Will They Still Need Me, Will They Still Feed Me, When I’m 84?
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  • Andrew Allison

    Very well put, as always; but the attribution to Ben Franklin is unfounded (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-penny-saved-is-a-penny-earned.html).

  • Best not to ever get a divorce.

    And above all, do not experience the failure of a business, either.

    Cheers.

  • Steve Gerow

    My geezer advice to the 20-somethings I know: get a payroll savings plan where it’s auto-deducted from your paycheck; when you get a raise, add most of it into savings; when you buy a house, get a 15-year mortgage. The way you’ll be in good shape to take the hit when they lay you off in your 50s. The payroll savings plan would be toward investments, not just into a bank. Steve in California.

  • WigWag

    “In the old days, before the era of the blue social model transformed Americans from a nation of savers into a nation of credit card bingers and home equity tappers, this kind of thinking was common sense. “A penny saved is a penny earned,” wrote Benjamin Franklin, and generations of Americans saved hard — to buy their own farm, start a business, or to have a nest egg for the future.” (Walter Russell Mead)

    Unfortunately, Professor Mead is perpetrating a canard. In the old days, before the era of the blue social model, most senior citizens lived in penury relying on their children for support. Many seniors who had no children or whose children were too poor to support them lived in destitution.

    It was the blue social model that virtually eliminated the poverty that until the late 1930s was universally associated with old age. If Professor Mead or his readers don’t believe it, it takes about 3 minutes on the internet to find statistics comparing the number of seniors living in poverty now with the number of senior living in poverty before the advent of the blue social model.

    The good old days that Professor Mead pines for, never existed. They are a phantasmagorical figment of his fertile imagination.

  • Jim.

    @WigWag:

    The idea that Social Security is sustainable is at least as “phantasmagorical” as anything Mead has ever come up with.

    The fact is, you’re STILL relying on your kids for support through Social Security. It just gives the fashionably childless Blues a chance to avoid personal responibility yet again.

    As far as the tragically (unwillingly) childless, don’t worry; unless you’ve lived a terribly irresponsible life, you’ve saved enough to support yourselves. If you’ve kept on good terms with any nephews and nieces, or attend a church, you’re likely to have people who know you and love you to help you out in your old age, which is far more useful than ajn impersonal monthly check.

  • a nissen

    Consumption consumed the “American Dream” beginning with reds like Henry Ford expanded their thinking of employees as machines to employees as customers. The next economy hinted that Fukayama hints at (elsewhere) will require both blues and reds to “think different.” Few in or seeking leadership are, Time to scratch our heads. E.g.,is this guy is blue, red, naive or the future?

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2011/12/the_progressive_consumption_tax_a_win_win_solution_for_reducing_american_economic_inequality_.html

  • a nissen

    Sure wish you’d make it possible to correct these myself.
    Please use this instead of first sent. Thanks. AN

    Consumption consumed the “American Dream” beginning when reds like Henry Ford expanded their thinking of employees as machines to employees as customers. The next economy of which Fukuyama hints elsewhere will require both blues and reds to “think different.” Those in or seeking leadership are still fighting the last war. Time to scratch our heads. E.g.,is this guy is blue, red, naive or the future?

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2011/12/the_progressive_consumption_tax_a_win_win_solution_for_reducing_american_economic_inequality_.html

  • Of course, it’s always possible that most forms of meaningful scarcity will simply have been eliminated by technology in 40 years time, making a consumption binge in the present a high risk gamble, rather than a guarantee of trouble.

  • Corlyss

    Well, here’s an inconvenient truth: a nation can have an economy 66% based on consumer spending and no savings for old age and medical, such that the nanny state has to pick up the tab for both.

    Or it can have savings for old age and medical, and a considerably weaker and smaller economy.

    What we now know is, nations can’t have both.

    So pick your poison. I doubt any national politicians will EVER consent to the latter. It’s going to have to be by custom, like it was before WW2.

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