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How social security changes can make the US more competitive

The current debate about how to avoid a European debt crisis in the United States is bringing up some interesting ideas. What the Democrats attack as benefit cuts is actually a way to increase competitiveness of our economy. Raise the retirement age.

Raising the retirement age, with options to help those that do need to retire early is great for the economy and should be done now. Full disclosure, I’m 45 and have no problem at all with raising my retirement age to 70 right now.

I’m a contractor, and I’ve had a chance to work with a lot of experienced people. I worked with an Oracle DBA, named Mike, in Toledo for 10 1/2 months in 2009 and 2010. Mike had 20 years of Oracle experience and a great bag of tricks. He saved the company a lot of money with his tricks, keeping critical Oracle based ERP systems up and running, without the benefit of support from Oracle.

Mike just had his retirement party. He’s 65, healthy and mentally fit. He’s being replaced by on Oracle DBA, based in India in his late twenties with maybe 10% of his experience.

This story is repeated over and over in American business. If we raise the retirement age to 69, yes we incur increased health care costs. There are probably a lot of other costs as well. But try to put a price tag on the experience we are sending to the shuffleboard courts.

Raise my retirement age now. I’m happy to do that to help the economy and lower Federal Debt projections. We can save trillions of dollars in this entitlement program and make our economy stronger at the same time.

Shmuel Protter


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