The Iniquity of Enforced Retirement

Retirement forced on people who are perfectly capable and willing to work is a terrible thing. Only in a dreadfully twisted social environment can more willing workers be transformed from boon into problem. Sadly, most of us live in just such a society, repleat with forced wealth transfers, counterproductive medical regulations, and the tragedy of the commons writ large upon taxed wealth and shoddy government monopoly services. This is what happens when socialist ideas prosper.

Fortunately, most people want none of it - at least when it comes to goverment employees forcing them out of their jobs:

Many over-55s are set on working until they are in their 70s, according to the HSBC research.

"Longevity is driving revolutionary change in the way that older people think about their later years and, for most, this new chapter in life includes periods of work," comments Steve Troop of the bank.

He says that it is "crucial" that governments and companies across the world adapt their systems so that people will be able to continue working for as long as they want to.

A fixed retirement age is not an idea that appeals to many older people. Of those polled, only 16 per cent supported the idea.

Sadly, those same people who are up in arms when their fortunes wane are happy to outrightly or tacitly support the worst of policies that seem to grant them entitlements. There are always hidden costs - and the hidden cost of any form of socialism is slower progress, higher costs, and worse products. When the field in question is medicine, this will potentially cost you your life and health ... or at least a goodly portion of it.

What drives progress and the creation of wealth? Freedom, property rights, and the rule of law. Diminish any of these, and the prospects for the future become dim.

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Comments

hmmm...I've been paying cash for SS every paycheck for over 30 years. This is therefore a contract between two parties for which I've paid very significant amounts for future financial services/returns. It is therefore not an entitlement granted but is a fiduciary obligation of the counterparty. Whether or not a counterparty keeps faith with a freely undertaken obligation does not change the fact that the agreement is not an entitlement as usually understood. It is a financial service for fees duly paid.

However, I would be willing to forgo much of the contracted annuity return if it were directed exclusively and effectively toward elimination of the decay of aging - therefore removing the need for the financial return.

Posted by: Dave at November 25th, 2005 6:11 AM

It was not a freely undertaken obligation on your part, however, and it has none of the legal characteristics of a contract. The government is under no legal obligation to keep faith.

And that's quite aside from the utilitiarian arguments against social security style wealth transfers. You'd have done better if you were allowed to invest the money.

Posted by: Reason at November 25th, 2005 11:31 AM

Many Americans as an example that are retired today only payed in 2% of their income, yet are receiving a tremendous payback. A 13% real rate of return on money that was taken from them for those retiring today as an average.

So the goal should be to phase the program out over time. And we have to question the very idea that everyone retiring is a good thing. For example I never want to retire with or without social security.

It is also anti-life in that you are taking money from people in their fertile years when they are young and transfering it to elderly people. Our incredible wealth transfer every year from young to old through many government programs has to at least be a factor in the declining birth rates.

Posted by: AA2 at November 26th, 2005 11:49 AM

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