Wednesday, February 16, 2005

SS Reform or Socialism?

Nice piece by Pete Du Pont on Social Security Reform and the sentiment behind those that oppose a privatized and individual controlled portion! Du Pont's position is summed up by this statement; "Social Security argument is an old and familiar one: government decisions versus individual ones, government control of assets versus individual ownership. In short, socialism versus individualism". Those opposed to changing SS offer no alternative other than to raise taxes of one type or another to pay for the system down the line. Fact of the matter is I know of nobody in their 40's who is relying on their down the road SS check to mean squat. We all invest pre and post tax dollars. I don't think I know anybody that hasn't contributed to their employers 401k plan or does IRA's every year. All of the companies I have worked for have had 100% employee participation in their 401k programs. So why on earth would someone oppose a change like this? Because they think the government can make better investments? That's a joke, so can't be that. Is it a reduced benefits argument? Shouldn't be.....of course if we put in less we will get less out...but the same amount invested even in conservative investments will yield me more so I have a net gain. I got one of those letters from the SSA recently...shows my SS earnings from the first year I had them. They show you the SS payment you would get if you were to retire today (pretending your at retirement age). Then using the life expectancy for white male in the US (75 yrs, man that's low) and total what they would pay me, its peanuts compared to what even an Index 500 investment would yield me divided by that number of payments.

So, I really can't see any logical reason for people to oppose SS reform unless its purely political at our expense, or they believe what Du Pont (and I) postulates which is that this puts more wealth into the individuals hands and so he says:

When you increase an individual's wealth, he becomes less dependent on government, and his attitude towards government changes. Socialists can't allow that, for it erodes their fundamental principle that social justice can only be achieved when important segments of the economy are under government control.

And that is why today's very liberal Democratic Party is so vehemently arguing against personal ownership of Social Security market accounts. The government's Social Security system is socialism's last redoubt, and must be preserved at all costs.

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