Monday, July 12, 2010

Retiring at 70? Don't legalize marijuana.

There are two obvious fixes for social security (medicare is more troublesome):
  1. Means test benefits.
  2. Sell American citizenship to the young elite of the world (Canada's fix)
  3. Fiddle with taxes
A really nasty fix would be to raise the social security payoff age to 70. Nasty, because those who need social security most die younger than the elite and lose employment sooner. Unsurprisingly, that's the proposal people are talking about now.

Never mind that we've made no progress at all on slowing the onset of dementia. All of the promising treatments or preventive measures of the past decade have failed. We've got nothing that works, and very little in the pipeline. Knowledge workers are not going to be doing knowledge jobs in their late 60s, so if they need social security income they'll need a plan B to get from 62 or so to 70.

Which is why the boomer generation should oppose marijuana legalization. Retail marijuana distribution is the tupperware business of the future. It's pretty much risk-free; if we're prosecuted we get free food and lodging until social security kicks in.

Maybe we should consider option 2.

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