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Brooklyn Law School




This Article considers the many arguments currently being made in favor of Social Security pension reform and evaluates each of them in terms of the principal Congressional goal of the program-the elimination of elderly poverty-as well as more recent goals that have been articulated by subsequent commentators such as a reduction in government paternalism and the maximization of retirement income. The Article begins with a short history of the public pension program in the United States and considers at length the details of the various reform proposals that currently enjoy support. In addition it examines the enormously regressive tax structure that the current payroll tax imposes and suggests that this feature, more than any other, of the existing program warrants modification although not necessarily privatization. Finally, the Article suggests several ways in which to order the competing claims of reformers who favor privatization and those who prefer tinkering with the status quo and concludes that this debate can best be understood in light of the clash between equity and efficiency that scholars and practitioners perennially confront in the insurance arena.

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