Retiring at age 69

The retirement age now for Social Security is 67 and the GOP want to raise that to age 69 in gradual steps. That is a cut in benefits that I oppose. I am currently age 75 and my wife and I derive 85% of our retirement income from Social Security. In 2017, all our insurance expenses, life, home, auto and secondary health, have increased at double-digit rates. Fortunately our property taxes are stable, but in order to remain in our home, we have been forced to take out a reverse mortgage on our home. That means that we will not be able to pass on the value of our home to our son when we die.

However, we are more fortunate than those who are totally dependent on Social Security. We are taking in our belts somewhat in 2017, but we still lead comfortable lives. I worry about Americans who are not as well off as we are, and I worry about the future of all Americans dependent on Social Security and Medicare in the Trump era.

My definition of racism

Opinion without knowledge is prejudice. Prejudice in areas of race is racism. Opinion without knowledge in areas of race is racism. The US was founded on racism and our founding document, the US Constitution, is tainted with racism. Counting slaves as 3/5 person is racist, pure and simple. The amendments to the Constitution have lessened the taint, but not eliminated it.

We know that parts of the US are more racist than others, and those areas tend to vote Republican. Not all Republicans are racists, but racists, if they vote, tend to vote GOP. Hillary Clinton was wrong to claim that half of Trump supporters are deplorable. The number of deplorable and racist Trump supporters is unknowable. Probably there are some and there may be many, more than half or less than half, but still unknowable.

Racism within the US is the rock, fatal flaw, that could sink the ship of state which is the US republic. To combat racism within the US, I recommend consciousness raising and deliberate attempts at greater empathy for our fellow-men. The US is only one ship and we survive or sink together.

Medicare for all

Republicans plan to repeal Obamacare and eventually repeal Medicare too. I favor Medicare for all. I have experienced insurance hell and Medicare both, and I much prefer the simplicity of Medicare. Under the current system, a taxpayer pays Medicare taxes until age 65 and then enjoys the benefits of Medicare until death. Under Medicare for all, everyone would enjoy Medicare benefits at any age, even before paying any Medicare taxes. Is that right and fair? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. However, I think that healthcare is a right, a human right, and that a healthy nation would benefit all of us.

Under the current system, the poor defer healthcare because they cannot afford insurance and lack the money to pay for a healthy diet. If Medicare for all existed, the poor might not defer seeking help when they need it. I think that healthcare delivered sooner would be cheaper in the long run than healthcare deferred. Certainly it would lead to a healthier nation, an outcome to be desired by all thinking people.

Human rights

Humans have certain basic, inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights include, but are not limited to, the rights to shelter, food, health care, water, education and a safe environment. If society charges for those rights, then humans have the right to employment that pays a wage sufficient to buy those necessities.