The NYT Thinks that Medicare Should Lead to Intergenerational Conflict

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Saturday, 12 January 2013 08:56

That's what Catherine Rampell told readers in her Economix blogpost today. The piece comments:

"From an economic standpoint, it’s actually a bit surprising that Americans don’t see greater tensions between the generations. Medicare and other public spending on the elderly (such as public pensions at the state level) has been gobbling up an increasing share of government budgets, which crowds out spending on the young and raises their future tax burdens."

Americans probably recognize that the high cost of Medicare is primarily due to the high prices charged by drug companies, medical suppliers, and doctors. That would be a basis for class conflict, but not getting mad at their parents. They probably also understand that public pensions are part of the pay of public employees. This is not a generational issue, it's a question of the pay levels of public employees, which research shows to be comparable to the pay of private employees with comparable education levels.