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Old 11-10-2011, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,973,893 times
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Economically, the Old Are Outpacing the Young - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

Also read the readers' comments below challenging the article. A lot of realism going on in those.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:46 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,479,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Economically, the Old Are Outpacing the Young - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

Also read the readers' comments below challenging the article. A lot of realism going on in those.
Serves the greedy, disrespectful, entitlement-oriented little whippersnappers right!
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Economically, the Old Are Outpacing the Young - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

Also read the readers' comments below challenging the article. A lot of realism going on in those.
I read the article and the first page of comments. Whether there is "a lot of realism" in those comments depends on your definition of realism. Sure, their descriptions of the difficulties low-income seniors face is very realistic. But the article is attempting to look at seniors versus younger people as groups. The only way to look at a situation that way is to use averages, or better yet medians, if available. To say that, on the whole, "the old are outpacing the young" (from the title of the article) does not deny that many old people are struggling. I do not remember any such denial in the article. There was one long and angry reader comment which did a lot of twisting of numbers, averages, and assumptions in order to discredit the basic conclusion; I would have a field day rebutting that one.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,538 posts, read 44,002,416 times
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And then we right below that in our local paper we have an article which states more seniors live in poverty now than ever before.

Quote:
The supplemental measure put the percentage of Americans under 18 living in poverty at 18.2 percent, a drop from the 22.5 percent official rate. Among those 65 and older, the supplemental rate was 15.9 percent, an increase from the 9 percent official rate.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...nsus-data.html
So, both are true.

More discussion, here:

US wealth gap between young and old is widest ever
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,957,332 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
serves the greedy, disrespectful, entitlement-oriented little whippersnappers right!
lol

Last edited by Cattknap; 11-11-2011 at 06:20 AM..
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,973,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
And then we right below that in our local paper we have an article which states more seniors live in poverty now than ever before.


So, both are true.

More discussion, here:

US wealth gap between young and old is widest ever
"Today’s data, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure, is based on how much families spend on food, clothing, shelter and utilities. It represents a shift from the method the bureau has used since the 1960s, which determined the official poverty line by tripling a family’s annual food budget."

Both the old and new methods are potentially misleading with statistics. The variables (factors) are too wide. Styles of spending vary widely. I see people in places like Costco in line with a little blue card that are apparently food stamps and their cart is filled to the hilt--I mean piled high--with the junkiest food you can imagine. In other families, many a shopping trip consists of far less "food" in terms of quantity, but fresh and wholesome, which may, in the end, cost more than the cart full of junk. Many a so-called poverty family are not shopping at thrift stores but buying at mainstream clothing stores. You can also imagine the parents who spend their available money on drugs, cigs, gambling, etc and cannot put food on the table for their kids. What does how much people spend (even in relation to their income) have to do with their poverty? No statistician is determining what is necessary and what is not in those expenditures.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,973,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I read the article and the first page of comments. Whether there is "a lot of realism" in those comments depends on your definition of realism. Sure, their descriptions of the difficulties low-income seniors face is very realistic. But the article is attempting to look at seniors versus younger people as groups. The only way to look at a situation that way is to use averages, or better yet medians, if available. To say that, on the whole, "the old are outpacing the young" (from the title of the article) does not deny that many old people are struggling. I do not remember any such denial in the article. There was one long and angry reader comment which did a lot of twisting of numbers, averages, and assumptions in order to discredit the basic conclusion; I would have a field day rebutting that one.
Realism: "That this is true is due, at least in part, to the older generation having been products of that fading memoryÖ the middle class. Those born in 1946, or before, reached working age by 1963, or before, if they entered the workforce before or upon graduating high-school. The majority didnít attend college. They didnít necessarily need to attend university in order to steadily build a solid life for themselves and for their families...."

Realism (re: statistics): "Not all the elderly are better off, if you have money you are, if your house is paid for, you are if you live under a bridge, you aren't...anything can be done with numbers. .."\

Realism: "By and large the older generation is sitting pretty in relation to the younger ones. They have health insurance, pensions, social security and savings. As mentioned, they have equity in their homes.

Their enviable situation was created in part by their predecessors, the one that their children will inherit was created by them and their decisions thirty years ago. Declining wages, no pensions, and higher health care costs, and fewer social benefits all around...."

Realism: "One thing that Paul does not consider - this "huge accumulation of wealth" can easily be wiped out by one illness associated with aging...."

Realism: "Any wealth my husband and I have accumulated over the years comes from living within our means and saving. I have been working since I was 16- more than 40 years. We should have a comfortable, though not lush, retirement because when we retire we will have no credit card debt and our house will be paid for. What we have we worked for...."

Realism: "What's this nonsense of pitting the old against the young? The real division is between the very wealthy who have seen their wealth and income skyrocket over a period when most others have flatlined.

Realism: Many seniors who are reasonably comfortable today would have been living in poverty in the days before Social Security came along. But don't worry, the Supercommittee will fix that...."

Realism: "Now, after a lifetime of doing without and putting aside, and being more than willing to share with those less fortunate, I see so-called safety net is being ripped apart by the greedy in society, with the active connivance of the dimwits who think they are not next in line for a knifing...."

Gosh I'm copying and pasting all the reader comments on this article....seems like a lot of intelligent takes on realism to me...

Averages and medians tell nothing. We are talking about the aggregate trend. Not saying I agree or disagree with anything yet. I was more impressed with the reader comments than with the article itself. I do see from extensive reading in a wide variety of authors the trend for younger folks to not have the opportunities and securities that the post-WWII folks (boomers) have had. The boomer era has been a bubble in all respects if there ever was one.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
And then we right below that in our local paper we have an article which states more seniors live in poverty now than ever before.


So, both are true.

More discussion, here:

US wealth gap between young and old is widest ever
Not to quibble, but you can't draw your conclusion based on the information presented. The census bureau's study used a different formula to estimate poverty than that used for the official poverty rate. For example, the current calculations added receipt of public benefits as income and subtracted certain out-of-pocket costs as expenses. This does not mean there are more seniors living in poverty "now than ever before."
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,973,893 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Not to quibble, but you can't draw your conclusion based on the information presented. The census bureau's study used a different formula to estimate poverty than that used for the official poverty rate. For example, the current calculations added receipt of public benefits as income and subtracted certain out-of-pocket costs as expenses. This does not mean there are more seniors living in poverty "now than ever before."
Excellent point, and why statistics can be so unreliable.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,823 times
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There are too many conclusions drawn based on a very limited study. Here's the report:

http://www.census.gov/hhes/povmeas/m...rchSPM2010.pdf

The study notes that one reason it appears that the poverty level of the elderly has increased is because the official level has a lower threshold for those 65 and over. For example, the 2010 poverty threshold for a single household under the age of 65 is $11,344. The threshold for a single household 65 and older is $10,458.
Poverty Data - Poverty thresholds - U.S Census Bureau
The current formula does not apply a lower threshold to persons 65 and over.

In addition, the calculations include the receipt of government benefits as income. The authors note that these programs are not "targeted" to the elderly, suggesting the elderly are less likely to be receiving this additional income.

Indeed, my initial reaction was that the elderly are probably unaware that they may be eligible for supplemental "in-kind" income, i.e. SNAP, subsidized utility costs, etc. This may be true to an extent, however, I then realized that this alternative method of measuring poverty does NOT include assets. For example, a 65 year old is not eligible for SNAP if he has $3000 in countable resources. I'm guessing most seniors have $3000 tucked away. The census report does not include ANY assets, it is based purely on income and estimated expenses.

Indeed, IMHO, no conclusions regarding poverty among the elderly can be drawn from this report. When you are not including assets in determining who is or is not considered poor, the definition of poverty becomes meaningless. (Ever hear of the frugal millionaire?)
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