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A look at “Limiting Security’s Drag on Economic Growth”

February 1, 2013 by James K. Glassman
Recently the Mercatus Center published “Limiting Security’s Drag on Economic Growth: Removing Disincentives to Personal Savings and Labor Force Participation” by Charles Blahous and Jason J. Fichtner. The article outlines how to reform Social Security to lessen some of the ways that it currently slows national economic growth. The paper is a more detailed version of the ideas in Chapter 15 of the book The 4% Solution, released earlier this year by the George W. Bush Institute. In The 4% Solution Blahous and Fichtner argue that “Regardless of whether we aim for 4% growth, a lower figure, or a higher one, reforms to federal entitlement programs are essential.” In their recent paper for the Mercatus Center, they go even further in explaining how economic growth, including the national savings rates, labor force participation decisions, and growth of the potential labor force, is negatively impacted by the current design of Social Security. Blahous and Fichtner argue that “without effective entitlement reform, our nation’s future economic growth potential will be buried under a mountain of federal taxation and indebtedness.” Read "Limiting Security’s Drag on Economic Growth: Removing Disincentives to Personal Savings and Labor Force Participation" here. This post was written by James K. Glassman, Founding Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute.

Author

James K. Glassman
James K. Glassman

James K. Glassman is the Founding Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute and the interim Director of the Military Service Initiative.

He served as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs from June 2008 to January 2009, leading the government-wide international strategic communications effort. Among his accomplishments at the State Department was bringing new Internet technology to bear on outreach efforts, an approach he christened “Public Diplomacy 2.0.”

From June 2007 to June 2008, Glassman was chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). He directed all non-military, taxpayer-funded U.S. international broadcasting, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Alhurra TV.  Glassman was a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., from 1996 to 2008, specializing in economics and technology.

He has been moderator of three weekly television programs: Ideas in Action and TechnoPolitics on PBS and Capital Gang Sunday on CNN.

Glassman has had a long career as a journalist and publisher. He served as president of Atlantic Monthly, publisher of the New Republic, executive vice president of U.S. News & World Report, and editor and co-owner of Roll Call, the Congressional newspaper. Between 1993 and 2004, he was a columnist for the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune and continues to write regularly for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Forbes. Shortly after graduating from college, he started Figaro, a weekly newspaper in New Orleans. His articles on finance, economics, and foreign policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and various other publications.

Glassman has written three books on investing, and in April 2012 was appointed to the Investor Advisory Committee of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was formerly a member of the Policy Advisory Board of Intel Corporation and a senior advisor to AT&T Corporation and SAP America, Inc.

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