Monday, June 15, 2015

Back in the Real World - Again

Back in the Real World Again: The Super Rich think you can save $20,000 a year over a working career of fifty years to amass that magic million bucks you will need for retirement. They think you can send your kids to university without help. They think that universal health care ought to come out of your pay bucket; pay as you go. They do not live in the real world. They think if you work hard you will achieve all your goals. They believe that any of us ought to and can work at something we like. They think you ought to be happy, content, and a spendthrift (even while saving all that retirement moolah) while working for the minimum wage. They don’t live in the real world – but they run it. I could dispute their convenient thinking. I could quote statistic after statistic (and have, from time to time). The fact is that most American workers get the job they can, not the one they want. They can’t save $20,000 a year. They need help to educate their children. They buy insurance for healthcare or live without it, gambling that they will stay healthy until retirement age, when they will be insured by Medicare, like it or not. Children go hungry every night in America. Worldwide, the situation is worse. One in three human beings on the planet have less to live on every day than the cost of a double shot espresso, let alone an iced mocha latte with non-fat milk. Staying home, the fact is that, like so many of My Fellow Americans who are retired, I have a modest pension after 32 years on the job, plus my and my wife’s Social Security, plus we each have a small part-time job to help meet our equally modest needs. Medicare Part B costs $105 per month each, and my supplemental plan costs $325, making health insurance our second biggest expense after rent. We don’t travel, we don’t go out to the movies or fancy restaurants. We are no longer part of the demographic, and yet we are the demographic. The real world, the world I see, is filled with people who live like us or who are working hard to get where we are, which seems to suit the Super Rich just fine.

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