Social Security and Fertility
Commenting on a paper by Allan Carlson at the Family Research Council, EPPC Fellow John Mueller agrees that Social Security affects fertility: positively if the program is of modest size, but negatively if it grows too large. Fertility also affects Social Security: He shows that the program’s entire expected deficit resulted from the drop in fertility caused by legal abortion. The main Read More.
Taxes, Social Security and the Politics of Reform
BY PUTTING INCOME-TAX AND SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM atop his second-term domestic agenda, President George W. Bush courageously zeroed in on the two most important fiscal issues facing American families for at least a generation. The basic choice is whether to retain the formula Ronald Reagan advocated and pursued in office—combining a broad-based, low-rate income Read More.
Comment on Martin Wolf’s "We Need a Global Currency"
Martin Wolf: We need a global currency By Martin Wolf Financial Times: August 3 200419:35 Last month was the 60th anniversary of the conference at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, that inaugurated the post-second world war international economic order. The flood of analysis that this occasion brought forth has concentrated on that meeting’s institutional progeny: the Read More.
The Preacher as Economist vs. The Economist as Preacher
Keynote address to the Panel on “Economics and Secularism” Princeton University October 11, 2003 John D. Mueller1 I’d like to thank our sponsors—the James Madison Program at Princeton University, the Princeton University Center for Human Values, The Center for Research on Religion and Urban Society at the University of Pennsylvania, and The Providence Forum—for inviting Read More.
Rethinking the Flat Tax
Abstract: This paper is divided into four parts. First, it examines the basic economics of the family in modern America. Second, using this simple “model” of family economics, it seeks to explain the basic facts about the distribution of income among families in the United States. Third, it argues that earlier tax reform plans—for example, Read More.
The End of Economics
According to Lionel Robbins’ classic definition, “Economics is the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means that have alternate uses.” Yet most modern economists assume that economic choice involves only the means and not the ends of human action. The reason seems to be that most modern economists are Read More.
The Barren Gamble of Same-Sex Unions
Few states are expected to follow the lead of Vermont and enact “civil unions” or domestic partnership legislation. Yet if faced with demands to be like the Green Mountain State, lawmakers in other states would be wise to commission economic impact statements to assess the potential fiscal and economic fallout. Judging from the economic legacy Read More.
The Stork Theory of Economics
Many economists, even those who consider themselves conservative Republicans, have tended to look favorably on the movement of mothers out of the home and into the labor market during the last thirty years. The reasons for their position are varied, but at the core they reflect a fundamental clash of worldviews, one that might loosely Read More.
Abortion is a Cause of Crime, Not a Cure
Legalized abortion may lead to reduced crime through any of three channels. The first channel is simply a smaller cohort size. If abortion reduces the number of births, when that cohort reaches the late teens and twenties, there will be fewer young males, and thus less crime. Abortion may also lower per capita offending Read More.
How Abortion Has Weakened Social Security
Many baby boomers resent what they perceive to be a “raw deal” from Social Security, the “pay-as-you-go” system where roughly each generation of workers pays the retirement benefits for their parent’s generation. While their parents have reaped a generous return on their Social Security taxes, the boomers fear they will receive far lower rates of Read More.
The Socioeconomic Costs of Roe v. Wade
Since the Supreme Court handed down its historic Roe decision in 1973, the debate about abortion has been conducted primarily on two levels: legal and moral. Recently, the debate has moved to a third level, as defenders of legal abortion have added a new twist: pragmatic, utilitarian arguments regarding the alleged social benefit of terminating Read More.
Jacques Rueff: Political Economist for the 21st Century?
My original plan, several months ago, was to do homage before the 20th century ended to the French economist Jacques Rueff, by nominating him as the “rightest” political economist of the century. I had to rethink that plan after the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics to Robert A. Mundell Read More.
Nobel Prize Winner Robert A. Mundell: An Appreciation
In October, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics to Robert A. Mundell. The Nobel Committee cited Mundell “for his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas.” It may seem that the Nobel announcement, and press articles and editorials Read More.
The Answer to Three Puzzles
Liberal Democrats, Congressional Republicans, and Alan Greenspan often disagree with one another. But they have one thing in common; all have been puzzled by the behavior of the U.S. labor market. Liberals who had predicted the failure of welfare reform were surprised by its success. Republicans who watched the economy behave worse than they expected Read More.
Summary of a New Study: Winners and Losers From "Privatizing" Social Security
Summary of A New Study on Winners and Losers from “Privatizing” Social Security Testimony submitted to the Social Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means U.S. House of Representatives by John Mueller Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Lehrman Bell Mueller Cannon, Inc. Washington, D.C. March 3, 1999 Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’d Read More.
A Flat Tax That is Good for Families, Not Just for Business
Exactly fifty years ago in the face of a huge budget surplus, a Republican Congress prevailed over the veto of a Democratic president to enact the most family-friendly tax cut in history. Congress raised the personal exemption to $600—the equivalent of $7,000 today—and introduced “income splitting” between husband and wife, resolving the marriage penalty that Read More.
The Asian Bubble Trouble
OUR GREAT DIFFICULTY IN UNDERSTANDING the Asian financial bubble and its implications for the United States is not that we have too few explanations, but far too many. The crisis has been blamed, variously, on greedy speculators (by an Asian head of state), on the failure of Asian governments to appreciate the important social Read More.
Three New Papers on "Privatizing" Social Security, One Conclusion: Bad Idea
Three New Papers On “Privatizing” Social Security, One Conclusion: Bad Idea by John Mueller Senior Vice President & Chief Economist Lehrman Bell Mueller Cannon, Inc. The United States Capitol Washington, D.C. October 21, 1997 I’m here to describe a series of papers published last week concerning the advisability — or rather, the inadvisability — of Read More.
Can Financial Assets Beat Social Security? Not in the Real World.
Can Financial Assets Beat Social Security? Not in the Real World. a report by John Mueller Senior Vice President & Chief Economist Lehrman Bell Mueller Cannon, Inc. for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Washington, D.C. October 1997 1. An Overview of the Debate Since retirees began collecting Social Security benefits in Read More.
If Economic Growth Falls to 1.4%, What Happens to the Stock Market?
If Economic Growth Falls to 1.4%, What Happens to the Stock Market? Answer: 1.5% Average Real Returns in the Next 20 Years, 3.2% in the Next 75. a report by John Mueller Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Lehrman Bell Mueller Cannon, Inc. for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Washington, D.C. Read More.