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The Clash of Generations: Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Kotlikoff, Laurence J.

    () (Boston University)

  • Burns, Scott

    (AssetBuilder)

Abstract

The United States is bankrupt, flat broke. Thanks to accounting that would make Enron blush, America’s insolvency goes far beyond what our leaders are disclosing. The United States is a fiscal basket case, in worse shape than the notoriously bailed-out countries of Greece, Ireland, and others. How did this happen? In The Clash of Generations, experts Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns document our six-decade, off-balance-sheet, unsustainable financing scheme. They explain how we have balanced our longer lives on the backs of our (relatively few) children. At the same time, we've been on a consumption spree, saving and investing less than nothing. And that’s not to mention the evisceration of the middle class and a financial system that has proven it can’t be trusted. Kotlikoff and Burns outline grassroots strategies for saving ourselves--and especially our children--from what could be a truly catastrophic financial collapse. Kotlikoff and Burns sounded the alarm in their widely acclaimed The Coming Generational Storm, but politicians didn’t listen. Now the need for action is even more urgent. It’s up to us to demand radical reform of our tax system, our healthcare system, and our Social Security system, and to insist on better paths to investment return than those provided by Wall Street (mis)managers. Kotlikoff and Burns's "Purple Plans" (so called because they will appeal to both Republicans and Democrats) have been endorsed by a who’s who of economists and offer a new way forward; and their revolutionary investment strategy for individuals replaces the idea of financial capital with "life decision capital." Of course, we won't be doing all this just for ourselves. We need to fix America’s fiscal mess before our kids inherit it.

Suggested Citation

  • Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Burns, Scott, 2012. "The Clash of Generations: Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262016729, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262016729
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    Cited by:

    1. Timothy C. Irwin, 2015. "Defining The Government'S Debt And Deficit," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 711-732, September.
    2. Thomas Grennes, 2013. "Diminishing Quality of Fiscal Institutions in the United States and European Union," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 33(1), pages 91-109, Winter.
    3. Stefan Wurster, 2015. "Sustainability of Fiscal Policy in Democracies and Autocracies," Challenges in Sustainability, Librello publishing house, vol. 3(1), pages 1-15.
    4. Frank Milne, 2012. "Economic Crises: The Impact on Australia and Canada," Working Papers 1296, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    5. Thornton, Daniel L., 2012. "The U.S. deficit/debt problem: a longer-run perspective," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 441-456.
    6. repec:eee:joecag:v:8:y:2016:i:c:p:76-84 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    finance; econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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