Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cutting I: Death Panels

One of the proposals of the deficit commission is to raise the social security retirement age, in response to changes in life expectancy. The problem is that life expectancy is lengthening mostly not because people are getting old more slowly but because we are getting better at keeping old people alive. A sixty-nine year old today is essentially just as affected by senile degeneration as his sixty-nine year old paleolithic ancestor - but he has fewer dire wolves to fight off.

It might make more sense, and be more humane, just to decrease the death age.