The Baby-Boomer Generation – Americas New Underclass!


By: Richard H. Frank

Seventy-six million babies were born in the US between 1946 and 1964, a span of 19 years. According to the 2000 census 72 million of these babies have survived and are eligible to begin receiving full Social Security benefits in 2011 and it is expected that an average of 3.0 million will be added to the roles with each successive year. These individuals have paid into the SS system their entire working lives and some will continue to support the system over the next 20 years.

The average benefit paid to recipients is just under $1200.00 / month with those receiving disability benefits approximately $1100.00 / month. Annually that equates to about $14,400/ year slightly above the poverty level. The poverty level for all states in the U.S. for the 2009/2010 timeframe was set at $10,830 for an individual and $14,570 for a family of 2 persons. Assuming the CPI for food and energy continues to increase at an annual average rate of 5.0%, which is not included in the cost of living inflation rate, there will be substantial erosion to the fixed benefits paid to recipients and ultimately force them closer to the poverty level.

According to government estimates there were 44 million Americans living below the poverty level in 2009, or approximately 14% of the population. Most baby boomers retiring have no pensions, or at best limited IRAs, upon which to supplement their Social Security benefits. The largest investment made during their working lives was the equity built through the purchase of their homes. That equity has been diminished substantially by the recent crash of the real estate market. Those retirees that do not own their homes will bear the additional inflated costs to provide shelter for their families in addition to the uncontrollable inflated costs of food and energy.

Government, not the individual, is the problem with regard to having a sustainable Social Security safety net.  Social progressives have looted the mythical Social Security lock box of more than $2.5 trillion dollars for programs never intended to be funded under the original law. Today we have created an unsustainable Ponzi scheme in an attempt to redistribute wealth and level the playing field for all residents instead of creating a safety net for those seniors that have contributed to the system and are in real need.

Over time inflation and hyper- inflation will create a new underclass in America. That underclass will consist of illegal aliens, retirees and the growing numbers of baby boomers attaining retirement age over the coming twenty years.

The feeble attempts made by Congress to revise the SS system will only result in compounding the situation over the long run. The real answer is to limit the government influence over achieving energy independence in America as the stimulus that will drive efficient job creation and a resultant thriving economy. Government over- regulation of the free enterprise system in America must be reduced to the level of assuring safety and protecting against fraud. The reality is that Big Government has created Big Problems all of which were foreseen by our founding Fathers and warned against when drafting our constitution. Government must return to the values and principles ascribed to by the founders.

Unfortunately, there is an entire generation of Americans that will spend their “Golden Years” experiencing  a substantially reduced standard of living from that which they were anticipating all the years of their working lives.

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