Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Social Security: “Welfare” or an “Earned benefit?” A debate that’s been around a long time…

Over at EconLog, Bryan Caplan looks back at a 1972 debate between Milton Friedman, the Nobel-prize winning economist, and Wilbur Cohen, a former secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and a prominent figure during Social Security’s early years.

One of the questions they looked at was how Social Security should be framed: is it a welfare program for poor or an earned benefit for everyone? Should benefits be based on need, such that means-testing for high-income retirees makes sense?

Many of the arguments will be familiar to today’s readers, but Friedman and Cohen state them very well. Worth checking out.

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