[ExI] The Myth of the Social Security System's Financial Shortfall

max at maxmore.com max at maxmore.com
Tue Aug 10 21:54:14 UTC 2010

Quoting BillK <pharos at gmail.com>:

> The US system has the same problem as the UK and (I believe) most
> European pension systems.

The US system is in much better shape than that of continental Europe.  
And the UK, while worse off than the USA social security system, may  
be doing better than most of the continent -- both largely for  
demographic reasons.

> Since they were set up many years ago, the
> income has greatly exceeded the pensions being paid out. For the first
> time ever, due to the recession, the US finds itself having to pay out
> more in pensions that it raises in income.
> And this situation is likely to get worse.

Only if the government fails to take any of the available actions,  
such as significantly raising the retirement age.

> So what, you say, all the previous income is in a Trust Fund surely?
> Well, no. Not for the US or any other country.

Hiltzik seems to try to weasel out of that point, but I agree with you.

Here are a range of views in other sources:

Can Pension Plans Age Gracefully?

Do Americans Save Enough? It Depends on What Calculator You Use

Aging Populations Can Prosper, or Not: Making the Right Investment Choices

The Demographic Deficit: How Aging Will Reduce Global Wealth

So You Want to Live to 100? More of Us Will, and Here Is What Life  
Might Look Like

and links to many other relevant pieces on retirement funding, social  
security, and demographic issues.


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