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Thread: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

  1. #161
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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by eohrnberger View Post
    OK, even if you believe that the decrease in labor participation rate is attributable to the large numbers of baby boomers retiring (I really don't believe that, but just let's just accept that premise for a moment), [1] that doesn't make it any less a crisis, as there are fewer and fewer people working and putting into the system from which all these retirees are drawing. [2] There's a limit to what the workers can provide to the retirees is there not?
    1. There is no crisis. Unless you consider current long term projections that, worst case, Soc. Sec. benefits would need to be cut by about 22% some 25 years hence. By normal definition, that is not a crisis.

    2. Yes, but current long term projections indicate that limit would not be of crisis proportions.

    In both cases things could be done to alleviate the shortfall -- which is not a crisis -- by either means testing or by taxing income that is currently not subject to S.S. taxation (such as capital gains and shady bookkeeping that masks certain wages earned by the rich as capital gains).

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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    1. There is no crisis. Unless you consider current long term projections that, worst case, Soc. Sec. benefits would need to be cut by about 22% some 25 years hence. By normal definition, that is not a crisis.

    2. Yes, but current long term projections indicate that limit would not be of crisis proportions.

    In both cases things could be done to alleviate the shortfall -- which is not a crisis -- by either means testing or by taxing income that is currently not subject to S.S. taxation (such as capital gains and shady bookkeeping that masks certain wages earned by the rich as capital gains).
    Given the following graph of the data

    Workers Per Retiree: 1950-2050

    Going from 7 workers contributing to SS in 1950 to less than 1/2 that by 2020 and even lower by 2050.

    If you won't accept that it's a crisis, then at least it's certainly alarming, or is it that you figure that by the timme the problem gets rally bad, you'll not be around to have to face it?

    Another source that basically states the same thing:
    http://mercatus.org/publication/how-...curity-retiree
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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by eohrnberger View Post
    [...] If you won't accept that it's a crisis, then at least it's certainly alarming [...]
    Based on the dollar projections by the people that run Social Security, it is neither.

    I would come to the same conclusion after viewing your first graph, which shows workers per retiree flat from ~2030-2050. The boomers will eventually start dying off, you know . . . . .

    If you are attempting to measure my personal concern -- which is irrelevant within the scope of intellectual debate -- I would offer that if anything approaching the currently-projected 22% cut winds up being implemented circa 2035, then I would describe that as concerning. However, I expect some type of 'fix' to be implemented before then, or simply economic events will render the projection worse than actually occurs (of course the converse could come to pass as well). Time will tell, and as such I don't think it's too wise to get too wrapped up in a 25-year hypothetical. The political right wing argument seems to be: "OMG, we might have to cut S.S. benefits in 25 years, let's abolish it or privatize it now!!!" Please . . . .

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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Based on the dollar projections by the people that run Social Security, it is neither.

    I would come to the same conclusion after viewing your first graph, which shows workers per retiree flat from ~2030-2050. The boomers will eventually start dying off, you know . . . ...
    thats an interesting point. I would think that since the oldest boomers are about 68 now, in about ten years they will start dying off, possibly nearly as quick as new ones are retiring. In 30 years, the majority of them (us) should be gone or soon to be gone.
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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by CalGun View Post
    His little chart shows those on disability, Social security, living off student loans that won't be repaid, but not on section 8 subsidies, EBT (45 million strong hand outs ) or free phone, subsidized electricity, transportation, health care etc.
    I quickly accounted for 90 out of 92 million persons classified as "out of the workforce" and you are worried about the proverbial "pocket change".... the very little I did not account for.

    Sorry, but the Con(trarian)s keep talking about the 92 million "not in the workforce" as if this where some type of economic calamity (see OP), without ever telling you what the number means (probably because they do not know, and as typical with Cons, do not want to know)... tried of people recklessly throwing facts around, I decided to find out for myself (I know, rare in these parts)... the chart I posted earlier accounts for 90 million of 92 million.

    Guess what? CONtrary to what the Cons want you to believe, 90 million of this number (and probably more) have legitimate reasons to be "out of the workforce"... yet the Con(trarian)s want you to believe that this 90 million number should be outrage ("90 million people not working") suggesting they are "discouraged" or "deadbeats".... The real outrage is those that use this number to try to "incite" an outcome, such as was done by the OP.

    There is nothing outrageous in the number; there is only something outrageous in the disingenuous use of this number by right wing porn sites and the ignoramuses that visit them. I did not account for 2 million people in my quick and dirty view (perhaps you can) as the 2 million were not the point; the 90 million were.



    As to student loans, they may be one of the best benefits the government offers. Once upon a time, when we had state universities, we had low tuition (even free tuition in some places)... but since states have universally pulled funding from their university systems, higher education is out of reach for far too many.... while I appreciate the fact that the Cons would prefer to keep "those people" in their place..... history has shown that a society moves forward when their best and brightest have an opportunity to lead. Keeping talent down simply because they can't afford an education is not in the best interests of any forward thinking society (which, is not what America is anymore, I get it)

    I, for one, am a beneficiary of student loans. They financed 1/2 my education. I paid back every penny, with interest... and my taxes resulting from my earnings differential post college v not going to college certainly pays for student loans of many, many other kids. Society got a good return on investment from me, as they will from most partaking of student loans.

    First, it is almost impossible to get out of paying your student loan as they are not forgiven in a bankruptcy...but, if you have a problem with student loans, we probably should have better regulation of diploma mills that exist solely to get students to apply for student loans and pay the school...without ever expecting the student to succeed in their 4th rate "school"). Maybe not allow colleges or schools to be "for profit"...

    Diploma Mills and Accreditation
    Students at For-Profit Colleges Are Most Likely to Default on Loans, Report Says - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education
    http://www.ifpm.nifc.gov/hr/opm/OPM_...loma_Mills.pdf
    Diploma Mills | Consumer Information
    Last edited by upsideguy; 09-10-14 at 03:19 AM.

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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by eohrnberger View Post
    Given the following graph of the data

    Workers Per Retiree: 1950-2050

    Going from 7 workers contributing to SS in 1950 to less than 1/2 that by 2020 and even lower by 2050.

    If you won't accept that it's a crisis, then at least it's certainly alarming, or is it that you figure that by the timme the problem gets rally bad, you'll not be around to have to face it?

    Another source that basically states the same thing:
    How Many Workers Support One Social Security Retiree? | Mercatus
    Sorry, the government chose to use FICA taxes to fund tax cuts to the wealthy in 2001... an equal interesting graph would be the number of millionaires supported by social security contributors...

    The Social Security fund is fully funded for almost 20 years (when the hypothetical trust fund runs out of money). That said, the exhaustion of the trust fund does not keep SS from paying MOST of the contracted benefit, just all of it.... Fortunately, there is nothing is easier to fix than SS... it can be done with a tax increase, with an increase in the cap, with a reduction of benefit or a combination of all of the above.
    Last edited by upsideguy; 09-10-14 at 03:27 AM.

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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Based on the dollar projections by the people that run Social Security, it is neither.

    I would come to the same conclusion after viewing your first graph, which shows workers per retiree flat from ~2030-2050. The boomers will eventually start dying off, you know . . . . .

    If you are attempting to measure my personal concern -- which is irrelevant within the scope of intellectual debate -- I would offer that if anything approaching the currently-projected 22% cut winds up being implemented circa 2035, then I would describe that as concerning. However, I expect some type of 'fix' to be implemented before then, or simply economic events will render the projection worse than actually occurs (of course the converse could come to pass as well). Time will tell, and as such I don't think it's too wise to get too wrapped up in a 25-year hypothetical. The political right wing argument seems to be: "OMG, we might have to cut S.S. benefits in 25 years, let's abolish it or privatize it now!!!" Please . . . .
    Given the recent risk management performance of the private sector, I'm not at all in favor of total privatization. That would seem to me to be far too great a risk exposure for far too many people. Adopting some of the sounder and more conservative aspects of the private sector may be worth a careful consideration.
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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by eohrnberger View Post
    Given the following graph of the data

    Workers Per Retiree: 1950-2050

    Going from 7 workers contributing to SS in 1950 to less than 1/2 that by 2020 and even lower by 2050.
    There's a problem with an aging population, but I really hate it when stats like the above are used to prove it.

    SS started in 1935 and the first check issued in 1940.

    Let's assume the average working career is 45 years - age 20 to 65. Well, in 1950, those retirees had only worked 15 years of that 45 and were in a real sense lucky duckees, with lots and lots of younger workers behind them contributing to their SS payments. Furthermore, SS was expanded many times to more categories of workers, and each expansion added a lot of SS tax payers, but at the time of expansion wouldn't add many retirees. So to get a real picture of the workers/retiree ratio, you really have to see a cycle of worker going from age 20 to age 65, which can't have happened before about 1980 (45 years past 1935). Only then did the first worker spend his or her entire career paying SS taxes, then retired, and started getting benefits.

    So most of the drop in the figures and in that graph is nothing more than the way the math works, and has really nothing to do with demographics or an aging population, but whenever you hear someone wanting to make SS a crisis, they point to the drop in workers per retiree and imply at least that this is somehow surprising. It's just not. The SS trustees projected all that quite accurately. The biggest problem with SS since the Reagan/Greenspan 'reforms' (aka major SS tax increases) is the trustees didn't anticipate the growing inequality (with more wage growth at the top) and the stagnation of wages for working America, and so the share of wages subject to tax has dropped by roughly 5% of wages since 1983, and wages themselves have stagnated with a record high of national output going to business profits and a record low being paid out in wages.

    So some PART of our problem is the baby boomers and all that, but the bigger problem is the underlying economy isn't growing wages for workers, and so the tax base for SS is stagnant or shrinking.

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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by upsideguy View Post
    Fortunately, there is nothing is easier to fix than SS... it can be done with a tax increase, with an increase in the cap, with a reduction of benefit or a combination of all of the above.
    Amen to that. Fixing health care is difficult, and requires lots of painful choices. SS just takes a minimum amount of political courage and a tiny amount of bipartisan effort.

  10. #170
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    Re: Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low

    Quote Originally Posted by eohrnberger View Post
    ...

    Going from 7 workers contributing to SS in 1950 to less than 1/2 that by 2020 and even lower by 2050. ...
    That's why in the early '80s we increased ss tax and started building a trust fund.

    It' really doesn't matter how many workers we have, or how many aren't working or are retired. All that really matters is that we are producing enough for everyone. With technology rapidly replacing the need for human labor, and with our per human hour labor productivity rate increasing, I would think that we will be producing plenty.
    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    ...I'm not interested in debating someone who is trolling for an argument....
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    I see a big problem with the idea that whatever the majority wants is OK.

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