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Old 03-29-2015, 11:18 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 22,062,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
14% of the population is 65 or older..that's 44 million

Of that 44 million only 10% are at poverty level....that's 4 million.

The majority of seniors are not poor so this a not a major problem here.
And for those 4 million there's welfare programs.


Source of figures:
USA QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
Poverty Rate by Age | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The government standard of poverty is so flawed, and the vast majority of workers are covered by Social Security, that there shouldn't even be 4 million seniors at poverty level.

The most I have earned in a year is $17K, and I am on track to receive a Social Security benefit GREATER than poverty level. So it seems difficult for me to see why anyone with a consistent work history should retire in official poverty.

Having said that, the government definition of poverty says nothing about a person's actual standard of living, e.g. a poor free-and-clear homeowner with only $11K of Social Security is probably considerably better off than a non-poor renter with $12K of Social Security.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,454 posts, read 1,155,436 times
Reputation: 5492
I just came across this article today.

Stanford's Vernon: Income Inequality Impacting Retirement Savings


Quote:

Scott Cooley, director of policy research at Morningstar, reported that the U.S. has a "stunningly large" retirement savings gap that totals $4.13 trillion, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI).

"But that may not even be the worst news," Cooley wrote on the company blog. "Like much of American society, retirement preparedness is separated into the have and the have-nots, with the latter facing long odds to achieve anything resembling a decent retirement."

In Cooley's view, the U.S. should take a critical look at its retirement policy.

"Otherwise, we face the likelihood of growing numbers of the elderly living in poverty — clearly not a good outcome for them — and growing strains on means-tested social-support programs that will tax the resources of even those who thought they had saved adequately for their own post-work years."
The article had some suggestions for addressing the retirement income inequality issue

Quote:
Vernon said policy options to improve retirement savings for the bottom half of U.S. workers include mandating a minimum level of retirement contributions for all workers at the federal or state level, improving Social Security benefits for lower-income workers with higher taxes, or removing more barriers for employers to voluntarily sponsor retirement plans.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,587 posts, read 17,574,904 times
Reputation: 27677
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
I just came across this article today.

Stanford's Vernon: Income Inequality Impacting Retirement Savings

The article had some suggestions for addressing the retirement income inequality issue
I agree but this is a difficult problem to solve or even address. While there is a lot of noise from the responsbility crowd that people don't save sufficiently, which does have some merit, there has to be something leftover after basic needs are met to save. In my hometown, 17% of the population is below the poverty line. The rate is often much higher in more rural surrounding counties. How are those people expected to save for retirement? They really can't.

So then you have to take the "excess" from someone who has (ie: the rich) and give it to those folks (ie: the poor). The removal of the SS tax cap is one way to redistribute. Basically, the current mindset is purely redistributive, instead of growing the pie so those on the bottom have more overall.
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
So then you have to take the "excess" from someone who has (ie: the rich) and give it to those folks (ie: the poor). The removal of the SS tax cap is one way to redistribute. Basically, the current mindset is purely redistributive, instead of growing the pie so those on the bottom have more overall.
I totally agree that society has to find a way to grow the pie instead of relying solely on redistribution. The trickle-down/supply side economists like to think that it does not matter if the big pieces of the pie go to a tiny group of people since the privilege group can magically make their pieces grow and the rest can feed on their crumbs.

With global economy, there is no guarantee that the rich will keep their wealth in the US. They can either shelter their income abroad, spend on luxurious goods benefiting Paris, Milan, French Rivera, Seychelles economies etc or invest their money in sweat shops abroad.

I am no economist but would like to think that the middle class is the engine which drives the US economy. The continuing shrinking of the middle class sector and the growing of the poor sector as evidence by all the stats are quite worrisome.
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:16 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 22,062,610 times
Reputation: 8970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
I agree but this is a difficult problem to solve or even address. While there is a lot of noise from the responsbility crowd that people don't save sufficiently, which does have some merit, there has to be something leftover after basic needs are met to save. In my hometown, 17% of the population is below the poverty line. The rate is often much higher in more rural surrounding counties. How are those people expected to save for retirement? They really can't.

So then you have to take the "excess" from someone who has (ie: the rich) and give it to those folks (ie: the poor). The removal of the SS tax cap is one way to redistribute. Basically, the current mindset is purely redistributive, instead of growing the pie so those on the bottom have more overall.

The responsibility crowd appears to lack constructive response to this.
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:55 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
The responsibility crowd appears to lack constructive response to this.
Many are trying and remaining silent about the issue and letting it be.
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:37 PM
 
1,734 posts, read 1,949,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
...

I am no economist but would like to think that the middle class is the engine which drives the US economy. The continuing shrinking of the middle class sector and the growing of the poor sector as evidence by all the stats are quite worrisome.

...
Sadly, the middle class stopped being the engine once the global economy became virtualized.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,454 posts, read 1,155,436 times
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Food for thought on this article's conclusion statement:

Quote:
George Carlin joked that, “the reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.” How do we wake up?
The American people are clueless: Why income inequality is so much worse than we realize - Salon.com

Some interesting tidbits from the article

Quote:
The average American believes that the richest fifth own 59% of the wealth and that the bottom 40% own 9%. The reality is strikingly different. The top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. ...

As the journalist Chrystia Freeland put it, “Americans actually live in Russia, although they think they live in Sweden. And they would like to live on a kibbutz.”...

The median American estimated that the CEO-to-worker pay-ratio was 30-to-1, and that ideally, it’d be 7-to-1. The reality? 354-to-1. Fifty years ago, it was 20-to-1..

One likely reason for this is identified by a third study, published earlier this year by Shai Davidai and Thomas Gilovich that suggests that our indifference lies in a distinctly American cultural optimism. At the core of the American Dream is the belief that anyone who works hard can move up economically regardless of his or her social circumstances. ...

We may not want to believe it, but the United States is now the most unequal of all Western nations. To make matters worse, America has considerably less social mobility than Canada and Europe....

By overemphasizing individual mobility, we ignore important social determinants of success like family inheritance, social connections, and structural discrimination. ..

economic inequality is much worse than we think, but also that social mobility is less than you’d imagine. Our unique brand of optimism prevents us from making any real changes.
So how do we wake up?
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,515,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
Food for thought on this article's conclusion statement:



The American people are clueless: Why income inequality is so much worse than we realize - Salon.com

Some interesting tidbits from the article



So how do we wake up?
People should have "woken up" 25 years ago but they didn't.
Now they face the consequences.

It's more of adjust and adapt rather than trying to recover what used to be.

A "global society" cannot handle middle class all over the world..there are not enough resources for that.

We are evolving into a 2 class system
Globalization is causing a norming of workers. As third world and emerging countries rise, first world countries will decline. We will meet somewhere in the middle.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:48 AM
 
950 posts, read 714,989 times
Reputation: 1615
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane_sm1th73 View Post
Sadly, the middle class stopped being the engine once the global economy became virtualized.
your one sentence nailed it !
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