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The Big Picture: Expand Social Security with Robert Reich

Another installment of ‘The Big Picture: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy’ with Robert Reich: ‘Expand Social Security.’

Years of stagnant wages has greatly contributed to the transfer of wealth from middle- and working-class people to the already wealthy. Eliminating the cap on Social Security income is a fair step to take.

When wages are lower than they should be (which they are, no matter where you are on the pay scale), workers receive a smaller Social Security benefit when they retire. Meanwhile, low-wage earners are unable to save for retirement during their working years. Even if a company offers a 401K plan, low-wage workers, living from paycheck to paycheck, are unable to take advantage of such a benefit.

Social Security expansion is an issue for people of all ages and income levels to support. Almost everyone has seniors in their family who depend on Social Security. Anyone can have an accident or illness that cuts their working years short. Everyone, who lives long enough, will eventually retire. And, if the system is not expanded, young people of today will have a financially harder time in retirement than any recent generation before them.

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • Instead of raising the retirement age, lower it to 60 to open up positions for the men and women unable to find the millions of jobs that are in China, Mexico, Vietnam etc. Let’s say the average man or women starts work at 23. At 60 they will have worked 37 years. Those who retire at 60 will continue spending, and those who filled their positions will spend more as well, stimulating the economy. Plus, raise the wealthy-protective cap on Social Security as Mr. Reich recommends, and the overall economy improves for everyone.

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