The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Peeling the Onion….

09/21/2010

Last week, I marveled that China was making the same mistake as the U.S. by letting its Social Security system get as out of control as ours. Digging into this has not been easy, but I have learned that:

1. It started in 1978, when China was still a “socialist-paradise”.

2. By 2030, it is expected to be the oldest, on average, population on the planet.

3. By 2040, over 28% of the population will be 60 years old or older.

4. Today, each recipient is supported by 3.5 workers, which drops to 2.0 workers in 2035.

5. Men working in “arduous conditions” can retire at 55 and women at 45.

6. They do have to pay into the system 15 years, compared to 10 years in the U.S.

7. But, the people don’t see the problem coming, i.e., 90% are opposed to raising the eligibility age.

Remembering the single most important objective of the government is to maintain social stability, in order to maintain control, it is unlikely China will make the necessary changes, maybe more unlikely than the U.S. to make those same needed changes. I just wish both our governments would peel back the onion on this problem and actually address it…silly me…

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