March 8, 2005

IT'S NOT THAT UIVERSAL:

Who Wins in a New Social Security? (EDUARDO PORTER, 3/06/05, NY Times)

SOCIAL SECURITY may have done more to help the poor than any other government program in American history. Established in 1935 with the explicit objective of protecting the elderly from poverty, it has relied on a heavily skewed benefit formula that pays lower-income workers a higher share of their wages than those at the top of the earnings ladder.

The results? According to government figures, old-age poverty has dropped from about 50 percent in the 1930's to around 10 percent today. Most of the credit goes to Social Security.


Even for the Times that's unbelievably stupid. Over half of all Americans were living in poverty in the 1930's while today it's about 12%. Even if SS has become some kind of liberal totem that we're all expected to worship, it's hard to give it credit for the entire transition from the Depression to today, no?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 8, 2005 10:24 AM
Comments

I skimmed the article and pitched it aside as annoying and uninteresting. I am sorry I missed that little gem. The question that seems to be missed is whether the income redistribution aspects of SS should be continued, enhanced or limited.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 8, 2005 12:59 PM

You missed the point - for uneducated liberals, the 1930s are always (just) back over the last hill, ready to swamp us all.

And so is the statist cavalry, led by whoever holds the mantle of FDR. I guess today that would be Howard Dean.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 8, 2005 1:20 PM
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