I worked as an adoption social worker for L.A. County for 10 years. Social work doesn't pay a lot, but it's important — I was rescuing kids. I had private sector jobs, too. But today my Social Security benefit is larger than the small pension that I have.
My wife was a community college teacher. I would be hard-pressed to make it if I had to live off my Social Security and pension and pay my own way without her retirement benefits. But when I think about Social Security no longer existing, the word "dangerous" comes to mind. I think it would simply create an overwhelming rush to the bottom for a lot more people, and the gap between the haves and have-nots would become huge — bigger than it already is. Without Social Security or something equally guaranteed, I don't understand how people could survive once they got older. I really don't.