Sunday, April 21, 2013
The Blessings of Tehnology
This message from my friend led me to think about how technology is increasing the efficiency of the American work force. When I buy groceries and pay for them with my debit card, I notice that often the clerk has to wave the card back and forth several times in front of the scanning window. A radio scan would probably be faster and more sure. The time saved by using radio scans rather than the now archaic laser scanning device would allow the clerk to process a few additional customers in the course of a working day. That would mean more profit for the stockholders of the grocery chain (Safeway, Kroger, Albertson, etc.) but no more pay for the clerk.
I have realized that technology is not the great boon we commoners have been led to believe. Rather it is part of the process by which wealth is being concentrated more and more in the possession of those of us who are already very rich. The effect of the radio scan technique is just to increase the wealth of the owners of the grocery company by a small amount without increasing that of the workers one iota.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Some Opinions about Social Security
One of the problems today, according to some critics, is that the program is going to cost more and more and eventually will use up 80 percent or more of the federal budget. How do we modify the system so that it will be politically affordable? There are several proposals:
- Change the formula for computing the annual cost of living adjustment. Make the adjustment a little smaller.
- Change the cap on the payroll tax. At the present time the cap is close to $120,000 a year. Lift the cap entirely, or raise it to, say, $1,000,000 a year. In that way the payroll tax would bring in more money, money needed to provide benefits to a growing segment of the population.
- Change the age of retirement. It is now 65 years. Some workers choose to continue working to some age past 70. In my case, I retired at age 66. My wife was past 70 when she retired. The change should be gradual. It could be changed one year at a time every five years or so up to perhaps 75.