"What Baby Boomers’ Retirement Means For the U.S. Economy"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by thermodynamic, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
  2. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Likewise. It is behind a paywall.
  4. yaxomoxay macrumors 68020


    Mar 3, 2010
    you can.
    Go on google.
    Copy and paste the URL.
    Click on link or cached version.
    Thank me for giving you the entire WSJ for free.
  5. thermodynamic thread starter Suspended


    May 3, 2009

    Article has more
  6. thermodynamic thread starter Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    I'll quote a couple excerpts:

    The author stretches a lot of issues, more than putting a size 28 swimsuit on a guy who is size 48. Some reader comments are the usual sheepish garbage but others did write in a number of facts to counter the piece, one even claiming the author had lived a sheltered life (which is obvious by the amount of laughter-inducing spin being made).
  7. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Even easier way on some of these paywall sites is to just right click and open the link in incognito/private browsing mode.
  8. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    I might be stretching "fair use" here with the excerpts below but I recommend reading that whole 538 piece that @thermodynamic cited in the OP anyway. Especially since I didn't copy the hyperlinks, which are also interesting.

    Excerpts are in italics and are from http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-baby-boomers-retirement-means-for-the-u-s-economy/

    As bad as the U.S. demographics look, things are worse in much of the world. The U.S. has fewer residents over 65, as a share of its population, than most developed countries, and the disparity will only grow in coming decades. In 2050, about 21 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older compared to more than 30 percent in much of Western Europe and an incredible 40 percent in Japan. China, as a result of its “one child” policy, faces its own, somewhat different, demographic crisis.
    Nonetheless problems related to aging populations differ because of countries' different social safety nets (and differing views on how normal it is for everyone to help pay for them). The manner in which those set-asides are applied and maintained differ as well. We in the US do seem to get mired in pointless accusations of "socialism" vs "heartless bastards" when aging-population issues arise in legislative activity. We still evince a marked unwillingness even to attempt public discourse on these so-called "third rail" issues. We need to get over that since as the 538 piece notes, we currently have a relatively low percentage of population over 65. That can and does vary in cycles. Nice to learn how to talk about it more openly and calmly before we hit some Japan-like ratio.

    One reason the U.S. is in better shape is its comparatively high rate of immigration. Since people tend to migrate when they are younger, immigrants tend to bring down the age of the population as a whole. Moreover, at least in the U.S., immigrants tend to have a higher birth rate than the native-born population, although the gap has narrowed somewhat in recent years. The future direction of immigration, therefore, makes a big difference to the age breakdown of the U.S. population. The Census Bureau’s demographic estimates are based on a middle-of-the-road projection of future immigration, but the bureau also publishes alternative scenarios. In the “high immigration” scenario, the U.S. has nearly 22 million more working-age residents in 2050 than in the “low immigration” case.
    So let's see. We should probably refrain from deporting tens of millions of immigrants from the USA. Doing so is like chain-sawing out floor joists and figuring walls and roof, hey, house looks good. Trump's got this stuff all wrong.

    Help Mexico trash the drugs cartels, put out the welcome mat once again to Mexican immigrants (we welcomed them as students in the 60s and many stayed to became economists and lawyers and dentists and doctors and artists and housing contractors, did we forget how to do this?. Be nice to Canada even if their pipeline extension should consider rotting in hell. Canada has been scooping up the cream of Muslim immigrants while we dither about gee i dunno i dunno what their plans are i dunno do you know? Yeah. I know. Their plans, like ours, are to make nice life for a family. So far, many are opting to make a nice life and pay taxes in Canada instead of here. Sometimes they invite their one or two cousins from USA to visit during the summer; ask me how I know this.

    American exceptionalism: don't get me wrong, we certainly still do have it in some positive aspects. It gets raggedy when bragged on or used as a wedge, a cushion, a battering ram but especially as premise for support of xenophobic hatred.

    I almost said xenophobic nationalism.... forgetting that we have been diverse since before early explorers first traded greetings with someone from an American Indian tribe. It's always been too late for us to be xenophobic and remain who we are as a nation. Ripping away at ourselves for being different is punching holes in the tapestry that is not only made by us, it is us.

    Past the issues of social harmony, our exceptionalism cannot just be taken for granted in any area. And where did this whole idea come from that an attitude of superiority is an achievement? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I treasure America. It's not wrong to love a country for its greatnesses, while thinking we're exceptional in some not so great ways sometimes too.

    The U.S. also has another trend working in its favor: Baby boomers are retiring just as their children — sometimes known as the “echo boomers” — are entering their prime working years. Boomers are no longer even the largest age cohort; more of today’s Americans were born in the 1980s and 1990s than in the postwar years. As today’s teens and 20-somethings enter the workforce, they will partly offset their parents’ exit. Indeed, for many young people, mom and dad can’t retire soon enough; some experts argue that boomers, by staying in the workforce longer than past generations, are essentially clogging the usual professional pathways, leaving few opportunities for people beginning their careers.
    Sticking in the workforce is sometimes selfish and sometimes a matter of believing the nestlings are unable to fledge out. There's a tradeoff there somewhere. Part of the ladder problem is that our American competitiveness has some downsides as well as many benefits. We may be far more likely to step over someone on our own way up, than to reach down or across to bring someone along. Even in the short run that can be self-destructive and also harmful to the company's interests. It's not clear to me how widespread lack of mentoring is nowadays, since I have been out of the workforce for more than a decade. Ruthless cost cutting and the whole H-1B visa thing... breaking the ladders that we climb on in a company is certainly not always the employees' fault.
  9. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY

    Pretty good points here, even though I dont agree with all of it exactly.

    IMO the bigger issue we have facing retiremnet and its cost to the economy is that people live longer than they used to AND they often live with ailments/ilnnesses that would have killed them say 20 years ago. I dont mean to sound mean or anything but as you age, the health care dollars that you suck up gets exponentially higher. 88 year old Uncle Louie with arthritis, a bad hip, some manageable cancer and diabetes is very costly to keep alive. Just saying.

    What do you do then? Make the boomers work longer to help pay more towards this stuff? That counters your one point about Boomers sticking it out too long holding up opportunities for younger people. I can see both sides.

    Personally, I think the aging population should be more financially "on the hook" for whatever health care costs they use up. Knowing this ahead of time might actually force people to make better decisions health-wise throughout their lives..... since they know they'll be on the hook for a high rate of problems. I know that many diseases just hit you and you cant stop it. But we all know that our poor choices DO cause health problems or at least contribute to them and honestly I dont want to pay for someones issues that stemmed from smoking, heavy drinking, and being 50 lbs overweight their whole life. Sorry.
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Medicare spends 30% of its budget on end of life care. We need to stop trying to keep people alive who should be dead. I say we need death panels!!!

    Seriously, we need a serious national discussion on this. Why are we keeping people with little to no quality of life alive artificially?
  11. thermodynamic, Aug 5, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016

    thermodynamic thread starter Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    People who are told to take drugs because they went to a doctor, who also belittled them after reporting back saying the drugs caused a 50 pound weight gain in as many days -- how do we ensure the doctors are held to responsibility as well? I mean, aren't you tired of signing forms that give the hospital a free pardon if they **** up?

    And are you so sure people who pump themselves full of liquor are doing it just so they can have the health problems? That's a little naive... I mean, why don't you try doing that for a few years and see if you still believe what you say? Heck, we'll even buy you some of the booze you'll need.

    Yes, I agree with you on responsibility. But it's a little more encompassing than just the handful of points you bring out. I can see both sides too. Sorry.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 5, 2016 ---
    In other words, make em' feel so bad in our evolved and warm society that they want to kill themselves? And you're a progressive liberal? No wonder liberals get a bad rap when it comes to valuing life that isn't their own selves (or so the perception goes)... That or more liberals now understand the context in which Sarah Palin was alluding to (with a much lively performance)? Or was she? She was really hinting at insurance companies getting to profiteer from people, from which she herself would invariably be on the list. That's the difference, "pro-life" and all...
    --- Post Merged, Aug 5, 2016 ---
    Worst of all, the youth will always think they are indestructible and will swallow any tripe. Until they get ****ed over, at which point it is never anyone else's fault, especially for the times it is (malpractice, ignoring a patient's condition due to drugs prescribed, and so on - those ****ers need to be put out of business, they have no right - in a for-profit or any other type of society to disregard patients' lives so callously. More like the hippocritic oath in their case...)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 5, 2016 ---
    And to think people sign up for the military just to get treated with "go die already" on the part of some people... wow... if that doesn't redefine "ungrateful", what the hell does??
    --- Post Merged, Aug 5, 2016 ---
    But I doubt people here will hold themselves to the opinions they want to put onto others (sounds a bit like fascism, doesn't it? Or at least a double standard...) Even Ayn Rand couldn't...
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Wall of incoherent text. Opted out when I saw the words Sarah Palin.
  13. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Catch 22.

    You need more workers to support more retirees, so one needs larger population, which will need more workers when they retire, so more people, which need....

    Either that or raise taxes.

    (Republicans may be great lawyers, but they are terrible at math)
  14. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    Don't apologize to me, I'm with you on a lot of your post. Especially the poor choices part.

    People who don't take care of themselves may live long enough to discover there's hell to pay at the end. But the rest of us also pay jacked up health insurance premiums for someone's poor choices.

    So in a way I have never managed to get why the uproar over Bloomberg's ban on sugary sodas in oversize cups. WTF. Not everyone has will power or interest to manage their diet properly. But they will benefit by not having that option for mindless overconsumption of unhelpful beverage item. And if you are so hell bend on having 48 oz of sugary soda, what's wrong with buying two of the smaller ones. God. It's knee jerk anti-gov bs. Nanny state nanny state. Guess what. Nanny seems like a good idea a lot of the time lately.

    Where is that thread about what liberals don't like about conservatives, I just remembered another thing. Conservatives don't want to have to pay for other people's healthcare costs but they don't want a ban on sugary sodas because... because....see they would be sensible and not use sugary sodas in oversize cups but.. but... the idiots who did take the big sodas would... um... yeah. Get diabetes, jack everyone's healthcare costs up to the sky. Yep. Two and two are... zero. Then the conservative says but that's the point, I don't want to pay for their healthcare costs. My point is if more of us are healthy then we all pay less for healthcare costs. Ban the stupid sodas. Go single payer. Negotiate drug prices. ​

    On the other hand you get people who do take care of themselves and get struck by progressive disease in midlife that can be managed. I'm sure not the one to tell that person why don't you pull the plug.

    When push came to shove on a minor surgery back in my 40s one summer, and I was confronted with paperwork on do-not-resuscitate or yeah punch me back up baby, I remember writing on it "don't pull the plug too soon; i have a rich interior life". But I was 40 and it was minor surgery and I was (and am) in good health.

    My sibs in caregiving profession were ROFL reading the paperwork, but later cautioned me "you might want to rethink that since what if you run your rich interior life down to a nubbin and all you can think about then is why the hell god left you unable to reach out and pull that damn wire outta that contraption."

    I have thought about it. I used to say probably by time I'm 80 I'd say DNR since it's already been a good run, but I wasn't sure. My health proxy actually still says punch me back up baby. Playing with fate, eh. Next time I drop in to the healthcare place for wellness check or a flu shot, I'm likely to switch it out. I don't want to find out I don't have such a rich interior life after all, and via stroke or whatever discover joys of vegetative state. It's a dice roll; losing would suck.

    Old and sick and tired of being old? Well if I get to that place and it's not that much fun taking the trash out to the road at seven a.m. when it's 25 below zero, I'll go curl up in the snow the night before rather than make that gig mark the end of an otherwise fabulous run. My tribe tends to live into their 90s and just go to sleep some night forever anyway. I just don't want to die taking out the trash, hate that job in winter.

    We need to have more homecare providers, people who can assist people to stay in their own homes or apartments longer. It's cheaper than nursing homes, better for the economy, more fun and healthier.

    To some extent the aging are on the hook more for more healthcare costs as they age, i.e. medicare does not cover everything. Medigap plans designed to fill in the blanks have assorted options and related pricing. To the extent someone wants services not covered by medicare then it behooves them to come up with the money to shell in for a medigap plan they can afford, or else switch out of medicare and into some HMO type medicare substitute at a desired tier of coverage.

    So I guess we elders do somewhat sort ourselves out that way when signing up, I mean if you can't afford a fancy plan then you forget about that one and pick one with less coverage for less money. The costs on those are experienced rated so they can rise over time.

    I live in a relatively unhealthy area - rural poverty and poor preventive care (obesity, alcoholism, smoking) and with an aging population - but the higher level medigap plan costs have stayed fairly stable for the nearly decade I've paid into mine. Which to me suggests the people with obesity and alcoholism are not paying for that plan, they are opting into the standard medicare that gets taken out of their social security, and then paying for some drug plan since we have to do that. And going into hospice or just dying if their plan does not cover whatever's wrong with them. The drug plans certainly appear to be taking premium hits across the board. Ticks me off since I don't use any drugs yet, but I try to flip that into gratittude. I took one with a high deductible.

    My suggestions for health care cost reduction in general since they affect outcomes in elders:

    1. Pay for preventive health care - wellness checks and recommended periodic tests

    2. Teach caregivers to confront obesity, smoking, alcoholislm, OTC/scrip drug abuse

    3. Provide caregivers refresher courses on signs of domestic abuse and legal reporting requirements

    4. Teach caregivers how to present end of life choices to elders as part of annual wellness check.

    5. Fund preventive education in schools re smoking, alcohol, drugs and yes, healthful eating

    6. Take a look at the pharmaceutical industry's business model with a view towards re-regulating advertising.

    7. Get rid of the middleman. Go single payer. The arguments against it are so bogus. Why are we letting the insurance companies wag the dog?
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2003
    Terlingua, Texas
    Single payer with Obamacare's schedule of Medicare payments? We'd wind up with government hospitals all over. But we already have one example of that: The USVA, with its incredible amount of corruption and horribly poor care for veterans.
  16. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2009
    All Your Memes Are Belong to US
    You are a truly terrifying individual.

    I heard that they have an awesome art collection though.
  17. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    According to Greenspan, there's a huge issue with the growth of entitlements at some 9% and it's replacing expansion money from the money supply at a time when we need the reverse of that.

    Either way you slice it, it's looking like rough waters ahead.

  18. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Have you ever had any family spending the last years of their life unable to function? It's terrible.
  20. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I have. My grandfather (stroke), my grandmother (stroke), my mother (cancer), and my father (stroke and vascular dementia) all had a period of profound disability and poor quality of life before they died. My father, who took the longest to die after the first serious medical issue (15 years) ended his life depressed, demented, incontinent, in agony, and penniless. Three years before he died he was begging for death, but there was nothing I could do but watch helplessly as he descended into a living hell....

    All I can say is that I will never allow myself to reach that stage, for my own well-being and for the well-being of my family. Never. We allow veterinary surgeons to euthanize animals on the basis that sometimes it is the most humane thing to do. Yet we deny this to people whose capacity for suffering far outstrips that of any animal. Denying a person the right to end their life when it brings them misery and is never going to get better is cruel, unnecessary, and foolish.

    I get that people worry that allowing euthanasia will create the conditions in which people are expected to euthanize themselves due to some perceived social need (like Logan's Run). However, surely we are smart enough to create a legal system which allows humane euthanasia while making the interests of the person involved paramount.

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