Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Population Distribution by Age, 1950-2050

Click for larger image and higher quality.
Watch the U.S. "population distribution by age" change over time in 5-year intervals from 1950 to 2050 in the animated graphic above, from the Calculated Risk blog.  At around the year 2035, the age distribution will make it obvious why the Social Security System is headed for insolvency. 

72 Comments:

At 5/02/2012 2:11 PM, Blogger AIG said...

It's always been my opinion that a lot of the problems this country faces today, can be linked to the baby boomer phenomenon. The first entitlement generation, also happened to be the largest generation. Looks like there's more to come, too.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:15 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Euthanasia.

Either pull out your pocketbooks and pay, pay, pay to keep the carcasses alive past the expiration date, or start to embrace humane euthanasia.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:26 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Professor Perry,

I will agree that the Federal government is headed for insolvency - primarily due to Medicare. But I don't think Social Security by itself is headed for insolvency in a legal sense.

Social Security law has a mechanism which is supposed to prevent it's insolvency. When the alleged "trust funds" are exhausted, Social Security benefits by law must be reduced to the level of Social Security taxes. Trustees projections show that would mean a 25 to 27 percent reduction in currently projected benefits. What's interesting to me is that those 73% of projected benefits are much higher in real dollars than the current level of benefits (that is, benefits per recipients).

As I understand it, if Congress eliminated the mythical trust fund altogether, Social Security would still be able to pay - from Social Security tax receipts - a large percentage of currently projected benefits.

The insolvency problem is with Medicare.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:28 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

AIG, you are very mistaken. Boomers have been paying for the entitlements of their parents and grandparents for all their working lives. We are definitely not the "first entitlement generation".

 
At 5/02/2012 2:28 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Or, I dunno, Bunny....maybe let people pay for themselves instead of holding a gun to other people's heads to force them to pay to keep your carcass going.

Because, you know what? You don't know when anybody's "expiration date" is (with the possible exception of yourself) and it'll be a sad day in hell the day we let a confused nut job like you decide when Juandos's number is up.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:33 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jet Beagle,

You know very well that the "trust fund" filled with IOU's to ourselves is nothing more than accounting gimmickry. As far as I know, the SSA is already paying out more than SS taxes taken in - as of a couple of years ago.

I don't know how politically possible it is to cut SS payments to the giant voting block of retiring boomers. But, even if they manage it, there goes the lie that it's safer and more reliable than investing the money in the stock market (which is something I know you don't disagree with, I'm just sayin'...).

 
At 5/02/2012 2:34 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Oh, AIG, you really touched a nerve with your intergenerational slam.

The Greatest Generation and their parents received far more in social security benefits than they contributed over their lives. Boomers born after 1950 - about 80% of all the Boomers - will receive less from Social Security than they paid.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:35 PM, Blogger Moe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:37 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

What's your point, Moe? Jet Beagle is right - the first people who received SS payments never paid a dime into the Ponzi.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Methinks--

I stated, "humane euthanasia."

I did not say that applied in the immediate sense to you or Juandos.

While you shows signs of being brain dead, perhaps you have a body like Amir's, and are of use in certain trades.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Moe said...

My point was deleted - because there was no point.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:42 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

methinks: "I don't know how politically possible it is to cut SS payments to the giant voting block of retiring boomers."

The first step - and the most damaging step, IMO - will be to divide that giant block of retiring boomers. Means testing, which even smart people such as Russ Roberts have advocated, is the simple way to slice 10 to 20 percent of SS benefits.

Hasn't a class warfare strategy worked before in history? to enable the accension of the tyrants?

 
At 5/02/2012 2:42 PM, Blogger AIG said...

The Greatest Generation and their parents received far more in social security benefits than they contributed over their lives. Boomers born after 1950 - about 80% of all the Boomers - will receive less from Social Security than they paid.

That's not a very important point. The boomers are a large bulge in the demographics. The previous generation was a lot smaller, and now mostly gone. But they aren't the main wave.

Its the demographics, coupled with the entitlements (and the boomers have far more entitlement programs).

And this is further evidence that despite everyone's best wishes, fiscal disaster of European proportions is not likely to be avoided.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"It's always been my opinion that a lot of the problems this country faces today, can be linked to the baby boomer phenomenon"...

Was there no FDR in your history books aig?

 
At 5/02/2012 2:44 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Pardon my misspelling. That should be "ascension of the tyrants".

 
At 5/02/2012 2:46 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

AIG: "That's not a very important point."

It's a damned important point to those of us who were screwed by a system we didn't implement and were unable to change.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Euthanasia"...

Great idea pseudo benny but try to make it as painful as possible for yourself to see if there is a difference between your regular comments and your comments made in the throes of pain...

 
At 5/02/2012 2:51 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jet Beagle, I don't happen to agree with Russ Roberts on several issues, turning Social Security into a welfare program among them(it is slightly anyway - the lower earners get slightly more than they paid in and you will get less). Unlike Russ, I also know that the entire world of finance is not, as he put it, "tawdry".

 
At 5/02/2012 3:09 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Did you miss the point again, Bunny? The only "humane euthanasia" is the one you inflict on yourself.

There is nothing "humane" about compelling another person to die, regardless of the justifications you happen to murmur to yourself to help you feel better about it.

 
At 5/02/2012 3:11 PM, Blogger Moe said...

Looking at the total debt we are currently handing over to future generations - what % is from Social Security?

 
At 5/02/2012 3:14 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

AIG: "The previous generation was a lot smaller, and now mostly gone."

Uh, no. They're not mostly gone. Almost all of the 38 million retirees who are collecting social security benefits today are in that "previous generation".

 
At 5/02/2012 3:14 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/02/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

methinks: "I don't happen to agree with Russ Roberts on several issues, turning Social Security into a welfare program among them"

I remember that you joined me in disagreeing on that point.

For me, it's very personal. I have a couple of lazy relatives who contributed much, much less to my mother's retirement and my brother's SS disability. I do not want to see them receive SS benefits in their retirement years if I am denied such benefits simply because I accumulated a nest egg.

 
At 5/02/2012 3:30 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

AIG: "and the boomers have far more entitlement programs"

Please explain what entitlement programs I have which my mother does not have. Or which my in-laws do not have.

 
At 5/02/2012 3:31 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I remember your justification, Jet Beagle. That kind of thing burns me up as well.

I don't want to see the imprudent rewarded at the expense of the prudent any more than they already are - and, IMO, they're already rewarded too much. We're teaching people to be helpless leeches.

 
At 5/02/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I do not want to see them receive SS benefits in their retirement years if I am denied such benefits simply because I accumulated a nest egg"...

Well often have we heard the term, 'means testing' tossed around as part of one sort of SS band aid or another?

Again like the 'progressive' income extortion system of taxation, accomplishment is directly proportion to accomplishment...

 
At 5/02/2012 4:28 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

One part of Social Security that should also be part of the discussion is disability benefits.

Disability benefits are projected to run out in a couple of years. There has been a major exodus from the workforce in recent years, and into Social Security Disability status (younger than 62).

Where will the funds come from to continue this retirement program?

 
At 5/02/2012 4:29 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Please explain what entitlement programs I have which my mother does not have. Or which my in-laws do not have.

Well, they have them now too. But again, this coupled with a demographic bulge, is the problem.

 
At 5/02/2012 4:43 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

In a free market, when you are asked to pony up $3,500 a day to keep keep 87-year-old inert Grandma alive so she can die in 20 days....you too will see the beauty of euthanasia.

I don't see the point of living a month or two longer when I am 87, if it will set my grandkids back $70k.

And at age 85 (in a free market) you will not be able to buy insurance that would pay to keep you alive.

We actually need the "death panels" so maligned by those who want to tax us to keep people alive past their expiration date.

 
At 5/02/2012 4:54 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yah, Bunny, that's between you and your grandkids. If they're happy to help you shuffle off this mortal coil by either not paying for your continued treatment or proactively at your request, then mazel tov. Happy trails, sunshine.

But, I don't want any offspring of yours making that decision for anyone else in my family.

At age 85, in a free market, I will not have been forced to pay all my life for your care or the care of your children and your parents. Therefore, my kids and I will be richer and we can decide without any help from you whether we want to keep this crabby grandma around for another day or not.

You do not belong on my death panel and I don't belong on yours. Now do you get it?

 
At 5/02/2012 5:00 PM, Blogger AIG said...

And at age 85 (in a free market) you will not be able to buy insurance that would pay to keep you alive.

Sure. But the point of insurance is not to buy it at 87, when you're going to need it. It's to buy it at 17. Once more, you fail to understand the problem.

Do you buy your car insurance after you've had a car accident?

 
At 5/02/2012 5:11 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

AIG, that's not exactly how health insurance works. Or car insurance, actually.

Bunny is claiming you wouldn't be able to buy health insurance BEFORE you get sick if you're 85. He's probably wrong. You'd likely be able to buy it, but the difference between your premium and the cost of treatment will not be that different because of the extremely high probability that there are already a million things wrong with you and you're probably already disintegrating into atoms at that age.

 
At 5/02/2012 5:21 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Bunny is claiming you wouldn't be able to buy health insurance BEFORE you get sick if you're 85.

Sure I get that. But it's unrealistic to assume that someone is buying health insurance at 85. Why didn't they buy a policy when they were 17? Ie you buy it when you're healthy, not when you're 85 (after you have your car accident)

Which is why I don't think that the "mandate" is not a terrible idea, economically. But it only works if there is a relatively free market in health insurance

 
At 5/02/2012 5:27 PM, Blogger rjs said...

life expectancy, especially for women, is already lower than projected circa 2009...

 
At 5/02/2012 6:06 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Look, I think we all know what should happen.

As soon as someone becomes a burden on society, we put them on a piece of ice and ship them off to sea.

 
At 5/02/2012 6:26 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Because that's not how health insurance works, AIG. At 17, the health insurance company assesses the risk of a 17 year old coming down with an expensive disease. They re-assess and renew your policy at different premiums every year.

They don't assess your LIFETIME risk of getting ill and base your insurance premium on that. It's a year-long contract (usually). If you want to insure your lifetime probability of illness, start a savings account.

I'm oversimplifying, of course, but that's basically how it works.

 
At 5/02/2012 6:29 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

It might be more helpful to think of Insurance in terms of options.. Insurance is basically an option.

When you price an option, you don't price in every event that could happen in perpetuity (which is the assumed duration for the underlying stock). You price it for the duration of the contract.

 
At 5/02/2012 6:35 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Jet had it right at the top - the biggest threat by far bar none is Medicare Part B (C,D).

No one pays a penny into these with payroll taxes.

they are entirely voluntary. You have to sign up.

you cannot sign up until you are 65 but once you are 65 you cannot be denied (like you might in the private insurance market).

Once you sign up.. you pay 100 a month for a product that costs $400 a month even if you have a retirement income of 70K and have significant assets.

this is the program that will bankrupt the country.

Social Security is a gnat on a dogs butt in terms of a threat to the budget.

it will, in fact, automatically reduce, UNLESS Congress changes the law.

The same thing will happen to the disability fund which was pointed out to run out soon (already?).

without changes, the law requires that program to reduce expenditures.

Don't forget also that Medicare Part A is part of FICA taxes which you do pay into it but it's for hospitalization only.

the big dust-up over SS is more philosophical than actual budget threat.

Once the Trust Fund is "exhausted", FICA will continue to generate about a trillion dollars a year. The money in the trust fund was generated from FICA taxes. The "trust" fund is one of over 200 in the govt to include trust funds for Medicare, Govt and military pensions, gas taxes, airport fees, etc - they all work very similarly. Fees,taxes are collected and put into trust funds..then benefits are paid out.

Whatever is left in the trust fund is called a "surplus". When the trust fund is empty - benefits are paid directly from revenues.


To put FICA taxes in context - if you look at home much we currently generate in income taxes (both corporate and individual) it's about 1.3 trillion. FICA generates about 800 billion or more depending on how many people are working and paying FICA,

Not a penny of FICA is spent on the general budget and not a penny of the general budget is spent on SS (except to pay back the trust fund).

 
At 5/02/2012 6:59 PM, Blogger AIG said...

You price it for the duration of the contract.

Sure, of course. But again, it's unrealistic that someone would be taking out an insurance at age 85, because at that point the risk is certain. My 17 example was exaggeration, and of course the insurance company would adjust prices...

 
At 5/02/2012 7:29 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Right, AIG. But even if you took out an insurance policy at the age of 50, it would only be for when you're 50. It wouldn't price in events at 85. So, an insurance policy purchased years before you turn 85 is irrelevant to you when you're 85. At 85, healthcare is going to get very expensive, whether you pay out of pocket or through insurance.

My point to Bunny is that whether that money is spent on you or not should be the decision of you and your family and it should be your money you're spending.

 
At 5/03/2012 6:12 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Larry G: "Not a penny of FICA is spent on the general budget and not a penny of the general budget is spent on SS (except to pay back the trust fund)."

Yes, fun with accounting. And such fancy words. "general budget" and "trust fund". It all sounds so proper.

Social Security and Medicare are just tax programs with fancy marketing plans so politicians can get more money to garner support from special interests through political favors and to spit out just enough welfare to keep the masses from revolting.

The end result is Benjamin's utopia. A state that decides when you are no longer profittable enough for the state to allow to live.

 
At 5/03/2012 6:45 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I'd agree to any rendition that is deals with facts.

FICA/SS/Medicare Part A are earmarked (dedicated) taxes/benefits.

SS is the ONLY program in the budget that is, by law, required to balance and not pay out more benefits than it takes in - in revenues.

we should be so lucky that the rest of govt should operate that way.


Medicare Part B (C,D), MedicAid, etc are appropriated (and taxpayer subsidized) entitlements.

The "trust fund" narrative making the rounds is basically propaganda for those too lazy to look into what it really is and is not -given the fact that over 200 of them exist in govt and each one functions the same way as a holding place for taxes and fees until they are spent.

that's the way it works whether you are talking about military pensions, aircraft fees for airports, or gas taxes for roads.

here's a start at understanding what they are and are not:

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01199sp.pdf

entitled: FEDERAL TRUST
AND OTHER EARMARKED FUNDS

on page 9, you'll find these sage words:

" In the federal budget the meaning of the term “trust” differs significantly from its private sector usage"

 
At 5/03/2012 7:11 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Appreciate that link Larry - thanks.

 
At 5/03/2012 7:49 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

methinks: "But even if you took out an insurance policy at the age of 50, it would only be for when you're 50"

I'm not sure if it's possible for health insurance. It is possible to purchase long term care insurance at age 50 which will alloow one to limit price increases throughout his lifetime. To do so, the insuror does factor into the price the total expected lifetime cost of the insuree.

IMO, the health insurance industry would have developed similar health care insurance programs - if Medicare had never been enacted. I think they didn't do so before the mid-1960s because life expectancy was so much lower. The base of retirees was much smaller, and there were better opportubities for health insurance companies.

 
At 5/03/2012 7:49 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

you bet!

 
At 5/03/2012 7:59 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

what the private insurance market will not do is insure people who have known health problems or a high likelihood of emerging health problems.

the vast majority of people at age 65 have a long and voluminous medical history and a proven record of higher health care costs.

the reason SS and Medicare were created was because a high percentage of the elderly were indigent and needed taxpayer assistance.


the insurance industry practices adverse selection.

the problem with adverse selection is that taxpayers pick up the costs of those who have been "adversely selected".

social insurance is mandated insurance that requires everyone to set something aside for the day when they will be among the groups that are "adverse selected".

this is a worldwide approach - not a US approach.

here are the 100+ countries that have enacted some form of mandated social insurance:

http://www.ssa.gov/international/links.html

the list of countries that have not is basically a list of 3rd world and developing countries.

it's the mandate that forms the core of what social insurance is - not the form it takes

and everyone one of them is subject to demographic and actuarial forces.

 
At 5/03/2012 8:15 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jet Beagle, I agree. I have no doubt that the insurance industry would have innovated new products in the absence of regulation and mandates.

I'm not sure what you mean by "limiting price increases", but all insurance does is reduce the volatility of spending and spreads the risk among members of the pool. One of the things they factor in is the probability of price increases, so those are baked into the premium.

I have no doubt that high risk pools would have existed without government interference. But, as you get older the probability of the need for expensive treatments rises steeply toward 100% and you might as well pay out of pocket. Certainly, neither private insurance companies nor Medicare will (nor should they, IMO) pay for Hail Mary treatments.

And speaking of long-term care, I shopped around for it a while ago and it was horribly expensive - which just goes to show how much government underprices risk in medicare.

 
At 5/03/2012 8:20 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Larry, go look up "adverse selection". You have no idea what that term means. Adverse selection hurts insurance companies and the risk pool, not the other way around. Insurance companies have developed ways to deal with adverse selection that government regularly thwarts.

And...uh...while you were busy misunderstanding Social Security, it obviously escaped your notice that all of these "first world" countries rolling in the riches of "social insurance" are BANKRUPT as a result of it.

 
At 5/03/2012 8:36 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Methinks - go suck on egg. It will improve your vocabulary and probably your looks.

If you cannot disagree without calling names.. go away.

if you think I am wrong, then you state what you think the facts are.,

Otherwise just keep your tongue.

 
At 5/03/2012 8:38 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I am more than willing to trade insults with you Methinks.

I'd rather not but if you insist...

we'll do just that.

be polite or get it back in your face.

your choice.

 
At 5/03/2012 8:57 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

why, it's almost as if ponzi schemes ultimately end badly.

 
At 5/03/2012 9:13 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

REAL ponzi schemes do end badly.

http://www.ssa.gov/history/ponzi.htm

There are more than a hundred mandated social insurance programs in the world in every representative govt, and as far as I know not a one has ever been disbanded including the 100 year old system in Germany.

much private insurance is pay-as-you-go,
your premium goes to pay the loss of someone else.

the only difference with public insurance is that it is mandated.

the essential argument here is that the mandate is resented because it is suspected you pay more for it than you should.

but folks think that about private insurance also.

I totally resent the amount of money that I have to pay for insurance and the fact that the premiums are gone... and I don't get any back if I don't have a loss.

that's the nature of insurance.

many would not buy insurance if it was not mandated..for instance, auto insurance or even fire or homeowners insurance for mortgaged properties.

and those same folks would not save for their future expenses either and would depend on the "govt" (other taxpayers) to rescue them.

More than 100 countries have chosen to mandate the purchase of social insurance.

Calling all of them "ponzi" schemes as well as the essential nature of pay-as-you-go insurance in general does not advance the discussion especially when there is no real world analog for what folks advocate instead.

 
At 5/03/2012 9:40 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I think it's time to levy a Pigovian tax on Larry's pollution.

 
At 5/03/2012 11:26 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

methinks: "I'm not sure what you mean by "limiting price increases"

If, at age 50, I had purchased a five year long term care insurance policy, the cost would have been fairly low. But I would have needed to purchase an entirely new policy at age 55. At 55, I had contracted diabetes, and my long term care insurance rate would have skyrocketed.

Instead, at age 50 I purchased a policy which would automatically renew at the same rate (adjusted for general inflation) for the rest of my life. Of course, the
premium at age 50 for such a policy was much higher than the premium for a fixed term policy.

In my case, I saved a huge amount of money. Actually, diabetics are uninsurable in most states, so I probably would not have been able to renew my long term care term policy once it expired.

Is this explanation understandable?

IMO, in the absence of Medicare, such lower cost, automatically renewable policies would have been offerred for catastrophic health insurance as well as for long term care.

 
At 5/03/2012 11:40 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

breath deep Methinks.. it's better than you talking....

 
At 5/03/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Actually, I'm not sure that term-limited long term care insurance is offerred in the U.S. anymore. Such insurance may have been regulated out of existence.

 
At 5/03/2012 11:44 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"I think it's time to levy a Pigovian tax on Larry's pollution"...

I second methinks idea...

 
At 5/03/2012 11:52 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"many would not buy insurance if it was not mandated..for instance, auto insurance or even fire or homeowners insurance for mortgaged properties"...

Oh man! What an incredibly goofy statement!!

Good one larry g!

What's the difference between being forced into a Ponzi scheme like socialist security and voluntarily buying insurance for items that were voluntarily purchased?

I know its a toughie larry g but try to think it through...

 
At 5/03/2012 11:54 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

feel free to join in Juandos.

If you want to debate ideas without attacking others person then great.

If not.. I can sling insults with the best of you.

it's your choice.

Methinks is a bag of sanctimonious hot air without manners as far as I am concerned.

I know folks like her. there some here.

the way you deal with those folks is stuff it back on them.

I have no problems with anyone pointing out how they think I'm wrong or even not knowledgeable.

I've pointed out that every one of us is ignorant and it's a "good thing" to dialogue to learn and better understand.

Methinks and company think it means open season on Ad Hominems.

I reject that, It's a cowardly way to deal with others you disagree with.

We have here in CD an "open market" of ideas with no rules like many blogs have.

Some take that to mean they can be as mean-spirited and ugly as you please.

You even have some "favorites" here you like to regularly dump on,

I'm here to tell you that if you play that game with me, you're getting right back in your face.

I dialogue quite well with a number of folks here and we keep on the high ground even when there is disagreement.

Some of you are cretins.

that's fine.. do your thing.

and get back what you give.

 
At 5/03/2012 12:01 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: mandated social security insurance,

some have suggested that it bankrupts countries.

I don't see any examples provided,

the US certainly won't go bankrupt just from social security.

those who say claim that it hurts our economy..that we'd be better off without it.

I ask for real world examples.

then the insults begin...

some believe in an ideology for which there are no real world examples.

I know of no country that is better off because it does not have social insurance but I'd certainly listen to those who insist otherwise ...

the vast majority of advanced governments in the world mandate social insurance.

none that I know of have gone "bankrupt".

I know of no countries without it or got rid of it that are considered "better" than the countries that have it.

If there were such countries, it would indeed be a powerful argument against mandated social insurance.

 
At 5/03/2012 12:28 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jet Beagle, I'm sorry to hear that you've developed diabetes and thank you for the excellent explanation.

I've never looked into these plans before and, as usual, your comments inform me. I have no idea what's on offer as I choose to largely self-insure.

We are on the same page. When the insurer underwrote your contract, it took into account various probabilities of many different outcomes. Your premium reflects these calculations. You paid more than you otherwise would have before you became sick and less then you otherwise would have after. The volatility of your health care spending was smoothed out and the risk was spread amongst the all participants in the insurance pool. You bought a put on your health.

I agree that the market - whether through auto-renewed policies or something else - would have come up with solutions in the absence of Medicare and in absence of central planning via insurance regulation. And without bankrupting entire generations. Imagine that. Unfortunately, to few can.

 
At 5/03/2012 12:47 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

methinks: "Unfortunately, too few can."

Well, I can see how the free market would have functioned in absence of Medicare. What I cannot see is how we can ever get to a health care free market again.

Younger Americans should not expect Boomers to vote out Medicare. It is too late in our lives to pursue any market-based options which would emerge. We no longer have 40 years of earning power in which to invest in health savings accounts or other alternatives to Medicare.

If younger Americans wish to phase out Medicare in favor of free market alternatives, they will have to compromise.

 
At 5/03/2012 12:54 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Methinks is a bag of sanctimonious hot air without manners as far as I am concerned"...

LMAO!

Ahhh larry g as is your usual habit you're wrong again...

methinks isn't insulting you, she's being brutally frank about your glaring inability to grasp even the simplist and most basic concepts of economics...

Its like your inability to distinguish between voluntary purchases and enforced participation in socialist Ponzi schemes that make people wonder why you seem to be reluctant to educate yourself on the differences...

 
At 5/03/2012 12:59 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Medicare Part B is not mandated.

no one pays into it.

it is purely voluntary.

the problem is that it costs about $400 a month to provide and it charges about $100 a month.

so it's a no-brainer for anyone who qualifies for it.

The govt can administratively bump the premiums up but the governing law states that the government will cover 3/4 of the costs and the insured will cover 1/4.

Paul Ryan basically wants to cap the amount the govt pays and as costs go up - the insured will have to cover.

but as they say..there is MORE to the story.

Many, many employer-provided health insurance companies FORCE those who are 65 to go to Medicare (part B) to make it primary. The Federal Govt Health insurance programs do this but many other non-govt plans do this also.

if they could not do that..the costs on the employer insurance would go up substantially or if unregulated, they'd likely dump the retired.

 
At 5/03/2012 1:01 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

We agree again, Jet Beagle. Unfortunately, there are too few people who, like you, can envision a world where overpromised and underfunded security isn't provided by government. For the reasons you mention, I don't think we'll get market solutions until the whole thing begins to cause intolerable pain.

I note that market solutions appeared in Europe in response to the inadequacies of government provided services. A private health care market, for instance.

I speculate that Medicare will simply cover less and less. While the boomers will never vote it down, the tax revenue to support the all-you-can-eat system we have now simply won't be there eventually. More seniors will have to pay out of pocket for more procedures. Of course, this will be tragic as many will have saved too little, duped by the lie of government-provided security. On the other hand, it's possible that market solutions will be allowed to ease the pain.

Perhaps that will make it easier to get rid of Medicare entirely in the future.

Or...the U.S. could allow more immigrants and pare back business throttling regulation to take the breaks off wealth creation.

I guess we'll find out.

 
At 5/03/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: methinks being brutally frank

bullcrap. it's your basic Ad Hominem attack... disguised as a "comment".

I know the difference and so do you.

you guys use this excuse when you want to abuse someone.

stick it in your ear.

you can disagree without being disagreeable or insulting others and for you or Methinks or anyone else to think you know it all and the person you talking to knows nothing is just plain ignorant arrogance.

it's not so hard to disagree and to point out to the other person where you think they are in err - without being a bag of sanctimonious hot air.

If you want to play that role, fine.. but you'll get back "dividends".

who the H do you think you are to start with?

what gives you the right to dump on other people no matter how ignorant you think they are?

much of the disagreement here is based on ideology not reality and you advocate things that simply do not exist in the real world and then you have the nerve to call others who point this reality out ignorant.

the "brutal reality" here is that there are some resident idiots who think much more highly of themselves than they ever should.

 
At 5/03/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: the whole thing unravels

what unmitigated BUNK!

how many countries BESIDES Europe, including Asia, Australia, New Zealand have mandated social insurance?

I pointed out that Medicare Part B is totally VOLUNTARY... NOT mandated.

We just sell it way too cheap and many, if not most employer-provided health insurance USE Medicare Part B to shed themselves of the retired.

If you got rid of Medicare Part B, it's a pretty sure bet that almost no one over 65 could obtain any kind of health insurance without being rich or selling off their assets including their homes.

And again - I KEEP ASKING for someone to point out some SUCCESSFUL countries who do not have mandated social insurance,

Name them and show how as a result of not having these programs - they are superior economically or as individuals.

as far as I know ..there are no real world examples of what is advocated.

so we're advocating what is basically an ideology... a belief and little else...

 
At 5/03/2012 2:41 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"bullcrap. it's your basic Ad Hominem attack... disguised as a "comment""...

Its not an insult if its factual...

Let's face it larry g regardless of how many times you try to slice your leftist (socialist?) viewpoint it doesn't sell with methinks and a whole lot of other folks...

Like pseudo benny you hope repetition of something that is at best questionable will make it somehow morph into a fact...

Regardless of how many other countries, industrial or not that buy into the hokum of citizen control via one wealth redistribution scam or another, its still what it is regardless of your admiration for it...

 
At 5/03/2012 2:58 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Abusive ad hominem (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one's opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out true character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the opponent's argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and negative facts about the opponent's personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent's arguments or assertions."

when you fools say that NOTHING that comes from some one is of merit... you are engaging in a systematic effort to undermine them as a person,

RE: regardless of...

there is no "admiration" of it.

it is what it is,

it's totally wrong to say that every single country in the world that practices it is "bankrupt" and especially so when you cannot give counter examples of countries that are better off as you imply they'd be without the "wealth distribution".

I "GET IT" that you are true believers in the free market and all things libertarian and I especially appreciate the COGENT arguments that you give but the "bankrupt"/would be better claim is pure 100% ideological BUNK!

give me a list of the countries that are "not" going bankrupt from these so-called schemes -

what you are arguing does not exist...in the real world.

all I ask is for you to back up your view...

and then for you "geniuses" to turn around and launch Ad Hominems attacks against those who disagree with you... is just plain intellectually corrupt.

 
At 5/03/2012 5:44 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"when you fools say that NOTHING that comes from some one is of merit... you are engaging in a systematic effort to undermine them as a person"...

Well if the shoe fits....

"it's totally wrong to say that every single country in the world that practices it is "bankrupt" and especially so when you cannot give counter examples of countries that are better off as you imply they'd be without the "wealth distribution""...

So what are you saying larry g?

That you don't know the history of your own comments?

I know I never used the word 'bankrupt'...

Still if you really want to see the practices you apparently admire bankrupting countries then maybe you should look at the European Union members like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy for instance...

A little closer to home and you can look at states like California, Illinois, and Massachusetts as other equally proud but financially broke states that wallow in a wide array of socialist schemes they can't afford...

"give me a list of the countries that are "not" going bankrupt from these so-called schemes"...

Get your own lists larry g...

"all I ask is for you to back up your view"...

Hmmm, an admission of short term memory loss larry g?

"and then for you "geniuses" to turn around and launch Ad Hominems attacks against those who disagree with you"...

Funny how liberals throw that phrase around when reality doesn't fit their preconceived narritive...

 
At 5/03/2012 5:58 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

you're a HOOT Juandos...

In most conversations of mandated social insurance here - more than a few (if not you) say that the countries with mandated social insurance are [all] going broke.

I see none that have. I see some that have been forced to cut benefits and I would expect that but none sold to creditors and their assets auctioned off.

but let's assume those countries are "sorta" bankrupt... and it's because of their mandated payroll taxes for social insurance.

I ask you to name some countries that are clearly better off (as you would claim) as a result of NOT having those nasty payroll taxes for mandated social insurance.

I see no countries like that. Do you?

so the idea that we'd be a better country with a better economy if we got rid of mandated payroll taxes.. has no real world analog.

There is no list of "UN-socialized" countries that you (or any others) would hold up as an example of what you advocate for.

so you're advocating for a belief, an ideology.. not anything you can show a real world example of.

then the folks that point this out are called " ignorant" or " not able to use "logic"...etc....

so why can't you point out some countries that are more like what you advocate for?

 
At 5/04/2012 1:24 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I see none that have. I see some that have been forced to cut benefits and I would expect that but none sold to creditors and their assets auctioned off.

but let's assume those countries are "sorta" bankrupt... and it's because of their mandated payroll taxes for social insurance.

I ask you to name some countries that are clearly better off (as you would claim) as a result of NOT having those nasty payroll taxes for mandated social insurance.

I see no countries like that. Do you?
"...

My gosh! Why larry g do you take such pride in your ignorance, an ignorance driven by your own inability to do a little homework on your own?

 

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