Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Improving Social Security

I get a lot of information and inspiration from reading the morning newspaper.  I am lucky to live in Los Angeles and to be able to subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.  The LA Times is one of the best newspapers in the country.  I can remember an occasion in 1961 when I was puzzled by a public comment of the new President, John Kennedy.  He had just learned about the training camps in Nicaragua where the CIA was sponsoring the training of Cuban emigres to invade their homeland and overthrow the Communist regime of Fidel Castro.  I was puzzled because I had been reading about those training camps for months in the LA Times and in The Nation  magazine.  Later I learned that the LA Times was the only newspaper and The Nation was the only magazine that published any information about those training camps.  It was obvious then that Mr. Kennedy did not read either publication.

There was a nice story in the LA Times this morning about a new opera house in Oslo, Norway.  At one point in the story it was reported that dancers in the national ballet retire at age 41 on pensions and that singers retire at 51 on pensions.  I thought, what a nice idea.  Perhaps Social Security can be changed so that people can retire at ages consisted with their occupations.  Dancers and football players are worn out at 41.  Singers and many construction workers are worn out at 51.  Physicists like me, for instance, never seem to wear out and we could keep working until we reach 75 or older.

Of course I don't expect this proposal to go anywhere soon.  The urge to change Social Security comes from people who are afraid that their taxes may be increased to help pay for it, not from people who would like to retire either earlier or later than at 65 years.
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