Monday, September 13, 2010

Raising retirement age to save Social Security would hardship manual laborers

John Leland has a front page story in the New York Times Monday Sept. 13 that invokes notions of “class struggle”, maybe a shade of Michael Moore. The article is “Retiring Later Is Hard Road for Laborers”, link here.

The context is, of course, the proposals to bump up the retirement age to shore up social security, maybe stop early retirement. But the article points out that manual labor, especially that with rapid repetitive motion and regimentation, gets rapidly more difficult for workers in their 60s.  (They might include assembly line jobs [sometimes in risky places like poultry processing plants], or construction, or "pay your dues" kind of work like utility linemen.) And these workers generally started working earlier, in their teens (sometimes to support siblings or parents) than did the “professor types” drawing lines in the eldercare and retirement income debate.

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