Seniors and Income Inequality: How Things Get Worse With Age

Income inequality has been rising on the political agenda, yet one group has been left out of the discussion: seniors. Older adults are somewhat less likely than working-age adults to be poor by the government’s traditional poverty measure, developed in the 1960s. But this official measure may understate the extent to which seniors live in poverty. […]

Kuttner, Galston, and the Debate Over the Social Safety Net

I take exception to most of the assumptions and conclusions in William Galston’s piece. For starters, the debate about entitlement programs is needs to be located within a larger debate about the mixed economy. Galston begins by asserting: “I take it we agree that suitably structured and regulated markets generate wealth more effectively than other economic […]

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 […]

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 […]