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The response of liberal commenters to my post on the fact that social security decreases labor supply and national savings seems to largely be raw incredulity. "That's crazy talk!" about sums it up.

Well, in response to those who asked, I am not only serious, but also well supported. These assertions about the response of elder labor force participation, birth rates, and national savings to pension policy are, in declining order, extremely, very, and fairly robust. All of them are strong enough that none of the slew of economists I recently interviewed on the topic of America's aging economy voiced any doubt about the relationship, direction, or causality.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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