Race Stratification and Social Security




Last week, I saw a fascinating interview with Max Richtman, of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security, on PBS.  He explained why race stratification is alive and well regarding the Republican’s push to raise the Medicare and Social Security eligibility requirements. In recent years, the average lifespan of blacks has increase a couple of years and the average lifespan of whites has increased a bit, but whites still live an average of 3-5 years longer than blacks.  This means that more blacks who spend their working life paying into Social Security and Medicare often die before getting to receive or die early on in receiving these benefits.  By raising the age eligibility, it rigs the system (institutional discrimination) against blacks, just as they were getting closer to an even playing field regarding lifespan with whites.  President Obama stated at one point that he was open to this discussion, but now that he is pushing for the 2% tax increase for the rich, he has taken that off the table until the Republicans give in to that.

6 thoughts on “Race Stratification and Social Security

  1. Obama does want to raise the taxes for the rich so it’s easier on the middle class. No one ever really tells you how bad it is hurting these famileis. Also its not right that black people have to have all this stress. I believe the reason they are hurting is because there is still racism in this country and it effects black people.

  2. This is a very interesting phenomenon, and while I do think that this is the result of institutional discrimination, I also think that the road to equality is being narrowed by the two party system. You mentioned that Obama was open to this discussion. This doesn’t mean that he definitely would have done it, but he can’t even propose it because the Republican party would use it as leverage to get more of what they wanted. Tactics like these are present on both sides, but it seems as though the Republican party is especially resistant to change right now. Maybe it is only because the Democrats are in the White House, but hopefully in his second term Obama can be a little more aggressive and try to make compromises that work for both sides. Some people want to keep America as the old country it used to be, but in reality change is necessary for equality, even if rich white males see that as discrimination against themselves.

  3. Obamas tactics to raise taxes on the rich does not impact social security. He is doing it to put money back into the middle class, they are keeping it in the hands of the govt longer. Raising the SS age has no bearing on racism, it has to do with the greed of the republican party. Racism is an excuse republicans use, raising age limit keeps money w govt longer.

  4. From what I hear there is alot of blaming on the Republicans. It bothers me deep down when white people are the only ones who are percieved as racist. Instead of worrying about and blaming people for things why dosent someone investigate the problem and try to take care of it. I get offened by the republicans being portrayed as unfair and having wicked intentions.
    I don’t personally believe that racism is the only thing that defines the situation. Not every social weight comes from an outside source. If we get caught up in blaming an outside source, it keeps us from investigating what people can do themselves to raise their status.

  5. I don’t think racism is the only issue in raising the age eligibility. This would effect white people as well as black people. They could have raised the age expectancy for whites and blacks. I don’t think raising the age eligibility was done as a racist move.

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