Friday, February 11, 2005

Social Security at FSU

I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on Social Security reform last evening, sponsored by the Pepper Institute at Florida State University. Other invited guests included John Rother of the AARP and Jason Furman, formerly of the Kerry campaign. Packed house, good discussion. See this coverage in the local paper.

As the story notes, I pitched my ideal reform to the crowd, to some grumbling about higher retirement ages. Some of the questions afterward got me to thinking about ways to make that transition less painful--including allowing workers to take partial benefits in years after age 62--like half benefits for three years as they downscale their work, with appropriate actuarial adjustment. This is a more flexible way of doing the all-or-nothing approach for early retirement that may appeal to some workers.

Elsewhere, Tom Maguire decides he's the "One More Minute Man" with the clearest exposition of the "higher dividend payout" response to Baker/Krugman. He's been doing the heavy lifting on this one.

As well, the local paper contains this frustrating AP story--the President's approval rating appears to be dropping among seniors since the SOTU, even though every element of the reforms he's discussed explicitly preserves the system for those 55 and over.

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5 comments:

spencerengland said...

The dividend solution has the same problem as the others. You soon get to the point where dividends are over a 100% of earnings. Not impossible, at least in theory, but highly improbable. You are much more likely to get stronger growth and no SS prevenue problems.

Anonymous said...

That AP story used an Ipsos poll

http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/client/act_dsp_pdf.cfm?name=mr050210-3tbAP.pdf&id=2552

which had a skewed sample, w/ 52% of respondents identifying themselves as Democrats, only 40% as Republicans.

As per Annenberg

http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/naes/2004_03_party-id_11-19_pr.pdf

natl party ID is 31.8% Republican, 34.6% Democrat...

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

If I remember correctly, your concern with having the government place funds in the market directly (as opposed to via personal accounts) was that the government would control where the money went.

What's the real difference though between direct government control and personal accounts where there are only a few index fund based choices?

Tom

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

You lamented:

As well, the local paper contains this frustrating AP story--the President's approval rating appears to be dropping among seniors since the SOTU, even though every element of the reforms he's discussed explicitly preserves the system for those 55 and over.

I'm 55 and listened to the SOTU and heard Bush describe the problem as beginning in 2018. Then he stated that there would be no changes for us. At the same time he proposed private accounts that will hasten the arrival time of the problem. There's an inconsistency in this and I believe most older people recognize an empty promise for what it is.
Pat

Anonymous said...

"As well, the local paper contains this frustrating AP story--the President's approval rating appears to be dropping among seniors since the SOTU, even though every element of the reforms he's discussed explicitly preserves the system for those 55 and over."

Maybe "I've got mine, screw you" doesn't cut it for some seniors.