US workers toil as the world retires
Only Korea and Japan have higher percentages of workers ages 65 to 69, but they're rare even in Europe's strongest economies.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently released a chart of employment rates among people ages 65 to 69 around the world, and it shows that 29.9% of Americans of those ages are still employed.
They look like slackers compared with their counterparts in Korea (42.5%) and Japan (37%), but they're also a big mystery to workers in Germany, where only 10% of the population remains in the workforce.
Older U.S. workers aren't exactly in bad company, though. More than 23% of their neighbors to the north are still working beyond typical retirement age, while more than 26% of Norwegians and Australians of similar vintage are still logging hours. It doesn't get much easier in the U.K., where 20% are still working and where McDonald's employs workers as old as 88.
Still, much of Europe provides a problematic comparison when it comes to calling it a career. Spain, Greece and Italy have only 5.2%, 6.8% and 8% of their citizens between 65 and 69 still in the workforce, but continued economic turbulence in those countries calls the wisdom of those rates into question. But Portugal, even with nearly 22% of its older workforce still on the clock, finds itself no better off than the other three.
That gives the European Union's 8.7% average employment rate for workers older than 65 some room for doubt, but it doesn't necessarily explain why the U.S. rate remains so high. After all, France is still one of the EU's economic pillars, with fewer than 6% of its 65-69 crowd continuing to work. In neighboring Belgium, that rate drops to 4.7%, while it sits at 12.7% just north in the Netherlands.
Before you start calling the Europeans loafers and touting the great American work ethic, however, just remember that in better times our employment rates looked just like theirs. Back in 1990, only 12.1% of Americans 65 and older were still working. By 2010, the percentage had jumped to 16.1%. Even among 65-to-69-year-olds, only 21.8% were still employed in 1990.
Americans just don't have the safety net they once did. The Center for Retirement Research says fewer than a third of U.S. workers have a pension, down from 44% in 1995 and 88% in Reagan-era 1983.
It's not getting better for younger generations. The Pew Charitable Trusts says the leading edge of Generation X -- folks born from 1966 to 1975 -- lost about 45% of its wealth during the Great Recession and seriously dimmed its prospects for retirement.
Enjoy permanent employment, America. Apparently, you've earned it.
We must take back our government'
Repeal all laws that gutted the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1936 (the keystone for recovery from the Robber Baron induced Depression of 1929).
End all participation in NAFTA, millions of jobs, profits and potential taxes offshored for the benefit of the Robber Barons.
End HLS and NSA, billions of middle class tax dollars spent on 'contracted' Robber Baron corporations to develop weapons for spying on US!
Repeal the Patriotic Act which has allowed the Robber Barons to seize control of our government and operate criminal organizations in secrecy.
Capitalism is fascism when democracy is dead.
"Americans just don't have the safety net they once did." When was that exactly? I'm 66 and it was never clear in my lifetime that there was a safety net. It's just not the American way.
We have our crooks in congress to thank for selling out the people who in naïve faith put them in office.
It's too late now - there's nothing anyone can do about it anymore. The government(s) are no longer able to influence or control much of anything......especially when people in congress are controlled by people who give them money instead of by people who give them votes. Democracy is dead !
When the uber-rich can live in and enjoy the benefits of a democratic society, without having to take any financial responsibility to support it - then Democracy is dead !
When CEO pay is 300x larger than average workers and minimum wages place and leave 10's of millions of workers well below the poverty level of existence - Democracy is dead !
When bankers and brokers and agents and lawyers can rob and steal society blind and never have to pay for their crimes - Democracy is dead !
When an entire political party can openly and publically state that it's highest priority is to make sure that the newly elected President fails at his job - Democracy is dead!
When Democracy is dead - so too are those live inside.
The Revolution will be televised !
I am at the end of the baby boom generation. I did what I was told. I put money into my savings account and was also promised a pension. Which the company I work for fazed out in favor of the 401k. Plan. That was not my idea - I believe some financial/banking lobbyist in Washington's brilliant idea and our politician's voted for those brilliant plans. They got their hands on money- can you find the fees for these 401k plans???? Someone with a masters looked at their and it took them 6 month to find all the fees associated with their 401k plan - how is the regular guy suppose to do this. Compared to my Dad I will have jack sh** when I retire. The GOP messed everything up for all of us. They sold us a bag of poison and told it was candy
In other words they are in reality Archie and Edith Bunker white-trailer-trash who have to resort to lying and blogging to try to get a date. LOL
Shouldn't be difficult to figure out who's running the show. Over the 15 years Fortune 500 companies have spent $55 BILLION dollars in congressional lobbying alone. It's worked out incredibly well for THEM.That figure is verifiable by researching The Senate Office of Public Records. Meanwhile, the American worker is taking it like anyone would a left hook to the bikini area. Not very well.
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