gregbo (gregbo) wrote,

retirement benefits

Greenspan is warning that changes need to be made to Social Security and
Medicare, such as raising the minimum age for benefits. I am sitting on the fence on this
issue. The US seems to have painted itself into a corner, because life expectancy is increasing.
On the other hand, US businesses are laying people off, replacing them with younger, cheaper
workers. An increasing number of people are tapping into their IRAs or 401(k)'s (assuming they have
them), hoping they will last until their retirement benefits kick in. I haven't heard where any of
the presidential candidates stand on this issue; certainly, as it affects a sizable %age of voters,
it should be a key topic in the debates.

I find it interesting that whenever the issue of layoffs and retraining workers comes up, Greenspan
points to the US educational system as the culprit, and sees the community college system as a
solution. While there certainly are problems with the current educational system, it doesn't explain
why there are people (arguably nearing retirement age) who were educated under a much better US
educational system who are still struggling to find work. Furthermore, I can only speak to the
community colleges that are in the SF bay area, but from what I have seen, most of them offer
courses for (tech) jobs that are either being offshored or tend to disappear when companies merge or
consolidate. I just checked Foothill and DeAnza's course catalogs, and neither are offering courses in nanotechnology, biotechnology, or any of the other "up and coming"
fields. On the other hand, how available were courses in Java or SQL programming ten years ago?

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