Jonathan V. Last ( What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster ) has a modest proposal for fixing social security: “Since the 1980s, policy wonks have been telling us that our social welfare programs are about to implode. The system is not sustainable! Either benefits or taxes must be changed – something’s got to give! And that’s all true. But this harangue ignores the root cause of why the system isn’t sustainable. Social Security and Medicare were conceived in an era of high fertility. It was only after our fertility rate collapsed that the economics of the programs became dysfunctional” (109). Given that the root cause is demographic, the programs “could be saved if Americans started having more babies.”
Last suggests that Social Security be adjusted to become favorable to fertility. One suggestion is to reduce FICA tax “by one-third with the birth of their first child, by two-thirds with the birth of a second, and then eliminated completely with the third” (162).