Matt Bruenig gives us a great breakdown of what poverty would look like if we relied on the market to solve it (as we did almost exclusively for thousands of years before the emergence of enlightened modern welfare states over the last two centuries).
The poverty rate among the elderly would be > 45%. (Old folks with long memories: sound familiar?)
Thanks to Social Security, Medicare, etc., it’s 9%.
Here are Matt’s numbers in graphical form for easy digestion:
Read the whole thing.
Cross-posted at Asymptosis.