Tuesday, December 07, 2004

There has been a lot of talk recently about privatizing social security. I personally think this is a good idea. In fact, I have a better idea. Get rid of social security entirely. The idea of "social security" is a myth. It is a giant pyramid scheme built on the premise that future generations will have to fund current retirees (or other invalids that aren't able to provide for themselves). I am planning for the future. I don't really see why other people can't. If you are too myopic to realize that you aren't going to be pulling in a paycheck for the rest of your life then that is your problem. I shouldn't be footing the bill for it. What scares me is the possibility of the upcoming retiring baby boomers bleeding me dry, draining social security, realizing what a flawed system it is, then deciding it is a good idea to abolish it. Thanks for your time, thanks for your money, good luck in the future. I would much rather keep the money that I earn and fend for myself.


At 6:54 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

Ahh, only a couple of weeks into your bloggerdom and you've already moved into the realm of right-wing categorical denunciation that marks the uneditted prose of the Internet.
Your mistake is that you think of Social Security as just a retirement fund, which it certainly is not. As you allude to right before dismissing your own comment, it is more than that - it's "social security" for the time when you can no longer work, which may be because of retirement or alternatively, because of disability. For instance, my girlfriend's aunt has genetic issues that prevent her from working (indeed, even walking at this point). Under privatized social security, what does she live off of? Her non-existent pension? Her non-existent 401k plan? She may not have resources, but it certainly isn't because she is myopic about the future. She may not be big-timing it down to the Mitsubishi dealer to buy a $35,000 car but that's because she hasn't had the opportunities others have had. Also, what happens to you if you get injured and can't work anymore? What if your 401k isn't full by then?
You make it sound like Social Security is welfare, that you won't be able to ever collect. You'll be getting your check, too, unless you die early in which case you've got bigger issues to deal with than privatized social security.
Also, privatizing Social Security is a colossal expense right when we can't afford it. [http://www.theworldlink.com/articles/2004/12/07/news/news18.txt]
If you want to look at the problem with Social Security, it's not the program itself but the fact that for decades Congress has been borrowing money out of SS funds. THAT is the boogeyman that needs to be dealt with. How do we pay for SS privatization? I know, let's steal from SS!
Finally, if you want to look at a pyramid scheme, look at capitalism. How long can consumers spend more than they earn in order to satisfy the needs of stockholders for profits? See David Harvey's concept of the spatial fix [http://www.irows.ucr.edu/conferences/globgis/papers/Arrighi.htm] and the analogy of the pyramid scheme becomes obvious.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

Another reason Social Security is running out? Casinos. Shut 'em down! I was just in Biloxi and I could just watch the cottonheads flushing our Social Security funds into the toilet. The whole place smelled of moth balls and Depends.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

My problem doesn't lie with having social assistance programs. In fact, after my wife's father passed away, their family relied heavily on social security. My problem lies with the idea that the government has deemed me incapable of providing for my own retirenment. If you want to provide more robust social programs, raise taxes, let me keep the rest of my money, and don't leave me with a false idea that I'll be receiving money to live from the government once I retire at the age of 72... or whatever age the government raises it to by then. Besides, I thought there was good money in Kareoking in bars?

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

How is that different than what we have now? If you get rid of social security and replace it with social programs (not a horrible idea in and of itself) there is no guarantee that the social programs wouldn't be cut also (like you are concerned about happening). I'm not sure how what you are proposing is different than social security - although the social programs you propose probably wouldn't include a retirement stipend, surely the money would be going out anyway as welfare to poor retirees. I agree that we ought to raise taxes, but instead I think the money should be put back into social security (where the government borrowed it from). In fact, I think we are arguing for the same thing, just that I am calling it social security and you are calling it social programs. It's kind of ironic, because in my version though you (as a probably affluent retiree) would get some of your money back, and in your version you wouldn't.

Side note: in Montserrat their social security program is called the "Social Security Scheme" - apparently "scheme" just means "plan" to them, without the negative connotations. I couldn't help but laugh everytime I saw the sign (or heard the radio jingle!) because I thought Republicans in the US would agree with the nomenclature. :)


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