The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Lies about Life Expectancy

Jan 10, 2011

To justify cutting Social Security, the bi-partisan “Deficit Commission” claimed it’s necessary to raise the age of retirement because people are living longer.

Yes, people in the United States are living longer–ON AVERAGE! But what they failed to say is who is living longer, and by how much?

The answer is different based on how much money one makes. Life expectancy of men retiring at age 65 went up by six years since 1977 for those in the top half based on income, but only by 1.3 years for those in the bottom half, which includes most workers. The age of retirement for receiving full Social Security benefits was already raised to age 66 for everyone born after 1955 and goes up to 67 for anyone born after 1960. So Social Security’s age of retirement is rising faster than life expectancy for most workers.

If the politicians want to make rich people work longer, let them go ahead. But hands off workers’ retirement money!