Peter S. Arno

Peter S. Arno is an economist and director of health policy research at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Recent Articles

Boomers and Millennials Unite

Refocusing the Social Security debate around intergenerational justice will ensure the viability of retirement for all.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Social Security’s accumulated surplus stands at about $2.9 trillion, according to its trustees’ annual report, which was released last week. If Congress does nothing, the vital social-insurance program would be fully funded for the next 16 years and then trust funds would be sufficient to pay 80 percent of scheduled benefits. But, at least on one side of the aisle, Congress is doing something to put Social Security on solid footing for at least 75 more years. As the 2020 election approaches, the strategic task of Democrats is to broaden political support for Social Security beyond seniors. By engaging millennials, the largest generation in U.S. history, Democrats can shift the debate to intergenerational justice. Millennials’ cynicism about the future of Social Security must be addressed lest it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In recent years, the purveyors of intergenerational-warfare scenarios have repeatedly claimed that retirement security was not possible...