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Businesses United States Medicine The Almighty Buck Science

Americans Are Dying Younger, Saving Corporations Billions (bloomberg.com) 274

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Steady improvements in American life expectancy have stalled, and more Americans are dying at younger ages. But for companies straining under the burden of their pension obligations, the distressing trend could have a grim upside: If people don't end up living as long as they were projected to just a few years ago, their employers ultimately won't have to pay them as much in pension and other lifelong retirement benefits. In 2015, the American death rate -- the age-adjusted share of Americans dying -- rose slightly for the first time since 1999. And over the last two years, at least 12 large companies, from Verizon to General Motors, have said recent slips in mortality improvement have led them to reduce their estimates for how much they could owe retirees by upward of a combined $9.7 billion, according to a Bloomberg analysis of company filings. "Revised assumptions indicating a shortened longevity," for instance, led Lockheed Martin to adjust its estimated retirement obligations downward by a total of about $1.6 billion for 2015 and 2016, it said in its most recent annual report.

Mortality trends are only a small piece of the calculation companies make when estimating what they'll owe retirees, and indeed, other factors actually led Lockheed's pension obligations to rise last year. Variables such as asset returns, salary levels, and health care costs can cause big swings in what companies expect to pay retirees. The fact that people are dying slightly younger won't cure corporate America's pension woes -- but the fact that companies are taking it into account shows just how serious the shift in America's mortality trends is.

Americans Are Dying Younger, Saving Corporations Billions

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  • Sweet news! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:12PM (#54979999)

    Thanks to sugar in the Standard American Diet (SAD).

    • SAD is hitting other countries including Europe as well. It is not an American phenomenon

      • Re:Sweet news! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @11:34PM (#54980885)

        If anything, it is less of a problem in America because very few corporations have defined benefit pensions anymore. If your 401k runs out before you die, that is your problem, not your employer's.

  • Nice healthcare (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:13PM (#54980007) Journal

    These so called evil socialist countries meanwhile laugh at us while their death ages grow and do not worry about losing their retirement over a medical issue

    • Re:Nice healthcare (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:34PM (#54980117)
      Those so called evil socialist countries don't have America's terribly unhealthy population. Compare the U.S. against any of those so called evil socialist countries people would want to live in (i.e. Sweden, not Venezuela) and they typically have lower rates of obesity, tobacco, alcohol, and hard drug consumption. Saddle them with an equal number of your average 'Murican and their system would hopelessly buckle much like the knees of the obese Walmart shopper under the added burden of a sixth 40-count box of twinkies.

      You could maybe argue that if the U.S. had some form of free healthcare it might not get to that point, but a lot of those same people are the kind of nutters that think the government put fluoride in the water to control people's minds and wouldn't go to some free government clinic for checkups. That and it would probably take away from their time of complaining to each other about evil socialized medicine and the government trying to take away their Medicaid.
      • like that. And most people agree the government should ensure everybody has healthcare. Notice how I worded that. I can ask those same people the same question with different wording and get a different set of answers. Heck, a recent poll showed only 25% of America trusted our president but 33% approved of him. Those numbers don't add up...

        Also I think they're improved diet and lack of smoking/drinking comes more from having less poverty. We've been gutting our anti-poverty programs for 30+ years. Junk f
        • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @09:08PM (#54980301) Homepage

          Heck, a recent poll showed only 25% of America trusted our president but 33% approved of him. Those numbers don't add up...
           

          I'm actually surprised that it's that close. I'm assuming you think that it's impossible to approve of someone you don't trust. I live in the bible belt and I know a ton of religious people who held their nose and voted for Trump. They don't trust him and think he's disgusting but they trusted Hillary even less and for the most part even though they still don't trust him, they mostly approve of what he's doing. From what I've seen, I would say 75% of the people I know who voted for Trump approve of what he's doing while less than 25% of them actually trust him.

          • and I'm a reasonable scientific guy so I'm all about evidence. But just because something is doesn't mean it should be; nor does it mean we can't change it.
          • by bankman ( 136859 )

            "They don't trust him and think he's disgusting but they trusted Hillary even less and for the most part even though they still don't trust him, they mostly approve of what he's doing. [...] I would say 75% of the people I know who voted for Trump approve of what he's doing..."

            This is interesting. What do the people you describe like about what Trump is doing? What do they think he is actually doing? So far, this government hasn't achieved all that much, or is that the point?

          • Polls are full of leading or misleading language that often differs from their conclusion. Once you realize that poll are written to fill some agenda and have nothing to do with the truth you take them with only the tiniest grain of salt.
          • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

            You mean you live in the hypocrite belt. There is nothing "blesssed" or "holy" or even "decent" about what Trump has done or wants to do. If anything, Jesus warns us about people like Trump. He warns us about the "ends justify the means" type of thinking and the inherent dangers of doing so. The road to hell is paved with good intentions (not that Trump has ever had a good intention in his life).

            If Satan were real, he'd be laughing his ass off right now.

        • Heck, a recent poll showed only 25% of America trusted our president but 33% approved of him.

          That is strange. Typically trust numbers are closer to 0% and approval numbers closer to 50% for many politicians.

          But I think you don't know what those words mean. I approve a lot of things that many politicians around the world do, yet I trust zero of them.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Heck, a recent poll showed only 25% of America trusted our president but 33% approved of him.

          Not surprising for a post-truth politician. The whole point of post-truth politics is that you can't trust any of them, they all lie about everything all the time. The media also lies, experts lie, everything is a lie except for what you personally believe is true.

          So stop worrying about the Trump's lies, and just look at what he does. Lying is not a bad thing any more, it's just normal.

      • Re:Nice healthcare (Score:5, Informative)

        by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:47PM (#54980195) Journal

        Obesity is a problem in Europe as well since rates have doubled [huffingtonpost.com]. Fast food chains and sugary drinks are there as well and also expanding

      • Re:Nice healthcare (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:24AM (#54981403) Homepage

        Universal health means principles of preventative health care https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org], are applied by government upon a national basis and there is greater incentive for the government to ensure a healthy environment and more effective system of social welfare to ensure a healthier status upon average is maintained. A for profit system, means, once the user is bankrupt, there is no profit in providing health care, well, excluding overloading them with debt, to seize any remaining assets post death, from lack of health service and medication.

        The reason why people are healthier in universal health care countries, is the government has an incentive to keep them that way because it is much cheaper. The reason why people are sicker if for profit health care nations because everyone has an incentive to keep the sicker to extract more profits out of them before they die.

      • You're the only ones to blame for your own misfortunes. In the 60's and 70's, Americans were smart. Even the black community was smart, well dressed and upstanding. In the 80's and 90's, American got stupid. Now? Who the fuck knows what's going on over there any more. If the police aren't murdering people left and right, the politicians are trying to break the country down from both within and without. Since you're all living in a pile of shit, it's no wonder you get sick in mind and body, and that evil spi
      • Most health care costs are coming from unreasonably trying to keep us boomers alive an extra 90 days.

        As in $80 to $100k or more per boomer.

        No country can afford that.

        But everything before that is pretty cheap.

        Expensive but uncommon disease are rare enough that the average cost per citizen is very cheap (maybe under a penny a year).

        But- we do need some upper limit for those too. We do implicitly- not explicitly. While it's "unlimited", we really don't honestly expect insurance companies to pay $100 million

    • Indeed, but their pension funds are all also bust; (except for Norway, a special case), hence in those (few) countries that are facing reality, they're hiking retirement age...so you live longer, but pay for it.

  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:15PM (#54980015)

    The conspiracy theorist in me can't help but think about all the pressure to cut healthcare costs, and about food corporations pushing high-carb, high-sugar foods, and the entertainment industry with all its incentives to become a couch potato. Corporations get to increase profits in the short term, and reduce costs in the long term when people die prematurely. No, there's probably not a conspiracy per se, but it may not be entirely a coincidence either.

    • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:21PM (#54980047) Journal

      Actually obesity raises healthcare costs in the short term for everyone including corporations and their employees so their would be no net gain. Rather a net lose even if they die earlier

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @11:58PM (#54980983)

        I don't think so. Let's do the math:

        According to the CDC, obesity related healthcare costs America $147 billion per year.
        There are 300 million Americans, and roughly half are fatties, so let's figure $1000 per fat person in extra healthcare expense.
        If they are fat for 50 years of their life, that would cost an extra $50k per fatty.

        Obesity reduces male life expectancy by 8 years, and female life expectancy by 6 years, on average.
        Each year an average retiree costs $9990 in medicare and $16092 in social security, so roughly $26k total.
        So by dying sooner, a male fatty would save taxpayers 8*26k = $208k.
        A female fatty would save us 6*26k = $156k.

        Even accounting for the additional healthcare cost over their life, by dying early they are a BIG win over skinny people.
        Maybe we should offer tax breaks and other inducements to encourage people to gain weight.

        All the figures used in this post were obtained by quick Google searches. Specific citations will be provided on request.

        • A year of dialysis costs 72,000$
        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

          First, regarding the topic, what companies still offer pensions? For example, Verizon employees haven't been eligible for pensions for well on a decade. So they're only talking about their current load of mostly already retired previous employees. Many other companies stopped offering pensions decades ago as the 401K push really started in the late 80s. So this is an accounting issue that mostly applies to the past, and has no real bearing going forward more than a few years.

          According to the numbers from

    • all the pressure to cut healthcare costs, and about food corporations pushing high-carb, high-sugar foods, and the entertainment industry with all its incentives to become a couch potato.

      It has nothing to do with healthcare at all. The amount of sugar people consume has been on the rise for many decades, long before healthcare was even on the radar. The only thing food corporations want is to sell more of their product. They know they are the problem but nobody wants to go first and make healthy food because some other asshole company will just replace their unhealthy food and nothing will change.

      I've said it many times before but feedback loops determine behavior. As such, the only way

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ChrisMaple ( 607946 )

        ...nobody wants to go first and make healthy food...

        Are you truly trying to be a jerk, or have you never been to a grocery store? There are lots of healthy foods available, and many stores work hard to supply new items in the form of exotic fruits and vegetables.

        The problem is not what's available, the problem is what people buy. Convenience foods and junk foods are popular, and you can't reasonably expect food stores to stop selling them just because they're harmful when eaten in excess. People need to exe

        • ...nobody wants to go first and make healthy food...

          Are you truly trying to be a jerk, or have you never been to a grocery store? There are lots of healthy foods available,

          Allow me to clarify: nobody wants to go first and only make healthy foods.

          Convenience foods and junk foods are popular, and you can't reasonably expect food stores to stop selling them just because they're harmful when eaten in excess.

          I'm not saying they should stop selling them, I'm saying that foods should be taxed based on how detrimental they are.

          People need to exercise responsibility; this has been true for millennia.

          Sure... but if they don't, what then? My idea of a tax ensure that if they are irresponsible that they will still get medical care without putting the burden on other people.

          Your approach, using the threat of government guns against manufacturers, is tyranny.

          My approach is to allow companies to sell their items but also include a tax on unhealthy items to pay for people's future medical bills due to t

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          There are lots of healthy foods available

          Yes, but companies have realized that there is demand for healthy food and started producing fake healthy food. These days it's rare for a cereal box not to claim it's a healthy option, even if it's sugar coated crap. The manufacturers use all the usual tricks, like saying it's "low in fat" while omitting to mention that it's still high calorie or that it's only "low" relative to a stick of lard.

          Some countries have tried to deal with this by requiring colour coding based on government defined limits, but th

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      People in the US typically choose lifestyles that aren't conducive to a long life. Not all but a very significant percentage. Over indulging in all kinds of things that are health hazards means cancer and heart disease are still big killers despite huge strides in treatment over the last few decades. I've had several people in my family that ended their days early through drugs as well.

    • I somewhat suspect that it has to do with the recent increase in suicides.

  • Profits are great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by youngone ( 975102 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:18PM (#54980035)

    But for companies straining under the burden of their pension obligations...

    I have no idea what the pension obligations are for the massive multinational I work for, but I do know profit was up nearly 7% to US$14 billion in the last year, so I don't think straining is quite the right word.

    • Any responsible company fully funds the pensions of its workers, and those pensions are managed by an independent entity.

      If you have a company that is filling the pension fund with its own stock, or just writing IOUs (which comes to the same thing), then the company doesn't actually have a pension plan, it has a lottery fund. The chances of the company still being around, in the same form, to pay out pensions in 10 or 20 or 30 years is basically zero. If the company hasn't gone under, it will have been boug

  • Pensions? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:24PM (#54980071)
    What pensions? What companies still give pensions? I'm not aware of any US companies that give pensions.
    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:41PM (#54980157)
      that they haven't managed to gut by closing down the company (Hostess, I'm lookin' at you). It's a lot of money somebody else is going to pocket.

      I'm looking forward to them going after the VA & Military pensions. It'll work too. They'll pit the current enlisted folks against the new folks just like they did with the old and new employees.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hord ( 5016115 )

      Huh? Tons of companies give pensions. They are called 401ks usually but any sort of tax-deferred annuity account handled by your employer is a "pension". Maybe you are talking about part-time personnel that may not qualify for retirement benefits, but most professional jobs I've seen offer a 401k or suitable alternative.

      • As the AC below pointed out, pensions are actually a thing that is not the same as a 401k. It's crazy, but I'm one of the lucky minority who will most likely have a pension. When I retire, I will currently get ~$1500 per month, every month, until I die. If I retire at 55 it will be less, if I retire at 65 it will be the full amount. And if I live t o 105, they're still obligated to that payment. (I won't, because booze and bacon are awesome.) I'm lucky to be vested in one of the top 10 most solvent pension

        • by hord ( 5016115 )

          The reason why "pensions" don't exist anymore is for exactly the reason you mentioned. Why do you deserve a lifetime of payments that you didn't really earn? I mean it's kinda sort based on your earnings, but the overall amount is disconnected from your own contributions. Pension plans died because financial planning is actually a thing.

          • Re:Pensions? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by apoc.famine ( 621563 ) <apoc.famine@gmaiLISPl.com minus language> on Thursday August 10, 2017 @08:52AM (#54982399) Journal

            You seem to have a very isolationist view of the world.
             
            Why does my organization still offer a pension? Because everyone gets in on it, from the secretaries up to the C* positions, and you get out what you put in + matching and interest, with the only variance being when you snuff it. Given the topic of the article here, companies saving because lifespan increases are stalling, that should make pensions even more solvent. If the whole organization can benefit from a pooled investment, why shouldn't they? Why on earth would you rather lone-wolf it and do your own financial planning? It's like self-insuring your house and your car. If you're stupidly rich or love to take life-crushing risks, sure, makes sense. But for everyone else, safety in numbers.
             
            Pensions are a way for a company to show that they are invested in their employees. That they want loyalty to the company, and are willing to pay for it. Not a bad thing, if they're run honestly and well. They're a financial instrument with well understood risks, and those risks can be managed pretty well.
             
            Mine is well distributed between stocks, bonds, and other long-term, stable investment instruments. As employees get older, their share is moved into the more stable instruments. New employees get a larger share of the stocks, with the assumption that they can ride out some ups and downs, and make some real gains before retirement. What this means is that there's no "oh shit we're out of money" for retirees - their money is safely tied away in the bond markets. No, it's not going to grow much, but it doesn't have to. Younger employees get more of the risk, and if you don't make 5 years to get vested, you get your money back. Likely it's going to be a good premium on what you put in, unless you are unlucky and hit a downturn in the market.

            Why do you deserve a lifetime of payments that you didn't really earn?

            That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If I worked just 5 years to get vested, quit, and put no more money in, at 65 I could pull something like $200/month in pension. That's matching plus interest, stock gains, etc. If you work for 30 years and contribute, that's more like $3-5k/month. You get out what you put in. It's not the gravy train for the rest of your life, regardless of what you contributed. What you can withdraw is carefully calculated based on how much you contributed, when you retired, and how long you're expected to live. It works like insurance - insurance rates are set based on how likely it is that you'll need them to pay for something, how much it will cost, and how many people are paying into the insurance pool. Here, we're underwriting loyal employee retirements as thanks for their service, rather than forcing them to take individual risks.

          • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
            This is the lie being pushed. When pensions were fazed out, companies should have been required to add money to the employees current salaries. I'm not aware of this ever happening, salaries have been stagnant for so long that private sector work is on par or less then public sector salaries.
            This is by design and allows the wealthy to sow anger and drag down the public sector.
      • Most don't anymore, but many did up until around the turn of the millennium. I just sneaked in under the wire for one at my company (I was hired in around 2000 and they stopped sometime in 01/02). I've been enticed by other companies, but one of the main reasons I stay at mine is the pension is too nice to pass up (assuming it's still there when I retire that is, I also have a 401K and other investments).
    • Boeing and lots of others. Mine does and with me nearing retirement with them I am stuck working for them until then. If I don't I loose around 19K a year.
    • What pensions? What companies still give pensions? I'm not aware of any US companies that give pensions.

      Some of it depends on what you define as a pension. For example, retired military and US civil service workers get something that pretty much is a pension, even if they don't use those terms. Typically true pensions have been a part of very heavily unionized industries such as automobile plants and the airline industry. But as people have found out to their horror, it's possible to get pension obligations slashed or removed via bankruptcy. People over the age of 70 may possibly be getting pension paymen

  • I mean the guys who own the big companies, who put one of theirs in the white house, don't need educated, healthy people any more. That's why education is failing, and our health care/insurance system is such a disaster. Smart people are harder to control (witness the IQ of the average Trump supporter), so they create a two stage strategy. First they get everyone under 30 deep into student loan debt because they want the money that the baby boomers would otherwise leave to their kids. The reaction is th

    • The failure of American education is a Progressive conspiracy that has been advancing for more than a century. Look at John Dewey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dewey [wikipedia.org], among others. Whether it's children leaving high school unable to read, write, or do math, or college graduates with degrees in feminist studies, it's the left that has destroyed education (while spitting on the right.) Don't spend your whole life unable to look below the surface.
  • Infant Mortality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:36PM (#54980127)

    I wonder if this has something to do with the infant mortality breakthroughs that started roughly 20 years ago. There was an article, I think in the WSJ, a few weeks ago about how mortality of 20 year olds has spiked because of the advances in neonatal care that would have normally killed them as small children.

    What happens is you get an infant with a replacement heart valve, or kidney transplant, who grows up fine, but once they switch to a regular doctor, that doctor is inexperienced dealing with patients that young with those sorts of conditions. For example, usually someone with a replacement heart valve is in their 50's or 60's and is relatively inactive, or engages in light exercise. Now you have a 20 year old with a replacement heart valve and they are going out scuba diving or running marathons. Is that safe or risky behavior? Should they try to take it easy, or is that worse than remaining active? There's no data to make a good judgement.

    • Now you have a 20 year old with a replacement heart valve and they are going out scuba diving or running marathons. Is that safe or risky behavior? Should they try to take it easy, or is that worse than remaining active? There's no data to make a good judgement.

      It's perfectly safe for them to go do the most exerting exercises and things like rock climbing without equipment. Worst case scenario, billions of dollar saved. >;)

    • No, because infant mortality is part of the gross life expectancy number. I trust what the actuaries calculated for these pension funds.
  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:42PM (#54980163)
    Social security and medicare. Die early, save the government thousands. Act like lemmings, save them billions.
  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @09:09PM (#54980305)

    The whole concepts of pensions and retirements is artificial, modern and soon to be not relevant.

    Both pensions and retirement came about in the last century during a period when the lifespan was much shorter. Social Security is the same. It was planned and set to be a date when most people would already be dead. Since then lifespans dramatically increased which put a huge burden on SS & pensions.

    Retirement is not necessary. What happened in the bygone years is people shifted from more active to less active tasks as they got older. This makes more sense than stopping working all together.

    There is a coming time when people will live a lot longer and may live practically forever. When that happens the whole concept of pensions and retirement makes absolutely no sense, even less sense than it does today with people living for 20 to 30 or even 40 years beyond their working years.

    • by clovis ( 4684 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @11:32PM (#54980875)

      The whole concepts of pensions and retirements is artificial, modern and soon to be not relevant.

      Both pensions and retirement came about in the last century during a period when the lifespan was much shorter.

      Most of what you said was right, but pensions are far from a new idea.
      Pensions have long been standard practice for soldiers, especially those serving during wartime.
      The Roman Empire had pensions for retired soldiers. The practice began during the first century BC.
      The practice has been found throughout history. Worker guilds, retired clergy, service to royalty, and so on offered pensions.
      In the American south, some of the slave-holding had state laws requiring pensions for freed slaves. The purpose was to prevent owners from freeing slaves too old to work profitably and thus becoming a burden on public services. This did not happen after the Civil War ended.

  • Pension? What's that? Have worked for 32+ years non-stop, never seen one of those before. Could just be this area, but "pensions" seem to be pretty rare and just for cushy government/government-ish jobs. The rest of us are stuck with "tax deferred savings plans" which few younger people ever start early enough and when they do it is too late to amass the necessary savings (AKA 401/457).

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock@@@poetic...com> on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @09:49PM (#54980469)

    You see, I have this plan. It's exquisitely clever and diabolical. I hesitate to mention it because then everybody will want to do it, so don't tell anyone.

    Sshh, here it is: I PLAN TO LIVE FOREVER ! And the best part is: SO FAR IT'S WORKING !

    • I PLAN TO LIVE FOREVER ! And the best part is: SO FAR IT'S WORKING !

      That sounds horrible! I mean, unless you also solved the "stay young forever" part - then it could be pretty cool.

  • I have trouble understanding why anyone would think that a liability with no fixed end, guaranteeing a payout, like a pension or Social Security, would be a good idea. IRA's and 401k's make way, way, way, more financial sense that a pension does. There are countless stories of pension funds running dry, economic conditions changing during the 30+ years of someone drawing on a pension, Social Security getting raided by incompetent politicians, and other reasons that any kind of fixed benefit plan doesn't see

    • If everyone wanted to be a financial advisor then they would already be employed as a financial advisor. I would rather not spend time on it or accept the risk for it because I simply don't enjoy it.
    • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @11:07PM (#54980773) Journal

      And no one's 401K or IRA ever ran dry before they died...

      And if your's did dry up, you'd have only yourself or the thieving financial engineers on Wall Street, who spend their careers figuring out legal ways to steal everyone's money, to blame.

      People have figured out that actively managed funds are a rip off, so now they pour money into index funds. The more money that goes into them, the more tempting a target they become. Some clever person at Goldman Sachs is going to figure out how to manipulate those funds to their benefit. It's coming. You'll see.

      • I figure about the time the peak of the boomers are retiring, they'll figure out how to deplete our 401k's.

    • I would much prefer to decide how much to invest each year, and how to invest it, myself. Then I only have myself to blame if (when?) something goes wrong.

      Because you are privileged to be intelligent, well educated, with adequate resources. If everyone was in that boat, it would be awesome. But not a lot of people are. We don't teach financial literacy in school. People get injured on the job, or get sick or injured without adequate health insurance. Boom, their entire ability to do what you're describing is gone. What then?
       
      Part of the point of social security and disability is to ensure that these people don't end up dying in the street. Don't just skip from one ER to another running up huge costs. It's crazy, but paying for someone to have an apartment tends to cost less than them being homeless. Why? Because our emergency services are really expensive, because they are high-stress, require unique skills, and need to be available 24/7. Stick a homeless person in a house and have a councilor come over at 1pm every day, and they no longer tie up a couple of cops every few days. They don't end up needing an ambulance to come to a sketchy alley with police backup.
       
      I get that social security seems like a really expensive thing, but homeless old people are way, way more expensive to deal with. Maybe you're in favor of just letting them die, but most of us realize that that's not a really good solution for many reasons. If we can't do that, then the next least expensive thing should be done. That's social security. (Well, social security and universal healthcare, but we're not quite there yet.)

  • Two tiers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @10:21PM (#54980607) Journal

    Did U Know?

    Life expectancy is higher for liberals than conservatives? And life expectancy is going down for Red State voters and up for Blue State voters. So it'll all work out for the best.

    http://www.medicaldaily.com/li... [medicaldaily.com]

    • by Afty0r ( 263037 )

      Life expectancy is higher for liberals than conservatives? And life expectancy is going down for Red State voters and up for Blue State voters. So it'll all work out for the best.

      Have you compared the average number of children per mother for Red and Blue voters? And what about the age at which they have those children? Cos it's quite possible to die 5 years younger than peers from another group, but outbreed them trivially by starting at 19 and having 6 kids...

      • Have you compared the average number of children per mother for Red and Blue voters?

        Yes. The overwhelming majority of the children of Red voters will grow up to hate their parents and rebel against them, so the trend holds.

    • Ha! I liked this: "“Conservatives like guns, tobacco, fossil fuels, deep-friend endangered caribou,” while liberals “like yoga, weed, clean air, free-range kale and giving everyone free health care.”"

    • Well duhhhhhh. "Blue state liberals" is a euphemism for "bourgeoisie", "red state conservatives" for "working class".

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Just to be clear: correlation is not causation, but it also does not exclude it,

      In Europe, people live longer and you could say they are pretty left, so apparently, if you start to vote left, you live longer.

      (This is waterproof. No way anybody can argue against this.)

    • Liberals also have fewer children (at least the ones who actually have children), and that's a far bigger deal than life expectancy.

      • Liberals also have fewer children (at least the ones who actually have children), and that's a far bigger deal than life expectancy.

        As I've already pointed out, the higher birth rates are neutralized by the fact that the children of conservatives are far more likely to hate their parents and reject their political views.

        This is why Red states work so hard to prevent students from voting. Here in Texas, you wouldn't believe the lengths that the corrupt state government has gone to in order to make voting di

  • Its gonna be great, right? THats what the Doughnald meant.. We are all inventory, and the more turns the better!
  • Ok.. the food doesn't help, but, Modern business logic is centered around maximizing benefit and minimizing expense. This ends up soaking up workers' life by pushing salaried workers like dogs and getting excited when fewer people do more work ad nauseum. Reality is that the logic does not scale... so that more work is provided but at slipping quality. Has anyone ever felt that they could do a 50% better job, given 10% more time? Mind you efficiency is never spoken, but it is how one survives. who would ha
    • Beef up your skills and resume, then demand that. I did, and it's been amazing. The last few jobs I've laid out that I'm not going to do 60 hrs. I've explained that I do quality over quantity, and if they want assembly line work, I'm not their guy. I'm here to do the stuff that not many people can do. I'm here to fix big problems, design very complicated systems, and document how we can do things more efficiently. I'm doing that from 8:30-4:30 with a short break for lunch. I'm going to come in late some day

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.

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