Conflict, Crisis, and the Future of Old Age Security

The current conflict over Social Security is a symptom of larger conflict over the proper role of the democratic state in a market economy. European experience shows that population aging per se is not the source of rising economic dependency, intergenerational conflict, or popular backlash against welfare state spending. Rapid growth in entitlements-to income, health care, and social service-have been independent of market performance; on the distributional side, the market has become increasingly irrelevant. Democratic contradictions will yield to democratic solutions.

Author(s): John F. Myles

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Volume 61, Issue 3 (pages 462–472)
Published in 1983