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Thoughts on a Center-Left Entitlements Strategy: How we Might Shape Social Security and Medicare for the Future

In a forum such as this, authors can dispense with many of the usual preliminaries.  I take it we agree that suitably structured and regulated markets generate wealth more effectively than other economic systems but do not reliably produce either a reasonable distribution of prosperity’s fruits or an adequate level of security against life’s physical and financial vicissitudes.  It is for that reason, we agree, that since the 1930s the United States has developed a web of programs to assist the poor and vulnerable, to make work pay and provide protection against unemployment, and to ensure older Americans a decent retirement.  We agree that these programs reflect necessary and important public purposes that government may legitimately pursue.  We agree, therefore, that the task before us is not to disable or dismantle these programs in the name of other purposes but rather to improve them and to do our best to ensure their perpetuation for future generations. Read more…


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