Ever more Americans are employed in tasks that permit folks to work until age 70. Somehow, we have gotten into our heads work is bad for old people -- it's not. A good diet, exercise and work everyday are the best Rx for health and happiness.

Readers tell me many blue-collar workers can't work past 60. We can't accommodate the entire retirement system for what is each year a smaller share of the workforce. Instead, find physically less stressful work for older blue-collar workers.

Payroll taxes are already too high and destroying jobs. Raising the retirement age to 70 -- then indexing to longevity -- would both make the system solvent and permit some permanent reductions in payroll taxes.

Don't expect the president to ask Americans to eat those peas anytime soon.

Instead, presidents and pundits will make excuses for slow growth that doesn't have to be. Americans will feast on budget deficits and debt ceiling crises after the next election, and the next, until like Greece, the U.S. finds no way out but default.

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Professor Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is the author of 18 books and monographs and has published widely in leading public policy and business journals, including the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. Morici has lectured and offered executive programs at more than 100 institutions, including Columbia University, the Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His views are frequently featured on CNN, CBS, BBC, FOX, ABC, CNBC, NPR, NPB and national broadcast networks around the world.

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