Our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions on complex topics.
Saving for retirement is getting harder and in need of major reform
I’m 41 years old, and I am stressed about retiring. I have specific reasons for this – being a freelancer is its own can of worms – but a great deal of the present stress comes from seeing just how dire the situation is for today’s retirees. Retirement is not, it seems, what we were promised – basically, days of easy, breezy living doled out as a reward for long, hard decades participating in the machine of capitalism.
Today’s retirees are finding that…well, in many cases, they can’t. While COVID may have inspired some to reprioritize and allocate more time to doing the things they love, many others have found themselves suddenly confronted with plummeting 401(k)s, forced early retirement due to job loss, and the rising cost of everyday items…and have had to dramatically rethink their plans as a result.
Baby boomers have lived through the tech bubble, the 2008 housing crash, and double-digit inflation in the 1970s, but are currently confronting a perfect storm of inflation, supply chain disruptions, a bear market, and skyrocketing gas prices and interest rates. There are fewer workers paying into the social security program, and more and more Boomers hitting an age where they need to rely on it. And the picture that all this paints is unsustainable at best.
According to a BMO Harris pole, a quarter of Americans believe that inflation will force them to delay their retirement, and a recent AARP survey found that 29% of former retirees are either currently working out of financial necessity, or expect that they will have to do so in the near future. 72% of Americans who are nearing retirement won’t have enough to maintain their living standards.
The safety net for retirees is in need of major reform, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy silver-bullet fix. The American tradition of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps – saving during your working years, then reaping the benefits later in life – may work for the upper 5%, but it’s simply not within the realm of possibility for the vast majority.
Biden has proposed ramping up Social Security benefits and shifting tax advantages from the upper-middle class to assist lower-wage workers, but we’d need a unified Congress to make this a reality. We need to break the cycle of favoring employers over labor unions, and ensure that the government provides taxpayers with additional options – fund diversification, savings incentives, and lifetime annuities – that supplement Social Security, rather than replacing it.
Short story: The crisis for our retirees should be a bipartisan issue that addresses both the shifting makeup of the population and fluctuations in our economy. And right now, we’re failing our retirees in a major, major way.
Think before canceling Hollywood celebrities over Israel-Hamas war
The Israel-Hamas war is only the newest chapter in a conflict dating back to 1917. But in modern Hollywood, the highly charged emotions prevailing on both sides of this renewed conflict have divided celebrities and their employers. Icons of entertainment and pop culture, often expected to comment on political affairs, have suddenly found themselves navigating
Viral Big Mac video is misleading as inflation cools
In December 2022, an Idaho man ordered a limited-edition smoked half-pound Big Mac meal with a side of fries and a soda. The total cost came to $16.10. Now, one year later, his social media post on the purchase is going viral, and is attracting interest from right-leaning outlets like the New York Post, the
Trump’s ‘vermin’ rhetoric is straight from Hitler playbook
On Nov. 11, Donald Trump referred to liberals as “vermin.” The United Nations widely recognizes this rhetorical dehumanization as a crucial prerequisite for organized violence, terrorism and genocide. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party, for instance, repeatedly used the German word for “vermin” to describe Jewish populations before, during and after the Holocaust. Straight Arrow News contributor
Israel-Hamas war should not punish innocent civilians in Gaza
The mortality and human suffering in Gaza is horrific, with 0.5% of Gaza’s total population killed and 60%-70% of all Gazans displaced from their homes in the past five weeks since Oct. 7. In the U.S., controversy over supporting Palestine or Israel is on the rise, leading to heated protests and — in some cases
Scottish baby box highlights the failings of US childcare
On TikTok, a woman in Scotland showed the contents of a “baby box” care package that expecting mothers receive from their government, which even included a tiny mattress for the baby. The video has sparked a debate on the other side of the Atlantic, where U.S. state and federal governments restrict access to maternal healthcare
Underreported stories from each side
UPenn loses $100 million donation after antisemitism hearing
13 sources | 15% from the left
Post-Roe, nearly 1 in 5 people seeking an abortion traveled out of state, analysis finds
10 sources | 0% from the right
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