Dr. Lester Wrote:
In your 12 point plan you stated that as much as one-third of social security went to non-retired persons. I have gotten some data about the payouts which you may find interesting:
As to medicare ( not formally part of social security) :
Females whose life expectancy is about seven years longer than males, make up 57 percent of the Medicare population ( HCFA 1992 Current Beneficiary Survey). Female beneficiaries over 85 (the most costly group) outnumber men 2 to 1.
As to Old Age Survivors Insurance (the traditional social security) and the Disability Insurance programs (they are reported together for reasons known only to the government). There were 36.5 million recipients in 1992. Of those 25.7 million were retired. Retired men numbered 13.4 million. Retired women numbered 12.2 million. Spouses (read wives) numbered 6.1 million. So men = 13.4 women = 18.3 the rest are children of retired or deceased workers. Another form of social security payment SSI is paid to disabled or blind individuals who earn below $446/month. Almost 60% of the recipients are mentally retarded or mentally disabled. Not separately listed are those disabled by drug addictions. There is also no gender breakdown.
So if the cost of maintaining women is higher ( seven years longer support) why doesn't the government charge equitably higher amounts for women in the system than for men. Any reasonable insurance program would base its charges on its costs or payouts. But we see here a hidden mechanism to transfer money from men to women.
Dear Dr. Lester,
What you present here is a vital piece of information which is CRUCIAL to solving our social pathology, which is due in part to gender inequality in productivity, earnings, and federal spending.
In this era of feminists' demands for gender equality, they should get it. And it cannot be equitable to propose that such payments be divided proportionately to the mere population of each gender (e.g., if women are 52% of the population then they should receive 52% of the benefits), IF their proportionate CONTRIBUTION is significantly smaller in the first place.
Rather than dividing federal funds by POPULATION, such funding should be divided by CONTRIBUTION. If men earn 65% of the income in the country, but because of the graduated income tax pay 75% to 85% of the taxes, then true gender equality demands that men as a group receive 75% to 85% of the benefits. Assuming that the lower (75%) figure is accurate, then the $360 Billion welfare tab must be reapportioned as follows:
Current More Equitable Males $36 Billion 270 Billion Females 324 Billion 90 Billion
IF men pay more than 75% of the taxes, then even MORE than $234 Billion must be shifted from females to males to arrive at an equitable proportion. This is about $3,600 per working male per year, or $108,000 per working male over his 30 year career. And if this amount, rather than subsidizing welfare queens year after year, had been successfully invested at an average rate of 6% per year, it would now be worth more than $300,000. If each of the 65 million male US workers had been able to KEEP this money rather than forking it over to Uncle Sam, and if each one had saved it in a modest savings plan, Personal Savings, rather than being $212 Billion, would now be $19,712 Billion (i.e., more than $19 Trillion).
Any other scenario would not represent "equality", and we want "equality"? Can our social pathology be reduced with this lopsided inequality? It would be pure unadulterated sexism to propose that it can.
But clearly this is more than an "equality" issue. Personal Savings is the lifeblood of any democracy, and we don't have any. With a Public Debt of $4.8 Trillion on which interest payments would sop up our total Personal Savings in several months, "Personal Savings" is just an accounting error. And fatherlessness would not be such a major problem if those who earned it were able to keep and invest it.
The fact that females live 7 years longer than males and cost more in medicare, or collect 58% of Old Age Survivors Insurance, would be remedied with this gender equitable solution.