Make Bigger Pies

The Wall Street Journal interviews George Shultz:

I try hard to pull Mr. Shultz back toward despair. Aren’t we an older, more poorly educated society than the one that climbed out of similar debt after World War II?

“Well, we gotta get after these things! Somehow people are locking into the idea of chronological age. There’s another way of calculating age. That is what is the probability of your dying within the year. If you use that way of calculating, people who are 75 today on that basis are 65 as of some earlier time. . . . We need to gear our retirement system in such a way that people keep working longer.”

He suggests ending Social Security taxes for people who have paid in for 40 years. The way to meet our demographic challenge is to keep people in the labor force longer, Mr. Shultz says, and not fall for European notions that there is some fixed amount of work to be divided up. “The trick is to keep expanding the pie.”

Funny, I just mentioned that concept – making bigger pies.  How odd.

I didn’t pay as much attention to politics back during Reagan’s administration as I do now as a blogger. But I certainly followed it more than the average person, being a newshog even then (I normally read at least one newspaper thoroughly every day and quite often several).  But I remembered that I rather liked Shultz. (And voted for his boss twice).

I think he’s got it right here, the trick is to make it better, you have to make the pie bigger. Not fight over who gets the biggest crumbs from the dwindling pie.  I am sick of redistributionist thinking and luddite anti-economics and the purveyors of such policies.

Go read it, it’s worth your time.

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