U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-01-2011, 06:36 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,501 posts, read 62,182,463 times
Reputation: 32182

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
At that time relatively few women worked for pay outside the home or farm. Normally the husband was the wage earner. So if the husband died first (and women do outlive men statistically) then the wife could be left totally destitute, hence the spousal benefit...
"widows and orphans"
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSA.gov
Concluding that lump-sum benefits were unlikely to be adequate and likely to be spent by the recipient before her retirement, the advisory council recommended that the program include monthly benefit amounts for two classes of widows: aged widows and widows caring for children. The Social Security Board (the forerunner to the current Social Security Administration (SSA)) agreed with these recommendations on social insurance grounds, noting that most national insurance programs at that time provided for widows and orphans. Congress enacted these changes with the amendments of 1939.

source
Quote:
Now things have become more complex since the massive entry of women into the American workforce beginning in the 1960's.
And in many cases... the women out earning their husbands.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-01-2011, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,218,356 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
It's easy to see the rationale for a spousal benefit back in the 1930's when Social Security was created by Congressional action - I can never remember if it was 1935 or 1937. At that time relatively few women worked for pay outside the home or farm. Normally the husband was the wage earner. So if the husband died first (and women do outlive men statistically) then the wife could be left totally destitute, hence the spousal benefit (which of course could also go the the husband, but that was relatively rare). Therefore, the spousal benefit provision indeed recognized the contribution of the wife to the home and/or farm, even if she had not contributed to the system.

Now things have become more complex since the massive entry of women into the American workforce beginning in the 1960's (the situation during World War II - Rosier the Riveter - having been temporary).
Just wanted to add that I'm not sure "relatively few" women worked for pay outside the home. Many women, including my grandmothers, worked outside the home - but not in jobs that were covered by Social Security.

As to the second highlighted statement, it was not until the mid-seventies (equal rights movement) that the Supreme Court ruled that men were entitled to collect spousal and survival benefits using the same eligibility standards as afforded women. Prior to those decisions, widowers could not claim spousal or survivor benefits unless they proved they were financially dependent on their spouse's earnings.

BTW, as long as a greater proportion of women work in low paying jobs, there will continue to be a systemic transfer of contributions to the former.

Oh crap, is this a sexist post?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2011, 09:10 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
Reputation: 11705
Perhaps a relevant question for SS 2011 is:

Should SS be a system with wealth redistribution as its goal or a system where individuals contribute and build for their own retirement. Perhaps it is the redistribution goal in 2011 that is making many consider the benefits of personal accounts as promoted by many political candidates.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2011, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Perhaps a relevant question for SS 2011 is:

Should SS be a system with wealth redistribution as its goal or a system where individuals contribute and build for their own retirement. Perhaps it is the redistribution goal in 2011 that is making many consider the benefits of personal accounts as promoted by many political candidates.
Social Security is insurance. It is structured like insurance and it works and pays out like insurance. The FICA taxes are the premiums. The benefit formulas have always favored low wage earners over high wage earners in terms of percentage of earnings which are paid back as benefits. Wealth redistribution has been, and remains, a secondary goal. The primary goal is making sure people are not totally destitute in old age and the means to that end is the mandatory nature of the payment of the premiums (payroll taxes). If you allowed people to opt in and out, many would opt out. Of those who opted out, many would be irresponsible, not save or plan for retirement, and thus become a burden on society in old age.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,501 posts, read 62,182,463 times
Reputation: 32182
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Should SS be a system with wealth redistribution as its goal NO
or a system where individuals contribute and build for their own retirement. NO
Quote:

Perhaps it is the redistribution goal
in 2011 that is making many consider
the benefits of personal accounts as promoted by many political candidates.
Nah... mostly it's just a generalized fear about the national debt
and from that a generalized scrambling and grasping for straws.

Most know that the "benefits" of personal accounts is specious at best.

hth
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,069 posts, read 9,531,033 times
Reputation: 5815
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
This answer illustrates a good part of the reason that Social Security is in long range trouble. Ariadne points out the obvious: Why should a well-to-do person who never contributed to the system derive a financial benefit from it? I completely agree. Such benefits should be "means-tested". Unless the person needs the money to survive in that particular situation it shouldn't be paid.
... .
I agree with a good deal of what you said farther down, but I don't agree that this is the reason that Social Security is in long range trouble.

Possibly Social Security should be means-tested, but then people who can most afford to pay into it will have no incentive to pay into it. And it'll all fall apart. When we were taught about the origins of Social Security, we were taught that it was intended to give people a couple of years' rest before they died. So I've always wondered why it wasn't tied to life expectancy. Even this has a problem ... people in physically demanding careers have a shorter life expectancy.

But what really bugs me about the report, and some of the comments posted here, is that it stinks of the 1950's misogyny that we thought we managed to get past, by the 1970's or so. It's a huge step backward.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2011, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
6,420 posts, read 4,179,346 times
Reputation: 5707
What about the fact that the government has tapped into the SS trust fund to run the general fund? Doesn't that effectively create a transfer of wealth from the lower income earners to those that have incomes higher than the limit that they withold the tax from? Until that money gets paid back into the trust fund, I believe there should be no limit on incomes as far as the SS tax is concerned.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2011, 10:42 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,501 posts, read 62,182,463 times
Reputation: 32182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
What about the fact that the government has tapped into the SS trust fund to run the general fund?
Uh huh... and what about the fact that most states have tapped their Road Commission
Trust Funds to pay for all sorts of things too?

Quote:
Doesn't that effectively create a transfer of wealth from the lower income earners
to those that have incomes higher than the limit that they withhold the tax from?
Like in lieu of higher taxes being assessed (and paid) over the years?
Yes it does.

Quote:
Until that money gets paid back into the trust fund,
I believe there should be no limit on incomes as far as the SS tax is concerned.
Like that'll happen.

Parental analogy: Your kid just wrecked their car but has a job to get to.
What are you going to do?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-05-2011, 10:28 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Social Security is insurance. It is structured like insurance and it works and pays out like insurance. The FICA taxes are the premiums. The benefit formulas have always favored low wage earners over high wage earners in terms of percentage of earnings which are paid back as benefits. Wealth redistribution has been, and remains, a secondary goal. The primary goal is making sure people are not totally destitute in old age and the means to that end is the mandatory nature of the payment of the premiums (payroll taxes). If you allowed people to opt in and out, many would opt out. Of those who opted out, many would be irresponsible, not save or plan for retirement, and thus become a burden on society in old age.
Understood, but many appear willing to take their chances with their own decisions and not be part of other peoples insurance policy. Especially with those contributing the most facing possible increased contributions and reduced benefits. Must be some reason it is popular with many.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-05-2011, 10:31 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Nah... mostly it's just a generalized fear about the national debt
and from that a generalized scrambling and grasping for straws.

Most know that the "benefits" of personal accounts is specious at best.

hth
Not so sure about that. Many our age look at their investment portfolio's and compare what that would be like had their and their employers SS contributions gone into salary which in turn had been invested.
For many there is a better feeling about having created your own nest egg as opposed to being part of collective insurance policy designed to favor those who contribute the least over those who contribute the most.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top