Jerry Mashaw

Jerry L. Mashaw is a professor in Yale University's School of Management and political science department.

Recent Articles

The Great Social Security Scare

Advocates of privatization are using the financial stress of the baby boomers' retirement to undo the advances that Social Security has brought. Relieving the financial pressures, however, has become a phony excuse for privatization.

T he elite press has urged Americans to be anxious about their Social Security pensions. Newsweek , the New Republic , and the Economist , among others, express a common fear that the system is going bankrupt and dragging down the economy. Polls show that the public supports the principles of Social Security but worries it will not be there when they retire. There is a building sense that the system has somehow not kept up with the changes in the nation's circumstances-in particular the age distribution of the population and the performance of the economy. Peter G. Peterson, the reigning guru of gloom and the angel of the Concord Coalition, summed up these fearful attitudes in a recent feature article in the Atlantic Monthly . On the cover, above the obviously panic-stricken faces of Americans peering over the pension precipice, the headline reads "Social Insecurity: Unless We Act Now, The Aging of America Will Become An Economic Problem That Dwarfs All Other National Issues." We too...