Ben Shapiro: 'Retirement Itself Is A Stupid Idea'

Ben Shapiro went on a rant complaining that the retirement age hasn’t been raised to 67 or 68 yeas yet:

BEN SHAPIRO (HOST): And let’s be real about this – it’s insane that we haven’t raised the retirement age in the United States. It’s totally crazy. Joe Biden — if that were the case, Joe Biden should not be running for president. OK? Joe Biden is 81 years old. The retirement age in the United States, at which you start to receive Social Security and you are eligible for Medicare, is 65. Joe Biden has technically been eligible for Social Security and Medicare for 16 years, and he wants to continue in office until he is 86, which is 19 years past when he would be eligible for retirement. No one in the United States should be retiring at 65 years old. Frankly, I think retirement itself is a stupid idea unless you have some sort of health problem. Everybody that I know who is — who is elderly, who has retired, is dead within five years. And if you talk to people who are elderly and they lose their purpose in life by losing their job and they stop working, things go to hell in a handbasket real quick.

But put all of that aside, just on a fiscal level and on a logical level, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt established 65 as the retirement age, the average life expectancy in the United States was 63 years old. Today, the average life expectancy in the United States is close to 80. It’s totally insane that you believe that you should be able to work from the time that you are essentially 20 to the time that you are 65 — which is a 45 year period — pay in, and then you’ll receive Social Security benefits sufficient to support you and your family, you and your wife or whatever, for, like, another 20 years. That’s crazy talk. That is not fiscally sustainable. The notion that if you have to raise the retirement age to 67 or 68, that everyone is gonna fall apart — my parents are that age. My parents are not retired, and they shouldn’t retire. It would be very bad for them to retire.

Oh, where to start? Where to start?

When the government introduced Social Security, it was meant as a contract between the US workers and the government. Workers would pay in a little every week and in turn, the government would keep the money safe for the workers until they retired. It was meant to help the poor and working class to keep their homes and enjoy their golden years. It’s not a giant piggy bank for Republicans to raid whenever they want to reward a wealthy campaign donor.

Another thing that Shapiro is woefully ignorant about is the health of people at retirement age. As one gets older, it gets harder to find one of your friends, family or acquaintances who doesn’t have some health problems. Whether it’s high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis or a zillion other things, the years and the wear and tear on our bodies start adding up faster and faster. Why should these people have to work until they drop? That’s what they call slavery.

But lastly, what really irked me, is the part where he equated retiring from work as losing one’s purpose in life. No, work is a means to live one’s life. But if you need work to have a purpose in life, you already don’t have a life. My grandfather retired at the age of 65 in 1976. He lived to the ripe old age of 92 before leaving this plane. One of his secrets was to such a long life was to have purpose. He was always willing to help anyone with anything, if he could. That was his purpose in life, to help people. But Shapiro is probably unable to understand that concept.

Editor’s note (Karoli): Ben Shapiro is part of the right wing chorus working to desensitize people to the idea of eliminating what small safety net we have. When they tell you who they are and what they intend, believe them.

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