Chart of the Week: The Social Security Dilemma

It seems that every American generation since the baby boomers have adopted the same complaint at some point in their working career. It is typically something along the lines of, “My generation will be the first one to pay into Social Security and never be able to draw a check from it.” While generations in the past have all successfully recouped the money that they paid into the system, this complaint now seems to be becoming more of a reality.

Chart Social Security Dilemma
The chart above shows the change between 2010 and 2017 in the ratio of residents over the age of 65 to residents between the ages of 18 and 64, per 100 residents. This trend brings real cause for concern for the Social Security program. While the situation does not look good based on current projections, there are still changes that can be made to keep the program afloat. The consensus solutions are to either raise the retirement age or to raise taxes. However, neither option seems like it’s going anywhere given the across the isle animosity that we have become accustomed to in Washington. The stance on immigration by the White House does not seem to be helping the situation either, as an influx of new laborers paying taxes would most likely help in prolonging the death of Social Security.