Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Law of Unintended Consequences hits Young Workers

Who'a thunk that MY saving money in my 401(k) would work to the detriment of young workers?

As Catherine Rampell and Matthew Saltmarsh write in Thursday's New York Times, the losses that prospective retirees see in their 401(k)s are keeping them on the job longer, which means fewer positions opening to new employees.

This is less true in other recession-hit countries (those with--OH NO!--SOCIALIST agendas!) where government pensions ARE intended to cover all costs, unlike the United States, where Social Security is intended merely to supplement employer pensions (which are, of course, going the way of the Dodo!) and employee savings. According to the article, last year in the United States, almost a third of people ages 65 to 69 were still in the labor force; in France, just 4 percent of people this age were still working or looking for work.

This is the point where some folks sneer "Then, move to France if you want to!" Or they correctly point out the higher taxes that French citizens pay. I wonder why we can't take some lessons from countries who are handling issues like health care and retirement more effectively than we do in the US. I wonder why, instead, we so often resort to jingoistic responses that get nothing changed, and nothing solved.

As it happens, I will NOT have an employer-paid pension when I retire. As it also happens, I really like my current job. So Grace is definitely one of the old geezers standing in the way of recent college grads. I can't afford to retire "on time," (for me, age 65 and four months) But I probably wouldn't, anyway.


Did it MY way said...

One needs to do what one wants to do regarding retirement. That's one of the pleasures about living in the USA. We get to make our own least until the government takes that to.

You go it your way.

See Ya

maureen said...

Grace: Love your Blog.... you make a lot of sense to me... I am 57 and am just starting back to school for a Bachelor's... Imagine that.... I'll be working alongside everyone else I know till well into my 60's. So, I say to you


Retired Syd said...

"I wonder why, instead, we so often resort to jingoistic responses that get nothing changed, and nothing solved."

Very well said! Just imagine the solutions we could agree on if we stopped all the name-calling and fear-mongering and worked instead on actual solutions to problems . . .

But I guess that would require people to listen to more than just the sound bites.

Living Almost Large said...

Because people like to complain and whine but when it's time to make sacrifices for change they won't do it.

We don't have to become socialists (I am very liberal) we could go to free market healthcare. Pay for what you can afford, become conscious of cost. But even people who propose that whine over the cost increase over traditional employer plans.

So nothing is done.

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