What nonsensical claim has fake historian David Barton made this week? In a recent clip found by Right Wing Watch, the peddler of pseudohistory claimed that retirement is a heathen concept, and thus is inherently wrong. The Almighty wants “good Christians” to work until the day they drop dead! Not having a job makes you lazy! I guess sloth really is one of the seven deadly sins.
People live an average of two point five years after retirement, because not working causes their bodies to shut down? Oh my, so if I were to quite working at anytime I would only have a few more years to live at most? Those people who retire at sixty five and live until they’re ninety must be extreme outliers. Lets get rid of social security, since retirement causes people to die from sloth!
Actually no it doesn’t. According to Chris Weller at Medical Daily,
Studies that argue life expectancy and retirement age work in tandem do not have a unified stance. Some studies have suggested that retiring later can offset a person’s risk for dementia, as more time spent involved with coworkers and meaningful tasks keeps the brain active, while other studies have shown early retirement keeps a person youthful.
Piggott and his team rejected both stances, opting instead for the more general truth that healthier people live longer. The team’s study looked at population data from the Norwegian government from 1990 to 2010. During the 1990s, a number of companies in Norway reduced their minimum age for pension access from 67 years old to 62. For those people whose companies didn’t adopt the switch, the age stayed at 67. Piggott and his team compared the two groups’ mortality rates against each group’s retirement ages.
The team found no difference in longevity between those who worked through age 67 to those who retired five years earlier — leading them to the conclusion that retirement age and longevity do not bear a correlation.
In other words when you retire has no effect on when you die. If Barton’s sources were correct, what we should see would be, the earlier people retire, the earlier they would die. We don’t see that. This data seems to show that retirement has no effect on how long you live. Even those studies that say otherwise often contradict each other. It doesn’t appear that the creator of the universe is sending people the message that Barton insists he is sending us.
It looks like Barton’s statement that people live an average of only two point five years after retirement is probably baseless, just like most of the things he says. Thankfully you’re not destined to die soon after you stop working.
Barton, it maybe easy for you to advocated that people should never retire. Your job of being a propagandist for the religious right, distorting history for their political agenda, isn’t that hard. Spouting nonsense about American history, including nonsense about our founding fathers, is easy. Making up stories about you being a translator for a Russian gymnastics team, can’t be that stressful, unless of course you’re constantly worried that people are going to find out that you’re lying.
Most people on the other hand, the average Joe, doesn’t have such a cushy job. Most people can’t make money as a conman like you. Try telling a senior citizen who is an electrician or better yet, a construction worker, that he should never retire. Why should any of those people, have to keep working, if they can afford to retire? Such jobs tend to get more difficult as people age anyway for an obvious reason. People should be able to live their lives to the fullest.