Re: Risk mitigation (Was:Re: Mega-Tsunami..)

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sat Sep 08 2001 - 10:18:59 MDT

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> > >
> > > Conclusion: If you want the biggest return for your tax dollar, spend
> > > it on educating the public about these risks, or simply flatly outlaw
> > > tobacco.
> >
> > The fact is that at this point in time, extending human life produces no
> > positive return on investment. Retirement ages are fixed, so any
> > extension in human life only increases the demand for social security
> > funding and the further increase in confiscatory taxation that funds it.
> uh. Is anyone going to force you to actually retire? I don't
> think so.

Me? Not likely, but most of society does, and will continue to do so.
When the Social Security system was set up with a retirement age of 65,
the average life expectancy was only 62. Today expectancy is 76 and
rising, yet the retirement age is still 65 and is only going up by 2
years over the next decade. The social security system is only failing
because the retirement age is not being indexed to life expectancy.

If, instead, they increased the retirement age by one year for every two
years of increased life expectancy, making retirement at 72 today, the
system would be well balanced out.

> > The VA has very good stats on this (don't have a link at present), but
> > the DoD found in the 80's that their programs to get veterans and aging
> > active duty personnel to quit smoking and drinking resulted in an
> > explosion in VA costs as vets lived far longer, and at far greater
> > expense to the military retiree health care system, than if they
> > remained addicted and just conveniently died off several years after
> > retirment.
> >
> So you are proposing we kill people off with major booze and
> tobacco habits to save a few bucks?

No, of course not, but these figures expose the lie that is made that
eliminating such voluntary activities will reduce the cost of the
retirement system. They won't, instead they will vastly increase the
costs, and thus lead us further into higher taxation and nanny statism.
Beware the claims of advocacy groups like this, they know that larger
bureaucracies means more opportunities for advocacy groups to feed at
the public trough.

Instead, I think that if people are stupid enough to engage in such
activities to the detriment of their life expectancy, it is their
freedom to do so and we shouldn't try to make them feel guilty about it.

> > If you want a return on your tax dollar, index the retirment age to the
> > average life expectancy.
> I don't want any tax dollars that I need to worry about getting
> a return on personally. And I don't support government
> mandating when people will retire one way or the other. And I
> don't support the Social inSecurity program.

Well, good, but so long as it does exist, I think that idiots should be
free to reduce my tax burden for me by conveniently dying off due to
their own preferred behaviors. I'm not in the mood to tell them to stop,
and I don't think anybody else should either.

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