The issue explored here is an example of the interface between social research and social policy in the United States. The aging policy debate concerning the economic status of the elderly has tended to focus upon the disadvantaged; it is informed by a relatively selective view of the financial resources of older persons. The result has been policy that is vulnerable to the market attention given to the advantaged elderly by business as the economic status of the elderly improves. Sociological practitioners whose work focuses upon older Americans are in a unique position to understand this policy problem and to address the needs of the elderly on both ends of the economic spectrum.

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