Commenting on a paper by Allan Carlson at the Family Research Council, EPPC Fellow John Mueller agrees that Social Security affects fertility: positively if the program is of modest size, but negatively if it grows too large. Fertility also affects Social Security: He shows that the program’s entire expected deficit resulted from the drop in fertility caused by legal abortion. The main problem for Social Security reform is to avoid the “societal death spiral” already engulfing Europe and Japan, which would be triggered either by allowing Social Security to mushroom under current law, or by extracting forced saving from workers with compulsory retirement accounts. The “death spiral” can be avoided if legal abortion is ended and Social Security balanced by cutting surplus payroll taxes now and scaling back future retirement benefits in the same proportion. Available online in two formats: PowerPoint and PDF.
Ethics & Public Policy Center
Social Security and Fertility
Published in Delivered at the Family Research Council on February 23, 2005