Late Retirement Forum", though!
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:46 AM   #20
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Sounds like the gentleman has personal envy confused with the Puritan ethic. All designed to sell a book (that's the Puritan ethic part). Probably not worth too much more discussion -- wouldn't want to provide him more than about 3 minutes of 'fame.'

--Rita
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