While America Aged
How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial
By Roger Lowenstein
Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143115380, 274pp.
Publication Date: April 2009
List Price: $16.00*
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In the last several decades, corporations and local governments made ruinous pension and healthcare promises to American workers. With these now coming due, they threaten to destroy twenty-first- century America's hopes for a comfortable retirement. With his trademark narrative panache, bestselling author Roger Lowenstein analyzes three fascinating case studies-General Motors, the New York City subway system, and the city of San Diego-each an object lesson and a compelling historical saga that illuminates how the pension crisis developed. Cumulative retirement deficits are approaching $1 trillion, and Lowenstein warns that these are only the first. Retirement pensions will continue to be a critical issue as the country ages, and While America Aged is the urgent call to action and prescription for reform.
" Financial journalist Roger Lowenstein uses the stories of three deeply encumbered institutions . . . as examples not only of the way most individual Americans conduct their personal finances, but also of how the country as a whole has long lived beyond its means. . . . Gripping."
-Phillip Longman, The Washington Post