One cheer for Tony

Money | British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to increase Britian's retirement age
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 6/10/06, 12:00 am

It's difficult to know whether, or how much, to applaud a pension-reform plan unveiled late last month by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

On the one hand, it contains the single most important element of any serious reform effort, an element missing in President Bush's Social Security proposal last year: namely, it raises the retirement age. On the other hand, the Blair plan dilutes the impact of that reform by increasing the benefits paid out to pensioners.

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Haunted housing

Money | The overall economy may be healthy enough to withstand some cooling in the housing market, as long as the cooling does not turn into a freeze.
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 5/27/06, 12:00 am

With each passing month, it's looking more and more like the housing market may go the way of the stock market earlier this decade. It just may take longer.

The Commerce Department reported last week that housing starts in April fell 7.4 percent, the third straight monthly decline after a record high in January. Housing permits also fell, suggesting that the downward trend in housing starts will continue.

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Better off French?

Money | If the discussion is about material well-being, the United States is difficult to match
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 5/13/06, 12:00 am

The American Dream is mostly just a popular fantasy, according to a provocative study published late last month by the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP). The study found that very few poor and middle-income American children advance into the ranks of the super-rich when they become adults.

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