What Year Is This?

When did things become so partisan? I believe church and state should be separate and that same-sex couples should have the same recognition as straight couples under the law and suddenly I’m radical?

I accept climate change is real and that there’s mountains of evidence that humanity descended from the same common ancestor as the other great apes and suddenly I’m a part of some secular conspiracy to destroy America?

I think that government investments in education and infrastructure should be greatly increased and that defense spending should be greatly decreased. I think the rich (several hundred thousand+ a year in income) should pay higher tax rates, considering taxes are at historic lows. Now I’m a commie?

Why, in 2012, are we still talking about whether or not birth control is ethically permissible? Why, despite the great advances in science, technology and human understanding of how the universe works, is there a backlash against progress?

How come, in 2012, the candidates for president of the United States of a major political party embraced things like reparative therapy (“Pray the gay away”), climate change denial, bigotry and ignorance?

I know old habits and ways of thinking die hard and with pain, but c’mon. We’re 12 years into the 21st century. We should’ve been beyond these old “controversies” long ago. This is the Age of Information, is it not? Inform yourself and move.

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It’s All Greek To Me

Greece is in shambles…and apparently it has been for a while.

There are angry mobs of protestors and speculation of financial collapse. Why?

In the land where democracy was born, the retirement age is 53 and Greek citizens retire with nearly full pay (80 percent).

Seriously.

The Greeks are upset that they won’t be able to maintain their current standard. Tough luck.

This has me thinking about a proposal of mine for this country: Raise the retirement age to around 75-80 for members of my generation. Life expectancy has risen since the 1930s and it continues to rise. More Americans are living to be centenarians (100+) than ever before.

The system wasn’t designed to support the elderly for decades. It’s security for life’s twilight, not the last 30-40 years of life. Why the Greeks think they can maintain their current retirement arrangements is literally “all Greek to me.”

No one in this country would be effected for several decades. For example, under my plan, I wouldn’t reach retirement age until the years 2064-2069 (2054 with the current retirement age).

If nothing is changed and the average American of the future lives to, say, 95, the United States may face a financial disaster like we’re seeing in Greece today (we need tighter regulations of banks as well so we don’t have a repeat of America in 2008).

We must keep, maintain and ensure the survival of the most successful safety net in US history. Doing so requires we use common sense and foresight.

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It’s A Non-Issue

Gallup now reports that 70 percent of young people (18-34) and a majority (53 percent) of Americans in general support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. However, only 39 percent of people aged 55 and older are in support.

Most young people personally know or are friends with gays and lesbians. As opposed to the older generation, we see who “the homosexual” really is: a doctor, lawyer, parent, sibling, writer, elected official, police officer, business owner or artist.

Even young Evangelicals increasingly consider same-sex marriage a non-issue, according to a 2008 study  conducted by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

Just because someone accepts the legality of an issue or law does not necessarily mean they approve/affirm that issue or law on moral grounds. That’s the beauty of Separation of Church and State.

Rather than seeing negative stereotypes or misconceptions (perverts, mentally ill, etc.), young people understand that gays and lesbians are every bit as human as their straight counterparts.

Modern stereotypes of gays and lesbians are rather complimentary, in my opinion; Gay men are clean-cut, artistic Apple computer¬†owners and lesbians are eclectic, charismatic coffee shop owners (the stereotype appears to be confirmed in independent coffee shops with gay men on their on MacBooks or iPhones…).

It is only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal throughout the nation. The only obstacle to equal rights is dogmatic adherence to outdated, discriminatory values (only 28% of self-identified conservatives support legal same-sex marriage).

Young people get it. When will Capitol Hill and 45 state legislatures?

Gallup results by age group

 

Why not raise the retirement age?

This post does not contain any “fancy” graphs or statistical projection charts. It is simply my two cents on the social security/retirement age “controversy.”

I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The age of retirement should be raised.

Those entering the workforce for the first time, and those who have entered within the last decade should not expect to retire on social security until around age 70 or even 75.

Life expectancy has risen a lot since social security was first instituted back in the ’30s, thanks to higher standards of living and new medical breakthroughs.

The system cannot support people living off of social security for 20-plus years. If current projections are correct, 70-75 should be an adequate retirement age for current and future generations. (5-20 years of retirement until death).

With all the incredible advances in genetics and medicine, life expectancy will most likely go up to a century or more within the next few decades. At that point in time, the retirement age will have to be raised to the mid to late 80s.

My two cents. Don’t come at me with pitchforks and torches…