Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Social Security could have to cut benefits suddenly, according to Trust Fund Report for 2018 (as interpreted by some)

A bold article by James D. Agresti on Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and Intellectual Takeout, takes the position that Social Security really is a welfare program (which technically the Supreme Court said it is in 1960), “Social Security has been swelled, not looted”.  Population demographics – longer life spans and fewer children (after the baby boomer generation) is the basic mathematical cause.
It links to the Social Security Trust Fund report for 2018, which warns that expenses (payouts) will exceed intake in 2018, and become insolvent by 2034.
The report notes the actuarial deficit, which could require an immediate benefit cut of 17% for all current and future beneficiaries, or an increase in FICA taxes of 22%, or some combination of the two. Oddly, there has been no coverage of this development in mainstream media in the past few days, given all the distractions.  It's pretty obvious you could put means testing into such a balance (either based on other income or total accumulated wealth). 
The writer mentions the privatization proposals during the Bush years but seems surprisingly dismissive.

Update: June 30

Charles Blahous has a similar article on FEE, "Seven Social Security Myths". 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Elder Pride exhibit in Baltimore shows older gays understand history much better than millennials

Today, the ElderPride pavilion in Druid Hill Park at Baltimore LGBT Pride weekend showed that eldergays understand the long reach of history a lot better than most millennials.

Today’s young adults really often don’t get how things were, like in the days that we had the Vietnam era draft, student deferments, war protests.  They also don’t understand how earlier anti-gay policies were seen as intrusions on individual privacy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Alzheimer's risk may be increased by rapid brain development in youth; Y chromosomes may protect some men from dementia

Here’s a rather shocking article from “The Scientist” by Sukanya Charuchandra, “Aging[Related Diseases May Be a Natural Result of Human Evolution”, link
The theory is that fast-track developments in the brain to enable performance up through the reproductive years may make the brains more vulnerable to early deterioration after reproduction si impossible, especially with Alzheimer’s.  That sounds like plaque formation may result as an aftermath of earlier development.
There were some comparative studies with chimpanzees and gorillas.
Furthermore, however, Y chromosomes contain some genes that may help protect some men but not women from plaque formation. Previously, the higher incidence in Alzheimer’s in women has been attributed mainly to longer lifespans.
Back in 2010, I had been told by one assisted living center (when looking for mother) that 70% of the Alzheimer’s unit residents were women.
Jack Andraka retweeted this story Tuesday. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Conservative sites claim that China is plotting to undermine dollar and destroy US retirees

This site sounds a little bit like Porter Stansberry stuff, but Augusta Precious Metals is claiming (out of self-interest) that China is scheming to undermine the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, greatly undermining the portfolios of many retirees.
Here is the link

The advertorial was sent by email by “RedStates”.  Yet the threat to reserve currency seems to say mostly in the world of conservative websites.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Baby Boomers: don't give money to your kids

Susan Moeller of the Boston Globe has a stinging list of tips for “baby boomers” in retirement, here.

The attention-getting headline is to give less (maybe nothing) to your kids. (That probably means leaving everything to a surviving spouse for starters; when both are gone, the advice literally doesn't follow.) 

Boomers have more problems than they expected, both with divorce and employer stinginess with retirement benefits, a winner-take-all economy, and especially their being caught in the “sandwich generation”, having to care for elderly parents, who lived longer than expected.
Keep working and stay competitive as long as possible.  But does that mean, pimp?