‘How the Other Half Banks,’ by Mehrsa Baradaran

In 1890 the journalist Jacob Riis published “How the Other Half Lives,” a powerful indictment of the horrific tenements of New York that gave rise to a significant housing reform movement. Mehrsa Baradaran, a University of Georgia law professor, reaches for a similar impact in her description of the oppressive financial environment that low-income families […]

Health Costs and the Excise Tax

Containing rising health care costs is a key policy challenge. As health care costs outpace overall economic growth, they threaten to increase public spending and depress households’ income growth. Yet efforts to contain these costs should follow the hallowed dictum to “first, do no harm.” Trying to restrain health costs by shifting more of them […]

More Protection for a Nest Egg Has Some Brokers Upset

A DOZEN or so new victims file into Joseph Peiffer’s law offices each month. There was the 51-year-old woman who worked at BellSouth, he recounted, who was told to invest her retirementmoney into nontradable real estate securities. He has also worked with retirees who were advised to put theirI.R.A. savings into pricey variableannuities or other […]

Attacks on Social Security and Medicare Are Based On the Phoney Politics of Intergenerational Conflict

It’s not surprising that this midterm election season has seen its share of critics of our publicly supported system of retirement security. After all, Republicans and others have spent the past 30 years attacking Social Security and Medicare. But any reasonable analysis shows that the attacks are based on the phoney politics of intergenerational conflict. […]