In the US, social security recipients prepare to bite the bullet following announcements that for the second year in a row, there will be no cost of living--aka cola--raise for Americans on social security. No more splurging on Dominoes pizza and a red box movie. Start clipping those cat food coupons, seniors. Even these austerity measures won't protect younger workers from future cuts. We've already been threatened with future cuts to our children's and grandchildren's social security benefits combined with steady increases in the retirement age. The workers who are most likely to need those benefits when they stop working-- because their relatively low wages allow little for savings and their jobs offer no pensions-- are the ones who pay the most into it.
Those whose wages exceed $106,000 annually pay no social security payroll taxes. It's expensive to be poor.
The lawmakers who decided this can vote pay raises for themselves when the spirit moves them. And many do exactly that.
Meanwhile, across the ocean, 3 million of our brothers and sisters in France hit the streets for the fifth day this month to protest the French government's plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.