The problem with his critique is that the government's solutions-bigger Social Security and Medicare-have had mixed results, and certainly the costs of these programs are daunting. They could threaten a new generation of American workers with European welfare state social insurance tax rates. In some European welfare states, people pay 20% to 30% taxes for their social insurance systems.

Is that what Lowenstein wants? His solutions would probably take us there.

Indeed, the ultimate solution to what is really a lack of saving will not come from the government taking over a bigger part of our economy. If an even bigger government were such a good solution, then payroll taxes would be declining and the government's forced Social Security saving would be ensuring that most of us could look forward to a well-financed retirement.

Nevertheless, this book, because of its diagnosis of the problem, is well worth the reader's time.



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