Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk is featured in The Cap Times
today as she prepares to take on Wisconsin's drinking culture. Her program was announced this morning and some details are here
Reading the articles, I was reminded of a post up the Frekonomics blog entitled "Can Binge Drinking Save Social Security?"
. But here’s one unintended consequence of teaching young people responsible drinking habits: it could make Social Security bankrupt faster.
A 2004 study by Frank Sloan and Jan Ostermann at Duke University found that heavy drinkers contribute slightly more to Social Security, through their higher average lifetime earnings, than nondrinkers do. What’s more, since alcohol abusers tend to die sooner than moderate or nondrinkers, they draw less money, over time, from the Social Security trust fund.
Their conclusion: the elimination of heavy drinking (three or more drinks a day) from each successive group of American 25-year-olds would cost the Social Security trust fund $3 billion over the cohort’s lifetime.