Saturday, March 8, 2008

Social Security Malthusians -- Chicken Little Economics

It just occurred to me that people who fear that Social Security tax income must eventually fall short of benefit outgo are Social Security Malthusians. They don't factor in -- most never heard of -- economic growth: more than two hundred years after economic growth made Malthus obsolete.

That the modern industrial economy grows four times as fast as the population per person -- that means that by the time population double the economy will produce eight times as much; four times as much output per person -- doesn't get through to them. I guess that makes Peter G. Peterson America's greatest Social Security Malthusian.

Come to think of it: I guess a lot or even most of so-called conservative economics is unconsciously Malthusian, from trying to privatize Social Security to attempting to "starve the beast" -- all see the sky falling because they just never catch on that output per person grows four times (4X!) as fast as the population. From Voodoo economics to Chicken Little economics: that's Republicans.

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