January 24, 2005
Boomers on Social Security?
'All my life I have wanted a pension,' said the retired naval clerk John Dickens to his son Charles in a BBC biopic that ran years ago on PBS. And many Americans agree with him. You put in your 40 years, or 30 years—or even a mere 20 years for some fortunate policemen —and then you get a pension. For life. This is the demand side of Social Security. Then there is the supply—side, that thinks about retirement like Winston Churchill about his beloved nurse Mrs. Everest: 'When I think of the fate of poor old women, so many of whom have no one to look after them and nothing to live on at the end of their lives, I am glad to have had a hand in all that structure of pensions and insurance which no other country can rival and which is especially a help to them.' Demand—side or supply—side, the one—size—fits—all approach to superannuation enshrined in Social Security seems oppressive and rigid for a rich and diverse...(Read Full Article)