Should the United States Privatize Social Security?

By Henry J. Aaron; John B. Shoven et al. | Go to book overview
program for the twenty-first century. When I add up all the considerations, I find that the arguments to reform Social Security by adopting a two-tier system are quite overwhelming. Two-tiers are better than one because of risk diversification for participants, more saving for the country, more choice for households, and more retirement benefits for the elderly.
Note
1.
Tobin explicitly advocates an enlarged IA plan with second-tier contribution rates eventually reaching 4.0 percent. I count Cutler in the CED camp and Barro as consistently favoring more privatization. Only Munnell supports Aaron and the MB approach.
HENRY J. AARONI want to begin my response by calling attention to the broad agreement among us on certain fundamental questions.
We all agree that privatization per se does nothing to raise national saving, investment, or economic growth.
We also agree that, for any given level of national saving, the nation's growth path does not depend on whether the reserves to back up this basic pension are managed by the Social Security trustees or by individuals. This point deserves emphasis, because many others make opposite arguments. In Cutler's words: their claims are simply incorrect.
All of us, other than Barro, agree that measures to promote national saving--through increased taxes or reduced government spending--would be desirable, although we

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Should the United States Privatize Social Security?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Note xii
  • 1: Social Security Reform: Two Tiers Are Better Than One 1
  • Notes 51
  • References 52
  • 2: Social Security: Tune It Up, Don'T Trade It In 55
  • Conclusion 108
  • Notes 109
  • References 111
  • 3: Comments 113
  • Note 123
  • Summary 132
  • Summary 132
  • References 133
  • Alicia H. Munnell 133
  • Conclusion 144
  • References 145
  • 4: Responses 155
  • Note 159
  • Note 168
  • 5: Rejoinder 169
  • Contributors 171
  • Index 173
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