Given the increasing polarization of American politics, readers may be pleasantly surprised to learn there are some public policy alternatives where the left and right seem to agree.
An example is called auto enrollment. When workers are hired these daysespecially at a large companyodds are they wont be asked if they want to join the companys 401(k) plan. Instead, they will be automatically enrolled. If they dont like that fact, they can walk down to the HR department and opt out.
Studies show that auto enrollment makes a big difference in whether employees participate in a retirement plan and how they participateparticularly low-income employees. Left to their own devices, far too many people make three mistakes: (1) they dont join their company plan, or (2) if they do join, they dont contribute enoughleaving employer matching dollars on the tableor (3) they invest too conservatively (e.g., government securitieswith no risk, but very little return) or allow themselves to be defaulted into money market funds.