It could end up being the humble start of a basic public banking system that would protect low income Americans from the worst practices in the financial system. Right now it is designed to only function like an automatic retirement saving account from the government, but it is easy to see how the thing could steadily expand into something much bigger by offering more and more services.
|By: Jon Walker Friday January 31, 2014 8:30 am|
|By: Julie Gutman Dickinson Thursday November 28, 2013 4:30 pm|
In 2011, the UC Berkeley Center for Labor and Research and Education put out a study that should have sparked mass rallies up and down the Golden State. The report found that nearly half of California workers will retire in or near poverty. In other words, a state once synonymous with the American Dream of economic opportunity and security is on a path to become a purgatory for millions of seniors.
It’s hard to square this alarming fact with the revelation last month that a group of mostly ultra-conservative electeds and activists will try to place a statewide measure on the 2014 ballot that would slash the pensions of government workers.
|By: Michelle Chen Sunday August 18, 2013 12:30 pm|
For many seniors, growing older means facing new kinds of stress—such as fragile health, a tight budget on a fixed income, or the travails of living alone.
And for the people who care for the aging, the stress can be just as severe.
|By: masaccio Sunday June 23, 2013 11:00 am|
NYT commenters explain how to succeed in the American economy. Or not.
|By: Attaturk Monday June 10, 2013 1:30 am|
I really cannot say what the long-term consequences of this are…but they are most probably not good.
|By: Jon Walker Friday May 17, 2013 9:35 am|
Americans are not expecting to retire until much later in life according to a new Gallup poll. Since the recession started the number of people who don’t think they will retire until they are past age 65 has increased significant.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 18, 2012 3:10 pm|
You will hear virtually nobody claim that chained CPI represents a more accurate way of determining the cost of living for senior citizens on Social Security, because if they were honest about it, they would tailor an inflation index to the real costs of seniors. The only benefit to chained CPI is that it saves the government money at the expense of senior citizens. That’s it. It’s a back-door way of lowering the benefit.
|By: David Dayen Friday November 16, 2012 2:50 pm|
I will be on Mark Thompson’s Make It Plain show on Sirius/XM – I’m actually on every Friday – and we tape early, so I can tell you that one of the things I’ll talk about is how Social Security’s long-term funding is an artifact of rampant US inequality. See, we have a payroll tax funding Social Security that gets capped at around $113,700 a year. That means that every dollar above that cap gets untaxed to pay for Social Security. When inequality widens, as it has, more and more compensation goes untaxed, draining the Social Security system of funds. Historically speaking, at least 90% of compensation gets captured by the Social Security system. Today that’s down to about 82%, the last I read.
So to the extent that Social Security needs to be fixed – and by “fixed” I don’t just mean brought into a 75-year balance, but made more adequate so less seniors slip into poverty – you need to raise that tax cap and capture more income. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) has an excellent piece of legislation that would do just this.
|By: Jon Walker Tuesday November 13, 2012 1:02 pm|
The real problem with Medicare and Social Security is not that they are too generous, but that they are too stingy. There is currently a slowly unfolding retirement crisis. The move away from defined pension programs to 401(k)s is now starting to bear fruit in the form of a generation of older Americans who lack sufficient money for their old age.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday October 24, 2012 11:06 am|
This brief set of calculations from the Wall Street Journal’s Ellen Schultz shows simply how much of a raw deal American workers have been getting from defined-contribution retirement plans. It is impossible for them to generate the rate of return of a defined benefit plan, just completely impossible. Schultz shows this in the context of Social Security