Skip to main content

Elderly man with cane
Older Americans, a threatened species.
Raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare is one of the very favorite "solutions" of the deficit peacock crowd for punishing the American people for getting older. They justify this idea, always, with the demographically challenged assertion that Americans are living longer, so it just has to be done. That's most lately the assertion in op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, which tells us that the benefits of longevity "aren't just enjoyed by 'privileged' Americans."

Wrong, as Kevin Drum illustrustrates in a simple graph with data taken from this study in Health Affairs.

Men are represented by the lighter colors and women the darker. The more education, the greater the earning potential, the longer the lifespan. That's the empirical data based on the Multiple Cause of Death data files from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). And the rate of growth in the gap in education and lifespan is so fast and so wide, it's astonishing.

The Very Serious People in Washington, all with their 16+ years of education and comfortable existences, continue to pretend that there isn't income inequality, that there isn't opportunity inequality. Because everyone they know is old and healthy and plans to work until they die, that must be true of all of America. They are completely blind to the fact that there's a big segment of the population that is in fact dying earlier than they did just two decades ago.

That's reality.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:02 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Bob Johnson, SME in Seattle, Pat K California, Louise, bink, Laura Clawson, Chi, Odysseus, jennifer poole, grollen, Liberal Thinking, TrueBlueMajority, Powered Grace, theboz, Emerson, Shockwave, Wintermute, Andrew C White, tacet, akeitz, xynz, elfling, ZAPatty, RFK Lives, hubcap, davelf2, agoldnyc, TheMomCat, bronte17, pdefalla, ask, CatFelyne, boadicea, ovals49, retLT, splashy, antirove, wader, kharma, psnyder, figbash, Tracker, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, Eyesbright, lezlie, annetteboardman, rlharry, barbwires, Oaktown Girl, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, KayCeSF, NapaJulie, DarkSyde, Emmy, Sybil Liberty, oortdust, Gowrie Gal, Ohkwai, rapala, maybeeso in michigan, historys mysteries, marina, newfie, Shrew in Shrewsbury, chimene, Alice Venturi, YucatanMan, Kevskos, Sun Tzu, Dem Beans, ladybug53, peteri2, FindingMyVoice, Rogneid, mightymouse, Jim R, Over the Edge, Jim P, barbybuddy, third Party please, mission419, tarheelblue, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, rcbowman, vigilant meerkat, impatient, Kimball Cross, mooshter, AoT, KenBee, arlene, kck, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, The Hindsight Times, DSPS owl, Terminus, unclebucky, MarciaJ720, Zwoof, Helpless, James Hepburn, Timothy J, doingbusinessas, shaharazade, bartcopfan, Temmoku, Aaa T Tudeattack, cpresley, tegrat, Rockydog, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Russ Jarmusch, camlbacker, Debs2, ColoTim, beth meacham, Mary Mike, david mizner, daveygodigaditch, flumptytail, DWG, joedemocrat, newpioneer, cyncynical, Bronx59, jhop7, sheiladeedee, Conservative Socialist, mathGuyNTulsa, MKinTN, JayC, JeffW, Sixty Something, Calamity Jean, rssrai, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, MrJayTee, codairem, petulans, phrogge prince, CitizenJoe, BYw, Blueslide, rhutcheson, SolarMom, lissablack, JBL55, bluebelle7, enemy of the people, ragged but right, multilee, bluemoonfever, greengemini, LinSea, radmul, ewmorr, KYrocky, maryabein, jennylind, shopkeeper, dRefractor, zaka1, bfitzinAR, Keith Pickering, 57andFemale, DaNang65, Livvy5, karma13612, schnecke21, Wendy Slammo, Words In Action, Just Bob, cezariusz, coppercelt, mamamorgaine, politik, piers, Aramis Wyler, renzo capetti, gulfgal98, paradise50, beverlywoods, DerAmi, DiegoUK, Jaimas, Publius2008, Betty Pinson, BobboSphere, kenwards, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, JenniferInOK, kerflooey, MidwestTreeHugger, ygdrasl, grannyboots, implicate order, Mr MadAsHell, freesia, Bluerall, FarWestGirl, asterkitty, kiwiheart, deeproots, Teiresias70, marleycat, Muskegon Critic, Ojibwa, BarackStarObama, ScionSlaw, createpeace, worldlotus, wintergreen8694, enhydra lutris, corvaire, peregrine kate, Andrew F Cockburn, cailloux, Vatexia, ratcityreprobate, SoCalSal, jham710, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Cpqemp, Mentatmark, Laurel in CA, livingthedream, gnostradamus, OldDragon, Heart n Mind, anodnhajo, sow hat, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, cwsmoke, Williston Barrett, Mindful Nature, Siri, Eric Nelson, DarkStar57, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, teabaggerssuckbalz, DrCoyle65, belinda ridgewood, BusyinCA, MartyM, jes2, flume, healthypolicies, avsp, AverageJoe42, databob, Windowpane, Lily O Lady, nomandates, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, argomd, jbob, General Goose, softserve, aresea, alice kleeman, entrelac, RiveroftheWest, howabout, Icicle68, BettytheBoop, pianogramma, emileen, OldSoldier99, pierre9045

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site