Cover image for Policies for an aging society
Policies for an aging society
Altman, Stuart H.
Publication Information:
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvi, 402 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Overview : issues and options for an aging population / David I. Shactman and Stuart H. Altman -- An international perspective on policies for an aging society / Jonathan Gruber and David A. Wise -- Budget estimates : what we know, what we can't know, and why it matters / Henry J. Aaron -- Long-run budget projections and their implications for funding elderly entitlements / C. Eugene Steuerle and Paul N. Van de Water -- Increased public spending on the elderly : can we afford it? / Wendell E. Primus -- The economic consequences of funding growing elderly entitlements / Rudolph G. Penner -- The entitlement crisis that never existed / Joseph White -- The case for universal social insurance / Theodore R. Marmor and Jerry L. Mashaw -- The moral imperative of limiting elderly health entitlements / Richard D. Lamm -- The merits of changing to defined contribution programs / Mark V. Pauly -- The case for retaining defined benefit programs / Alicia H. Munnell -- Private accounts, prefunding, and equity investment under Social Security / John Geanakoplos, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Stephen P. Zeldes -- Changing retirement trends and their impact on elderly entitlement programs / Joseph F. Quinn -- Aligning incentives for a national retirement policy / Lynn Etheredge -- Enacting reform : what can we expect in the current political context? / Norman J. Ornstein -- The politics of enacting reform / Robert H. Binstock -- The financial problems of the elderly : a holistic view / Victor R. Fuchs.
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HQ1064.U5 P62 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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One in eight Americans today is over the age of 65, and the proportion will increase dramatically in the future. The aging of the population has begun to drive tax and budget decisions and the federal policy agenda, as policy makers and voters look ahead to enormous demands on the health and income security programs. Indeed, it is projected that Medicare and Social Security will constitute nearly half the federal budget in the year 2030, when one in five Americans will be over 65.

In Policies for an Aging Society , Stuart H. Altman and David I. Shactman have gathered experts in public and health policy, economics, law, and management to identify the salient issues and explore realistic options. From positions ranging from liberal to conservative, the contributors take a wide view of the philosophical, economic, and programmatic aspects of the social protection programs for elderly Americans. They ask broad questions and propose integrated conceptions of how our society can best provide for the needs of its aging population.

Contributors: Henry J. Aaron, Brookings Institution; Robert H. Binstock, Case Western Reserve University; Peter F. Drucker; Lynn M. Etheredge, George Washington University; Victor R. Fuchs, Stanford University; John Geanakoplos, Yale University; Jonathan Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Richard D. Lamm, University of Denver; Theodore R. Marmor, Yale University; Jerry L. Mashaw, Yale University; Olivia S. Mitchell, University of Pennsylvania; Alicia H. Munnell, Boston College; Norman J. Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research; Mark V. Pauly, University of Pennsylvania; Rudolph G. Penner, Urban Institute; Wendell E. Primus, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; C. Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute; Paul N. Van de Water, Social Security Administration; David Wise, Harvard University; Stephen P. Zeldes, Columbia University.

Author Notes

Henry J. Aaron, Brookings Institution
Robert H. Binstock, Case Western Reserve University
Lynn Etheredge, George Washington University
Victor R. Fuchs, Stanford University
John Geanakoplos, Yale University
Jonathan Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Richard D. Lamm, University of Denver
Theodore R. Marmor, Yale University
Jerry L. Mashaw, Yale University
Olivia S. Mitchell, University of Pennsylvania
Alicia H. Munnell, Boston College
Norman J. Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Mark V. Pauly, University of Pennsylvania
Rudolph G. Penner, Urban Institute
Wendell E. Primus, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Joseph F. Quinn, Boston College
C. Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute
Paul N. Van de Water, Social Security Administration
Joseph White, Case Western Reserve University
David A. Wise, Harvard University
Stephen P. Zeldes, Columbia University
Stuart H. Altman is Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at Brandeis University.
David I. Shactman is a senior research associate at Brandeis University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The timing of this book could not be more appropriate. American society has quickly moved from a phase of "irrational exuberance" to one of anxiety and uncertainty. Nowhere is this felt more than among those retired or soon to retire. For older Americans Social Security and Medicare are indispensable for survival. Yet these programs are under increasing scrutiny as the federal deficit increases and as the elderly become an increasing proportion of the total population. This collection presents the views of 23 experts in the field across the political spectrum. Papers are divided into three categories: budget projections and anticipated costs; alternatives to the current system; and the political realities of change. Many interesting and provocative issues are addressed, e.g., defined benefit versus defined contribution systems; private pension accounts; trends in retirement; equity and fairness; and the entitlement crisis. Social Security's Looming Surpluses (1990), edited by Carolyn L. Weaver, provides an earlier perspective. Although addressing difficult problems with no simple solutions, the papers in this new volume are brief and written in a clear, straightforward way so that readers with relatively little specialized training can learn a great deal. Recommended for public, professional, and academic, lower-division undergraduate and up, collections. J. F. O'Connell College of the Holy Cross

Table of Contents

David I. Shactman and Stuart H. AltmanJonathan Gruber and David A. WiseHenry J. AaronC. Eugene Steuerle and Paul N. Van de WaterWendell E. PrimusRudolph G. PennerJoseph WhiteTheodore R. Marmor and Jerry L. MashawRichard D. LammMark V. PaulyAlicia H. MunnellJohn Geanakoplos and Olivia S. Mitchell and Stephen P. ZeldesJoseph F. QuinnLynn EtheredgeNorman J. OrnsteinRobert H. BinstockVictor R. Fuchs
Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Contributorsp. xi
Part I. Introduction
1. Overview: Issues and Options for an Aging Populationp. 3
2. An International Perspective on Policies for an Aging Societyp. 34
Part II. The Economic Framework
3. Budget Estimates: What We Know, What We Can't Know, and Why It Mattersp. 63
4. Long-Run Budget Projections and Their Implications for Funding Elderly Entitlementsp. 81
5. Increased Public Spending on the Elderly: Can We Afford It?p. 109
6. The Economic Consequences of Funding Growing Elderly Entitlementsp. 127
7. The Entitlement Crisis That Never Existedp. 140
Part III. Policy Alternatives
8. The Case for Universal Social Insurancep. 169
9. The Moral Imperative of Limiting Elderly Health Entitlementsp. 199
10. The Merits of Changing to Defined Contribution Programsp. 217
11. The Case for Retaining Defined Benefit Programsp. 236
12. Private Accounts, Prefunding, and Equity Investment under Social Securityp. 266
13. Changing Retirement Trends and Their Impact on Elderly Entitlement Programsp. 293
14. Aligning Incentives for a National Retirement Policyp. 316
Part IV. Political Realities
15. Enacting Reform: What Can We Expect in the Current Political Context?p. 333
16. The Politics of Enacting Reformp. 346
17. The Financial Problems of the Elderly: A Holistic Viewp. 378
Indexp. 391