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January 23, 2005

The Social Security Crisis Is Very Real

The Social Security Administration projects that seventy-five years from now in 2080, the US Gross Domestic Product will be 40 trillion dollars. If they're right about this and everything else, it means taxes might have to be raised somewhat to keep paying full benefits.

However, I have my own projections. They show that in 2080, the US GDP will be 37 dollars. Not 37 trillion dollars, but 37 dollars. And I can't deny this will cause very real problems with Social Security.

I made these projections after reading this article. It says Bush's own hand-picked environmental lackey believes that without immediate action on global warming, "We are risking the ability of the human race to survive."

If Bush's own lickspittle says this -- he was installed in his present position because his predecessor was disliked by Exxon -- then that's probably the optimistic scenario. The pessimistic scenario would be that even with immediate action, it's too late. So, my "37 dollars" projection is playing it right down the middle.

I therefore realize that I've been wrong all along on Social Security, and the Bush administration and the Cato Institute have been right. We must trust them to fix things.

Posted at January 23, 2005 10:20 AM | TrackBack

We could take the $37 and go out drinking. If we're doomed, as everything seems to suggest, there's no good reason not to. That amount of money goes a long way in the kinds of bars appropriate for celebrating our painful demise.

Posted by: Harry at January 23, 2005 12:23 PM

Jonathan - I appreciate your shouldering the burden of explaining why all this Social Security stuff is nonsense, but... it's boring my pants off! I like my pants, man.

Posted by: saurabh at January 23, 2005 12:31 PM

Um, why isn't this headline news (she asks rhetorically)? Last night, buried in the middle of a news piece about the warmest winter ever in Moscow, a Russian meterological expert was quoted as saying -or, rather, mumbling - that this is another global warming phenomenon largely the result of human activities. However, that talking head was sandwiched between a cute skater's tush (in a flashback to a crowded, outdoor ice-skating rink) and a bear cub at the zoo on the other. Aside from that quote, the piece was simply a gee-whiz segment. If you weren't paying attention - or belching - the point would have been lost.
Could we get a decent keg for 37$ ? If so, you're all invited to my beach house before the elevated sea level washes it away.

Posted by: mk at January 23, 2005 01:59 PM


Probably the most economical way to do this is to give the $37 to the person among us likely to die first. They can use the $37 to get drunk. Then when they die, the next person most likely to die can drink their blood. And so on.

(And don't think this can't work! Here's a true, weird story:

My aunt was in La Paz, Bolivia and needed an operation. She has a rare blood type, and they could only find one person who had it and could provide any for a needed transfusion. But he was very nervous about giving blood. Then the doctors decided she didn't need the operation. The man with her blood type was so relieved he didn't have to donate, he went out and got drunk.

Then the doctors changed their minds. They took blood out of the guy and gave it to my aunt during the operation. When she woke up in the intensive care unit, she was drunk.)


I struggle with the boredom/pants equation. But remember: Social Security becomes much more interesting the older you get and the more you need it. Thus, many people find it quite interesting indeed, in the same way they find not starving to death in the street interesting.


You get the keg, I'll bring Harry. He claims he's the person most likely to die first, but I think that's just because he's stuck up and thinks drinking our blood isn't good enough for him.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 23, 2005 07:23 PM