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Opinion
Nir Kaissar

Employers Can Buy Retirement Security for $2.64 an Hour

Many Americans can’t afford to save for their future and will be doomed to poverty.

Workers can't save what they don't make.

Workers can't save what they don't make.

Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio published a sobering essay last Friday about the state of capitalism in the U.S. He observed, correctly in my view, that “the ability to make money, save it, and put it into capital (i.e., capitalism) is an effective motivator of people and allocator of resources that raises people’s living standards.”

But Dalio then went on to present myriad data showing that many Americans make too little money to live on, let alone save, with harmful consequences. He counts among them diminished health, education and economic mobility, high rates of incarceration, and widening wealth and income disparity that raise the risk of social unrest. In an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, he called it “a national emergency.”