While I was in China, I had the opportunity to talk with some friends and answer their questions. For example, this dialog happened one night:
Girl 1: Sina, at what age do people retire in America?
Me: Well, honestly, they used to retire, but people don't really any more. They can't. They've lost their retirement savings. I briefly and simply explain 401k's (you save for retirement), Social Security (the government saves and pays a bit to you, but not much) and the subprime mortgage meltdown, disappearance of retirement funds, and subsequent bank bailout to horrified looks and stunned silence. Which made me think I'd quite successfully explained our financial crisis and muted recovery. I was very pleased with myself.
Girls 1& 2: Silence....
Me (Genuinely Sincere): Do you know my country is barely recovering from the worst economic recession in the history of money?
Me: (Thinking: does no one but me read the newspaper? Surely this catastrophic dirty Capitalist drama must have played out in the Chinese news papers accompanied by tut-tuts of 'Shame! See what Capitalism is?' In kitchens and offices around China. No? No?)
Girl 1: But why?
Girl 2: Because Obama (That's an exact quote)
Girl 1: Yes.
Me: No, no, because banks.
Girl 1& 2: Silence....
Girl 1: So when
do people in America retire?
Me: Anytime after 62. Anytime......