Tags: Galbraith | cut | retirement | age

Economist Galbraith: Cut the Retirement Age

Friday, 30 Nov 2012 10:06 AM

By Dan Weil

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While many economists are calling for an increase in the retirement age to ease financial pressure on the entitlement system, University of Texas economist James Galbraith goes in the opposite direction.

He thinks the retirement age — now 67 for full Social Security benefits — should be lowered, at least temporarily.

The idea would be to ease pressure on the labor market with the unemployment rate at 7.9 percent, Galbraith tells Business Insider. In additions, retirees would get access to income earlier.

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

For older blue collar workers who are unemployed, the odds of finding a new job is bleak, he says.

“So the solution is to make the early retirement available for a limited period, let's say three years … and let the people who take it at 62 get a better deal than they get now so that a higher fraction of the working population will take it at 62.”

Galbraith isn’t the only one opposed to raising the retirement age. Some argue that an increase would discriminate against the poor and uneducated.

Those people often work in physically taxing jobs and thus would have difficulty working for additional years. They also have lower life expectancy rates than their wealthier brethren, which means they may not have much time at all to enjoy retirement if the age limit is increased.

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

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