Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Obesity and the Social Security Crisis

John Chilton, The Emirates Economist, has two intriguing suggestions/ questions linking these two topics:

  1. If obesity causes early death, and if obesity is increasing in the U.S., then probably, on average, people will start dying sooner and the U.S. social security system will not have to pay off for as many years -- a huge savings for the system. Maybe the obesity crisis offsets the social security crisis to some extent?
  2. If obese people die younger, does the U.S. social security system [or, for that matter, any defined benefits retirement plan] discriminate against obese people?

Does even asking these questions jeopardize his academic career?
Is John Chilton the next Larry Summers?

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