The Corner

Re: Re: Generational Warfare

Kevin makes a basic, but common, mistake regarding the long-term effects on a public old-age retirement system of having more children.

Let’s say the fertility rate is exactly at replacement and the tax rate and retirement age are set to generate promised benefits. Then let’s say one generation (G1) of workers decides to have three kids per woman rather than two.  In turn, those children (G2), when they grow up, decide to revert back to the norm of two kids per woman.

When G1 is retired, either they will receive a windfall in benefits or G2 gets a windfall in the form of a lower tax rate, or a combination of both. This is a one-time windfall for the system that is NOT offset by a one-time loss in the future. When G2 retires they will get normal promised benefits (and G3 pays the normal tax rate) as G2 has generated two kids per woman, just like earlier generations.

In effect, Kevin and many others assume that any additional kids are barren. Our retirements depend on kids being raised; their retirements are not a given. If they have no children themselves the retirement system will give them nothing and so they will have put into the system without getting anything out. Again, another way to see the flaw in his thinking.

On education, I support vouchers wholeheartedly, but how we “distribute” schooling is different from how we pay for it. The current system of the working age paying in makes sure that everyone who is educated pays into the system when they are grown up.  Otherwise, the childless of today are saying that they should get their K-12 education for free.

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More