Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Condescending, disorganized, incorrect at times
on July 24, 2014
I suppose the most off-putting thing about this book is the horribly patronizing tone throughout - that makes it hard to read but it gets worse. What organization the book has is obscured by the conversational narrative that I suppose is meant to make it a friendlier read but has the effect of drowning each fact in tons of fluff. And some of the facts are simply wrong. Mr. Orr reminds us, e.g., that the average life expectancy when social security began was 65 - which is true but irrelevant. It was so low, compared to now, because of the much higher infant mortality rate, not because old folks were dropping dead 20 years earlier. The actuaries in 1935 knew this, the actuaries now know it, but it's a silly myth usually dragged out of the closet by people who are trying to prove that social security is unsustainable. An expert in this field knows better - but I guess he felt it made good copy. Alas, this book is truly painful to read and contains inaccuracies and myths. Keep looking - I am.