There are plenty of books about the entitlement disaster in our future, but few come with the backing of an academic press. The Clash of Generations is an exception. Written by economist Larry Kotlikoff, one of the creators of generational accounting, and my good friend of long standing, Scott Burns, Clash shows what current policies have already done to young people, tells stories about how both parties have allowed it to happen, and offers actual policy solutions – for banking, taxes, healthcare, and Social Security.
But it's way more than a "policy book." It also tells us what we can do to protect ourselves if the politicians fail.
Nobel Laureate George Akerlof writes that the book "is so well written that Scott Burns and Laurence Kotlikoff should be considered the Stieg Larssons of economics." For today's Outside the Box, I asked Scott to give us some excerpts from the book, with an emphasis on policy matters rather than personal investing. This is a book you will want to read, and I hope our policy makers read it as well, to get a clue about the impending crisis, should they fail to take action. Will you like all of their solutions? I can guarantee you won't, as they will gore a lot of sacred oxen; but then any real set of solutions will. We have gone far past the point where there were easy solutions.
You can get the book at http://www.amazon.com/clash. And while you're at it, you should get a copy of my new book, The Little Book of Bull's Eye Investing. It is getting a lot of great reviews, and I am pleased with the response so far.
I am in Stamford, Connecticut tonight, where I will speak tomorrow morning at a private conference for Pitney-Bowes. They have brought in a rather solid line-up of speakers, trying to get a peek into the future so they set an effective business strategy. I am looking forward to listening and learning as much as I can.
Right now I am off to dinner with the other speakers, so it should be a fun evening with lots of interesting conversation, which I really enjoy. Wednesday and Thursday I am in NYC, with a lot of media appearances and interviews and a few meetings and speeches worked in here and there. It will be a very busy schedule, especially since I am trying to keep up with my reading and work on my own next book. Have a great week!
Your wondering how we solve the entitlement crisis analyst,
John Mauldin, Editor
Outside the Box
The Clash of Generations
By Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns
Prologue: The Last Straw
The day was coming—for years, decades, really.
Warnings had been sounded, loud, clear, and often.
Most heard, few listened. The problem was distant, its size unclear.
"No worries. We'll fix it. The next election, the next party, the next leader."
There was time.
The contract was simple: 100,000 barrels of oil, delivered to this country, at this port, on…