Friday, November 22, 2013

New York Times questions conventional wisdom on Social Security reform proposals

Paul Krugman offers an important op-ed in the New York Times Friday, “Expanding Social Security”, link here
Krugman challenges some conventional conservative debate points on entitlement reform.
One bullet point is that the longer lifespans argue for raising eligibility age. Longer lifespans occur largely with higher income individuals, whereas poorer people, who may have worked in dangerous occupations involving manual labor and hazardous conditions and who may “need” benefits more, have seen relatively little increase in life span.
The other argument is that conservatives tend to understate poverty among seniors, and that such poverty is likely to increase in the future because lifelong stable employment with one or few employers offering defined benefit pensions is going away.  He describes the conversion to defined contribution 401(k)’s as a failure.  My own worked out all right, although some of the value of my own employer’s stock (ING) had lost value (after 9/11) before I sold it.  

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