cooking SS numbers

John K. Taber jktaber at
Wed Jan 5 16:35:15 PST 2000

And furthermore...

Granted, the GDP growth rate is inexplicably low, as I said for the last 60 years of the 75 year forecasting period. But GDP is not a direct variable in the actuaries's estimates for the forecasted shortfall.

The direct variables are real wages, number of workers, and productivity. It's the tax on wages times number of workers that is the major source of income for SSA benefits, *not* the GDP.

I forget who pointed this out, I think the SSA did, but I just don't remember.

So far as I know, the demographics (number of aged, number of workers) are not questioned, even 70 years hence. So, the underestimate of immigration (if it is underestimated) is more important than the underestimate of GDP.

Hopefully, real wages will keep up with GDP growth. But you guys yourselves are the ones pointing out that this is the Age of Capitalism Triumphant. It is not a stretch to estimate that real wages will be kept down for the indefinite future. Right?

Looks to me like the immigration I see should contribute a lot of Surplus Value to the GDP. But that says little for real wages.

-- Another damn, thick, square book. Always scribbling, scribbling, scribbling, eh, Mr. Gibbon? -- Duke of Gloucester.

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