The New Inequality of Old Age: Implications for Law
Inequality isn’t just for the young anymore. People over age sixty-five face large and growing inequalities in health, wealth, work, and family. The widening gap between better- and worse-off older Americans has begun to undermine legal institutions that once worked to correct inequality, including Social Security, Medicare, private pensions, and family law. In this Article, I briefly document the inequalities that have transformed old age in the last fifty years (or so) and then analyze three common justifications for reform: budget solvency, inequality, and progressivity. I show that each of these falls short of the kind of principled justification that will be needed to justify cutting benefits, raising taxes, or both.