Ten Ideas to Save the Economy #3: Expand Social Security

America is on the cusp of a retirement crisis. Millions of Americans are already in danger of not being able to maintain their standard of living in retirement, and the problem is getting worse. You hear a lot about how corporations are struggling to make good on their pension promises, and how Social Security won’t be there […]

Smart Social Programs

DO government efforts to support low-income families work? Since the War on Poverty in the 1960s, skeptics have argued that even if these programs provide temporary relief, the only long-term impact is increased dependency — witness, they say, the persistent lack of mobility in places like inner-city Baltimore. But a growing body of research tells […]

Social Security May Be in Worse Shape Than We Thought: Study

The Social Security Administration projects that its trust funds will be depleted by 2033—not an optimistic forecast. But it may be even bleaker than that. New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA’s actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program’s trust funds since 2000. -NBC Read the […]

How Bad Is the United States at Reducing Income Inequality?

Why does nixing senior citizens from the analysis change the outcome so dramatically? Milanovic and Gornick note that Americans older than 60 are much more likely to have high market earnings compared with their peers overseas. In other words, they don’t retire, possibly because Social Security benefits aren’t exceptionally cushy. The fact that more of […]

The Growing Generational Divide

I spent a great deal of my time with Aunt Sis, who seems to have always been old. She knew how to plant and how to build a fire. She had once been known as the wildest and most beautiful woman in Leslie County, Ky. She was blunt and hard to please. Sis loved to […]

As Cognition Slips, Financial Skills Are Often the First to Go

When Helen Clark brought her father-in-law, then 83, to the doctor last year, she knew his mind was slowing, but a mental status exam confirmed it. He knew the year, where he lived and the name of the president. But when the doctor asked him to count backward from 100, subtracting seven from each number […]

China Will Get Rich Before It Grows Old

At a conference on the Chinese economy in 2012, Cai Fang, a demographer at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, issued a dire warning: “There’s now no doubt China will be old before it is rich.” He was expressing a view widely held by economists and China watchers. Over the past 65 years, life expectancy […]