Should the United States Privatize Social Security?eBook - 1999
The two papers that make up the core of this book address what is perhaps the mostfundamental question in the current debate over Social Security: whether to shift, in part or evenentirely, from today's pay-as-you-go system to one that is not just funded but also privatized inthe sense that individuals would retain control over the investment of their funds and, therefore,personally bear the associated risk. John Shoven argues yes, Henry Aaron no. Theoretical issues suchas the likely effects on saving behavior and capital formation figure importantly in thisdiscussion. But so do a broad array of practical considerations such as the expense of fundmanagement and accounting, questions about how the public would regard the fairness of any newsystem, and the impact of recent developments in the federal budget and the U.S. stock market.Thebook also includes responses to both papers by four prominent economists--Robert J. Barro and DavidM. Cutler, of Harvard University; Alicia H. Munnell, of Boston College; and James Tobin, of YaleUniversity--as well as Henry Aaron's and John Shoven's replies. The introductory remarks are byBenjamin M. Friedman.
The two papers that make up the core of this book address what is perhaps the most fundamental question in the current debate over Social Security.