Mar 6, 2012

I Hadn't Heard This One Before

     I thought I had heard all of the criticisms of Social Security that there were but I was wrong. John Carney at CNBC digs up the very old criticism that Social Security leads inevitably to population decline because people will have fewer children because they will not feel the need to have children to support them in their old age. And I thought that the introduction of "The Pill" was the cause of the decline in fertility rates in the 1960s!


Anonymous said...

Carney makes the common logical fallacy of assuming that if B follows A, B was caused by A. Every First World country in the 20th century saw a drop in birth rates. The causes range from a decline in need for children to work the farm, to the fact that there is less economic advantage to having a child when the child will be attending school full time for 18 years. I have no idea if there are any industrialized countries without a social insurance system, but if there are, I'm sure the decline in birth rates would be similar.
The idea that at age 30 I decide whether to have a child based on whether I need that child to support me in my old age is patent nonsense. I'm sure even Carney knows it is patent nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see a pregnant woman, a child in a stroller or an immigrant applying for permanent residence or citizenship, I am assured about my social security. But I don't think we plan it that way.