Contents | January/Feburary 2003

Michael Calabrese and Maya MacGuineas: Further reading for "Spendthrift Nation"
Economic statistics

For economic data regarding consumer debt and national saving, see:

Private Pensions

For general background papers and data on the adequacy of U.S. retirement saving and on private pension coverage, view the issue briefs and fact sheets published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College,, and by the Employee Benefits Research Institute in Washington, D.C.,

For a recent study projecting the retirement income shortfall facing Americans by age, race, gender, and family status, see Edward N. Wolff, "Retirement Insecurity: The Income Shortfalls Awaiting the Soon-to-Retire," Economic Policy Institute, May 2002, available online from the Economic Policy Institute at

To read a report to Congress showing that among the half of the nation's workforce not receiving a pension benefit at work, 85% are low-income, young, work part-time or at small firms, see General Accounting Office, "Pension Plans: Characteristics of Persons in the Labor Force Without Pension Coverage, Report to Congressional Requesters," August 2000, available at

To see President Clinton's original proposal for Universal Saving Accounts, see "Remarks of the President on Universal Savings Accounts," April 14, 1999, transcript available at

To read more about the proposal in this article for universal 401(k) accounts, see Michael Calabrese, "How to Improve Pension Coverage for American Workers," testimony before the House Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, September 10, 2000, available at

To learn about Washington Voluntary Accounts, an innovative proposal for state-sponsored, voluntary and universal 401(k)-type accounts, see the background papers at the Economic Opportunity Institute of Seattle, Washington, at

Social Security

To learn more about the financial condition of the Social Security program, see The 2002 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds.

For an excellent overview of the history of and the problems facing Social Security, see Sylvester Schieber and John Shoven, The Real Deal: The History and Future of Social Security. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.

To learn more about the objectives of Social Security reform, see Eugene C. Steuerle and Jon M. Bakija, Retooling Social Security for the 21st Century: Right and Wrong Approaches to Reform. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press, 1994.

To read more about the Progressive Private Accounts plan, see Maya MacGuineas, "Testimony before the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security" at and "Why Liberals Should Support Social Security Privatization" The Washington Monthly, April 1, 2001.

To read an overview of economic findings related to Social Security and private and national saving, see Congressional Budget Office. "Social Security and Private Savings: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," Washington DC, July 1998.

For an excellent account of how Social Security reform could affect national saving, see Douglas W. Elmendorf and Jeffrey B. Liebman, Social Security Reform and National Saving in an Era of Budget Surpluses. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1-71, 2000.

To see details of what the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security recommended, see both the interim and final reports at

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