Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Is Social Security a War on Working Wives?

Over at Real Clear Markets, my AEI colleague Sita Slavov writes on how Social Security treats married women who choose to work:

“We've heard a great deal about the "war on women" lately, mostly in connection with hot-button issues like abortion and birth control. But beyond all this rhetoric, there is in fact a large program whose design reflects antiquated, sexist thinking about women. It's called Social Security.”

“Social Security's spousal and survivor benefit provisions - which date back to 1939 - make the program a terrific deal for spouses who stay out of the labor force. As such, they are unfair to the growing number of two-earner families, and they discourage married women from working outside the home. We will soon need to undertake serious reforms to keep Social Security solvent. Redesigning the program to reflect the changing role of women could be a rare opportunity for bipartisan agreement.”

Check out the whole article.

1 comment:

Arne said...

SS is insurance, so the fact that people in different circumstances get different "return on investment" is not in itself a reason for change. After all, we want to provide insurance regardless of whether the beneficiaries' marriage circumstances conform to what they thought they would when they started their careers.