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Policy Hub: Macroblog provides concise commentary and analysis on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, inflation, labor economics, and financial issues for a broad audience.

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December 15, 2005

Vox Baby Does The Work Of The Angels

Andrew Samwick,  Jeff Liebman, and Maya MacGuineas have unveiled their new "Nonpartisan Social Security Reform Plan," which Andrew describes in brief at Vox Baby.  Long-time readers know that I am a proponent of privatization, primarily because a demographically-centered transfer system seems to me an inferior way to run a pension program.  But I am sensitive to the better arguments of privatization's opponents -- that a purely private system might shift too much risk to those in or near retirement, that private accounts do not themselves guarantee sustainability of the system, that too many of privatization's proponents serve up their proposals as if there is free lunch to be devoured by one and all.

The Samwick-Liebman-MacGuineas plan suffers none of these deficiencies and, Solomon-like as it is, essentially splits the difference between many different reform proposals -- part privatization and part traditional fix-er-upping, paid for out of a combination of expanding tax coverage and raising the retirement age.  As Jane Galt says, "that sounds like a plan" that "could achieve broad consensus across the left-right spectrum."

Much has been made of the power of the blogoshpere to move agendas that are overlooked, or resisted, by the traditional seats of power.  And much has been said about the growing influence of econ blogs.  Wouldn't it be something if we could band together and finally get real social security reform off the dime?